One of the significant benefits of working freelance is greater flexibility and that means choosing your individual work hours, handpicking your own clients, and determining your pay rate.
Freelancing provides the potential for a lot of personal development, gaining experience and garnering new skills, which has its perks. Some of those perks may be expanding the scope of your projects to attract new clients or being able to charge higher rates for your deliverables.
In this article, you’ll find actionable ways to negotiate higher freelancer rates, helping you to adapt your negotiating style and increase your revenue.
How to Best Prepare Yourself for Rate Negotiation
The first important step is to evaluate your current freelancer pay and establish whether it aligns with your minimum acceptable rate. Entering a negotiation with a client without knowing the lowest you’re willing to work for could potentially put you at a loss.
The factors to consider when calculating the minimum you’re willing to accept:
- Personal outgoings: this could include rent, grocery shopping, subscriptions and socializing costs.
- Business expenses: the costs involved to run your business such as office space, internet, software, subcontractors and anything else you need for your business to function.
- Hours worked: the number of hours it will take you to complete the project.
- Tax: the amount you will be taxed on your income in your country.
To calculate the absolute minimum that you should accept by adding your personal outgoings and business expenses together and then dividing that figure by the number of hours worked. Add tax, and you’re left with an amount that represents your minimum acceptable rate.
How Do You Approach an Existing Client about Negotiating Compensation?
To approach an existing client to negotiate higher freelancer pay, start by formulating why you deserve to be paid more. With that information, you can outline which services you have provided for the client with your unique skills and qualities.
Explain to your client in-depth how you can add more value to them. For example, you have gained more skills or will provide more support and attention to them. Another great to approach your client is to offer incentives such as faster turnaround times.
3 Tips for Negotiating for Higher Rates
Negotiating with clients for higher rates can feel daunting, especially when you don’t know how to approach the situation. Here are a few strategies to consider when asking for higher freelancing rates.
Ask Questions and Listen
It’s essential to ask your clients questions to provide participation from both parties and reduce any tension that may arise from bluntly asking for a pay raise. Questions you may want to consider are “Are you happy with the services I currently provide?” to get the conversation started. It’s also important to ask the client what their budget is and will reveal how much the client is willing to pay.
Use Facts to Back You Up
Whether you’re a copywriter, SEO specialist or UX designer — use facts to back yourself. When describing what you’ve created for the client, you can use data to reinforce what they have accomplished from it. For example, how website visitors have increased since you redesigned the site.
Learn to Leverage
There are a couple of ways you can leverage; the first is to express that you’ve been invited to other projects and you’re in high demand with a busy schedule. The second method is to show your client that other people are willing to pay more for your skills.
Leverage puts you in a position of power, allowing you to signify to your client that you value the working relationship and are willing to put their needs first.