As a freelancer, you set your own rates, but if your rate is too high, you might miss out on clients, and if your rate is too low, you could be undercutting yourself and working too hard for too little. So how can you determine your ideal freelance rate and make sure you get paid for every job you complete? Continue reading to learn more.

Things to consider when figuring out your rate

When you are trying to calculate your rate for a freelance project, there are a few things you need to factor into the price.

First, think about the amount of time it will take you to complete the project. Your time is valuable, so you want to be sure you are getting paid well for your time and expertise. This is important whether you’re charging by the hour or you’re going with a fixed rate for the project.

Next, think about any costs you’ll incur from the purchase of supplies, photo rights, travel, etc., as well as the overhead costs you’ll have to pay to keep the lights on, use your Wi-Fi, keep your office comfortable with heating and cooling, etc. Your freelance rate should cover these expenses for the duration of the project.

Ask for a budget and be ready to negotiate

You can also ask your client for their budget in order to be able to start with an idea of what you can actually charge without the client looking for another freelancer to do the same work for less money. And if you need to negotiate the rate, don’t be afraid to do so.

You can certainly charge more when dealing with larger clients, and understanding how your work will benefit the client’s business will help you negotiate a higher rate as well. After all, your work will help them make greater profits, so there is a lot of value in what you do and you deserve to be compensated for it appropriately.

Submit a quote

Once you have determined your rate for a project, you should submit a quote to the client, and to do so, you can use free online estimate templates that will allow you to save money on expensive software while gaining access to invoices and other documents.

There are also a number of freelancer sites and forums that you can visit to communicate with other, more experienced freelancers to get their idea of how much you should charge for your services. Speaking to more experienced freelancers in the same or similar field as yourself can be very helpful especially to those just starting out as they’ll have learned through trial and error how much is a good price to charge for a certain standard of work.

Keep track of your work with digital invoices

In order to ensure you get paid and you keep track of your accounts receivable, use digital invoicing programs to submit the amount that a client owes and then mark them as paid when you receive your money.

Using this method will also ensure that your clients are able to keep track of what they owe you for work performed, and it will also help them pay their bills on time. Many freelancers use PayPal which allows you to create a digital invoice to send to your client and is also a secure way to send, receive and keep track of payments.

Don’t be afraid to say no

As a freelancer, it can be incredibly tempting to take on any work regardless of the price even if it’s lower than what you would normally accept. Doing this can keep you in work if your workload is low, however it pays off more to refuse work from clients that will not pay your minimum rate and spend some time researching for a client that will pay more.

Clients who pay less are often willing to accept work that is of a lower standard or quality, and you should keep in mind that the clients who you work for also add to your reputation. It is far better to have a smaller number of high quality, well paying clients than a large number of low quality clients who pay you a poor rate.

As a freelancer in a competitive marketplace, it can be really tough to get paid what you deserve. Don’t be afraid of asking for the rate that you feel is fair to both you and the client. Even if you have to negotiate, don’t undercut or undervalue yourself.