I just posted this as a comment over on Freelance Switch but I’m putting it here too, cause it’s important. The article on FS was about how to tell if your rates are too low…
Here’s my comment:
When you’re on your own out there selling your services, I think the whole idea of “rate setting” most often mirrors your own perception of your self worth.
But the reality of it is, what you charge has nothing to do with you.
All that matters is whether your client thinks the value is there to warrant the fee.
Everything else is just a story we make up to justify our decisions.
“I’m not going to charge a lot cause I’m just starting out…”
“I’m going to come in a little low cause I really need the business…”
“The client said cash is tight so I better keep my quote on the low side…”
Those are all stories. None of them are true.
So I say, charge as much as you can get. The worst your client can say is NO.
It might hurt your ego if they do say no, but it won’t kill you.
And what happens if they say, “Yes?”
To charge something like “the other guy” is charging is setting up a false barrier that will keep you from reaching your full potential.
You’re in business to make money. It should NOT be a secret and you should not make excuses for it.
So is there any reason you SHOULDN’T be the most expensive option out there?
If you can come up with one that is not influenced by your self-image, then I guess do whatever works for you.
But why not raise your rates (a lot) “just because” and see what happens…
If you fail, that doesn’t mean you have to lower your rates, that means you simply have to deliver more value.
So what happens if you raise your fees and your clients give you a hard time?
I guess some people would feel the pressure and settle on some type of “compromise…”
I’d suggest that’s just a clue that it’s time to find new clients. Ones who are gladly willing to pay what you ask simply because they believe the value they receive will be worth it.