Negotiate Better and Higher Rates As a Freelancer

When you are an independent contractor, how do you know how much to charge for your services?

negotiate freelance rates

One way is to look at the rates that others in your field are charging.

Another option is to use a tool such as this one from Fiverr or Upwork.

But how can you negotiate better or higher rates for yourself?

In this article, we will discuss how negotiation can help increase your freelance rates and generate more revenue!

Do you feel like your freelance rates are not what they should be?

Are you looking to negotiate better or higher rates for yourself?

Independent contractors are experts in their fields, but they also find themselves managing the business side of things. When it comes to trying to negotiate with clients, independent contractors should be prepared and know what to expect.

Because freelancers don’t have anyone else on staff working for them on the negotiating front, their negotiations come down to what strengths they can bring to the table when it comes to how much they should be charging for their services.

How to negotiate freelance rates

This article is about how negotiation can help increase your freelance rates and generate more revenue!

We’ll look at how you might go about negotiating with clients.

What things are important in a successful negotiation.

What mistakes people make that lead to low rates.

How you can create a negotiation plan ahead of time.

And how negotiating will help your business grow.

Negotiating with clients

Negotiating can be a great way to increase your freelance rates and generate more revenue if you know how.

Talking freelance rates can be a tricky task for anyone. The following three areas are often the cause of failure in these negotiations. Freelancers put excessive focus on their business side to the detriment of building personal rapport with clients. They try to get an edge by discounting prices. And they spend too much negotiation time with the wrong clients.

Let’s look at all these three:

Making it personal.

Connecting with your clients on a personal level is essential for success in any business – strong familiarity creates trust, which stimulates the chemistry of buying. Building relationships is the key to earning more money as a freelancer because it earns you trust.

As a freelancer, your business is dependent on the client trusting you. A freelance negotiating a deal has to stand on their own and ensure that the other party develops trust for them.

As a freelancer, the way you communicate with your clients has a big impact on the rates that you will end up getting. When entering into negotiations, make sure to work to build relationships as an expression of your own values and skills in order to come away with better rates.

Minimum acceptable rate

In negotiating rates for freelance work, it’s important to know what your minimum acceptable rate is. Resist the urge to offer a discount. If you negotiate a lower rate than what is your minimum, then this will be the only offer that you are able to give.

For some people negotiating rates can feel like they’re selling themselves short – but it’s important to recognize how much of an impact discounts have on potential earnings when looking at how to negotiate freelance rates!

When clients are looking for freelancers, they often want to know how much the potential candidate charges. If you offer a discounted rate, then this sets your minimum and will be how all future negotiations go with that client.

Know what’s worth it – charge by the project

Knowing how to negotiate a higher rate means knowing where you stand on pricing before entering into any negotiation. Your negotiation goals should be to get as close to your minimum acceptable rate while still making it worth the client’s time.

This is how you can come away with a higher pay and better rates for yourself!

get it in writing

Get it in writing

Getting deals in writing is how you can ensure that as a freelancer, you get paid what you’re owed.

If there’s an agreement on how much a client will pay, it should be put into contract form and signed by both parties. This will help to avoid any disagreements later down the line – or even worse: getting stiffed for work done!

Mistakes that lead to low hourly rate

  1. You never ask for a rate. The first time someone asks how much you charge, the response is “It depends.” This tells your client that whatever they offer will be accepted without negotiation and sets an expectation of low rates to come.
  2. Your price list isn’t clear or detailed enough. Clients need information about how long the project will take, how many revisions are included in the price and how interactive you’re willing to be.
  3. You don’t produce a proposal that helps your client understand how long the process is going to take from start to finish. Business owners need all of this information before they can make an educated decision about how much time or money their company can afford to spend.
  4. You don’t haggle for a higher rate when the client offers less than your standard price point. It’s always worth asking how much they’re willing to pay and what their budget is, even if you feel like it might be too low an amount for you to agree with.
  5. If someone has offered more than what you think is reasonable, say how much less than your standard rate they’re offering and how that would affect the project.
  6. You don’t bargain for higher price on an ongoing basis with clients who have been using your services regularly. Not asking how much more they’d be willing to pay in order to keep working with you at this level of

Creating a negotiating plan ahead of time

Creating a plan is a good idea. One of the best ways to do this is by breaking down how much you want and how far out from your desired goal date it will take for you to get there.

  • Be sure not to be too ambitious in how quickly you hope to achieve an outcome while also being reasonable with what would be considered fair compensation at that time.
  • If you have a specific project in mind that would be helpful for your negotiating plan. How much you want to charge is reasonable based on how much time and effort it will take (again, not too ambitious).
  • Negotiating can feel uncomfortable at first but it gets easier with practice. Remember this when you’re feeling nervous about how to approach the conversation.
  • Be clear on what you want, be confident in your ask and always stay polite!

Freelance rate negotiation email sample

Want to bump up your hourly rate but not sure how to go about it? Here are example emails you can use to request for a higher pay.

The work I've been doing has taken a lot more time than I had anticipated and so wanted to talk rates again. 
As we discussed previously, it would be really helpful if you could bump up my hourly rate from $320 per hour to $360. 
I would appreciate the increase and would like to stick with you as my client. 
I have done a lot of work for you and so wanted to talk about my hourly rate again. They haven't changed in a while. 
It looks like we can bump up my rate by $50 per hour, from $360 to $410. 
If so, I would appreciate it and look forward to continuing our relationship. 
I have done lots of work for you and am really enjoying the relationship. I wanted to talk about my hourly rate again as I've been doing a lot of extras that have been taking up a lot of time. 
I think $200 per hour is OK for my quality of work but what do you think? 

Freelancing is rewarding both as a career and a way to build your skills. If you want to go in full time, you really need to understand how to price your billable hours.

Know the value you’re bringing to the table as a freelancer. Freelancing is not about taking on whatever project that comes your ways no matter how bad the per project rate is.

This is a mistake many freelancers make and end up hating the freelancing route they took expecting to find a work-life balance.

How to negotiate with clients on pricing

Your rates should be up to date and as competitive as possible.

Examine how you can provide more value for the same or lower cost by cutting out any unnecessary expenses such as paying too much for a service that doesn’t add significant value, like hosting costs.

The goal is returning your time (and other resources) back to you so that you can work more efficiently and earn a higher per hour rate.

Negotiating rates isn’t always easy, but this article will show how to do it in an effective way.

And how to ask for what you need to be compensated fairly without feeling guilty about the cost of your time or skillset.

The best way to avoid feeling guilty is negotiating the rate up front.

You’ll know how much you’re worth and how it’s better for everyone involved if a project goes south or doesn’t have enough work.

Freelancing can be really stressful, but with these tips on negotiation, you can reduce some of that stress and make more money at the same time.

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