It’s always hard to value your own worth.
As a web designer, a graphics designer or even a writer, there is a good chance you are charging too little to your clients. There will come a time when you will need to consider increasing or even doubling your basic rate.
Of course you want to increase your hourly rate you should do it right. You don’t want to make your clients walk away. Here are some tips to help you increase your wage.
Market Yourself Clearly
As a designer it’s easy to underestimate your value to a business and part of the problem is how you position yourself in the marketplace. Of course as a designer you can create beautiful graphics. What you’re getting paid for by your client is to make beautiful graphics that generate revenue for your business.
Positioning yourself as somebody who can offer a clear return on investment is one of the simplest ways of justifying a pay increase.
Understand Your Clients Needs
As we speak I’m working with a freelance designer. I hired the person to create graphics for my blog. She’s currently two weeks behind schedule. As an employer I’ve felt like I need to micro-manage. It’s frustrating. It’s time consuming and at the end of the day I wish it wasn’t necessary.
If you can solve your employers needs and deliver results based on the clients job description you will be in the top 10% of freelancers. For that service you can and should charge more (and employers will happily pay these rates).
Beautiful website, amazing graphics or great copy is not the only thing that your client need. You should be thinking about how to solve the clients’ primary goal, which is usually making money.
As a website owner you are making money in any one of a number of different ways. Understanding this, as a freelancer there a few fields where if you can become an expert in (like I wrote about here like on 7 things a web designer should know) you can charge a premium. These are:
– Creating a desire to return
Becoming an expert in any one of these three areas will guarantee you a good income where you can charge a premium. Each of these fields offers a clear Return on Investment for the person hiring you (you are in fact offering skills that will make the person more money).
Become An Expert
This leads nicely onto the last point in this article, becoming an expert. If you want to increase your hourly wage as a freelancer you need to become an expert in your field. If you’re a graphics designer, study new trends in design. If you create websites, find out what the latest developments are. If you write copy, discover what converts. Being better than the competition is the best way to guarantee that your clients value your service.
Last thoughts: These tips have all worked in my freelancing career and helped me improve my basic wage. What worked for you? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
P.S. Just in case if you ever wondered how to decide your own rate, I’d seriously recommend checking out this article and this article. Hopefully they will help you define the right price point for yourself.