Quite recently, I decided to raise my hourly rate on the major marketplace where I cultivate a majority of my freelance work. Unless you’re independently wealthy, the early times when you decide to start freelancing often involve beginning with low-paying jobs and then slowly building up to a more favorable rate of pay as your name and your reputation grow online.
With a particularly strong surge thus far in 2014, I felt justified in testing the waters at a new price, reasoning that if the work dried up or everyone was turning down my offers, I could always drop it back down.
What happened next took me completely off guard, although after a couple of days’ worth of critical thinking (usually in 20-30 second bursts between working and taking care of the Twin Miracles), I was able to come to a surprising, but extremely exciting conclusion.
What happened? The number of people wanting to interview and/or hire me for work has gone up considerably since I raised my rate. I’m not getting every job, but I’m getting considered for a lot more than previously, and often without having to lift a finger to promote myself.
Why is this happening? Because just like one subset of potential clients has a price maximum, another has a price minimum, a number they look for as a baseline for the quality of freelancer they can hire – either because of personal conviction or because of what their company says the budget is for said project.
By moving my rate up, I now fall squarely into their search parameters, whereas before, no matter how good a job I could potentially do at a lower rate, I wasn’t even on their radar. It has been a serendipitous revelation, not only because I’m hitting and exceeding my weekly goals on a more consistent basis, but also because I’m making contact with more and more high-end clients, with the potential for repeat, long-term work.
Are you undervaluing your work? If so, stick your toe in the pool at a higher rate. You might be surprised how nice the water feels.