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How to set your freelance fee

Setting your freelance fee

The way you set your freelance fee can be very critical for the survival of your business. Your entire income as a freelancer depends on how much you charge from your clients.

But the problem is, especially when you’re working on the Internet on your own, it is very difficult to know exactly how much you should charge and how you should set your freelance fee. There are many online forums, blogs and even PDF reports that can give you a fair idea of how much individual freelance professionals charge but when it really comes to charging clients, you never know whether you’re going to get work for the fee you set yourself or not.

Although the fee or charge depends on your service, the competition you face, and your target clients, it largely depends on what value you deliver and what reputation you have. Whatever is your field and whatever sort of freelance work you provide, given below are a few pointers that can help you set your freelance fee.

How much is the work worth to you?

Sometimes it isn’t just about money. May be you aren’t getting what you’re supposed to get but this particular project would be a great addition to your portfolio and the client may also fetch you more work. In the same manner, you might learn something that you will be able to use in your future projects, so it is something like earn while you learn. In such a case, just go by your gut feeling and by what the client is ready to pay you.

How much is the worth of your work to the client?

The client will pay more if he or she really needs your services and if he or she doesn’t need your services then no matter how good you are, he or she is not going to pay you. Then either you can decide not to work with that client or set your freelance fee accordingly.

What is your cost of living?

Your freelance fee depends a lot on your cost of living. It doesn’t make sense to work as a freelancer if your fee cannot cover your cost of living and you should rather be having a job. You have to make your fixed and variable monthly expenses including food, clothes, shelter, health, kids school or college fee, medical emergencies, etc. So no matter what is the condition, you need to set your freelance fee taking into consideration your cost of living.

What are your operational costs?

When you’re working on assignments you are spending money on workplace (even when you’re working at home you are using some space for the work), on electricity, on hardware depreciation, on a broadband connection and a horde of other stuff that you have to spend money on in order to meet your professional commitments. You might also be travelling occasionally to meet some work-related requirements. All these expenses are to be included/accommodated.

How much do you want to save?

Then you can also set your freelance fee according to the money you want to save every month. Saving is a part of your overall financial planning and it should always be considered when you are charging your clients.

What value do you bring to the table?

Ultimately, it is the value that you bring to the table that decides your final freelance fee. Unless that value is there, no matter what is your requirement you’re not going to get paid accordingly. Once you are able to deliver exceptional value you will be able to set your fee at your own will and your clients will eagerly pay you.

As already mentioned above, how you set your freelance fee differs from situation to situation, profession to profession and region to region, but the points mentioned here can help you decide to a fair extent how much you should charge for your services as a freelancer.