Not knowing how to price freelance services is a challenge as old as freelancing itself.
Every time we put together a proposal, we tie ourselves in knots over pricing. One moment we think like we're underpricing ourselves, the next we feel like we're charging way too much. We settle on some middle-of-the-road figure and hope the prospect doesn't ask too many questions.
But there is a better way to do this. An approach to pricing that will make you feel confident, help you land more projects and enable you to charge a higher rate.
Generally speaking, freelancers undercharge for their work. I don't have the data on this, but from my many years experience and listening to others, this feels like an obvious truth. If it were not, we wouldn't be having the conversation.
To get comfortable with pricing, we need to understand where our tension is coming from. Do any of the follow resonate with you?
This is a pretty stressful way to live. Put simply, you are not in the driving seat. You wheel the car in all directions to get the work, compromising on your values and giving away your power to others. Essentially, you let other people decide how your business is run.
If any of the above points sound familiar to you, it could indicate a sense of low self-worth. This manifests in many areas, including how you pitch and price your services.
But the awkward truth is: pricing isn't really about you. It's about the client.
Have you ever seen a piece of work, perhaps a brand identity or a website, and been shocked to learn how much the thing cost the client? You are outraged because you could create work of the same standard - perhaps even better - and you wouldn't have charged a quarter of what they paid!
There is a fundamental lesson here: people value things differently.
You might think your work is amazing, but if a client doesn't see it, they're not going to invest. Conversely, even mediocre work can be sold at high prices if it is packaged and pitched correctly.
So the first thing to do is let go of your current perception. That £1,000 for a website, or £300 for a 2000 word article - put all those numbers aside for one moment. Now think about this: how could you make what you do exciting and appealing to someone? What could you say to really fire them up?
Increasing your pricing as a freelancer means making your whole offering soaked in value. It means forgetting things like charging by the hour or word, and leaning into what the client wants.
It might initially make sense to charge a fixed fee for a fixed-length article, but how else could you make the offering irresistable? Perhaps you could develop a reader persona alonside it, or offer an update after three months to respond to reader analytics. It might make sense, at first, to sell a WordPress website, but how about talking about the client's specific goals instead? The website is just the vehicle, not the goal itself.
Pricing and sense of self are huge topics in coaching. The objective is to break down barrier and build confidence. It's to empower you to uncover ideas you didn't even know you had. Ready for massive personal and professional growth? There's a coaching plan that's right for you.