The Way We Work

You’ve learned new skills, refined your specializations, earned numerous 4-5 star feedback ratings, and are in-demand than ever since working as a freelancer. Thinking of giving yourself a raise in freelance rates today for all that hard work?  Go for it!

The thought of increasing one’s freelance rates can be a bit scary, of course, but it shouldn’t be something to shy away from if you believe it’s time to raise the bar up.  You’ve worked hard to get to where you are, and that kind of effort deserves a well-deserved raise.

We’ve tackled 10 ways to give yourself a raise and to give yourself an edge over the competition, so let’s take a look at 5 more ways to give yourself a raise and to bring your freelancing career to the next level:

1. Increase your hourly rate AND your fixed price fees.

This is, of course, the best way to give yourself a raise on oDesk.  You can increase your hourly rate by changing it in your Profile settings and your fixed price fees by bidding higher on fixed price jobs.

You can do this by estimating how many hours it would take to do a particular project (considering you already have experience) and multiplying that with your new hourly rate.  Don’t forget to factor in all other expenses and particulars when quoting a fixed fee.

2. Inform your clients about your price increases.

This is to let them know beforehand, in case they decide to bring in new and/or recurring business in the future.  There is a possibility that they’ll want to hire someone cheaper to cut costs, but if you’ve built good working relationships with them, price increases shouldn’t be an issue.  Heck, they probably were going to increase your hourly rate anyway.

3. Narrow down your choices of freelance jobs.

choices checkmarkBack when you were still an oDesk newbie, you didn’t mind applying for jobs left and right.  Whether the tasks were administrative or involved writing long 450-word articles, it didn’t matter so long as you had the skills to do the job.

Now that you’re established and your rates are higher, apply only for jobs that truly match your best skills and whose employers are willing to pay your ideal freelance rates and fees.  Employers will especially welcome freelancers who specialize in a particular skill, since the skill level, knowledge, and experience are more refined and of higher quality.

4. Raise your standards as a freelancer by ignoring jobs that prioritize price over quality.

Now that you’re more experienced, you can now decide if a project is really worth your time and talent or not.

With that said, don’t fall for job posts that will only hire candidates with bids lower than your freelance rates.  If an employer asks that you lower your hourly rate for him to hire you, choose to negotiate or move on to other job posts instead of agreeing to it.

5. Open your doors to more long-term projects.

Apply for bigger projects that require work for up to 6 months, rather than sticking to small short-term jobs. Besides gaining much more experience and securing a stable source of income, your feedback scores (if good) will increase your overall oDesk rating significantly.  And when that happens, expect more work to come knocking at your doorstep.

Raising your freelance rates is a big step towards earning more income and growing your business.  Although your chances of winning projects may slide a bit due to cheaper rates from other contractors, it shouldn’t be a problem if you know deep down that your present skills and experience level are worth the raise.

Are you planning on increasing your rates today? If you feel hesitant, what’s keeping you from doing so?  I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.

Stephanie Gonzaga

Freelancer, Blogger, and Creative Writer

Stephanie Gonzaga is a freelancer and blogger of The Freelance Pinoy, a freelancing blog for the Pinoy solo professional.