As an independent contractor, you can set your own rates. But if you charge too much, you may lose clients if they can’t afford you or feel you’re not delivering enough value for what you’re demanding. And if you charge too little, you could find yourself in financial trouble. In addition, you send a message that devalues your products or services going forward.
Leverage the network you’re building to get a sense of what fees the market will bear. Be prepared to raise your fees as your reputation grows or your costs increase — but also be ready to offer long-term clients a discount, at least for one or two projects. You can also attract new clients by establishing rates that are worthy of your services, then providing a discount to acknowledge the new relationship.
While some people view freelancing as a complicated version of pursuing a hobby, as an independent contractor, you know you’re really running a small business, even if you’re the only employee. Stay flexible and focused, devote yourself to turning out excellent work, and put real effort into building relationships to thrive as an independent contractor.