The 3 key changes can actually change from getting paid a bare minimum to making good or great hourly rates on Upwork
My Upwork hourly rate and earnings are publicly visible. I get paid a high hourly rate. So, as a blogger, I often end up with the question:
How I get paid such good hourly rate on Upwork?
The question arises because the mindset of freelancers for freelancing sites like Upwork is, they are competitive marketplaces, and the one with the lowest price wins.
Post any question about the hourly rate on sites like Quora or Reddit, and tons of reply will re-iterate the same myth. Such answers are outnumbered for new freelancers to believe such a myth.
Now the question is, can anyone offer premium rates on such freelancing marketplaces?
Why Don’t Freelancers Get Paid What they’re Worth?
The answer is in the way freelancers consider themselves what they are worth. Often I see freelancers value their services equal to the client budget, and the price point makes it difficult to deliver quality.
Now the question may arise, what if clients do not have a higher budget. Moreover, if they have the budget, what if others may be more than willing to do it for a low price.
If you aren’t yet another person who can get the job done, you can demand better rates. If the client doesn’t have the budget, you can reject such clients, but those who have the budget, you have to make sure you position your services differently.
As an example, if you design a website, it can be tough for you to get reasonable rates when a design is the only criterion for selecting a designer. What if you can differentiate by focusing on designs that have a better conversion. Once your designs are to focus on more sales, a client will be more than happy to get a design from you at much higher rates because he isn’t judging the design for how it looks but from the perspective that it can build him or her a business.
Another example can be SEO services. If ranking for a term (chosen by the client) on the first page is the criteria to judge, the lower price proposal may win. What if you don’t focus on just ranking in Google for clients term but focus more on the conversion or traffic levels that can generate more sales to a client.
Similarly, for developers, if you are to create that next app, the GUI and functionality may be the criteria for selection. What if you can develop an app to get more customers for clients. So, now the price isn’t the criteria for hiring you.
Add Value Than Lowering the Price
Things that differentiate your services from others will allow you to demand better rates.
My hourly rate is $55 per hour in Upwork, and I am often bombarded with the question like how I manage to get such a high price in a very competitive marketplace for PHP Developers.
The answer lies in the fact that I don’t write PHP code because any school student can do it at a much lower hourly rate.
The security aspect of the code is one point, but I also make sure my clients build successful websites and start generating revenue as soon as possible. I recommend things that can help them grow their website and business out of the box.
How to Get Paid Great Hourly Rate?
1. Asset Vs. Liability
I consider myself as an asset to clients and not a liability.
When you change the perspective, it will automatically help you get paid a much better hourly rate.
People tend to dump the liabilities as soon as one possibly can, but they try to build assets over time.
Consider the example: If you own a flat that needs repairing, you will try to find time and money to get it done. What if you don’t own the same property and is on rent. Even if you are being offered a meager rent per month, such issues mean the first choice will be to move to another rented place. The owned property is considered to be an asset, while the rented one is viewed as a liability.
Be an asset to your client, offer solutions that can help build the business.
You can be an asset to your client if and only if you consider your services as an asset.
2. Price Vs. Value
Always remember this quote
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get. – Warren Buffett
What you quote as a price for your service is what the client pays, but what value it brings to the client’s business is more important?
If you think something isn’t right for the client, offer them suggestions to do things differently, or if something you believe will help grow a client’s business, push for it.
I finished a client’s WordPress project to switch their existing theme with a lot of functionality to the Genesis framework. The milestone was hourly and was completed and paid in full. We started working on the next milestone, and I found a bug in my earlier task. Goes without saying that I fixed it and didn’t charge for it though bugs on hourly jobs are paid as extra.
If you don’t offer value, clients won’t have an everlasting business relationship with you.
3. Features Vs. Benefits
A feature is what you offer, and the benefit is what the client gets. If you wish to get paid better hourly rates for your services, craft your proposal to provide benefits to clients rather than listing the features you may offer.
As an example, the feature of your service can be
Faster turnaround time
But the benefit a client may have is
Faster turnaround time to address time critical issues
The other example can be
10 years of web development experience
But the benefit to the client is
10 years of web development experience means less bugs for your site
Convert the features you offer as benefits to the clients’ business because elements may have a finite price point, but profits are priceless.
We have “n” years of experience doing SEO for our clients.
Our expertise in SEO drives more traffic and sales for my clients.
The first one lists what you do; the second one lists how it can help if I am one of your clients.
One may assume a client looking for SEO services may already know it will increase traffic.
It is so apparent.
If benefits are obvious, proposals are obvious too.
Why write a proposal in the first place? Why even share the number of years of experience as an SEO expert?
All the proposals will be by SEO experts with a few years of experience? So do we prefer this as a proposal:
I am a freelancer who can help and contact me if you need my services.
The answer is NO.
The key is to propose in line with the client’s expectations. If it means you have to state the obvious, do it.
People prefer to quote low and to break even at such low prices, and they deliver which they aren’t proud of. One rule of thumb has helped me is – I never deliver a code or a product, that I won’t use it for my sites.
Remember one thing. People never buy cheap; they buy good value for money. Premiumize your services and offer more value. Value can mean a reasonable turnaround time or niche expertise.
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