How Should Freelance Designers Increase Work Rates

What’s your first reaction when one says s(he) is working from home and is a full time freelancer? Wow lucky person, isn’t it? Freelancing is the latest buzz as more and more people are quitting their jobs and opting for freelancing as their career. It appears to be quite tempting when compared to office job where one is an employee who feels the stress of reaching the office on time, attend meetings, worry about leaves, pressure of meeting the deadlines and much more.

Working in an office with bosses standing on your head asking you to complete the deadlines, meet the targets is quite a different experience than working on your own. Choosing freelancing for earning your living has many favourable things that are magnetising enough for a person to take risk of quitting the job.  Well, if you think its as easy as it appears to be; you got to give it a second thought. If you ask me why I will simply say being your own boss and being self-disciplined is much more difficult than having someone making you work.

In your office job you have your own problems and issues but your bosses have to deal with many more people than you think, from clients to employees, partners and other people that work in direction of growth and development to name the few. When you are your own boss you have to do all this. One has to look for clients, hold meetings, make business plans, set rates for different projects,  do research, focus on marketing strategies and much more and do everything to earn the living.

Our topic of the day revolves around freelance designers, so we will be discussing in detail about the work rates and how to increase the same if need arises.

While one is new and is looking for work, it is not easy to make out as to how much would s(he) charge for the projects so initially one says the rates randomly. But then over the course of year, one gains more experience and realises that its time to increase the work rates. While there are clients who expect you to keep your rates same forever, is it easy to increase the rates and convey the message. It might be difficult but not impossible. Here, we have listed down the tips that we hope will help you get through it thereby increasing the work rates without loosing the clients.

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Let’s proceed further!

When to Increase the Work Rates ?

Know your worth. It is one good idea to compare the rates of similar freelancers, talk to your friends who are in the same field. If its been quite a good amount of time you have spent and you have increased your portfolio by working on lesser amount, it’s time to increase the work rates.

Can you Raise Rates for Existing Clients?

This is no rocket science question and we all know the answer that its easy for anyone to charge more when you are dealing with a new client compared to the existing clients. It’s quite harder to handle the existing clients and convey the message that your work rates have increased. Infarct, there are chances that you might loose the the existing clients but being smart and having the ability to handle them will solve the purpose. The best or you can say a wise idea is to increase rates in smaller terms like 10% or so. Sudden and big increase can leave your client in shock and wondering. Be subtle in conveying the message that you have increased the work rates.

How to Increase the Work Rates ?

1. Create a Pricing Plan 

Developing a pricing plan with basic services for your rates and top tier pricing levels will help you increase the work rates without much fuss from client’s end.


2. Develop Scheduled Increases 

This can be quite a useful tip for newbies. If you wan that in future you are able to easily increase the rates for your work, projects make sure to develop a scheduled increases and mention the same in your contract. Let your clients know about the rate changes well in advance to let your clients make budgetary adjustments easily. Drop a mail few days/month prior to the scheduled increase in work rates.


3. Emotions Don’t Work in Favor

Yes, we agree that there is Importance of Emotions in Design but when you are planning to increase the work rates you need to keep emotions out of the process. It becomes hard to deal with the situation if you become over friendly and bring emotions in between. You are working for a living and if you melt down, you will end up doing more work for less money.


4. Charging Per Hour or Per Project Basis 

Every project is different and has different levels of difficulties, time and efforts one needs to invest. So, first understand if you should charge on hourly basis or per project basis. Focus on things that will work in favor and will help you get extra dollars, whichever option you go for make sure you end up getting paid right for the amount of hard-work you have put in.

5. Look for New Higher Paying Clients

If its becoming difficult to negotiate with current clients as they are getting fussy in terms of pricing, you can opt for rotating in new clients. Fire your lowest paying clients and look for some more valuable clients. Continue working for your current clients and in your free time work on marketing your services and looking for new clients.


To sum up, freelancers too face the hardships just that if they work smart, they are sure to get paid the right amount for their hard-work. Researching is one smart way to know when something is bothering you like this one. is it time for me to increase the work rates? Look for the works of other freelance designers, compare your rates with similar freelance deisgners and if yours is less, wok on it. Start charging what you are worth now. Being subtle is the best trick. Be ready for negotiations too.

Have you faced similar situation? Which strategy worked in favor to increase your freelance earnings? Do share your ideas with us. We would love to hear your opinions and suggestions.

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