The oDesk hourly rate.
It’s the grand finale, the coup de grâce, the moment when your freelance career is ready to set sail through the treacherous oceans we know as the freelance market.
But you’re stuck. You’re unsure as to how much per hour to actually charge your future clients. You browse through several contractor profiles and see various hourly rates. Some would charge $20-50/hour, others seem to be satisfied with just $1-2/hour!
You want a fair and reasonable hourly rate for your services without attracting cheapskates. There are several ways to determine the best hourly rate for yourself, but you can actually gauge if you’re charging too low based on several observations.
Are You Charging Too Little?
You know you’re charging too little when
- Several clients invite you to apply to their job posts in a day. 70% of them don’t have detailed company profiles or verified payment methods.
- The job post details are vague in every aspect. What’s clear though is the client is not willing to hire and pay more than $1.11-$3.33 an hour.
- The number of applicants who placed their own bids is thrice than what you’d normally see in other job posts, particularly those that don’t use price as basis for acceptance.
- Looking through their contractor profiles, there isn’t a single person with an hourly rate higher than $4-5/hour. They’ve all followed the client’s requirements to the T.
- You get hired instantly. Interviews? Pfft! Why waste time when you can get your $1.11/hour contractors to start working?
- The client offers you a barter instead of actually paying your hourly rate. He thinks he can convince you to work for a “more profitable” deal.
- If not a barter, the client will pay commissions or bonuses for excellent work. The more work hours you do, the higher the possibility of being given a $5 bonus in the next couple of months.
- You’re expected to revise, change, and revise the work as many times as needed.
- You suddenly receive requests to do work that isn’t part of the job description. There’s no indication of a price increase.
- One minute you’re busy working, the next you’re replaced by someone with a much lower hourly rate. In other words, you’re dispensable.
- At the end of the day, you are mentally and physically exhausted. You wish you didn’t have to get up in the morning and you’re still unable to earn more than what you hoped to earn as a freelancer.
Above all, you are unhappy. You hate what you do, you can’t stand seeing the client’s emails in your inbox, and you wish that you could just shut down your freelance business and end your misery.
If you notice or experience one or more of these signs, you’re probably charging your clients way too low for their own good. The same signs can also crop up even when you’re finding work through other freelancing websites. It may be a good time to sit down and reconsider how much to charge your clients for your freelance services.
Have you experienced any of these signs? What other indicators can you think of that will tell you you’re charging too little? Share them in the comments below!