Are you getting paid what you’re worth as a freelancer? The answer, more often than you think, is no. That’s because freelance artists by and large are scared to ask for more. Artists charge less than what clients are willing to pay because they want to make sure they don’t scare away business, which is a natural fear. They worry they’ll be undercut by other artists, or that the client will feel they’re paying too much, so it’s safer to ask for a little less to insure projects materialize.
This fear of overcharging is completely rational. After all, clients are what keep us in business. If they dry up so does our source of income. But this fear needs to be overcome in order to grow as a contract artist. And growing means keeping the following points in mind when negotiating your worth.
Do Your Homework – The best way to get maximum value is to do maximum research. Talk to others who do similar work with similar experience, and get a gauge of what they charge their clients. Learning industry benchmark rates is another good indicator when quoting a price to clients. There are plenty of online resources and discussion boards to find out if you’re getting competitive worth for your talent.
The Sooner The Better – If you’ve decided you’re worth more, don’t wait to make the change. After all, the sooner you decide that clients should better appreciate your talent and experience the better. Finding an excuse to wait for the right moment only delays your decision, and leaves money on the table for upcoming work. Ask any freelancer who feels justly compensated and they’ll probably say they wish they’d done it sooner.
Justify The Rate – Educate your clients on exactly what you bring to the table. Negotiating a rate increase can be tricky, so explain how your ability and track record will enhance their business. When they realize what a brilliant design or eye-catching copy can do for their business, they can take comfort in the fact that extra expense means excellent work.
Let COC Help – The best way to know you’re getting competitive compensation is to let Creatives On Call help. Our staff consists of former creatives who know the business, and can guide you through the process. Filling out and maintaining a COC portfolio and working with our expert advisors is the best way to overcome doubts, and truly get your money’s worth as a successful freelance artist!