Before I decided to join a new freelance platform goLance, I used to work a lot as a freelancer on all available websites for freelancers. So, I can witness first-hand that setting up your freelance prices isn’t as easy as it seems.
Here are some of my first-hand findings and experiences that will hopefully help you save a lot of time and come up with the most suitable price:
Different Platforms - Different Prices
No two freelance websites are the same. That’s pretty much obvious. There are so many details that can make a huge difference for you, especially when it comes to the fees. So, adjust your prices accordingly. For example, you have to take the initial fee of 20% on some of the biggest platforms into your final price calculation. On some platforms, you pay a service fee the moment you accept an awarded project, not when you get paid by a client. So, take this one into account, as well.
It is a totally legit decision for you to have different prices on different platforms you are working on. I think that a strategy “one price fits all freelance platforms” can hit you back like a boomerang. Go through the Terms of all freelance websites you plan to work on and do your math.
The “effective” freelance working hours price vs. The “regular” 9-to-5 working hours price
With all due respect to my friends and colleagues who are still working in the 9-to-5 “zone,” I just can’t accept that one freelance hour should be treated and evaluated as a “regular” working hour. Meaning, you have to take into consideration that a freelance working hour should cover the hours when you aren’t going to work. Usually, when you are bidding and looking for new work. Also, working as a freelancer on hourly projects can be quite exhausting. In an office, you can take a break, make a phone call, go out for a moment, etc. You can do the same while working as a freelancer, but each time you have to press the pause button. So, the eight hours of work as a freelancer can be “converted” into ten or more hours in some office, for instance. Of course, a 9-to-5 worker may say, but you didn’t take into consideration that I have to travel each day to my work. Let’s stop here. I hope you got my point.
Your price - Your thing
Feel free to check out your potential competitors when setting up your freelance prices, but don’t get carried away. Let’s say you want to sell some of your gigs on Fiverr. What are you supposed to do? You will have to use the “default” price of $5 per gig. Right? Believe me, the more you are examining your competitors’ price, the more you are going to become confused and frustrated. There are so many individual factors you simply can’t be aware of or evaluate precisely.
Gross vs. Net Freelance Income
The freelancers usually think that their calculations end with the fees evaluation. Make sure you know exactly how much of your money will be available to you at the end of your freelance working day. Besides the fees, you have to be aware of transaction fees, then don’t forget the currency conversion fees (if they apply to you). Either way, you have a lot of math to do.
Freelancing is unpredictable - Be flexible
Be ready to change your freelance prices more often than you’re willing to do. The freelancing world can be quite dynamic in both good and bad ways. So, don’t stay behind with your proper pricing updates. For example, goLance has recently lowered its service fees, which isn't something that happens quite often in the freelance industry. Usually, the freelance service fees go up. So, surprise your clients in a good way by adjusting your prices accordingly.