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Get paid more (per client) and work less hours

Every business owner, small or large wants to know the secret to getting paid more while doing less. It's been the subject of books like the 4 hour workweek, the power of less and countless others. But would it be possible to sum it all up in a simple paragraph? Would it be possible to show how every freelancer could get paid more per client while working less hours? I believe it is possible and my goal is to show you how - as quickly as possible :)When you start your freelance business you will feel that your work is worth X amount of dollars. Lets say for instance your work (in your mind) is worth $20.00 per hour. Now, in order to make $2,000 per month, you'll need to work 100 hours (or 25 hours per week - billable). That's not that bad compared to someone who's working for minimum wage, 40 hours per week, for a boss they don't like and a company they personally would never spend money at. But you want to make more. You want to do less. Here's how you can acheieve that.

Raise your damn rates!

It's the easiest way to make more money per client while working less. Lets look at the above example and adjust your rate to $50.00 per hour. In order to make that same $2,000 per month, you'll only need 40 billable hours - 60% less time than you would need to work at $20.00 per hour!

But what if people don't think your work is worth the $50.00 per hour? What if you don't think it's worth the $50.00 per hour? Have you ever hear of the power of perception? People will see a $50.00 per hour price tag and gladly pay it if it's something they need - and you're able to show them that you believe you're worth that amount of money. Do not haggle the price, do not budge - stick to the price and people will pay you what you believe you're worth.

Closed mouths don't get fed, right? So open your mouth and ask for more. Hell, you can even test it out on a few clients (without publically discussing your rate raising) and see how it works. Test the water for a month or two and see how things go. I think you'll enjoy the free time you find by doing this :)

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  1. Dwyndal says:

    Nicely written and a great tip on how doing less can make you more while you are actually working less time overall. The given fact that you know you will make more for less time will surely push you to get more done in the same work week as before.

    When I have more to do, I get it done faster so that I can handle the load. I also push myself to get the word done so that I can bring more in for those days or weeks there is less work. My theory is work hard now because I am able. One day, it won’t be so easy.

    The other beauty to this model is that if you are able to push more for less at a faster rate, you can always start edging your prices up (within reason) as your load becomes uncomfortable for your times quoted. This will again, give you more for less as some clients unfortunately will always have a price they will need to fit within. If you do the work they like and have used before, they will come back when budget allows.

    Awesome post!

  2. Thanks so much for this post. It is what I needed to read today! Thanks @buzzedition for retweeting this link too.
    Today I was finally setting up my new business website. I have a couple of clients that have hired me for social media projects. But since they were my first, I really didn’t establish a valuable price for my work.
    But then again, I am grateful for the opportunity they gave me to jump start me.
    Now I am ready to value my services for what I know I am worth…and now my time will be less stressful.

  3. Leonard says:

    This reminds me of a lager here in the UK, not sure how known it is beyond our shores but this is the story.

    It’s called Stella Artois, and its your run of the mill high strength beer that’s popular for its strength rather then its taste. The advertising campaign used the slogan “Reassuringly expensive” and if you went to a bar it would indeed cost significantly more then anything else. This came up in conversation with the bar man once and he told me that the brewery had confirmed that there is nothing special about this drink and it cost no more to brew then any other. But because they charged more people thought it was better and were hooked! I don’t know why though, it taste nasty.

  4. Jeff says:

    When I first started developing websites I, like most others just starting out was undervaluing my work as well, and had to deal with some annoying clients who wanted all this work done, because they knew they were getting it at a bargain. It was valuable experience because it taught me that raising the prices weeds out annoying clients and leaves the higher quality clients who are easier to please. Who would have thought that the people who pay more would complain really is reversed, but it’s the truth and that experience has really helped me move forward. Life is all about learning, the day you stop learning is the day you die.

  5. That’s great advice. Many freelancers undercharge when they’re just starting out. It’s an incredibly valuable skill to know just how much you’re worth and to not budge from it.

  6. Jeremy says:

    Agreed! too many of my freelance clients short change their rates, if you have skill- people will pay for it; some won’t appreciate it even if the rate is too low
    people pay for value

  7. David says:

    I prefer billing by project value, not by billable hours. If they’re getting a design that’s worth $10,000 bill them $10,000 whether it takes you 10 hours or 1,000 hours. As long as you meet the expectations, everyone is happy.

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