Going From $15 to $100 Per Hour | Internetly
On betting on yourself and setting your rates with a client.
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Last Wednesday I was chatting with a client about my freelancing journey and we went on a stroll down career memory lane.
In 2020, I had three jobs — receptionist at a gym, intern for a music company, and bartender at a club. Each gig paid either tips, minimum wage, or both. The assigned duties matched the pay; give guests a studio tour, ship CDs to radio stations, scrub pizza grease from high-tops.
I was replaceable and unspecialized.
Because of the pandemic, I was let go from all three jobs and returned to the drawing board. I decided to pursue freelance writing, but felt ridiculously, massively, out of my league.
I didn’t have a strong sense of initiative since I’d grown accustomed to deferring to a manager. It didn’t help that I’d never done anything other than administrative chores or mixing vodka sodas.
How was I supposed to learn about copywriting? To negotiate with clients? To create a an entire business?
I put my head down and figured it out (while screwing up a lot along the way). But it paid off. By March 2021, I was telling clients my rates began at $100 an hour.
As someone who’d only been paid based on what others thought I was worth — whether that be a corporation or a heavily intoxicated customer — this was h-u-g-e.
It was the confidence boost of a lifetime, and this self-assurance is a benefit of freelancing that’s seldom celebrated. Because sure, while the flexibility and income is fantastic, the real win is you now trust yourself.
You’ve proven to yourself that you can learn new skills. That you are worth more than minimum wage. That you are capable of building a business from scratch.
Freelancing is a great way to slip into the driver’s seat of your life and show everyone what you’re capable of. You can accomplish anything — but to prove it, don’t wait on someone to give you a chance.
Bet on yourself.
✍️ Quick Writing Tip
Gillian Fynn, the author of Sharp Objects and Gone Girl, shares her advice to aspiring writers:
What sort of writing tips would you like in your inbox?
Zofia Rudzka - Weranda
🥒 Content Diet
📖 90 Days Off the Sauce by Alex Michael — Another article from someone gushing about their booze-free life? I promise this one is really good. You’ll learn new benefits from going sober that aren’t just “losing weight” or “no hangovers.”
🤖 YouTube Summary With ChatGPT by Glasp — This handy Chrome extension will summarize a YouTube video for you in ChatGPT. Super useful to see beforehand if a 48-minute-long video is worth the watch.
✍️ On Being Known by Ava – “The possibility of judgment is the price we pay for real love.” A must-read article on the tradeoff of sharing your life online and the critique it welcomes.
And now, how to dress based on where you are:
How to dress based on where you are
— Ev (@ev)
Mar 7, 2023
✍🏼 Freelancing Journey
This Week: It’s Not About the Price. It’s About the ROI.
The other day, I got on a call with a potential client. For 45 minutes, we pictured a potential partnership and outlined the duties of the role. Although the stuff we’d be doing together was exciting, I couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room.
The rates they offered weren’t up my alley.
I chewed over this bittersweet realization for a few hours post-call. I liked the client’s vibe, I liked what we’d be writing about, but the payment gap was significant. Should I just do it? Are my rates unreasonable?
The next morning, I wrote down the responsibilities of the role. Sure, this client was hiring for a “writer,” but it would be so much more than that — this person would be a brand strategist, ghostwriter, and assistant.
How much value would this position bring to the client’s business?
At that moment, I felt confident about my rates. Because even with the rate I had in mind, I’d still be providing them a significant ROI.
When you’re deciding on prices with a new client, evaluate the value of your deliverable. Journalist Wudan Yan gives an example:
“One of my clients is a biotech company who makes chain sequences. I write blog posts for them that showcase the research these machines enable. I get paid $1,000 to write one 500-word story. One sequencer can cost over $100,000. If a prospective purchaser reads the article, and decides to purchase, the ROI is incredibly high.”
This isn’t about coming to your client demanding more money. Instead, it’s about the client figuring out the value of this job if done right — and assessing their budget from there.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions or comments don’t hesitate to let me know - I always love to hear from you.
Have a beautiful rest of your day, wherever you are the world.