We all knew from the start that freelancing is hard. But when did you realize that you’ll have to work 2 hours for 6$? Sure, currency rates differ from country to country, and 6$ might mean two days of good food, but for us, East Europeans, in the current economy, it’s not enough to buy a packet of cigarettes. So, how do we fight this? How do we raise the prices?
One of the first things we have to realize (and this will be a slap in the from me to you), is that, Web Development, and Design are respectable jobs, and we deserve to get our fee that is desired. And if you are an efficient web developer that re-uses code, you can raise your hourly rate to 10$, 15$, and even bterr, to 20 dollars a hour if you are really experienced and talented in your current niche that you excel in.
Bad clients are transforming this business into a sweatshop (i have seen rates like 0.10$, are they f*&!* serious??). We might be forced to get us each a full time job to be able to eat these days. The clients are not showing any appreciation for skill or experience. Here’s a list of the oDesk jobs i see right now:
Nevertheless, the job’s rate says “0.50$/hour max”. This is seriously disturbing. You get 5 dollars out of this (and this is programming people, i can get 5$ per article easily.)
I realize that i am sounding self entitled and pompous, but the fact is that, if you have been unable to get it done, the client would have not contacted you, nor would have you contacted him (unless you are trying to scam hi, that is another reason lol).
But the real thing is that, someone who deserves it, has spent many days or months, or even years, trying to acquire that skill, and become noticeably good at it. If he is a web developer, he read attentively through documentation (i know from myself that it is sometimes frustrating to watch over some parts of documentation that do not seem so useful in the first place, really nerve wracking at times), he tried many examples, beat his head over thousands and thousands and problems, have actually took the time to build an attractive and business relevant portofolio, and put his examples on some domains (which takes money to do)
For Web Designers, he might have took hours of long and mind boggling courses (i am not saying that he / she does not like doing design, but there are some boring parts of every business for sure).
Even worse for a talented, hard working, and dedicated developers, because he might have unavailable clients, and when he looks for some new ones, all he sees is 3 dollars per hour sweat shop mind set jobs, or even worse the newer ones that tell you that, if you bid more than 20 cent a hours (would you accept a job that gives you 2 dollars for 10 hours of work? Only if you live in Africa.)
So who’s fault is it? It is first of the client, who either does not realize that good work takes efforts, skill and time, and the low self esteemed freelancer that accepts these jobs propagating their popularity. Of course the client is not stupid, again, and he will accept good work, even for 10 cents a hour, if you are a big enough dupe to accept something like that. Please, please and i beg you people, do not ruin my business by accepting jobs like this. When you accept something like this, you are responsible for the future of the thousands of other freelancers that respect themselves more.
We are working in the biggest and fastest growing industry, which is IT, and it is the contractor’s right to call the shots here. We have the skill, ability, and dedication to pull this off.
Realize that the client would be NOTHING without us. The world is moving to the Web and if a client does not want to participate, he will slowly and steadily lose his clients. It is in your hands to make him succeed, so set your prices right and learn to put them in their places.
We might be able to fight this by applying the following techniques:
- Never, never ever, lower your rate from what you decided that you were worth! (Try to back up your hourly rate with a good portofolio and past jobs done on the website though)
- Discourage you other freelancer friends from taking down the clients that ask too much for for too little money
- Remind the clients that the work you do is hard as all other kind of jobs (whether in stress, skill, effort, time)
- Remember yourself that, if the client was intelligent or knowledgeable enough, he could have done all of this himself.
Some of the clients are just not aware of these things and it’s your place to tell them. Dump the ones that ask for a low price. Because when you accept a job like this, let’s say you put in 40 hours for 3, you will still have 120$, where you could have worked for 10$, and could have got 400$. Don’t sell yourself short. I am excluding the from time to time client who has a limited budget, and i am talking about the cheap ones that simply refuse to pay the price you so greatly deserve. One of these are the biggest companies that get cheap work and sell it for a higher price, which is the one you actually deserve for your work. Keep reading us! We will follow back with much more interesting articles very soon!.