Calling All Freelancers, Here’s How To Score A Pay Rise

By Fleur Madden
19th Jan 2021

a woman in a Mickey Mouse jumper leans against a concrete wall, basking in the sun.

You heard it here first—you deserve a pay rise! We saw over a million people lose their jobs due to COVID and it was a total punishment for women around the world who were disproportionately affected. COVID has seen many people step into freelancing for the first time or fire up their side hustle to still make money honey. But are you charging what you are worth, or are you just making ends meet in these tough times?

While some freelance job sites are built around cheap labour and offshore options, you might have noticed we are in a recession… so Australian businesses supporting local talent, gender equality and paying competitively is key to rebuilding our economy and getting everyone back to work quicker—quick spread the word.

Everyone deserves to be paid what they are worth after the year that was, but 2021 is also the year women especially need to get competitive and be an advocate for themselves when it comes to charging competitively, or we will see pay parity slip further through our fingers.

Asking for more money can make for awkward conversations, especially if this is your first-time consulting, so here is some advice on how to approach it with your clients and to be confident in your ask.

#1 Calculate Your Rate To Be Competitive

The first step is to identify your annual salary expectations and break that down into hourly and daily rates, but also make sure it matches your skills, experience and value. Join freelance networks so you can get support from other people in your industry (both male and female) to ensure your rates are competitive and you aren’t coming in too low. Don’t forget to add super, tax, leave and business expenses on top, so you aren’t eating into your profits.

#2 Learn To Pivot

Be flexible so you don’t create barriers for people who wish to engage your services or price yourself out of the market. Know your hourly, daily, weekly, retainer and project rates so that you capture all opportunities.

#3 Know Your Worth

Make sure you’re clear on what value you offer and what your client’s needs are, so you can ensure those two areas meet in the middle. There should be no question that what you bring to the table is worth what you are charging. If someone is simply after cheap labour, they are not your type of your people.

#4 Don’t Forget The Extras

Add into your contracts an annual review of fees, so clients are expecting an increase in advance. We are big fans of the rollover clause too, so you don’t have to keep renegotiating terms. If you need a great contract template, there are some great freelancer memberships out there like Freelancing Gems who offer the business templates to help grow your business, available here.

#5 Aim High

Start your negotiations slightly higher so that you have somewhere to go. Everyone likes to negotiate a great deal, including your potential clients.

If you don’t even know where to start with ensuring your rates are competitive, check out this rate card for freelancers and consultants across a range of industries to get you on the right path.

Next up, get some inspo from these awesome entrepreneurs as they reveal their morning rituals

Image Credit: Mike Von

Fleur Madden is the CEO of Australia’s first freelance job site Freelancing Gems, dedicated to female freelancers, consultants, sole-traders and side hustlers. She is a champion of women in business and passionate about supporting women to have successful businesses and getting paid what they are worth.  

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