When starting your freelance career, there are many aspects of your business that you must plan out. One of these tasks, and perhaps one of the most important, is deciding on your freelance rates. This isn’t as simple as just choosing an amount and charging it; you must decide on your pricing structure, calculate your desired earnings, and have an answer prepared when potential clients enquire about your fees.
One way that seasoned freelancers can streamline the pricing conversation is by creating a freelance rate card. By outlining your services and their corresponding prices, a rate card serves as a valuable tool to communicate your value proposition to potential clients. In this article, we will take a look at how to create a freelance rate card in four simple steps, as well as the importance and benefits of establishing clear pricing guidelines.
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What Is a Freelance Rate Card?
In essence, a freelance rate card is a sales pitch that outlines your services alongside their corresponding fees. Many freelancers will include testimonials from previous clients in their rate cards, as well as results that they have achieved in past projects.
Your freelance rate card should be well-designed, concise, and professional. It should communicate your value to the prospective client, as well as your fees. To create the most effective rate card, it is important to highlight what the client can gain from your services rather than just what you hope to gain.
The Benefits of Freelance Rate Cards
✅ Efficiency: Having a price list on hand can save you valuable time that you would otherwise spend creating a personalized quote for every potential client. It can also save the clients’ time, which can speed up the decision-making process.
✅ Transparency: A 2021 survey concluded that 61% of consumers cited transparency as an important factor in making a purchasing decision. Rate cards foster transparency and trust with your potential clients. It shows that you are willing to be upfront and honest about your expectations and sets a positive tone for your future working relationships.
✅ Professionalism: Presenting a list of your prices to prospects can show them that you are well-organized, prepared, and professional in your dealings with your clients.
✅ Client Acquisition: Freelance rate cards can speed up the client acquisition process, as the client can analyze their budget and make faster and more informed decisions about whether they will choose to hire you.
✅ Consistency: Using a rate card can help you to maintain consistency in your pricing, preventing undervaluing of your services and ensuring fair compensation for your expertise.
✅ Competitive Advantage: Your competitors may not have a rate card readily available, giving you a competitive advantage due to your speed and professionalism.
How to Create a Freelance Rate Card
Step 1️⃣: Find a Template
It is important that your rate card look professional and well-designed, and using templates can save you time and effort designing your own. Websites such as Canva provide hundreds of free templates to choose from, as well as graphics, fonts, and editing tools for you to personalize your card.
Step 2️⃣: List Your Services
Consider your past projects, your skill set, and work that you would like to do in the future, and create a comprehensive list of every service that you would offer to clients. For example, if you are a copywriter, you can include social media content, blog posts, guest posts, website copy, and any other deliverables.
You can list these services one by one or even create packages that include several services together.
Step 3️⃣: Decide On Your Rates
According to this report, 45% of freelancers in the US are paid a fixed fee for projects, while 32% are paid an hourly rate, but it ultimately depends on your own schedule and requirements. Calculate your rates based on your skill level, experience, salary requirements, and the industry standards for your niche. You can search for the average salaries for your job description on websites like Glassdoor.
Step 4️⃣: Create Your Freelance Rate Card
Using the template that you have chosen, add your services, your rates, and results of previous projects that you have worked on. It can also be beneficial to include testimonials from past clients; 72% of consumers say that reading positive testimonials increases their trust in a business. Remember to keep your rate card short and concise, and no longer than one page.
Examples of Freelance Rate Cards
Below is an example of a copywriter’s rate card. They include fixed-fee packages based on the duration of their services, with a complete list of what each package entails.
Note how this example includes testimonials from previous clients. It is simple, concise, and contains all of the necessary information that potential clients need regarding your pricing.
Below is an example of a brand designer’s rate card. They include tiered packages that start at a standard package and ends with a deluxe package, with a complete list of what each tier entails.
Note how they include testimonials and an example of results they achieved for a past client.
Below is an example of a social media strategist’s rate card. They include prices for each service individually and an all-inclusive package.
This rate card is very basic and contains only the very necessary information for the potential client to determine your pricing.
Creating a freelance rate card is essential to establishing a successful and sustainable freelance career. By following the four easy steps outlined in this article, freelancers can reap the numerous benefits of a rate card.
A well-crafted rate card serves as a powerful tool to attract clients, build trust, and enhance profitability. Embrace the opportunity to define your services, set competitive prices, and communicate your value effectively.