Written by: Hasan M.Mudafer
Being a freelancer means you have the freedom to set your prices. However, it can be a tough process to decide a specific price for your services, and there are many factors to account for while doing so. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about developing a pricing strategy, so let's start!
Research the Market
Can you imagine setting your rates randomly until you figure it out? Probably not.
Market research allows you to see what freelancers are charging and what employers are ready to pay for a certain skill. The easiest way to do market research is to simply ask your network. Let's say that you are a new freelance copywriter and you are unsure of what to charge for writing articles. In this case, you should seek out help from friends and colleagues in the field and ask them what they usually charge for their services to give you an idea of what you should charge.
Don't have a network?
There are plenty of freelancers offering their services and are transparent about their rates on freelancing websites. You can visit our candidate sections at Job Studio and check what other freelancers are charging for the field you work in.
Don't know what to look for?
You should be looking for rates based on the industry that you are working in (graphic design, voiceover, etc.), years of experience and speciality.
After doing market research, you should get a general idea of how to charge for your services and set your rates. However, keep in mind that every individual freelancer has their rates and your market research should only be used as a general idea.
Cost of Living
When researching, it's very important to keep in mind the cost of living in your country.
In Iraq, the average cost of living for a single person is about 600$ per month without rent. If we were to take the average cost of living in the United States, for example, it's about $3500 per month, therefore you should not compare or set your freelancing rates to another country's standard. Try making a minimum salary that you can live comfortably with and start increasing it depending on your skills and experience.
We have a saying in Iraq "Expensive is inexpensive" but what does that have to do with your pricing strategy?
Clients will often pay more money and work with freelancers that charge higher rates if they have a better skillset, high experience and a good reputation.
Therefore you should keep in mind that the quality of your work and the image (your brand) has a big effect on your pricing strategy, working hard and continuous learning will allow you to charge higher rates for your work.
As a freelancer, you can't have a fixed price for every project because every project has its unique challenges and complexities. Ask yourself these simple questions to determine the complexity of the project that you are working with:
Example: You are a copywriter and you are asked to develop a product launch campaign for a large company. The timeline is short, the project is complicated, and the importance of this campaign is high. In this scenario, you would normally charge your highest rates to compensate for your efforts.
Final Tips from Job Studio
As you start your freelancing journey in Iraq you may encounter many challenges and one of them is the pricing strategy. After you try different plans it will become clear with time which strategy and model suits you best, but keep in mind what you read in this article and do your research on the topic. Job studio is a platform where you can offer your services as a freelancer in Iraq and get work.