Main image of article Should Tech Freelancers Raise Their Rates?

Are you a tech freelancer? If so, you should consider raising your rates—chances are good that your competitors are already doing so.

According to Upwork’s new Freelance Forward 2022 report, some 43 percent of freelancers said they raised their rates during the past year. They had different reasons for doing so; for example, 39 percent they had more professional experience, while 37 percent said economic conditions (such as inflation, presumably). Nearly as many (36 percent) cited higher demand for their services.

“Freelancing continues to grow as a viable career choice for many U.S. professionals, especially those seeking greater flexibility and control,” read the report. “It also bodes well that younger generations are embracing freelance work en masse. In 2022, 43 percent of all Gen-Z and 46 percent of Millennial professionals freelanced.”

Of the 1,164 freelancers surveyed for the report, 51 percent were involved in “knowledge services” such as “computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting.” Some highly specialized tech subindustries such as cybersecurity and web design are well-known bastions for consultants and freelancers.

If you’re a tech professional bidding on freelance projects, it helps to keep some key tips in mind. First, always make sure you fully understand the client’s needs and requirements—while that might sound like an easy and straightforward thing, you might be surprised at how some freelancers don’t take the time to grasp what the client actually wants. Prepare a pitch where you address their end goal and potential concerns.

Second, do your research to ensure you’re charging enough. You might want to disregard potential clients who only want you for a “bargain” price. Meanwhile, speak to other freelancers to see what the market might bear in terms of your per-hour and other costs. Always make sure to build in an adequate margin for yourself. (Signing onto a freelance platform can streamline this part of the process.)

Third, consider offering potential clients something that other freelancers don’t offer, such as credits toward future site updates or some other kind of “value add.” That can help you stand out in a potentially crowded marketplace… but make sure you have the bandwidth to effectively provide those extras.

Last but not least, always speak the client’s language. Not every client will have a firm grasp of their project’s underlying technology and the jargon that goes with it. While making your pitch, ensure that you’re doing so in a way that’s easy for everyone to grasp.