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If you’re a freelancer, your time is the most important commodity you have to sell. But that doesn't mean you should be willing to work for peanuts. In fact, being underpaid for your services can end up costing you more than just money. So how do you set fair rates for your work and negotiate them with clients? Here's our list of tips on how to get paid what you're worth as a freelancer in the UAE.
Before you can figure out what to charge, you need to know what your market value is. The easiest way to do this is by researching similar projects on sites like Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com to get an idea of what other freelancers are charging for similar work.
When determining your own rates, there are a few factors that should be considered:
The value of your time is the most important factor in setting your rates. It's also the easiest to overlook, which is why it's worth taking some time to think about before you get started.
If you're like most freelancers, there are times when you feel like charging more because it feels like too much work for not enough pay. Those are the times when your negotiating skills will come in handy. If someone is offering AED100 an hour for something that would take you two hours, then say no thanks unless they increase their offer.
If your client says yes and agrees with this new price point, then great. You've got yourself a deal. But if they don't agree with how much money they should spend per hour/day, then maybe consider walking away from this potential client altogether.
You should also consider whether or not this particular project will fit into your schedule. If there are other projects that need doing more than this one (or if there are other things going on in life), then maybe turning down this offer would be best for everyone involved.
Sometimes saying no can be difficult. However, being polite when turning down offers helps keep relationships healthy between freelancers and clients.
There are many ways to charge for your services. You can choose to charge by the hour, project, task or day. Some people prefer one method over another but it's best to keep an open mind because each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
If you charge by the hour, your client will pay for only the time spent working on their project. This type of pricing allows clients who are short on funds or new businesses with small budgets some flexibility in getting started with their projects without having too much invested up front before seeing results from those investments.
You could also try charging by project. You can then set up milestones at agreed-upon points during the process (for example "upon completion of initial proposal"). Or consider charging by page instead of word count. This is a great option if you're writing copy for websites or ebooks that need content formatted in different ways (such as blog posts versus landing pages).
Once you've determined how much time you can realistically work each week, it's time to calculate how many hours that translates into.
When you're a freelancer, it's important to stay organised. You need to know your goals and how much time you can devote to a project. You also need to be able to estimate how long the project will take, and then double-check yourself before accepting any job. Take a look at our guide on the best apps for remote work to help you organise your work better.
You might think that this sounds like too much work, but if you plan ahead and have an excellent system for keeping track of all your projects as well as their progress, setting rates will be a breeze.