how to price freelance services

How to Price Freelance Services: All Your Questions About Setting Rates, Answered

I get a LOT of questions from freelancers about how to price freelance services. How much should you charge for your work? What is a fair rate for both the freelancer and the client? Should you charge by the hour or by the projectFind out how to price freelance services in this freelance tips article -- we're breaking it down and answering your top 10 questions about setting rates for freelance services! Click on over to get the goods (plus a pricing strategy worksheet)

Well, we’re getting to ALL of that today, my friends! Settle in with your favorite beverage and let’s talk about pricing your freelance services.

...But before we get started, you’ll want to grab this pricing strategy worksheet.

It’s a super handy worksheet that will enable you to set rates wherein you actually get paid what you’re worth! Definitely make use of it.

Pricing strategies worksheet

The must-have worksheet for EVERY freelancer... It's time to get paid what you're worth!

Find out exactly how to do it when you grab this actionable worksheet:

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All your questions about setting freelance rates and how to price freelance services, answered:

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #1: How much should I charge for my services?

This depends on SO MANY different factors, but typically most freelancers should be able to start at $40 or $50/hour. No matter what your industry, I strongly encourage you not to go any less than $30/hour, because you need to factor in all kinds of other things into your rates (such as the fact that you’ll owe approximately 25% of your income to taxes, and that you’ll need to pay for your own health coverage, and you’ll need to plan for sick time and vacations, etc.).

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #2: Should I charge by the hour, by the project, or on a monthly retainer?

Surprise---this one also depends on many, many different factors!

That being said, I generally recommend new freelancers start by charging by the hour so they can get an idea of how long various tasks take. Then it’s often a good idea to switch to project-based rates or a monthly retainer (because you don’t want to get penalized for working more efficiently, which you will start doing as you get better and better at the service you offer).

CLICK HERE to get the full run-down on different pricing methods to see which one is right for your particular situation.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #3: What should I do if other people in my industry are charging much lower prices than I am?

This is a great question. Many virtual assistants, for example, charge far lower than they’re actually worth. So if most people in your industry are charging $20 or $30/hour, and you want to double your rates compared to that, how the heck can you go about doing it and still get clients?

In this instance, I suggest that you change your pricing method. Switch to a project-based rate or retainer, and remember that people are paying you to do a great job. How many hours it takes to perform a high-quality service doesn’t matter nearly so much as the fact that you produce a high-quality service.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #4: What if no one hires me because my freelance rates are too high?

Just last week, I increased my rates with one client by more than 30%. You know what happened? The client didn’t bat an eyelid. More often than not, we hold back on increasing our freelance rates because of our own insecurities… not because our clients are unwilling to pay us what we’re worth. Those are your own hang-ups! Give it a shot; you might be surprised at the result.

By the way---your prices don’t need to be set in stone! You can always negotiate rates to fit with the client’s budget.

Figure out the right freelance rates for YOU: click here to grab your pricing strategy worksheet.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #5: What does “rush job” mean? Get all the behind-the-scenes details on exactly how to price freelance services and set rates for your freelance business... plus grab the pricing strategy worksheet so you can start getting paid what you're worth!

A rush job is any project which requires faster turnaround time than normal. For some people in some industries, this might mean a 48-hour period. For other people, this might mean a 30-day period.

You need to decide what “rush job” means to YOU. When I started out, for me a “rush job” as 48-hours. Nowadays, a rush job for me means one week.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #6: How much should I charge for a rush job?

Charging an extra fee for a rush job is a good practice because you’re putting a premium on it. You might need to put off other projects or work during a time when you’d normally spend with family, so it should be worth your while! You can charge anywhere from 25% to 50% for rush fees; just be sure that your client is aware of your rush job rates prior to sending them their invoice.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #7: Should I list my prices on my freelance services webpage?

I HIGHLY encourage it. You can find out why you should publish your rates on your freelance services website by clicking HERE.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #8: When is it appropriate to raise my prices?

Guess what? Yet again, it depends!

But if all your clients accept your current rates with no problem, and if you haven’t increased your rates in the past year, then that’s probably a good sign you should increase them. More so if you are struggling to pay the bills or if your rates are less than industry standard.

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #9: What should I do if a client wants to negotiate pricing?

It’s up to you! Depending on your financial situation, the amount of time you have, the type of work involved, and how easygoing or difficult the client is, you may or may not wish to negotiate rates. If you do agree to lower your rates, just make sure that it’s still worth your while! You should always have a minimum number in mind for the absolute lowest you will agree to be paid for a project. Don’t go lower than that amount.

Pricing strategies worksheet

The must-have worksheet for EVERY freelancer... It's time to get paid what you're worth!

Find out exactly how to do it when you grab this actionable worksheet:

Powered by ConvertKit

How to Price Freelance Services, Question #10: I have more questions about pricing and setting rates! How can I make sure I get paid what I’m worth?

That’s where Keep Your Clients comes into play!

In this budget-friendly e-course, you’ll learn actionable ways to…

  • Negotiate rates with clients
  • Upsell your existing services
  • Put together quotes & estimates for projects
  • Adjust pricing strategies to maximize your income potential
  • …and more!

Find out more about getting paid what you’re worth.


  1. These are such really great tips!! I remember when I first started my consultation services I was so hesitant to set my rates. I was scared I would over-charge but then I realized my time and knowledge have value and setting that is okay. #SITSGirls

    1. So glad you found them useful! And YES it’s so important to recognize and honour your own value ♥

  2. Thanks for this! I have been dabbling with Freelancer and Upwork, and it seems that the fees paid are rather low. It doesn’t seem to correlate with the amount of work required to complete the project, but I never know how much to actually bid when all the other ones seem so low.

    1. You’re welcome! Yes, those content mill sites REALLY don’t pay freelancers enough money. They’re fine to use if you’re in a pinch or want to get experience quickly, but a much better strategy for freelance work is to build real relationships with potential clients.

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