For many up-and-coming freelancers, negotiating fees with clients can be a challenge in the beginning. There’s the fear that you will bill your client so high that you drive the client away. On the flip side, there’s also the fear of selling yourself short, not charging enough and therefore short-changing yourself. The truth is a lot of new freelancers’ undercharge because they’re scared of losing clients. But as someone who has been in those shoes, when it comes to charging what you’re worth, your mindset and confidence are everything. If these aren’t taken care of first, you’ll inadvertently keep apologizing for charging what you’re worth. Sadly, many potential clients can smell your sense of inadequacy a mile away and may use that to their advantage. So ideally, your mental health and strength should be considered during this process.
One of the ways to do this is to intentionally work on changing your mindset. First of all, get to the root of why you’re afraid to charge what you know you’re worth. (not wishful thinking but actually facts based on market prices, quality of work, resources provided, etc) Then, begin to break down those walls. Replace those thoughts in your head with the truth of what you know about your value. Affirmations crafted specifically for this are a good place to start.
Have a supportive tribe you can run your fees by. I have my standard fees now but for a while I constantly undercharged clients. Anytime my husband heard what I charged, he’d tell me it was too small, to go higher. He did not just say this because I’m his wife, lol but because he knew I did great work and if I couldn’t see my worth he could see it very well. Having people around to help boost your confidence will help till your own confidence can stand on its own two feet. 🙂
Also, ask questions and hang around people that are charging your prices or even higher without flinching and getting clients. This will expand your mind and give you a bigger of what’s possible as opposed to what’s not.
In the end, sticking to your guns will help boost your confidence. It’s not always easy, especially when you’re broke lol. But when you eventually meet those clients who’ll pay you your worth without batting an eyelid, your confidence meter will go through the roof. In order to get to this stage though, you have to stick to your rates, against all odds.
Even if you decide to do a job free of charge or in exchange for goods or at a discounted rate, let it be because it was a well thought out choice. Not because you felt you weren’t worth what you charged, or someone had convinced you that you weren’t worth it for their selfish reasons.