I started my career as a freelancer on eLance. Within six months, I had canceled my account because I had more work than I could handle. Things progressed faster than I anticipated. As you can imagine, I found myself stuck in a tiny box. I was doing small projects for little money, always chasing the deadline. I had to start outsourcing work to keep up. My first hire was a programmer.
You sell work, then you do the work you sold, then you go out to sell more work. In this system, you can never get ahead. There’s a simple fix to all this. You need to shift your mindset away from being your own employee and start thinking more like an owner. Here are a few things you need to change right now if you want to break out of the employee cycle.
After college, I worked as a full-time touring drummer. I designed websites on the side as a way to supplement my income. When I got to the point of leaving my work as a drummer to pursue a web design career full time, I moved to New York City. I quickly developed some good relationships and began to form some solid business partnerships. As a result, I saw a spike in growth.
When I got my first project, I mocked up some docs and said to myself, “I’m going to do this for four grand.” It just felt right. And I got the job. It’s easy for me to tell you, “Have confidence in yourself!” when setting rates, but that’s probably not helpful. You may not be as confident as I was. So, despite knowing you need confidence, the question remains: “How do you know how much to charge?
When I started out, I was producing work with little strategy and low prices. Clients thought they were getting a good deal. The reality is that I was ripping them off. Without a strategy, I wasn’t doing anything for their business. Their sites were just taking up server space. I realized that if I wanted to provide better, more valuable work with a true strategy and charge higher prices, I needed more skills.
Learn how to find more clients, close bigger deals, manage projects and clients, find and hire talent, and grow your business from successful freelancers and agency owners.
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