It seems you have a decent portfolio, and you have an updated resume. You are officially a freelancer and you are in business for yourself. But, for some odd reason, you are not winning bids.
As I look at your freelance process, I believe I have found the problem.
It isn’t the lack of experience.
It isn’t bad reviews.
It isn’t a lack of hitting deadlines
IT IS LOW BIDDING!
I call this phenomenon low bidding losers.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I am not calling you a loser, but when you are under-bidding everyone else in the attempt to win jobs, maybe you are a loser.
Don’t take me the wrong way with that statement either, because there are times when you do have the right to be the low bidder. Maybe you are seeing a faster and easier way to get the job done than other freelancers. But, if you are undercutting all other freelancers just to get work and you really will not make any profit doing so, that is just ignorant business sense.
As a matter of fact, most clients realize that too. In most cases, low bidding freelancers scare the majority of clients.
Why do Low Bidding Freelancers Scare Clients?
The answer to the above question can be answered easily.
If you go shopping at a Dollar Store or Discount outlet, you just assume that anything you purchase will not hold much quality. It will break down quickly or not work nearly as well as a name brand item. Yes, you still buy some of these items on occasion, but with the understanding that it is of inferior quality.
It works the same way with clients!
When a client is searching for freelancers, the majority are not shopping at the Dollar Store (please forgive me Dollar Store management, but I am sure you even understand my point). The majority of clients are seeking high-quality material at a reasonable price, but not unreasonably reasonable prices.
Do you get it?
And now, I move into my next area of this message.
Should you charge the same rates as some other freelancers?
I follow a well-known freelancer by the name of Bob Bly. In many ways, I consider him a mentor of sorts. If I were to ask him what I should charge clients, he would probably raise my rates by 2,000%.
That is because Bob makes those kinds of rates. Bob also writes material for larger and more influential companies and audiences.
I would probably starve if I tried to charge the rates Bob charges. That would be High Bidding myself to the poor house.
Personally, I look at my worth and value. At this point in time, I see myself as a $35 an hour freelancer. Maybe you see yourself slightly lower or higher, but use your hourly rate as a base to determine what you will charge.
Now, many jobs will not be on an hourly rate, so you need to determine how long it will take you.
I estimate the research time and the writing time to determine a figure. I also cut that rate in some cases for steady clients.
It has worked out well for me, and it can work well for you too. I have watched freelancers undercut my bid. I have watched that client assume he/she will get a great deal, and they sometimes come back to me crying that the under-cutter did a terrible job, and would I take it on?
Sometimes I do, and sometimes I say no.
Why do I say no?
Sometimes clients need lessons too. You cannot just assume that low bidding losers are a win for you as a client. By my saying no, they realize that they cannot just try a low bid and then come running to the best person for the job.
Try to find that level where you are at your best. Freelancing is a business, and the goal of business is profit. Don’t be a low bidding loser, but you probably don’t want to be a high bidding hater either.
If you are getting plenty of jobs, you may try slowly raising your rates, and if the jobs are few and your rates are high, try dropping slightly.
Keep testing until you find that level that is “just right.”