“Frankly, I hired you because you were the most expensive choice."
Those were the words spoken to me by one of my clients when I asked why he hired me. He said this even when he had his choice from hundreds of other composer/sound designers out there, many of them very famous and well-known, with some even willing to do the work for free.
The Benefits of Asking for More
At that moment I realized how important it was to charge more for my services as a freelancer. Not only was I doing myself a disservice by charging too low, I was telling potential clients “I don’t trust myself enough to do a good job for you, so I’ll just charge you less."
You aren’t giving your clients what they want
Many freelancers are trying their hardest to be a Ford, when, in reality, a lot of great clients are out there looking for Ferraris. You’re busy doing your best to be a lower-priced member of a faceless mob, all while the best clients are actively seeking a premium, high quality experience.
Let me put it this way: If you were looking for a new computer, and saw one for $99, what would your initial thought be? Likely “What’s wrong with it?” or “That must be a piece of crap.”
That’s the vibe you’re giving off when you significantly underprice yourself.
When you undercharge for your services, you are saying “Hey, don’t worry, I’m going to do a bad job on this. Also, I’ll have to get 10 other clients who also underpay me, so I’ll have to half-ass my work for all of you. Sound good?"
You will lose clients
When you charge a high number for your services, you will lose some potential clients, but many others will be more attracted to you. You will be able to take on fewer projects, do more dedicated and better work, and give each project your all.
Also, if someone is paying you a lot of money to do something, you’ll likely feel very guilty for not giving them their money’s worth.
Create your best work
If you’re a freelancer in this industry, it’s worth taking a look at your services and ask “Do I want to be a Ford or a Ferrari? Do I want to provide my clients with a top-level experience while creating great work? If so, how can I start charging more for what I do?"
If you ask for what you’re worth, you’re doing a service not only to yourself, but to every client you ever come into contact with.