I sent out a mailing to my wonderful subscribers over the weekend asking them for their freelancing questions and problems. Here I am answering them! The first question comes from Dustin in Ohio:
I’ve been freelancing for about 6 months now as a programmer (PHP and web stuff). I’ve picked up a couple of jobs on oDesk but the rates are terrible. I’m going for anything I can do to try and build up more projects. I average about $23 an hour, when I was getting $25 an hour in a full time job ($50,000). I’ve lost my company health insurance, job benefits, stability and $2 an hour. What can I do to increase my rates and get better clients?
Great question Dustin – you’re definitely not the only one struggling with this. You’ve made a great start, don’t negate that! You have your own business, you’re earning close to what you were in your job and you’ve got your own Clients. We do need to do something about those rates though.
What are your specific programming skills? If you’re advertising yourself as a “PHP and web programmer” then you’re competing against a million others. $23 per hour is a pretty good average rate for a US based freelance junior web programmer.
Here’s my advice: