Originally published at: http://www.sitepoint.com/negotiate-higher-freelance-rate/
For those of us working as freelance developers, setting and negotiating rates can seem like one of the most complicated and intimidating parts of the job. You often come into negotiations with the preconception that the client will try to underpay you. Understanding how to set and negotiate rates is an important step to a successful freelancing career.
It’s not always easy, especially with clients who make any form of communication a bit of an ordeal. But, thankfully, in my experience, such situations are rare; clients are generally keen to pay you well if they know that they are receiving quality service. For me, that’s the clear advantage of working as a freelancer and why I’d never go back to a 9 to 5 job.
Even the highest-paid developers on a salary can be surprised at how much freelance developers make. As a freelancer, you’re a hired gun to come in and execute a specific task. With that, you’re able to command a premium price tag. The highest-paid freelance developers learn how to charge based on the value they provide to the business. Your client won’t have any problem paying you what you want if you help them realize that your fee is minimal compared to what their business will make from it. I’ve seen these freelance developers easily clear $250-500K per year freelancing.
If you want to exploit that sort of earning potential, and make sure you always come out on the higher end of salary negotiations, there are a few skills you must develop. These skills are a vital part of your freelance business
Determine Your Minimal Acceptable Rate
The first thing you must do as a freelancer is fix the lowest equivalent hourly rate you are willing to work for. This is your Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR).