Can developers make more money without raising their hourly rates? The answer is YES. Let me share 6 ways to make more money without raising hourly rates.
Freelancers, especially developers, think they can make more money only if they raise their hourly rate. It is a myth. Let me help you understand how freelancers can make more money without raising their hourly rates.
Moreover, freelancers can’t increase rates often, but that does not mean you cannot earn more. Here are a few ways you can increase your earnings without increasing your rates.
1. Be More Productive
If you want to be making more money without raising your hourly rates, you have to be more productive in whatever you do.
Once you are more productive, opt to work on a fixed price model over hourly rates.
I prefer fixed pricing over an hourly task as it helps me earn more by being productive. If I can deliver the in less time, I make more money. It is as simple as that. It not only helps me make more money but makes the client at ease to pay a fixed price for what he is looking for.
Freelancers will always have a dilemma of going for hourly pricing or fixed price quote.
The rule I follow is when I can estimate the amount of work I always like to quote fixed pricing. It pays me for being more productive.
Moreover, clients are more than happy to start with fixed pricing than hourly rates. Being productive can mean you can demand better hourly rates in the future when working for the same client for long-term continuous work.
As an individual freelancer, if you want to be making more money, you have to get things done by others. You can’t do it all alone.
So, if you can outsource some task, you should always outsource it.
You will have hiccups, and often you may end up working a lot more than doing it all alone. It means you outsourced it to the wrong person. It happens with me quite often. It is part an parcel of outsourcing, but it also means you learn the process of outsourcing.
Over time, you will find someone who can get the job done the way you want it to be. More so within the deadline. If you can find someone who charges less than you can charge your client, outsourcing can help you make a lot more money and pocket the difference.
Feel free to even outsource to a company, but I prefer individuals when outsourcing.
3. Extra Services
Offer additional services that your client may be interested in and boost your overall income for a project.
- As a web developer, one can offer logo design services that can be outsourced.
- A web designer can offer On-Page SEO Services like Rich Snippets, Open Graph support, etc.
You are an expert in your freelancing niche. Watch for what clients are looking for more as they work with you. See if you can also offer them those services or even outsource those jobs to provide them with a one-stop solution. It will help you make more money without raising rates.
4. Minimum Billable Hours Per Week
What if your client wants to hire you for an hourly basis instead of fix pricing because they don’t want to be creating a quote for each task they want you to work on?
Offer them an hourly rate but … attach minimum billable hours per week.
What I mean is, if the billable hours are below a pre-agreed number of hours per week, charge for the minimum agreed billable hours.
Let’s say the amount of billable hours per week is 20. If the client only sent you work for hours under 20, you can still charge for 20 hours of work.
Similarly, one can also offer a different hourly rate for different minimum billable hours per week.
Under ten billable hours, one can charge a higher hourly rate as compared to 20 minimum billable hours per week.
One can apply similar pricing of charging a minimum amount per task.
5. Consultation Services
Calls for understanding project requirements can be part of the project, but there are many meetings, and Skype calls that aren’t part of the project requirements. Clients want advice on additional services.
One can offer consultation services where one charges clients for such advice.
As a WordPress developer, clients want my assistance with WordPress SEO. I don’t take up SEO projects but offer it as a consultation service my existing clients. It helps me bag some extra money without raising my hourly rates.
If you are an expert in a domain, clients will be more than happy to hire you for a consultation. So you need to build an expert profile on the subject matter first.
Freelancer retainer is a person available for work as and when required. He or she charges a nominal fee for the same. As and when his services are needed, he charges separately. However, it all depends on the agreed terms.
I like to offer my clients a retainer fee for my services if they need me urgently and even offer them a discount for the amount they pay me as a retainer. Clients are more than happy to have me on retainer.
As you can see, one of my clients had me on retainer for the full year of 2017. As and when he needs my services, I am available and offer a discount equivalent of the retainer fee he has paid me. A win-win situation for both. The best part is, it helps me make more money without raising rates.
7. Avoid overly demanding clients
Some clients are high maintenance clients or are worth more time than one can charge.
I remember one client who wanted to hire me hourly and wanted me to be working with him being online. I was ok with it because I don’t typically charge for the hours worked only. Over time client used to email me his requirements, and I needed to be well prepared to get the tasks done. It made me work more and get paid when I am working over a call with him.
Moreover, it also means I have to work when we both are available. Kinda tough but was ready to work on my preferred time.
These are high maintenance clients. It is better to avoid such clients and tell them you aren’t available.
8. Recommend Products (Affiliate Marketing)
Oh no. Not again. Affiliate marketing as a freelancer? Everyone thinks it is for bloggers, but that’s not true.
- Does your client ask you about good hosts?
- Are your clients looking for online tools like Semrush, DropBox?
- Do you recommend other tools and software to your clients?
Why not earn a commission for those recommendations?
My review of AWeber doesn’t rank high enough to drive enough traffic and sales. Yet I generate sales by recommending it to my clients. Similarly, I have started making some money recommending Moosend instead of AWeber. My Moosend Review still doesn’t rank high in Google to generate significant traffic.
You may not make a ton of money, but they all add up. It helps me make more money without a need to raise my hourly rates further.
9. Pareto Principle of 80/20 rule
As a freelancer remember:
80% of your income will come from 20% of your clients. Rest 20% of the revenue will come from 80% of your clients.
So one has to work on building more of the 20% type clients who can bring in the 80% of the revenue.
The principle is magical.
Does each of your client pay equal or some pay better than others?
More likely, some pay better than others.
So all you have to do is find clients similar to those who are paying better than others. It will surely help you save time which in turn can help you make more money without any need to raise rates.