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Re: When to raise your rates

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
21 of 40

I raised my rates because I was receiving too many job offers.


Raising my rates has helped a little bit to cut down on the job offers, but a lot of offers still come in, even though the rate is fairly high compared to other contractors.


As I have stated before in the Community Forum, I raise my rates as a time management strategy, and not because there have been changes in my cost of living or anything like that.

Active Member
Jennifer R Member Since: Jan 16, 2019
22 of 40

That's a good point when you're working less than you want to, although how do you know how low to go?

Community Guru
Robert James R Member Since: Apr 17, 2015
23 of 40

I raised my rates simply because I realized I was pricing myself too low/cheap for what I can do. I also realized, with Preston's help, that quality clients would pay for quality contractors. Taking in the number of low-bids vs right/high bids, you can stand out more.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
24 of 40

I base my rates on my shopping basket. When there is a permanent hike in the food budget, my prices go up. 


However, in the editing field, it is sometimes difficult to maintain financial equilbrium, as very often, professional know-how counts for little when weighed against enthusiastic wannabe writers (particularly novelists or memoir writers) whose literary talents rarely match the undentable carapace of their egos. 

Ace Contributor
Jessica V Member Since: Jul 30, 2015
25 of 40

My story is curiously different from everyone else. When I started working on Elance I made a research right away of what rate I should set. I am in the translation field and it is extremely competitive (as in, it is completely normal to see 70 people applying for one job post in less than a day), so my initial rate of $0.05 per word did not go to far.


I had to lower my rate to $0.02 per word, which is less than half of the original, but it still ensures I get paid at least $10 an hour, which I consider acceptable. However, I know there are many freelancers out there bidding for less than 1 cent. per word, which is a rip off.


Also, clients are not that generous, placing $20 budgets for projects that would naturally cost well over $50. I have to ignore those, but I have hope that someday, when I have more jobs listed on my profile and more invites, and keep my 5.00 feedback, I will be able to raise my rate gradually.


But for example, on Elance a client wanted a job that would cost around $4200 but upon further contact he told me that he could only pay around $2000. I proposed that we only halved the price ($2100) because that was the lowest I could go and he accepted, saying that he could compensate me by extending the deadline for a couple months so that I could work on other projects in parallel. In that case I accepted, because it is a highly priced contract and because the client had enough common sense during the negotiation.

Community Leader
Joshua M Member Since: Nov 8, 2014
26 of 40

Raise your rate when your profile can walk the talk.


These are just some of the factors I use in determining the rates I charge to a project when I staff for my agency.


Intermediate Rate


4 Fixed contracts+ or 200 hours+

$1000+ earned

JS 100-90%

4.5+ Rating

2 Recommnedation of Kudos feedback



** had great judgment in the tasks he was assigned. Would definitely work with him again, but he got things done so quickly that we realized we didn't need him for as long as we thought we would!"



**** is a 5 star freelancer. He completed the task efficiently, and did additional research that showed his initiative and problem solving abilities. He has excellent written and verbal communication skills, and kept me abreast of his progress during the assignment. I intend to hire him again. It is therefore no surprise that I offer my highest recommendations for Josh as your future freelancer."



Expert or Premium Rate


The most heaviest factor to get a client to pay premium would have to be the

 Recommnedation or Kudos feedback. Even if you have a low JS/Star rating, everything will be overloooked especially if you've got a solid history of completing projects and leaving clients in a state of shock as they provide you feedback that reads like they want to marry you.

3+ feedbacks needed or 2 feedbacks+2000 hours.

JS 100-95%

4.7 Rating 

$3000+ earning






Community Guru
Fergus M Member Since: May 23, 2015
27 of 40

"Raise your rate when your profile can walk the talk."


Terrible advice. I made the mistake of starting off charging a lot less than my work was actually worth. It took months to get away from cheap clients; more serious ones see that you've been working for peanuts and pigeonhole you.

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.― George Orwell
Community Leader
Joshua M Member Since: Nov 8, 2014
28 of 40



The advice was referring to the topic about when to raise your rate not how much to charge when you  first start out.


Hey, If you've got a solid and verifiable portfolio when you start in Upwork, then by all means you should deffinitely charge a rate you believe would be fair. 

Community Manager
Garnor M Community Manager Member Since: Oct 29, 2014
29 of 40

@fergus M wrote:

"Raise your rate when your profile can walk the talk."


Terrible advice. I made the mistake of starting off charging a lot less than my work was actually worth. It took months to get away from cheap clients; more serious ones see that you've been working for peanuts and pigeonhole you.

 I realize you may not agree with the advice Fergus, but please be considerate of our Community Guidelines when responding here. Debates/disagreements are fine, but only when done so in a manner that's respectful of other people's opinions.

Ace Contributor
André B Member Since: Aug 20, 2009
30 of 40

I raise my rates when I have enough work to keep me gainfully busy. The way I see it is that if a client is willing to pay me more than I'm getting now, they are worth trying to squeeze in. It usually works out, as I often get these new clients at a higher rate when an old contract has plateaued.


In addition, I review my rates at least once a year. During this time, I negotiate with my existing clients for a rate increase to try to bring them closer to my new rate.

Amazon Web Services Certified Solutions Architect