I've been having a look at some of the profiles of freelancers in my field and I've noticed that when completing hourly jobs, their rates often vary considerably from the rates on their profile. One I've noticed in particular has $35ph on his profile but his hourly rates vary from anything between $35 and $155ph. Is it normal practice to alter the hourly rate like this? I can understand that you might be able to command a higher price for some work but it's all much the same in his case. Is this something I could be making use of or will I annoy clients if I tell them my rate is much higher than on my profile?
This is normal.
The posted hourly rate is very useful. But neither contractors nor clients are obligated to adhere to it when establishing a new specific contract.
Yep, I do $55/hour for basic technical writing, but I raise it for IT stuff.
The more I feel like I'm using my experience and background in IT, the more I raise my rate. I LOL at people who say "It's easy for someone who knows what they are doing." All I think is "yep, sure is, and that's why I'm asking for more than my base."
The hourly rate on my profile is my highest rate.
Any new contracts I create with new clients are at that rate.
But I have current contracts at lower rates. In my case, this is because these are clients I have worked with for a long time, and I continued to use my earlier rates with them, even if I made new contracts with them.
I DO NOT RECOMMEND this for everybody. It is very reasonable to raise your hourly rate with a client you have been working with for some time. But this is what I do. When I have a higher hourly rate with the same client I have had for a while, it is usually because the client asked to raise the rate.
I see it going two ways. If you have your highest rate but really charge a lot less, you could be cutting out the people who would be OK with what you normally charge when they are browsing.
At the same time, I feel like posting lower is kinda like those commercials where they say "starting at...$x" but you go in and it's the item with no options. So you have to come up a little in price if you buy what you really want. They post the lower price to get you in the store.
There's pros and cons either way I suppose.
I have $65/hour on my Elance profile and I rarely work at that rate. It cut down on invites from the low rent clients. Basically, I did it to purposely scare people away. LOL
I treat my profile rate like a "suggested retail price". Clients may have to pay more if they want some particularly special extra service, or they may get to pay less if I'm offering a deal for whatever reason. It's really just a value that sets a starting expectation. On Upwork, it serves no other useful function than advertising. I choose to advertise near my maximum price because I'm not interested in being bothered by clients who want cheap labor more than they want to get things done right.
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