When I started freelancing 5 years ago, my hourly rate as a writer was $5 to $10 per hour. Looking at the current rates many local online freelancers charge their foreign clients, this may seem like a huge amount. Every time I visit Pinoy forums, I see local freelancers charging $1 to $5 per hour – sometimes even less.
Well, what can one do? Sometimes people can be desperate about having extra income that we’re willing to take any amount of money, no matter how small.
But let’s take a look at the average hourly rates of freelancers who took part in a survey by FreelanceSwitch.com:
Source: Freelance Switch Survey
If you can’t believe your eyes, I’m telling you that I know from personal experience that these rates (and higher) are possible. Even for us Filipinos.
In fact, especially for us Filipinos. The freelancers among us are generally well educated and have above average English skills. We can deliver quality work. At the same time, we don’t pay at least $500 on rent alone like our “First World” counterparts. Living here is much cheaper.
If you don’t want to start charging $50 per hour, you can at least charge something a little lower than what the freelancers from developed countries are charging, but aren’t slave wages either. Why not start charging $20 or $30? Then, adjust accordingly as your expertise becomes more in demand and you’ve proved your work to be worth those rates.
But you’re the first and most important person who has to believe that your work is worth more. If you don’t believe it, there’s no way you can convince your clients to believe it themselves.
So how do you convince yourself and your clients that you’re worth the higher rates? Stay tuned for the second part of this post tomorrow, where I’ll address that question.