Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?

Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?


Freelancers have more control over their income, but what are the wages in the professional sector? Will COVID-19 Impact And What Is The Future For Freelance Income?

One of the characteristics of professional life is unpredictable income. Famines and festivals are common. When I started freelancing, pay rates varied a lot depending on the job and company I worked for. Have wages improved in recent years? And will the current pandemic have a lasting impact on wage rates in small businesses and freelance communities?

According to IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and Self-Employed), which looked in depth at pay, the wages of the self-employed earned 43% more than women. Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher at IPSE, commented: “Much has been said about the gender pay gap among employees, but the gender pay gap among the self-employed is actually much wider. This appears to be due to self-employed women underestimating themselves and not taking into account the high rates of their male counterparts. “

The fact that the gender pay gap is alive is also the result of a recent survey by Anna Codrea-Rado who wrote: “In the UK, the government is tracking the gender pay gap. As of 2017, every organization with 250 or more employees has had to publish and report certain figures on its gender pay gap.

960x0 Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?

Anna Codrea-Rado.

Anna Codrea-Rado

“However, this reporting requirement only applies to companies and their full-time employees. So it’s not surprising that there isn’t a lot of data on the freelance pay gap. However, the data available to us show that there are wage differences not only for freelancers, but also greater than for employees. ”

The pay rates, the undervaluation of the services offered, and of course the slow pay have been part and parcel of small business and professional life since I was a full-time freelancer over 20 years ago. Wage rates continue to vary widely and some employers still offer ridiculously low rates. Established freelancers, however, report good sales and incomes that are expected to increase in the short term.

Wage rates

A comparison of the income of the self-employed and the employees of the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies) also allows the conclusion that sole proprietorships earn around a third less than their employed colleagues three years after starting their own business. The question is whether the lower income is endemic in the small business and freelance community. And is lower pay offset by the freedom and autonomy that freelancers and small business owners can offer?

Xiaowei Xu, Senior Research Economist at IFS and author of the paper, said, “Individual self-employment is often a substitute option for workers affected by employment shocks – an intermediate state between employment and unemployment. As the COVID-19 crisis increases volatility in the labor market and creates uncertainty about future employment opportunities in certain sectors and occupations, there may be a further increase in self-employment among single people. If so, this would be a group that deserves concern and political attention alongside the potentially large numbers of unemployed.

Xu continued, “At the same time, our research suggests that self-employment often increases well-being, even though it leads to lower incomes. We should try to understand the desirable qualities of self-employment – for example, freedom, autonomy and authority – and look for ways to promote them in traditional employment relationships. ”

Employment is shifting to remote mass work, and for the first time more people are moving into self-employment – figures from the IFS study show that more than 40% of those who do become self-employed are unemployed or unemployed in the year before starting their own business were inactive -employment. Many report being fired or fired from a previous job – one of the problems newcomers always face is deciding what to charge for their work.

What to calculate

I wanted to find out what compensation rates apply to freelancers and small businesses, whether it is difficult to set, and whether tax rates are likely to rise or fall in a post-COVID-19 commercial landscape.

“To increase your worth as a freelancer, you need to understand your worth and balance what you need to survive with what you need to thrive,” said Helen Dibble. Start by finding out.

960x0 Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?

Helen Dibble, General Manager, Incredibble.


Helen continued, “Then you understand how and why a customer values ​​your work. Also, know your exclusion zone (the point you step below in terms of money, workload, or agreement) and stick to your limits. When a customer is frolicking at your stadium, “I may not be the freelancer for you” is the most powerful phrase in your bargaining arsenal. It reminds you that you can go away. It reminds them that you can go away and that you will not play the prize game. “

A look at many of the freelance job sites shows that wage rates can vary greatly from job to job. These websites cannot be used as a benchmark in setting your prices. Freelancers and small business owners need to carefully examine all of the factors that affect what they realistically need to calculate.

960x0 Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?

Heather Metcalfe, graphic designer.


“I think it’s harder to set a compensation at first, but now, with the reviews I have and past feedback, I have the confidence to set my compensation and know that the customer is good value for money -Ratio but quality work received. Explained graphic designer Heather Metcalfe. “What’s great is that I’ve been able to increase my prices in relation to the demand for my services. I’ve been able to increase my prices every six months as the demand keeps increasing, which means my pay is increasing too. “

Your payment today and tomorrow

Setting your tariffs is a balance between direct and indirect costs that need to be met and your own experience of the markets your business serves. Often times a sector has well-established pay rates that are pretty similar across the industry – publishing is a good example. Newcomers need to develop a sense of what general wage rates are expected in order to avoid under- and overburdening.

Murray Swift, a digital marketing specialist, stated, “In my area there are an unlimited number of services that can be offered. Countless new marketing strategies are introduced every day. Over the next six months, I have planned to launch more than a dozen new services. Adding new high-ticket gigs will also increase my income. When selling online, it is important to offer a variety of services at low, medium and high ticket prices. This way, you can earn anywhere in the market, much like Monopoly. Owning real estate on either side of the board has its perks! “

960x0 Freelancer Pay: What Are You Worth?

Murray Swift, a digital marketing specialist.


Having more control over your work life is a big reason to start your own business. It is up to each individual to decide whether the prosperity gains can offset unpredictable and possibly lower incomes.

What you charge for your service can of course be negotiable to a certain extent. However, think about your worth. If your customer isn’t ready to pay your plan, go ahead. Saying no can be the toughest lesson all freelancers and small business owners must learn, but it’s important to making sure your income stays realistic and growing. The income of freelancers and small business owners appears to be positive with the expectation that this will increase over the next year.

Will COVID-19 Affect Interest And Income? I think it’s safe to say that in some sectors, if companies want to work with the best freelance talent available, rates will have to go up. The creation of content is expected to expand. If you work in this sector, your rates should stay healthy for the foreseeable future.

Of course, COVID-19 will also spawn a large number of new freelancers and small business owners who make the transition either because of redundancy or other factors. When setting your prices, keep your value in mind. Newcomers can easily fall into the trap of low wages. Be careful about choosing the clients to work with in your early days.

Different pay rates and the scourge of late payments are part of the course. Anyone who employs freelancers and other employees must appreciate the value these workers bring to their business and pay them appropriately (regardless of gender) and on time.

April 1, 2021