I’ve seen this happen over and over with the freelancers I know.

Especially with me. I kick myself for it.


When you’re new to freelancing, when you’re finding your way, your fees are modest. 

You may be skillful in your chosen craft, but you are not so sure-footed in this freelance thing. 

You worry about pricing yourself out of assignments, about competitors, about getting turned down.

But you manage to land a few gigs. To your relief, nothing blows up. No one calls you a charlatan. Actual money comes in. And some clients call back.

Soon you don’t feel so clueless. You’re getting the hang of this. You’re not as shy about fees.

In time, you work with busier, bigger clients. You have a few steadies, a couple of true fans. Maybe a client applauds now and then.

Even when a project crashes and burns, you know how to climb out and dust off. No more nervous newbie. 

After a while, you are getting decent money for work that you once gave away for six dollars. You are pricing like a pro. 

But here’s the thing:

Back then, in your six-dollar days, you were pretty much the same writer/designer/translator you are right now. 

Same core ability, same gut talent. 

Today, you aren’t 82% more skillful than you were back then.

Only 82% more confident. 

(And maybe a bit savvier about clients, about getting projects out the door, about spotting trouble.)

Same freelancer, different mindset, different fees. 

Pricing is mostly in our heads.

Me, the day after a client praises my writing brilliance to the skies (yes, it has happened) I can feel my rate starting to increase.  

My designer friend Marta says, “The busier I get, the more expensive I get.”  (Note she doesn’t say ‘better’. Only ‘more expensive.’)

Pricing is mostly in our heads. 

I say just skip ahead to where you feel like a badass. You will be there anyway. Go there now.

We’re freelance. We’re allowed to do that.