Freelancing and charging by the hour typically involves finding a task that a lot of people can do, and doing it slightly better or slightly cheaper than others.
It's far from being the best gig and with some planning, you can do much better.
Competing on price is a race to zero. When it comes to pricing, wouldn’t you rather race to the top than to the bottom? Strongly defining your positioning for your business and/or your services is a great way to escape the race to zero.
Here are four things to focus when planning to do better:
1. An audience (brands or individuals) that has money to invest in having you solve their problem.
2. An audience that already knows it has an important problem that needs to solved.
3. A well defined skill, service, story or resource that (only) you can provide.
4. A notable outcome that will make a difference for your customers: One they will choose to tell other people about.
When any of these elements are missing, you're likely to be extremely replaceable, with no real leverage.
The real challenge is in finding an area of expertise where you can grow and properly commit.
Try to make your own statement by replacing the caps:
I am a DISCIPLINE who helps TARGET MARKET with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM. Unlike my competitors, UNIQUE DIFFERENCE.
If your customers can hire anyone, and you’re anyone, then you're selling yourself short. And if you find yourself arguing with potential clients about what this sort of work is worth, it may be that you need better clients.
You can be another affordable freelancer that bills by the hour or you can do unique work that makes a difference.
George Kroustallis // Minorstep