[Lesson 1] Why there’s no such thing as a market rate

The Myth Of Market Rates

I want you to think about the first time you ever had to attach a price to yourself as a freelancer.

It was probably when you got your first job in the industry. You were sitting in front of a hiring manager, and after talking about you, your resumé, and the position, the conversation shifted to money. “How much do you want to make?”

Now, you probably had enough sense to go into this discussion knowing what somebody in the position you were interviewing for typically makes. If you asked for too high of a salary, you might not get the job; if it’s too low, you’re stuck making less than what you could have made.

And when you went out on your own and started your business, you probably did something similar…

You researched what the value of a freelancer like you was.

Or you just reverse engineered your salary to come up with an hourly rate.

This is what most of us end up doing. After all, whether we realize it or not, we want to be able to justify the price we’re asking.

The most successful freelancers don’t give a damn about market rates or what others charge. They know that ultimately this doesn’t matter. They realize there’s no such thing as the right price for the services they offer.

If You Want To Charge More, You Need To Deliver The Right Deliverables

My goal with this course is to help you escape the black hole of market rates.

…And it’s totally doable.

When I first started freelancing, I charged $50 an hour because my former salary was a cool $105k a year. And all the best resources out there for freelancers were suggesting this-or-that calculator or telling me to just divide my salary by 2000 (the number of average working hours in a year)… so I settled on $50 an hour.

And boy, things have changed for me since then. Just a few weeks ago, I won a $49,000 project — and based on the number of hours that it’ll take to complete, that comes out to about $600 an hour.

Truthfully, the skills I’m using (mostly: coding JavaScript, a bunch of copywriting, and playing around with email marketing automation software) aren’t all that much different than the skills I was using when I first started freelancing. Instead, how I’m presenting and leveraging those skills have changed.

Throughout this course, I’m going to give you tactical and conceptual advice that will help you escape market rates.

Because here’s the thing… market rates are for losers.

Market rates imply that you’re offering a commodity service that just about anyone can offer — even those charging $4 an hour on Upwork.

Market rates are out of your control. The market dictates and determines what you’re worth. The market says that you’re defined by the technicals of what you do and not the results you deliver to your clients.

This first lesson is intentionally light on strategy and tactics, but it’s meant to make you think about what you’ve been doing through now. Until you change the way you look at yourself and the value you bring to the table, you’re not going to be able to apply the concepts of this course. The first change you need to make to your business is internal.