How To Evaluate Your Worth
And how to use it to measure whether a deal is good for you or not.
One of the toughest questions to answer when starting a business is…
How much should you charge?
There is a lot that goes into pricing. Marketing, fixed costs, variable costs, and more. There is even a mental side to it as I’ve talked about with subscription-based pricing too.
But one thing that I failed to bring up in pricing strategies is our own biases. For sure there is the customer’s own bias, but we often don’t think about our own biases as well.
About an hour ago, I turned down a gig proposal where the client would pay me $2.50 for every 500-word article I wrote for them.
My issue was solely on how much I was being paid based on how much I think I’m worth currently.
These types of gigs are dime a dozen and it’s in these types of environments that I think people need help the most. After all, there is a massive disconnection between freelancers and businesses.
On one side you have businesses that will settle with grossly underpaying people.
The other side has freelancers who either evaluate themselves too much or not enough and settle for these poor jobs.
Freelancers and entrepreneurs alike who dip into the gig economy need some form of guidance. And the biggest guidance they can get is honestly knowing how much they should charge. Not to mention to match that up to their current situation and see if what is offered is a good deal.
Because what I was offered from that gig was a bad deal for me. Considering how much I’m getting paid from my current clients, what I think I’m worth, and where I’m at right now.
But at the same time if I was at a different position in my life, then I might’ve considered this job seriously.
So how should we evaluate ourselves in this gig-economy?
Well, it comes down to asking some simple questions and consider them deeply.
Have You Had Past Clients?
If you have had any history at all — whether with current clients or previous ones — you want to check by asking this question. That question can then spark other questions:
How much did they pay you?
What sort of work did you do?
This question poses as a point of reference in terms of what’s being offered. If you’ve had past clients you’ve had some picture of what will be an upgrade for you and what will be a bad deal.
If you don’t have any history, then seriously consider what’s being offered for the time being. The deal that I got today is not a rare occasion in this industry and it’s worth working through it for a few months.
How Good Are Your Skills?
How we evaluate our worth always has a personal element to it no matter what. It is based on your own viewpoint after all.
But this question takes our personal views and pushes them a little bit farther.
We look beyond what we think we are worth and instead find ourselves in a situation where we think our worth is based on our abilities.
By asking this question you get the opportunity to look at your own skills and see how that is matched up to what is being placed on the table.
Do you have the capacity to do the job skillfully?
How do you know you’re able to do the job skillfully?
It’s easy for us to evaluate our work as if it’s high quality, but it’s another for our work to be high quality. By asking if your skills are good enough you need to find firm ground as opposed to relying solely on your own opinion.
Even when asking for raises, it all comes back to providing evidence of your skills.
I’ve written thousands of articles at this point and many of them have garnered well over a few thousand views as well. At this moment, my reading ratio on Medium is 42%. Because of my skills, I know that my clients can expect long-term growth and will be able to recoup the costs with ease. Even in situations where they have other offers asking for less than I am.
On top of that, the price that I’ll set is based on a reflection of my current skills as well so in the end I’m pricing accordingly.
Where Are You Currently In Life?
The final question is to determine your own environment and situation in life. By asking this question you’re putting yourself into a situation where you need to look at your goals, current standings and more.
This is the last question to ask to determine if a gig is worth considering accepting. And it’s a pretty big one.
This question alone could very well be the reason for me to accept that gig I was offered. But I turned it down because my current life situation doesn’t warrant a gig like that.
Right now I need jobs with fair pay and doesn’t require a lot of time to commit.
This also ties into my goals as I’m looking to have enough time to look after myself as well as get out and enjoy experiences while still generating revenue. I recommend sizing up a job based on your goals is good as well because a gig can suit you on other means rather than pay alone.
It might not be the ideal job, but it’s the job that you need right now to put into perspective how much you think you’re worth.
That’s why you want to consider all the angles of an offer and look a little bit beyond your own sense of worth. After all, a lot of us take jobs for a variety of reasons.