Pay transparency is huge for freelancers.
At Wethos, we believe pay transparency is one of the key ingredients to help more freelancers break through the six-figure ceiling.
Not only does rate transparency impact the freelance industry as a whole by leveling the playing field, but being transparent about pay can strengthen your own team, whether you’re building a studio or teaming up with other independent creatives.
Pay transparency builds trust among teammates and ensures everyone is paid equitably — something that isn’t always easy to come by in the freelance industry.
Here are a few ways to introduce pay transparency to your team.
Establish a budget
Before you can even create a proposal to send to a client, you need to establish a budget internally. Doing this not only ensures that you’re charging enough for the project, but it also gives you a chance to be more transparent about rates with your team.
Let’s say you get an inquiry about a website design project. Rather than putting together a number that you think the overall project will cost, and then trying to source teammates who will fit into that price, reverse the process. Have all of the freelancers who will be involved in the project send you an estimate of what their price will be for each of their roles.
This puts the power back into the freelancer’s hands rather than the client. It also creates opportunities to put pay transparency into practice. For instance, if you think the estimate that one of your team members shared with you is low, you can let them know what you think the price should be based on market rates and the value they’re bringing to the project. Encouraging your fellow creatives to raise their rates is another key to pay transparency.
Encourage value-based pricing
We are big advocates for value-based pricing. If your team isn’t already using a value-based pricing system, now is the time to encourage that with your collaborators.
When putting together value-based pricing for a project, each team member should account for a number of things beyond the number of hours it may take them. To come up with the price, consider the complexity of the project, the expertise needed, and the value they bring to the table.
Establishing this estimate will ensure that everyone is getting compensated fairly and that the client understands the value they’re paying for. Plus, when you use Wethos’ smart scoping tool, you, your team, and the client can see the exact breakdown of which teammate is doing what and how much of the budget will be allocated to them.
Bring the team into the process
As a studio owner, it can be tempting to handle every part of the client acquisition process from lead generation to discovery calls, and especially the proposal process. But as you grow, it’s important for you to let your team be involved. This is helpful not only to help your studio scale, but also to help introduce pay transparency.
For instance, with our scoping tool, once your proposal is approved, you can easily turn that scope into an invoice and send free and instant peer-to-peer payments. With this system, there’s no secret about who’s charging what and where the money is coming from. Everything from the budget breakdown to the services completed is transparent to everyone involved.
Being open about the process not only encourages pay transparency, but it also creates a deeper sense of involvement and gives everyone a say in the project.