Whether you’re a data entrepreneur looking to scale as quickly and painlessly as possible or a data freelancer who’d be over-the-moon if you could just (finally) start to charge premium prices and book those high-paying, ideal clients everybody goes on about, here’s the truth:

Getting to the “next level” in your business isn’t always easy.

What’s the “next level” you ask? Well, that’s the stage in your business where:

  • High-profile leads roll in as consistently as the tides
  • Your revenues crawl higher up that chart month-after-month &
  • Your killer services continuously sell out, no problem.

After partnering with tons of data entrepreneurs over the years, helping them transform their big business visions into tangible realities, sign 5-star clients & deliver top-notch products and services, I’ve come to realize that there are a few key principles that are key to success. 

Want to charge premium prices for data services? These strategies will help you up your rates and grow your business revenues.

In this post, I’ll share with you three insider secrets that you need to understand if you want to charge premium prices for your data services. Are you ready?!

SECRET #1: If you want to charge premium prices and be paid like an expert, you need to show up like one.

Many data professionals who make the jump from corporate to owning their own data business start off by freelancing. It’s a great way to get your feet wet, work with different clients, and see what sort of projects you excel at. Some new freelancers tend to set their rate slightly lower as they rack up experience, and they’ll be pretty keen to take on any project to build up their portfolio, testimonials, and get their name out there as a freelance data professional.

While this is all fine and dandy in the beginning, you don’t want to stay in this stage too long if you want to charge premium prices for your data services. 

In order to take your business to the next level, you’ll have to ask yourself questions like:

  • What do I want to specialize in?
  • What sort of clients do I want to work with?
  • What kind of unique processes can I create to produce the best results for my clients?

Pretty soon after you start your business, you’ll want to specialize in a certain area of data science so that you can become seen as the go-to expert for that service and command those higher rates. 

When clients hire experts, they expect to pay a higher price, but they also expect that you’ll have your own processes and solutions for solving their problem (as opposed to them than having to spend ample time hand-holding or training someone less experienced!). 

Make sure you present yourself as an expert in your niche, and that your marketing materials and client processes reflect your experienced nature! 

SECRET #2: Believe it or not, you *can’t* (and shouldn’t!) do it all on your own.

As data pro’s, we’re often used to being the do-ers. We’re used to coding away all day, building different models, using data to create epic results for companies. We get shit done, and we do a pretty good job at it! However, I often see this attitude holding new data entrepreneurs back. 

The truth is: just because you’re ABLE to do something in your business, doesn’t necessarily mean you should. 

Yes, you’re smart and totally capable of doing certain tasks within your business and I’m sure you’d do a fantastic job at them…but you have to ask yourself, as a CEO, is this really the best use of my time? 

A lot of the time, the answer is no.

While sometimes the answer is delegating, other times the answer is automating by improving your tech and processes. In my free guide, the “Ultimate Toolkit for Data Entrepreneurs” I’ll show you the exact tools I’ve used to help scale and run my multi-6-figure data business.

32 Free Tools for Data Entrepreneurs and the Freelance Data Scientist - These Tools Will Help You Charge Premium Prices & Increase Business Revenues

I’ve seen the importance of delegation firsthand in my own ventures. Once upon a time, I wanted to hire a chatbot specialist to help me with a lofty-yet-attainable goal: book clients through FB messenger even when I’m not online. I knew exactly who I needed to hire to make it worth my while – a specialist with more knowledge than me and their own proven processes in place.

Sure, I could’ve easily whipped up a chatbot in 4-5 days (with a mocha latte by my side) or even written it from scratch in a few weeks.

But I recognized the value in hiring someone who’d done this a million times over, rather than have me trying to DIY it. 

And my decision paid off: This chatbot specialist got the job done quickly. He was in and out for $100 and two days’ time.

As tech-savvy data pros, I understand it’s tempting to work on the tasks that are easy and fun for us – like coding a quick chatbot – but the truth is, if you’re writing code (and cute chatbot responses), you’re NOT working on CEO-level tasks that will truly give your business the necessary boost to grow & scale.

When we try to do it all on our own we prevent ourselves from scaling as fast as we could.

SECRET #3: You are only as good as the quality of your team. 

Perhaps by this point, you’re realizing that in order to get to that next level you need to start hiring some support.

The mistake I see so many new data entrepreneurs make, however, is that they often try to go for the cheapest option when bringing on support. They want to keep their profit margins high, and so they think hiring someone who offers the most ‘bang for their buck’ is the smartest business decision.

The reality?

“Cheap” service providers often end up costing you more in the long run than if you’d just found someone quality in the first place. 

With the example of my chatbot, I could have outsourced to a cheap freelancer or rallied an intern or college student willing to put my bot together for pennies (or free). 

But what would that have cost in my time? What would that have cost if they made a mistake (and I had to do it over again?) What would it have cost in the mental energy wondering if they were doing things properly?

In the end, the “expensive” option is usually actually less costly.

When building your dream team, you should actually look to hire team members who know more than you do in their respective fields, true experts in their own realm that are going to elevate your business, rather than relying on interns or cheap freelancers.

If you’re just starting out your freelance data career, I recommend you focus all your efforts on mastering the first secret I shared – showing up as an expert.  By refusing to compete on price and focusing your energy on creating high-level processes, you’ll attract high-end clients and you can begin to charge premium prices.

If you have a couple of freelance clients under your belt and you’re looking to get to that next level by building out your team, remember the second and third points I shared – focus on getting support and make sure that support is high-quality. When you are well supported, you’ll be able to get out of the weeds of implementation and step into your CEO shoes, where you can strategize on how to increase business revenues.

No matter WHAT level you’re at – whether you’re more advanced or just starting out – it’s important to set yourself up with a solid foundation by creating systems in your business. Don’t wait until your overloaded with clients to get your tech and systems set up to allow you to scale! Make sure your business is strong and scale-able from the beginning by creating proper workflows.

I walk you through exactly how to do this in my latest Free Guide – The Ultimate Toolkit for Data Entrepreneurs. You’ll learn about my favorite FREE and low-cost tech that has enabled me to scale my business into the multi-6-figure range – think marketing systems, operations, team management, project management tools and so much more. Essentially, everything you need to set your data business up for success!

Download the Toolkit below ????????

32 Free Tools for Data Entrepreneurs and the Freelance Data Scientist - These Tools Will Help You Charge Premium Prices & Increase Business Revenues

Lillian Pierson, P.E.

Hi, I'm Lillian Pierson, PE (CEO of Data-Mania). I’m a data leader that supports data professionals to get ahead in their own data careers by developing data leadership capabilities. To date, I’ve trained over 1 million workers on the topics of AI and data science. Since 2013, Data-Mania, LLC has provided high-impact training to data-driven professionals so they can support their organizations in making major digital transformations. Additionally, we offer powerful online programs designed to transform data professionals into data leaders.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. George McLean

    Hello Lillian

    I am taking one of your python courses on Linkedin and finding it well organized and useful. As an old data professional working in the wind energy field I am thinking about ways to keep myself out of trouble when I retire in a few years. Freelance data work sounds interesting and that is what brought me to your website. I look forward to learning more from your blog posts.



    1. It’s super to hear from you, George! Thanks for the thoughtful comment and I’m really happy that our content is helpful to you! Please keep in touch, Lillian

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