Confused about the Toptal freelance rates? If yes, this guide is just for you.
If you are a freelancer, then you probably love the flexibility your work has to offer. No other job is better as this one completely fits the ‘stay home, stay safe’ strategy.
But, where freelancing has its unique perks, the whole task can seem pretty tricky when fixing your rate with a client, especially those you find on renowned platforms.
The good news is – you are not alone. Almost every freelancer feels the same way, even those with years of experience.
In this article, we have put useful info on Toptal, one of the top freelancing platforms, and put forth details on Toptal freelance rates.
You will also gain insight into how to know your worth when bidding and learn ways to communicate with a client efficiently. Keep reading!
Table of Contents
A Bit About Toptal
Toptal is a trusted freelancing platform, a remote company that helps connect the best freelancers with worldwide employers. The company was founded in 2010 by Taso Du Val and Breanden Beneschott.
Initially, it hired only software developers from Hungary. But the company has been continuously expanding over the years.
It included freelance designers in 2015 and collaborated with Skillbridge in 2016 to include freelance accountants, statisticians, and market research consultants.
In 2017, Toptal filled the talent gap for the automotive industry by providing them with software engineers and designers. The company also included blockchain engineers in 2018.
Toptal is highly profitable, where it made a gross income of $80 million in 2015. Moreover, the Toptal freelance rates are attractive, making it one of the best freelance platforms.
Why is Toptal Unique?
This company boasts of hiring only the top 3% of freelance workers. This means that only the top three percent make it to the platform among the 100,000 or so applicants each year.
Therefore, this platform has the cream of freelancers, making it an extremely attractive site for clients.
Toptal first screens all the freelancers to measure their potential. This part is a bit challenging. It puts freelancers through a screening process first, which consists of the following steps.
Toptal hires only those freelancers that are fluent in English reading, speaking, and writing. If English isn’t your native language, you need some practice before seeking out work at Toptal.
They also check if you are passionate about your job or not and assess for certain personality traits.
You are then assessed through an automated test for your programming skills. A codility test may be used for this purpose too. You get around 90 minutes to solve three given problems.
Screening Through Video Call
The second test takes place live. You are asked to be on a video call with an expert, who gives you a test to solve.
You get around 20 mins each to solve two problems. If you fail this test, you are asked to re-appear after a month for it.
If you pass all the tests, you will be asked to complete some test projects within a one to three week time period.
You are supposed to give out your best here, as your project will be judged in many aspects.
If you are hired after passing all their tests, you will be checked continuously for performance. This includes everything from your communication skills to work quality.
If your performance drops only slightly, Toptal makes you leave! According to them, only 3% of the freelancers can keep up to the mark.
How is Toptal the Best Option for You
Toptal takes pride in being reached out by companies like Pfizer, Disney, Airbnb, and Google.
As a freelancer on this platform, you can get the opportunity to work on exciting projects for renowned companies.
- Software architect
- App developer
- IT project manager
- Product manager (enterprise and scrum)
- Part-time CFO
- Fintech consultant
- Financial analyst
- Blockchain consultant
- UI/UX graphic designer (including visual and interaction designing)
- Technical business analyst
And there is lots more. You can set a schedule to complete your work hours within a week, anywhere between Monday to Sunday, and get paid each week.
Moreover, you can use their community, which has updates for events and where all the freelancers can interconnect.
Here, you can gain knowledge and learn new skills by interacting with other freelancers. (you can also gain insight into Toptal freelance rates)
You can also earn a reputation easily by being part of the tech blog on Toptal. Unlike Fiverr, where you have to offer all your skills in your portfolio and wait for a client to reach you, at Toptal, a client is matched to you.
In other words, Toptal does the work for the clients, searching for the right freelancer according to their needs, making the entire process a lot faster. This is pretty similar to Upwork, by the way.
Above all, you can benefit from the lists of professional teams available on Toptal. These teams include a screening team, a content team, and a technical editors team, which offer their hired freelancers help.
Toptal Freelance Rates: What You Should Know
This is the part that holds the utmost importance: how much money will you make on this platform?
How can you determine your Toptal freelance rates?
If you are wondering, ‘what is the average Toptal freelance salary?’, there is no definitive answer to this question.
Why? Because you get paid according to your level of experience and your skill domain.
A developer’s salary differs from that of a project manager, and the rates vary, as they are divided into hourly, part-time, or full-time zones.
Moreover, you can’t set up your own rate, but you can communicate with your client to change it. The Toptal average hourly rate is $80, but this value differs based on your skills and experience.
For example, if you are a software developer, expect an hourly rate between $60 to $150 (Toptal developer hourly rates are the lowest, as compared to the rates for other skills).
Here is an estimate for Toptal freelance rates for different niches:
Software Developer Rates
Finance Department Rates
Graphic Designer Rate
Product Manager Rates
Discussing Rates with Clients
You can always make a change to the above Toptal freelance rates by communicating with your client. This can be a bit difficult.
However, we have a complete guide explaining how you can send your message across the table.
You can also use this freelance hourly rate calculator to know how much you can bid. It has slots where you can enter how much annual income you want and how many days you will take off.
Moreover, if you have any plans to develop a freelance business, you can enter the percentage of your income you want to invest there in the given slot.
After filling a few more given spaces, you will get to know your hourly rate.
If the results are lower than the Toptal hourly rates, you can adjust your annual income by increasing its value. Some Toptal freelancers claim they get paid four times higher than they would be paid at any other local company in a full-time job.
Amazing, isn’t it?
Setting Total Freelance Rates: Useful Tips
The biggest mistake you can make as a freelancer is to underestimate yourself. If you are inexperienced or a total newbie in the freelancing world, you can’t ask for higher rates, obviously.
However, asking for more money is as tricky for an experienced candidate as it is for a newcomer.
Needless to say, those sympathy-gaining phrases have gone obsolete. They want to work with professionals, not sympathy-seekers.
The biggest fear, however, is the fear of losing your client when you quote higher rates. And you have to find your way out.
So how to get through the bidding part swiftly? And exactly how to set the best Toptal freelance rates for yourself?
Take a look at these tips to earn the right amount of money as a freelancer:
Let Others Know About Your Business
Whether freelancing is your new side hustle, or you have plans to make a career out of it, keeping it a secret is no good. The only way businesses grow is through advertising.
Therefore, you need to talk about your freelancing job with others.
This might help you find a client, or someone might refer you to a client. Communicating with others will also help you discover more information on rates.
You can make queries on social media websites with open-ended questions like ‘I’m new to freelancing, does anyone know what the pricing should be?’
Taking advice from others will help you adjust your Toptal salary to get paid higher than your expectations.
Allow the Client Talk First
If you voice your rate before knowing what’s the budget on the client’s mind, it can make you either sound too expensive or too cheap.
So the best way to deal with this situation is to get to know how much money the client is ready to invest.
For example, if a client asks you about your Toptal freelance rates, instead of telling it right away, answer by saying your rate depends on the project.
Then, inquire about the project details and try to make the recruiter talk about the project’s budget.
If the price is too low, steer clear of that client. Agreeing to work on low-payment is only going to put you in a position where you will suffer from burnout without making sufficient money.
If they offer an attractive price, tell them your rate by offering a value that is only slightly higher.
Consider All Expenses Before Setting Your Rate
Since you are self-employed in the freelancing world, you have to consider tax payment, health insurance, and licensing before setting your yearly income target.
The best way to deal with this part is to consider working weeks; after deducting those weeks, you will be taking off for vacations, holidays, or sick leaves.
So, instead of making a budget for 52 weeks, make one for 46 weeks (if keeping six weeks for off days sounds too much, you can always make it four or three weeks).
This will help you set an appropriate rate, so you won’t feel guilty when taking an off.
Know Your Priorities
Another vital factor to consider is to know your goal. If making a target sum of money each month is your priority, you always know when to say no to low paying recruiters.
But, if you are building a business, you need to work with multiple clients at a time. So, in this case, you can take several projects for lower rates.
Also, since priorities and goals change with time, you need to look into your budget frequently and make adjustments in your rate accordingly.
The Clients Make a Difference, Too
When it comes to freelancing, your relationship with the client affects your reputation. And as far as being on Toptal is concerned, you already know their performance rules are pretty strict.
So, if the client you are working with pours over a million phone calls and gives short deadlines, you need to keep your rates higher.
It is not easy to give out your best under stress. Similarly, if your recruiter has a hands-off approach, you can stick with lower rates.
Another essential factor to consider is the working frequency. For example, if your client needs you throughout the month, you can go for a lower price. This will help you build a better relationship too.
But, if a recruiter is giving you a single project once in a blue moon, then make sure you keep your rates high here.
Knowing how to effectively communicate with a recruiter when bidding will help you succeed with freelancing.
Go ahead and put your professional price out without hesitation, and get the right amount of payment for your talent.