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Five Tips for Pricing Your Freelance Projects

by | Jul 26, 2013 | Articles, Freelancing | 0 comments

Pricing Your Freelance Projects

As a rookie freelancer, figuring out your price can be a difficult task. You don’t want to overcharge your services, sending potential clients away nor do you want to undercharge, leaving yourself with a paltry payday. Deciphering that optimum price can be a struggle and something that, at times, can seem insurmountable. In time it gets easier, but if you’re fresh to freelancing, chances are you could do with a helping hand – I know I did when I started out. So, without further ado, here are five tips for pricing your freelance projects…

pricing your freelance projects

See what your in-house equivalents are earning

A good place to start is looking at what your fellow creatives are earning in-house, with similar levels of experience, in a similar location, with similar responsibilities.

Search job boards and the like, sifting through until you find the roles that are most applicable to you and your situation, then, once you’ve done this, try to figure out what the earnings per hour would be and consider using this as guideline for what you should be charging.

Always keep in the mind that a freelancer’s expenses are likely to be to higher though, and factor this into your rates when you’re drawing your prices up.


Chat With Your Contemporaries

Generally, freelancers are a pretty helpful bunch and they’ll often impart advice to the rookie. That’s the experience I’ve had in the past anyway, so seek their advice if you’re struggling to find a price.

If you’ve got them in their friendship group you’ll have probably done so already, but if you’re lacking them amongst your contemporaries consider seeking them out. There’s a wealth of forums, freelance collectives and networking events where you can find them, so perhaps get involved in those.

Here in my hometown (Brighton, UK) there’s a weekly meet up for freelance designers and developers – see if your town or city has one too.


Utilize the appmosphere

The growth of the app market has been spectacular and nowadays Apple could comfortably say that there’s an app for almost everything without it sounding like a hyperbolic tagline.
As such, amongst the mass of apps out there you’ll now find some that’ll help you price up your freelance services, MyPrice the leading creation on this front. Taking into account factors like the project, client and location, as well as your education and experience, it can give you a figure to get started with.
Elsewhere, although not necessarily an app, the Freelance Switch Hourly Rate Calculator can give you a nudge in the right direction, providing you with a rough idea of what you ought to charge.

Read the reports

Study’s like Ed Gandia’s Freelance Industry Report  provide a useful asset if you’re unsure how to set about pricing yourself, as incorporated into it is a whole section outlining the most common billable rates per hour, across an array of freelance professions.

Designer, Developer, Illustrator – they’re all in there, reflecting that the majority of designers charge $70-79 p/h with most developers charging in the region of $40-49 p/h. Most illustrators, meanwhile, appear to charge between $20-29 per hour.

Now no freelance career is the same, and if these figures sound unreasonable to you, don’t be afraid to push your price up. See them as a guide as to what the rest of the market is charging, but don’t feel like you ought to be charging the same too.


Above all else, always bear in mind your own circumstances

Job boards, apps, reports, your fellow freelancers – whilst they’re all useful assets for deciphering your freelance price, always bear in mind your own circumstances when drawing your fees up.

As I alluded to earlier, no freelance career is the same, so don’t be swayed unduly by what others might be charging. Ultimately, you’ll know your own value and what your circumstances demand – knowing these, you can’t go far wrong.


About the author:

Mark James is a former freelancer who now works in-house for Crunch Accounting, UK based online accountants. He hopes to return to freelancing someday, when he’s a little more responsible with his money.

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