Many people begin freelancing, thinking that they have found the golden key to financial success, only to discover that it’s taking a lot more of their time and energy then it is actually worth. Anything that seems to good to be true, definitely is.
When considering how much to charge for your services, ask the following questions:
Why Am I Freelancing?
If you are in college and simply want to make a few dollars doing something that you love, then spending 2 hours for $5 may be something that you are alright with. However, if you are trying to pay some serious bills, quit your day job, or save up for a massive vacation, then $2.50 an hour is not worth your time (provided you live in the US). So before setting a price, ask yourself why you are freelancing.
What Do I Need the Money For?
Again, if it’s for fun spending money, then you may not care about how much you make. However, if you need to make $100 a day to cover your bills, then working for $5/hour is not going to work (do the math).
How Much is My Time Worth?
Are you an experienced marketer, healthcare professional, or socialite who can make $25-$50/hr doing other work? Then take that into consideration. Charge for your education and experience. If you deliver what you promise, people will be willing to pay you a premium.
How Much Experience Do I Have Doing This Specific Task?
If you are a doctor, but a terrible writer, then you probably cannot charge $100/article – even if that’s what your time is “worth” in the professional field. Therefore, most freelancers start off with a lower rate and charge more as time goes on. Once you a stable $5 job, start looking for a $10 job, etc. Slowly move up as your experience and skills improve.
Am I Including The Cost of Finding Clients in My Fees?
Maybe you’re thinking, “I want to make $20/hr, and it will take me one hour to write a 500 word article, therefore, I will charge $20 for 500 words!” Wait a second! You are forgetting that you will spend time finding clients, time interacting with clients, and time making changes to the order. The best way to overcome this is to charge higher rates for a single job, and then give discounts for bulk purchases. It is easy to waste a lot of time finding clients – so hang on to good ones,
What Will I Pay for Taxes?
Something that is very easy to overlook when freelancing is the extra taxes that you will pay. You know medicare and social security? Well, your employer pays for half of that for you. Therefore, almost 16% of what you make will go straight to Uncle Sam – before taking into consideration your overall income.
FINALLY! Setting on a Price
Recognize that your rate will start much lower than you are worth. As you prove yourself it will become easier to find higher paying jobs. Develop a portfolio that you can use to show clients,and satisfy every person you work for. With hard work, motivation, and a positive attitude, it’s amazing how fast you can start making a bit of cash.
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions about setting a rate for your work, please share in the comments section below.