GUIDE • 4 mins

How To Set Your Rate As A Freelancer (Step by Step Guide)

Ashley Gillen

As a consultant or freelance marketer, you are in charge of your own rates. There is no set amount that you must charge for each project, which can be both liberating and daunting at the same time. Instead, you have to determine what is fair and equitable for your skill set and experience level. However, that's easier said than done. In this article, we'll cover what you need to take into consideration when setting your freelancer rate.

The Challenge Of Setting Your Prices

It can be challenging to establish your pricing strategy, especially because it can wildly vary depending on your ideal clients, experience, industry, and the current freelance market around you. When you set your rates too high, then you might end up losing projects to other freelancers with a lower rate. However, if you set your rates too low, you might not receive the compensation you deserve for your skillset. The good news is that you can change and modify your rates as much as you want. In other words, you're not stuck with the initial prices you set.

To protect your privacy and negotiating power, sites like Publicist won't publish your exact rate. Instead, clients will see your rate reflected on a scale of 1 to 5 "$" signs.

Should I Stick To Hourly Or Daily Rates?

While it might seem tempting to charge hourly rates, it's not going to yield the best outcome in terms of profit or even being efficient. When you charge an hourly rate, you're going to have to make sure you understand the exact amount of time it will take you to do each task, which isn't always realistic, depending on the project you're working on.

Plus, if you have years of experience, a task that would take a beginner three hours might only take you 15 minutes. However, that doesn't mean that you should only charge your client for 15 minutes of work. Instead, you should be compensated for your value and expertise. Moreover, suppose you're working on a freelance project that has specific time requirements or deadlines. In that case, hourly rates will be challenging for both parties involved because it's difficult to track the exact hours someone is spending on each task.

Instead, choosing an hourly rate will allow you to determine how much you need to make per day in order to stay profitable and make the work worthwhile. So while the work itself might not need to take 8 hours, you'll still be making enough money to cover your expenses.

How To Determine Your Rates

Before you determine what a fair rate for freelance marketing should be, there are some things that you should take into consideration first, including:

Your Ideal Salary

First, you'll want to consider your ideal salary and divide it by the number of days you want to work per week. For example, let's say you want to make $100,000 a year and only work five days a week. That means you would work a total of 260 days a year. Divide $100,000 by 260, which equals $385. That means that you would ideally want to charge $385 as your base daily rate in order to meet your yearly goal.

Integrate Freelancing Expenses

Besides your ideal salary, you also need to incorporate business expenses into your daily rate. For example, you'll need to pay taxes, health insurance, business insurance, marketing costs, software subscriptions, or anything else you use for your business. Add up these costs and factor them into your total salary amount to ensure you're not taking away from how much you make.

The Amount Of Experience

In order to determine a fair freelance rate for your skill-set and expertise, you should research the average rates other freelance marketers charge. Typically, the more experience you have in a field or advanced degrees you've earned, the more you're able to charge for your services. For example, while mid freelancers might make around $300-500 per day, senior freelancers make closer to $600-$1,000 per day.

Market Rate Of Services

In some freelance markets, you might not be able to charge as much as others. As a benchmark, in our experience, marketeer fees tend to range between $65-$300 per hour. This varies greatly depending on one's resume, overhead and demand. For your average marketing consultant, fees are most commonly in the $150-$300 per hour range. Understanding how much you can make for specific skills might help you determine what services you decide to offer to maximize profits and reach your

How Often Should I Reevaluate My Rate?

Now that you know how to calculate freelance rates, it's essential to figure out when is the best time for you to reevaluate your rate. Since freelance pay can vary widely depending on each project and task at hand, there isn't a set amount of time in which freelance marketers should wait to reevaluate their prices. Instead, consider these two things before you contemplate a freelance rate increase:

  • Client Feedback: If you're working with clients on repeat engagements, then it's vital that you take into consideration their feedback before making any decisions about increasing or decreasing your rates. If you're providing a freelance service that is consistently hitting or missing client expectations, then it might be time to adjust your rates accordingly.

  • Knowledge And Skills: On the other hand, how much you know and what skills you have can also impact freelance rates. As you continue with your freelancing career, you might offer additional services, strategies or boost your knowledge with extra training and courses that could positively impact your freelance rates.

If you've determined that it's time to raise your rates, limiting your increases from 5 to 10% is standard. This helps ensure that your current and potential clients are not turned off by your rates or choose another freelancer. The only time you may want to consider a significant increase is if you find out that you're severely undercharging for your services when compared to the market rate.

Professional rates are a complex topic to broach. Many professionals feel pressured by their peers or uncomfortable talking about salaries because it seems like a taboo subject. However, it's essential to take the time to understand your rates and what's fair from both a consulting and freelance standpoint.

So while there may be an overarching question about what constitutes fair pay among professional colleagues, at least one thing remains definite: staying aware of changes in our industry can help us make better-informed decisions when it comes to setting our own professional fees. In addition, it helps to ensure that you're able to meet your salary goal and continue growing as a freelance marketer. Need more resources? Check out our additional content on The Spin today.