3 systems to find your freelance hourly rate

Deciding on a contract hourly price might be nerve-wracking — particularly in case you’re a brand new freelancer.

You don’t need to cost an excessive amount of and lose potential purchasers. On the opposite hand, you don’t need to undersell your self and lose out on potential income.

So what’s a brand new freelancer to do?

Fortunately, there are just a few guidelines of thumb that you should use to discover a good freelance hourly price to begin with. I’m going to stroll you thru every one and even provide you with a tip on how one can RAISE your price sooner or later.

Let’s get began.  

three key issues to recollect for a great freelance hourly price

Earlier than you bounce into the principles of thumb to calculate your freelance hourly price, remember three issues:

  1. Bear in mind your overhead. Freelancing offers you loads of freedom and suppleness in the case of when and the place you’re employed. Nonetheless, freelancing may also be a value burden in sudden methods too. That you must issue that in when contemplating your price.  

    For instance, you may lease out a coworking house (~$200/month). You’re going to wish web (~$50/month). You’re going to wish telephone service to take shopper calls (~$70/month). All of that added up goes to impression your backside line.

  2. Have a purpose wage. Ask your self, how a lot do I need to earn in a single yr? Think about your overhead in addition to your month-to-month bills to search out out what your purpose wage could be.

    Not solely will this come into play later, however setting targets may give you focus and motivation to complete your targets. For extra data on setting a great purpose that you just’ll accomplish, take a look at my article on SMART targets

  3. That is simply the beginning. It’s straightforward to get dejected as a brand new freelancer while you take a look at your first freelance hourly price. It’s in all probability going to be low in all chance. You may even work without spending a dime sometimes whilst you’re increase a great portfolio.

    BUT it’s vital to remember the fact that this received’t be your wage endlessly. It might sound low at first — however freelancing permits you to scale your earnings. That’s a part of the explanation why I LOVE it a lot.

Later, I’ll present you precisely how one can scale your freelance hourly price so that you’re incomes extra. For now, let’s bounce into the primary system to search out an hourly price.

Freelance hourly price #1: Drop three zeros

Bear in mind your purpose wage? Take that quantity and drop three zeros from it.

Voila, you will have an hourly price!

For instance, say you’d actually wish to earn a minimum of $40,000. Simply drop the three zeros from the tip and also you now have your price: $40 / hour.

“Hey! That math doesn’t make any sense,” you is perhaps saying. “If I work eight hours a day for $40 an hour, my wage could be $76,800 a yr!”

That’s true. Nonetheless, this rule of thumb accounts for the truth that you received’t be working eight hours a day in your freelancing function. Sporadic hours and spans of time while you simply don’t have work to do is the character of freelancing.

Additionally the purchasers don’t need to pay taxes and advantages. You do. You additionally might need to cowl a few of your individual supplies or transportation prices.

This methodology may not be good in case you’re making an attempt to cost in your very first shopper. You’re nonetheless new in spite of everything. BUT it may give you a good suggestion of the place you may go and cost later while you get expertise.

In the event you’re nonetheless caught on what your purpose wage must be, take a look at websites like PayScale or Glassdoor for good common pay charges in your freelance gig.

Freelance hourly price #2: Double your resentment quantity

I like this one as a result of it’s efficient AND it’ll fluctuate from individual to individual.

Ask your self: What’s the bottom price I’ll work for that’ll depart me resentful of my work? This the quantity that’s your flooring — absolutely the lowest quantity you’ll work for, however you’ll resent the work as a result of it’s so low.

After you have that quantity, now double it. THAT is your hourly price.

Say you’ll work for $10 / hour on the VERY LEAST. You received’t prefer it however you’ll do it. Now simply double that quantity so that you get your freelance hourly price of $20 / hour.

Now, I need you to simply be actually cautious concerning the double your resentment technique as a result of it’s straightforward to get delusional about it — particularly in case you’re a newbie.  

I do know as a result of I’ve been very, very delusional in my day. I keep in mind once I began an organization some time again. We grew it just a little bit, and hastily, we had some folks speaking to us about probably shopping for the corporate. However we had been utterly delusional about how a lot it was price.

Once we met to barter with somebody about shopping for the corporate, he mentioned, “So what do you guys assume? Any numbers in your head?” And we type of danced across the topic, however finally, we bought right down to a quantity we thought was honest — and he actually laughed.

He requested, “How’d you guys come to that quantity?” And we actually had no justification. We simply mentioned, “Yeah, that’s what we’re price. We predict that that will be a pleasant quantity. You realize, we might brag to our buddies about it.”

In fact, it had no foundation in actuality.

Now, your resentment quantity might be equally delusional. Chances are you’ll say, “Oh, I wouldn’t tutor somebody for lower than $25.00 an hour.” The reality is, you might want to do this, particularly at first to get your first few purchasers.

After you get three, 4, 5 paying purchasers, you’re going to have a significantly better thought about what your actual resentment quantity is.

Freelance hourly price #three: Do what the subsequent man does

I actually like this methodology due to its simplicity.

When doubtful, do what the subsequent man does.

What does this imply? Discover the going price for different freelancers in your expertise stage and cost that quantity or just a bit above.

Many freelancers hate to listen to this. They’d somewhat say issues like, “Cost what you assume you’re price and ignore everybody else!”

Sorry, however right here’s a actuality test: Provide and demand is actual.

As somebody who incessantly hires freelancers, I can attest to this. Some time again, I had two completely different freelancers charging two completely different costs. I’m speaking a couple of distinction of 100%.

Each freelancers had been equal in high quality. Nonetheless, one was charging DOUBLE the opposite one as a result of they clearly didn’t know the going price.

Who do you assume I employed? In fact, I’m not going to pay double the worth. As a shopper, I’m going with the cheaper choice!

That’s why it’s so vital to search out the going price and cost equal to that or just a bit bit over (~10% extra).

Listed below are just a few good methods you will discover the going price:

  • Verify job listings on websites like Glassdoor to see what different corporations are paying.
  • Google common hourly charges in your particular business.
  • Ask your pals or colleagues who’ve employed freelancers earlier than.
  • Ask any freelancer buddies of yours what they charged.

Nonetheless caught? Attempt these freelance hourly charges

In the event you’re nonetheless caught on this (which is completely tremendous), listed below are just a few good beginning numbers for rookies:

  • Writing and enhancing: $30 / hour
  • Graphic design: $40 / hour
  • Tech / programming: $50 / hour

This quantity will fluctuate in your market, your positioning, and your stage of expertise. Bear in mind the quantity although so you may quote it while you’re requested (you’ll look extra skilled that manner).

Additionally, preserve your charges versatile. These numbers are simply beginning factors.

Your customary price is perhaps $40 / hour BUT in case you actually like a mission a shopper provides you, you is perhaps prepared to do it for $20 / hour and even without spending a dime. Once you do this, you may be capable of ask your shopper to revisit the cost query in a month’s time. In the event you’ve completed extraordinary work, you’ll have an enormous bargaining chip in the case of negotiating your charges.

Don’t spend greater than 30 minutes pondering this over. Simply choose a quantity and spend your time testing and validating it along with your purchasers.

That’s a significantly better use of your time than debating it and operating limitless calculations in your head as to how a lot you may make.  

That will help you much more, take a look at the 2 movies under all about what to cost. The primary one is part of a dialogue I had with Chase Jarvis. The second is a speech I gave throughout a previous 99U convention. Take pleasure in!

Tips on how to increase your freelance hourly price

Relating to elevating your freelance hourly price, all of it boils right down to when it’s best to increase your charges — not essentially how a lot it’s best to increase it by.

You don’t need to improve your price proper after you conform to your very first mission with a shopper. In spite of everything, you haven’t confirmed your self to them but.

Why ought to they pay you extra money while you haven’t given them something price paying extra for?

As a substitute, you’re going to extend your price solely after you ship a high-value product.

I’ll say that once more:

Enhance your price after you ship your shopper a high-value product.

Did you:

  • Simply end a touchdown web page that generated a ton of certified leads?
  • Create an electronic mail marketing campaign with a record-high open price?
  • Have a weblog put up go viral and improve site visitors by 200%?

That’s why I LOVE growing charges. It encourages you — the freelancer — to do nice work and ship implausible merchandise whereas letting the shopper know that you ought to be valued.

You can even increase your charges via referrals. Referrals are purchasers that you just get from present purchasers and they’re the lifeblood of any freelancer.

For just a few causes:

  1. You’ll be able to increase your costs while you get a referral. The shopper who referred you has routinely added worth to your work by recommending you. Which means you may cost extra in your work.
  2. You get higher purchasers. Once you cost extra, you’ll begin attracting high-quality purchasers who can afford you. They’re additionally a lot much less more likely to waste your time in case you’re being paid prime greenback. It’s a win throughout.
  3. You’ll be able to greater than double your revenue. Try this case examine from a contract mission supervisor who went from charging $25 / hour to $75 / hour simply by getting a referral. It is a HUGE win.

“At this level nearly all of my purchasers and contracts come via referrals,” says LaPointe. “When purchasers are proud of what I’ve completed, it’s pure for them to advocate me to their buddies and colleagues.”

And asking for referrals is simple — you probably have the proper script.

Fortunately, we have now a confirmed script from our article on how one can get purchasers that can assist you ask for referrals:


I’m so pleased to listen to that you just loved my work. If of anybody else who’s in search of my providers as nicely, I’d be grateful in case you handed my contact data alongside to them.



It’s easy, direct, and will get outcomes.

BONUS: The Final Information to Making Cash

If you’d like much more data on changing into a freelancer, be sure you take a look at our articles on the subject under:

In the event you’re actually concerned about being profitable in freelance advertising, we right here at IWT have a present for you: The Final Information to Making Cash.

In it, we’ve included our greatest methods to:

  • Create a number of revenue streams so that you at all times have a constant income
  • Begin your individual enterprise and escape the 9-to-5 for good
  • Enhance your revenue by hundreds of a yr via aspect hustles like freelancing

Obtain a FREE copy of the Final Information immediately by coming into your identify and electronic mail under — and bounce into freelance advertising immediately.

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