PDA

View Full Version : What to charge for freelance design work?



RustySpanner
8th January 2009, 11:39 PM
Hello forum,
I'm starting out doing some freelance design work, have a couple of clients, and am wondering what I should charge?
I've been in the pre-press industry for ten years, and can knock up a layout or book pretty quickly, and to a very high standard of quality.
I'm thinking $80 per hour. I can make a poster in this time, or two format two pages in a book.

Any thoughts?

Musky
8th January 2009, 11:45 PM
the way I always work it is to figure out what you want to earn per year after tax, GST whatever and divide it by 52 (working weeks), then divide it by 5 (for working days) then divide it by 6 (for working hours, leave 2 hours per day for admin tasks) add on taxes etc and there you have your hourly rate.

But always keep that number to yourself and quote clients for a project (work out the hours you think it will take and double it as it always takes longer once you get into corrections and prepping stuff) unless they absolutely insist on hourly rates, remember some clients you will be able to charge more (Apple) and some less (St Vinnies)

hope that helps

SRG
8th January 2009, 11:51 PM
Perhaps also think of slightly lower rate early to get some clients and work into your portfolio.

I have someone doing some design work at the moment and her teacher was suggesting about the rate you plumped for early work to her.

As musky notes also consider the ability of the client to pay the rate.

Good luck with it :thumbup:

avolve
9th January 2009, 01:51 AM
You need to factor in all costs associated with your work. One measure i have noted is a charge-out rate of ~3 times what you will actually pay yourself. This will cover admin hours, externalities (hardware/software, other stationary, etc)...

You can also charge a sliding scale for different types of work. For jobs that require travel, a half-rate is often charged.

RustySpanner
9th January 2009, 11:45 PM
Great suggestions guys, thanks.
I'm going for my first meeting today, I think I have enough of an idea of what to charge now. I also have a cheap printer who I can use, so I can bolt a bit of extra cost in there if the client chooses to print through me.
Fingers crossed this all goes well!

EdgeOfQuarrel
10th January 2009, 01:07 AM
just hope your clients don't want to pay you in itunes gift cards

RustySpanner
10th January 2009, 07:49 AM
I know, I always have problems trying to cash those in at the bank.

conufsed
10th January 2009, 07:58 AM
the way I always work it is to figure out what you want to earn per year after tax, GST whatever and divide it by 52 (working weeks), then divide it by 5 (for working days) then divide it by 6 (for working hours, leave 2 hours per day for admin tasks) add on taxes etc and there you have your hourly rate.

hope that helps


So you don't take holidays, or take time off for personal development (learning new skills, confrences etc)

Also take a look at Freelancing Tips via Rails Camp 4 : Freelancing Gods (http://freelancing-gods.com/posts/freelancing_tips_via_rails_camp_4), was written for developers but does contain some relevant advice

Phase
10th January 2009, 08:03 AM
I find 'Charge what you think you're worth' works well.

tanguero
10th January 2009, 08:21 AM
Some good advice above.
I sometimes add a "personality tax" for clients that I know will need extra hand holding or are particularly unpleasant to deal with.
Quoting and charging by the project rather than the hour allows you to hide these hidden taxes.

smdnetau
10th January 2009, 08:41 AM
Hello forum,
I'm starting out doing some freelance design work, have a couple of clients, and am wondering what I should charge?

As much as you can get away with.


I've been in the pre-press industry for ten years, and can knock up a layout or book pretty quickly, and to a very high standard of quality.
I'm thinking $80 per hour. I can make a poster in this time, or two format two pages in a book.

$80 sounds about right. I usually quote on jobs as a whole as opposed to quoting an hourly rate. I don't quote the hours either but will log them in Billings to give me some historical data that I can use for similar jobs in the future.

Are you factoring in your rent, software, electricity, tax, hardware costs, coffee/tea money, food etc? If you're living off it then it's helpful to spend some time in front of the spreadsheet. You might find that $80 will or won't be enough.


Any thoughts?

A wise Welshman once said, charge for each job what you think it's worth to the client not what you think you can do it for. My rates vary depending on the work. For the bigger jobs, for big corporates, my rates are higher. For some jobs it's astronomical because the job is worth a lot to the client.

Good luck with it!

RustySpanner
10th January 2009, 10:25 AM
Thanks guys, more great advice. I have a good paying job, so I'm not having to consider living off the money I make freelancing, but I need to make sure I don't rip myself or the client off. The overheads are very low because I'm doing this from home, and I already have enough equipment to get started (macbook + CS4), and as I make money I will buy more equipment so I can provide better service.
I really appreciate the advice, I will keep it in mind when quoting. The most important point seems to be not to charge an hourly rate, instead use judgement as to what the client can afford to pay.

Any good tips on handling the print work? I want to present to the client a total cost including design and print, obviously I outsource the printing to someone else, and put a profit margin on top. I'm worried about having to pay the printer before the client pays me - essentially, this means I'm giving the client a form of credit. Is this best approached by asking the client for a percentage up front to cover printing costs?

Musky
10th January 2009, 11:06 AM
a method I've used in the past is to get the printer to invoice the client directly and put a 'print management fee' into their quote and invoice, this gets kept by the printer as credit for you and then whenever you want to you can use that for your own print work or you can invoice the printer for misc design work

RustySpanner
15th January 2009, 10:46 PM
Thanks to all who helped, I've got ongoing work with one client now. I went in with a cheaper initial price, but through charging for corrections and putting margins on outsourced work am making up for that. Now to build up a few more clients...

SRG
15th January 2009, 10:48 PM
great stuff mate good to hear some good news in the current environment.