Pricing can be one of the most stressful aspects of freelancing: estimate too high and potentially lose the opportunity; estimate too low and you could find yourself eating extra hours. Even worse, you could potentially lose an opportunity because your potential clients could think your ultra low pricing means you don’t have enough experience.
There’s no easy answer – and there’s not a one-size-fits all answer. If you’re pitching magazines and websites, you can frequently find article or per word rates in the writers’ guidelines, so definitely start your search there. If you’re doing business with companies (from independents to corporations), you’re going to find yourself needing to create pricing that fits the specific needs of the client and the project.
These freelance resources will help you determine how to set your hourly and flat fee rates to make sure you’re appropriately covering rent, groceries and business expenses, like self-employment tax.
- The Anti 9-to-5 Guide. In addition to this great blog, I also highly recommend the book “My So-Called Freelance Life” by Michelle Goodman.
- Freelance Switch Rate Calculator. You’ll also want to check out great articles on the site regarding pricing.
- Freelance Folder. Another blog featuring a range of rate perspectives and tools.
- The Urban Muse: Are You Earning What You’re Worth? No rate calculators here but you’ll appreciate this thought-provoking post with rate evaluators like “Your 16-year-old cousin earns more folding t-shirts at American Eagle.”
Another must-have for freelancers? A mentor, someone established who can help you assess your rates and can give you constructive feedback on your estimates.
Do you have a resource that’s helped you with establishing your rates? What lessons have you learned in estimating for projects?