Four Ways to Determine Your Hourly Freelance Rate

Whether you’re a full-time employee looking to freelance on the side or a full-time freelancer, setting rates is something we all need to do from time to time.

Courtesy of a post on U.S. News & World Report, there are a few guidelines in order to determine what to charge.

1. What were you earning at your last job? In the piece, Lindsay Olsen writes, “Start by thinking about your last salary. Break that down into an hourly rate. You’ll want to charge more than that, most likely, because you probably won’t be freelancing 40 hours a week and you’ll have many other expenses to pay above the simple calculation.”

2. What about personal expenses? One factor to consider is how much money it takes for you to live. Determine how much you’ll need to earn in a month to cover the expenses and factor this into your hourly rate.

3. What are other freelancers charging? This is important to remember. Although your own expenses come into play, the going rate is part of the equation as well. Olsen writes in the piece, “Do some Internet research to find out the going rate, and then decide where you fall in terms of experience. Some of the freelancing job boards, such as, could give you a good idea as to what other freelancers are charging.”

4. What are you comfortable charging? Once you calculate a number, be sure to confidently say it and feel entitled to it based on your skills and experience. Common sense dictates that if you make it too high, potential clients will balk but it’s always easier to go in with a higher rate and lower it during negotiations than start out too low and raise it later.