With well over 53 million freelancers in the US alone, more and more professionals are opting to take their valuable skills and leave the daily grind to work for themselves. And “working for yourself” can mean everything from freelancing to working as a contractor to owning your own business, or some combination of all of the above.
Many of those launching their own self-employed careers are doing so with newly formed skills as developers, designers, marketers, and writers. What’s more is that there are over 681,059 available jobs right now in the tech space—and many of them are remote or contract positions that can fit right into your freelance lifestyle. Companies are starting to recognize that it’s often more affordable to hire out to contractors or freelancers for top talent. (And working as a contractor rather than a full-time employee can also be pretty beneficial for you.)
However, before you up and quit your day job to pursue a life of freelancing, there are a few tools, strategies, and best practices that you’ll need to brush up on. And arguably, one of the most important steps is figuring out how to price your services as a freelancer so that you’ll be making enough money to fulfill your financial obligations and save enough income to cover yourself during potential lean times.
In other words, you need to make sure you can make enough money to support yourself.
It’s possible to go weeks or even months without getting a paycheck as a freelancer…but don’t let that scare you. When it comes to launching a profitable freelance business, all you need is a solid plan.
Whether you’re seeking to launch a new freelance career, or you’re taking a closer look at your business and how to get more out of it, setting your hourly rate is a huge undertaking. You want to stay competitive, but you can’t make it in the long run by being the cheapest in the industry. Unless you have an impressive portfolio of experience, you likely can’t justify being the most expensive option either.
Focus on providing value to your clients and making your high hourly rate worthwhile for each job that you land. And even if you only have a few projects in your portfolio or you have zero client management experience, you CAN set rates that will keep you in business.
To help you get started, CreativeLive has created this handy infographic to help you figure out exactly how to calculate your ideal freelance hourly rate.
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