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how to set competitive hourly/project rates?

  • Hi - I'm new to the forum and am looking for advice on how to set competitive hourly or project based rates for myself as a freelancer.

    Can anyone recommend some websites for research? Is there a benefit to hourly vs project based pricing? I work in the marketing communications field.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by P in San Diego on 18th March 2008
  • Hey P, What I have done is to simply google rates for my specialty. For me that's translation, and so I just went to some websites that talked about how to set yourself up, and what to charge, then I checked out some sites that had other translators prices listed, and I went from there. I think that hourly versus project based pricing entirely depends on what you do. I would check out what is most popular for your field, and maybe stick with that for a while and see how it works for you.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 25th March 2008
  • Hey P

    It can be a big debate of charging hourly vs per project. I'm a web designer so of course my project specs will be much different than yours, so I'm not sure what is best in your case... But what I did was track my time over several client projects to come up with an average estimate to complete certain tasks.

    It's tough to get an accurate estimate, but when you finally do, you realize that you come in on jobs fairly on track (within an hour or two at most). By going per project, you realize that you win some and you loose some... but it does make things simpler.

    As far as the client goes, they know I'm getting X, Y and Z for $XXX. If you do a per project rate, just make sure to set the ground rules up front - for example, if I'm designing a site for someone, they'll know that for $XXX they are getting 1-3 designs, with 2-3 revisions each. If they end up requesting 5 completely different designs before they decide on one, well they know up front that it will cost extra. Just be sure to put this in your contract... I've been burned in the past - never again! LOL

    If it comes to things like site updates and maintenance, etc. I do charge hourly, because that's more difficult to estimate a flat price on.

    I'm an avid reader of the FreelanceSwitch blog - they've had some GREAT articles on the topic. Here are links to a few you might find interesting, below:

    Hourly vs Fixed Pricing ricing/

    Trading the Hourly Rate for Task Based Pay. Should You Do It? y-rate-for-task-based-pay-should-you-do-it/

    The Subtle Effects of Pricing on the Mentality of Clients g/

    How Much is Your Time Worth? time-worth/

    How to Start Charging Your Dream Rates and Get Away With It ging-your-dream-rates-and-get-away-with-it/

    As far as figuring out how much to charge in the first place, research of related companies can help. What's also important is to figure out how much you need to make in order to break down your hourly rate. A few more articles on that are below

    Figuring Out How Much to Charge much-to-charge/

    Nine Factors to Consider when Determining Your Price onsider-when-determining-your-price/

    The Price is Right t/

    Hourly Rate Calculator

    LOL, I swear I don't work for FreelanceSwitch - they have just been an invaluable resource to me! Goodness, though - this would make a great link list post for my blog, LOL. Think I'm going to have to do that!

    Anyway, I hope this helps a little, and Best of Luck to You!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Selene M. Bowlby on 26th March 2008

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