When you sit down to work on a job, time spent is money. Working as a freelancer is no exception to this rule. Yet, it can be challenging to determine just how much your time is worth when it comes to setting an hourly rate. Quite a few freelancers end up undervaluing themselves by simply choosing a rate out of thin air to get going. Put a stop to that by factoring in some of the following details when you choose the right freelance hourly rate.
Calculating Your Freelance Hourly Rate
- The specificity and demand of your niche: Certain niches are in very high demand while others are not so much. One of the research points for setting your rate is determining where your niche is on a sliding scale of demand, and also how specialized within it you are. For example, if you have plenty of experience in a high demand niche, you can set a higher price. A key part of this will be undertaking some competitor research and using the rates that you find as a starting point.
- Your control of the language: Currently, English speaking freelancers are in high demand. Whether it be customer service, content writing or web design, English for many is considered the language of business. As such, if you are a native speaker of English or bilingual, you’ll be able to charge more for this when it comes to those searching for English speaking freelancers. This same logic applies to all other languages that you speak fluently.
- Extra perks: You can increase your hourly rate by offering additional services. For example, freelance writers could offer advanced grammar and readability checks using tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway, or you could offer analytics research to improve SEO quality. These are just some of the many examples of additional charges that can mean more cash in your pocket.
- Experience and education: While education is thought to be critical to earn a sale or get a gig as a freelancer, modern research suggests that experience is just as important – if not more so. When calculating your hourly rate, factor in any formal education as well as years of experience. While you’ll always get people saying what you provide isn’t “worth” the hourly rate (haters gonna hate), research tells you otherwise!
- Expenses and overhead fees: A common factor that freelancers often overlook is overhead costs such as office supplies, rental and equipment costs. Even expenses like website hosting or premium word processor software should be factored into your hourly rate. Make sure that you work those business fees and expenses into your hourly rate so that you aren’t paying all of those out of pocket.
As far as some standard numbers, most hourly rates start at $11 or $15 for low-level positions (virtual assistants, data entry, etc.) and go up to over $100 an hour for experienced, professional niche-specific positions such as LSAT preparation courses, tutors or instructors.
Once you set that rate and you want to keep everything organized in one central hub, consider using Billbooks to help you keep track of rates, expenses, invoices and even client details in the handy dashboard.