After spending so much time refining your skills and developing your workflow, the hardest thing to do as a creative is decide how much to charge.
If you charge too low you under value your skills and if you charge too much you price yourself out of the market. So how do you decide?
We work in an industry were there is no set rate and because our work can range depending on the variety of jobs we undertake. The time and effort we need to put into a specific task has to be considered i.e. creating a banner ad vs. developing a brand identity.
So how do we tackle such a task? When discussing this topic with students I ask them one, how many hours they are putting into developing themselves, working on their own projects and what do they have to show for themselves. Now this can be collaborations with other creatives or self-directed projects it doesn’t really matter.
From here I ask them to look into commercial projects that others have completed – I recommend using Behance as it has a variety of completed works that are generally of a high industry standard that you can reference and refer to.
This is where it gets tricky, they have to then self-assess and ask the hard question; If they are up to a commercial standard or still developing their craft and design style. I use this process because young creatives come sometime believe they are entitled to be charging professional rates of $75 – $100/$150 an hour.
Once they have this insight, I recommend the following course of action when considering their rates.
When starting out charge between $20-$25 an hour. When they believe their portfolio is of an industry standard and consists of between seven to ten pieces they can increase their rates to $40-$50 an hour. Then repeat the process of developing a further seven to ten pieces of work that builds on your previous experience to then be able to increase your rates again between $70-$100.
Once you are at this point it’s really up to you and how you see your self in the market, because again you can run the risk of pricing yourself out of the market if you go too high.
Now there are many more factors that can be considered when pricing your projects and deciding on the final rate but we can get into these another time. What we’ve looked at here is hourly rates for those just starting out.
Things To Consider
Who is the client and what are their needs
The project scope
What is their budget
Your skill level
Your ability to complete the task at a professional level
These considerations can help you determine how much to charge per hour for a project and help you determine where you are at in your career.
Hopefully this has helped you with your pricing but if you find you need a little help don’t be afraid to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.