Freelancing is far from simple, but when it comes to nailing down your hourly rate, that’s just downright hard.
How much are you worth? How much is your work worth? How much are you worth in comparison to your peers in your industry? How specialized and demanded is your service? The answers to these questions and more can impact your rate of charge, which in turn can impact how many contracts you reel in.
For some industries, such as editorial, design, and engineering, contract work is the best avenue to take to land work and income. Startups and small businesses depend on many of these contractors for reliable and affordable services, but are they fairly priced? Are the prices competitive without being cutthroat?
A quick search online reveals many models and equations to figure a fair price, but “fair” is so incredibly subjective that you can’t be entirely sure whose side “fair” is taking.
So what would happen if you started from scratch, working your hourly rate up dollar by dollar until you reached a peak? Essentially, scrapping most of those questions and pushing buttons to see just how far you can take your for-hire sign. This idea makes quite a bit more sense that it sounds.
Check out the story about how a designer did just that at Fast Company Labs, written by John Paul Titlow.