Friday, May 18, 2007

How much should I charge?

“Dear Ronnie, I have just picked up a freelance job and was wondering what I should be charging for this type of project?”

I receive many emails that begin this way.
If you have ever worked on a project on your own, you have tackled the hardest part of the business...what to charge? If you haven’t, you eventually will.

There are so many factors involved that it is almost impossible to narrow it down to a science.
What kind of client will you be working for? What kind of product? Will the project be big or small? Local or national? What do you consider a decent hourly rate? Are you a senior or a junior? Where are you located (small town or big city)? Will the client want to purchase the full rights? Is there the potential for more work with this client down the road? Of course, I could go on.

Fortunately, there is help out there.
The freelancers bible...

The “Pricing and Ethical Guidelines Handbook” produced and updated every year by the Graphic Artists Guild

This book contains EVERYTHING...and I mean everything.
Pricing guidelines for newspaper illustration to CD Jackets. From web design to concepts for television commercials.
If it has to do with advertising, design and illustration, it is in there, including all the paperwork and samples of legal documentation needed to run your own business.

Of course, like salary guides produced every year, numbers range depending on the factors I stated above. However, as a starting point or even just for reference, nothing beats it and it is the first place I turn to when I am stumped.

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