How much can I charge as a freelancer?

Becoming a freelancer – whether that be in software development, content writing, or project management, to name a few – comes with its pros and cons. One challenge every freelancer faces, especially when they’re first starting out, is how much to charge clients. It can be daunting. You’ll be talking about money right from the beginning of the professional relationship.

Your client values your skills, knowledge and expertise in what you do, and you must be sure that you’re being paid correctly for your work. It’s important to become confident in pricing your freelance accordingly, so here are some tips to help you along the way.


Do some research


Firstly, put your research skills to use! Find some information about how much freelancers in your industry charge their clients, and whether they charge hourly, daily or by project. Compare the different rates as well as the skills these freelancers have with your own. Researching is a great first step – you’ll be able to see some rough numbers that you can perhaps base your own freelance rates on.


Calculate your overheads


The likelihood is that you’ll be working from a desk in your own home. You’ll be paying for bills, like water, electricity and WiFi; these are all things you will use when getting your freelance work done. You might also need to buy new stationary, equipment, or technology. Therefore, you’ll need to factor this is when calculating how much to charge your clients.


Do you have a target annual salary?


A lot of people begin a job with a dream salary in mind. This works for freelancing too! Work out how much you’d like to earn in a year, taking into account your overheads, holidays, and sick days. This will help you work out much your should be charging for your work. Calculate a simple version of your rate here.


Choose your pricing strategy


There are two ways to think about this: charge your client based on the time you’ve worked, or based on the project. When using the time pricing strategy, you’ll be recording the hours or days that you’ve worked on your client’s task and sending them an invoice. When using the project strategy, you’ll need to work out how long a project will take you and give your client a fixed price to be paid to you once the project has been completed.

pricing strategy

Ask about your client’s budget


You may have more than one client. Each client will vary in terms of business size, type of projects, and budget. Don’t hesitate to ask your client what their budget is, or how much they set aside to pay their freelancers. Many will give you a ballpark figure. You can then use this to negotiate a rate according to your own skills, overheads, and salary expectations.