Hello gang. Craig here for week three of all that agony uncle-ness, via the lovely lot at Lecture In Progress. So far we’ve talked about rejection and motivation, and we’re going to go a little formal this week – as a lot of people have questions about fees. So let’s have a whip round, eh?
First off, talking about money, in almost any situation, is bloody awful. And just like any form of pain, people find their own ways of dealing with it. So don’t be surprised if what you read here doesn’t align with how expected to be doing money things. Let’s have a look at how the majority of creative practitioners cost their working time...
Approach 1: Calculate a day rate
Lots of freelancers and agencies use a day rate – a charge per day for their work. This is by far the most popular and widely used way to cost for projects. Agency rates will be very high compared to the freelancer, but that’s because there are costs in agencies that freelancers don’t have (such as staff salaries, studio rents, etc.). But the maths in getting to your day rate is all but the same.
You have to take into account all the things you need to live and work, add them all up for the year, with a bit of top for profit. Then you need a rough idea of how many days you will want to work a year (remember holidays, but also account for dead time, as no one – not even agencies – bills for 8 hours every day). Divide your costs by the number of days, and that’s your rate.
As a guide, depending on your experience, freelance designers I’ve known or worked with can charge anything from £100 per day to £400 per day. But it really does all depend on things like experience, workflow, skills, network, demand, and how much you want to do the work you are negotiating for. This last factor is by far the trickiest – even more so than the maths, for me. You could also have a stab at this handy tool.