How to Calculate Your Freelance Hourly Rate

Hello everyone! Welcome to my first blog post. I've never been a fan of writing but I figured starting a blog would help me categorize my thoughts, encourage me to learn new things and push me to work on more personal projects. Although I won't be posting everyday, I will try to blog as often as I can to give those of you reading insight into this design world of mine. 

This leads me into today's topic: How to Calculate Your Freelance Hourly Rate. Now, since graduating from university in June of last year, this has been a struggling subject for me. Although I had been freelancing for clients throughout university, I still felt like a newbie in the game. This made me question what my talent and time was worth.

The thing was, during university my freelance clients were basically picking a rate to charge me, so when I graduated, I thought it would be easy just to continue on with that same rate. It's when I arrived back home that something clicked and I thought to myself, "Hey! I just graduated, I've got a Bachelor of Design degree in Graphic Design and I've got quite a few clients under my belt. I should probably be charging more." As I started to get settled back home, my freelance design career started taking off. My client list started to increase, I was receiving more notable clients, and I upgraded from designing an ordinary church flyer to things like branding sneaker lines and designing packaging for fashion and cosmetic brands. I say all this to say, I truly believe that as your experience in design increases, so should your worth. This all depends how good you are, and if people are willing to pay top dollar for your work of course.

Don't get me wrong, your growth in talent and experience should play a large role in what you charge for your freelance design work, but there are also a number of things you should be factoring in before making that decision; the cost of doing business and the cost of living for example.

If you were like me and you're currently struggling with what to charge your clients, I'm here to help! I came across this article which provides a clear infographic outlining the things you should factor in when considering your design rate. You can find the link here.

When you charge enough not only to survive but thrive, you find better prospects and clients!
— Sue Bryce, Photographer


The article also suggests starting your freelance career while you're still working a day job full-time. This is what I am currently doing. By day I am the sole Graphic Designer at Bermuda's largest department store, and by night I am a freelance designer working for local and overseas clients from the comfort of my bed. The benefits of working a full-time job and freelancing is that you have an opportunity to make money on the side and build your clientele. It may be tough, however this will help build the basis for an easy transition into the self-employment world when you are ready.

This article helped me confirm that my freelance rate was just fine, and I hope it will do the same for you and more. Happy pricing!