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How much should my hourly rate be?

Discussion in 'General Forum' started by hoyee15, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. hoyee15

    hoyee15 New Member


    I had a meeting with the manager of a small graphic designer company in my local town at the weekend. I have some marketing and PR experience in my previous role as a marketing assistant and he was interested in me doing some similar work for him on a freelance basis. He asked to me to think about what my hourly rate would be, to begin with it will just be for a few hours on a Saturday. So realistically what should I say? It’s a small business but it’s ticking over well considering the recession and I am in the South West.

    I’ve been advised by my family and friends to say about £10 or £12 an hour and I’m not sure if I’m under-selling myself or over-selling!

    Any advice would be appreciated.
  2. sarahsrays

    sarahsrays New Member

  3. mjandrew

    mjandrew New Member

    I would recommend going in higher. £10 to £12 an hour really isn't that much especially in the south west.
  4. jenny_adams

    jenny_adams New Member

    Go higher, definitely! :eek2
  5. Stellaz74

    Stellaz74 New Member

    Hi there.
    Go higher! If you go too low it doesn't do anyone any favours - if you undercut all the established freelancers it creates friction and also you won't earn the going rate. Putting up rates with an existing client is never easy and you don't want to be stuck on a low rate!
    I've been freelancing for almost 10 years now. My starting rate in London and the South East was £12 through an agency in 1999. I now charge a minimum of £20 through a agency and £25+ if going direct. I believe agencies charge between £25-£30 and you get around 80% of that.
    I have heard that rates may be sliding a little due to the current climate, but not by more that a pound or two!
    Hope this helps!
  6. j0nesy

    j0nesy New Member

    Always, always, always inflate your rate. If your say your looking for £15 per hour, you'll get £12. if you say £12 you'll get £10. Work out what you feel is the right rate for you, given the job role and your skills/experience/qualifications, then add 20%.
  7. rich months

    rich months New Member

    Don't forget that if you're going to be self-employed you need to consider any additional taxes or NI contributions.

    Maybe look at a few job boards to find what the market rate is in your area (and if you feel like a small goodwill gesture offering yourself for slightly lower than this)
  8. johnthecoach

    johnthecoach New Member


    You have some great advice so far. Whatever you suggest, say £25 or £15 hour, chances are you'll get the same roll of the eyes, and negotiation schmooze will kick in: "Really? I was only thinking of paying around £X." - followed by some justification: "It may well turn into more hours - but i want to see how it goes first." etc, etc.

    So, go in high and expect to drop back.

    But also, look beyond this job, and ask yourself, What could this job be a stepping stone too? What experience/skills will you gain?

    Be quite ruthless and focussed on your own learning needs that will benefit you in the job after and the one after that.

    By this, I mean that the experience you gain here might lead to a much better rate elsewhere later - so always be on the lookout to extend and widen your skillbase.

    Freelance Coach
  9. addmeup

    addmeup New Member

    yes i agree... you have to take into consideration the rates that's being asked in the market. even if the company might be that interested in you but if you are asking too much maybe they'll look for another with lower rates than you but have the same expertise and/or experience that you have.

    Consider the market trend, that's the idea.

    hope this helps.
  10. StevenBonner

    StevenBonner New Member

    I charge £25 per hour to agencies or £200 per day (whichever comes first), but raise that to £40 per hour for private businesses because I then have to deal with all the extra stuff that clients throw at me, which inevitably eats into my day more.

    It's still a lot cheaper than someone would pay at an agency, for in my opinion, the same level of service.

    After all, up until 2 months ago, if someone came to me as part of my agency, I would charge them at least £60 an hour as I had overheads that needed to be paid for. This way, I'm still doing the same job, but a helluva lot cheaper.
  11. clairelitt

    clairelitt New Member


    I'm a freelance Interior and Exhibition Designer and when I started out the advice I received was to charge between £20 - £30. Start low and then if you get more work than you need you can aim higher.

    Look at what your competitors would charge and also bear in mind how much another company would charge you out at. I was charged out at £500 a day by one company once, so if you are working direct with companies offering graphics services then you'll likely still be undercutting bigger companies.

    Hope that helps. As other posts said remember no sick pay, holiday etc...
  12. Lupita

    Lupita Member

  13. can i ask what it is more specifically you do for a client and what training you have done. I have A-Levels in Graphics, Media and Film studies and i'm pretty handy at photography but going to uni i'm not sure what area to pursue so any guidance would really help.

    Not a great help but a saying I was once told, "if your not embarassed by your first offer its not high enough" just expect to get knocked back to some agreement, you never know you might get a nice surprise.

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