Set Your Freelance Rate To Twice The Hourly Rate For An Employee

Set Your Freelance Rate To Twice The Hourly Rate For An Employee
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When you first start out working for yourself, it’s tricky figuring out how much to charge. Usually it involves a lot of maths and knowledge of your industry and market. Seth Godin offers a simple suggestion: Charge at least double the hourly rate you’d be happy with as a full-time employee.

Money picture from Shutterstock

This is his advice for successful freelancers, and he says in many fields you might need to charge even four or five times the hourly rate. The reason is pretty simple: when you’re a freelancer, clients come and go and you need enough to sustain you during the lean times. (Also, taxes need to be factored in.)

Your mileage may vary, but one sure route to becoming an unhappy freelancer is charging just enough and hoping that the low price will keep you busy all the time.

Godin also recommends spending at least half your time getting better at your craft.

While not all of us have the reputation or experience to charge high rates out of the gate, it’s something to strive for if you want to be a happy freelancer.

Double and half (freelancer maths) [Seth Godin]


  • My missis works as a freelance contractor and many of her (temporary) colleagues resent that they get paid less than she does for similar work. What they haven’t factored is not just the income insecurity but also that freelancers get no employer super contributions, or paid sick leave, or annual leave.

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