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Freelance marketing, how much to charge?

I have 10 years experience in marketing and communication and was approached by my old boss to do some freelance work, namely developing and launching an e-newsletter for his company, which would be about a 6 month commitment.

Any idea what to charge per hour?  My friend has similar experience and has freelanced and is telling me the going rate is around $100/hr, considering taxes and lack of benefits, but that sounds like a LOT to me.  Can you guys help?  TIA

Re: Freelance marketing, how much to charge?

  • Whoa!!! That seems VERY steep.

    I have never done freelance, so I really do not know what would work for you.

    I have a Marketing degree and I have 5 years of experience, so not as much as you, but $100 seems extremely high to me. But maybe that is the going rate?

    I guess if I were you, I would compare it to jobs you have had in the past. For example... say your most recent job that you did with similar services paid you XXXX per hour... I would then add whatever it would cost to pay for your health insurance, contribute to an IRA plan, and cover any other "loss" that you feel, and taxes you have to pay, and create your own number. I don't think I would "wing it". See how close this number is to what your friend suggests - $100. Maybe its not that far off. But maybe it is... What did your previous boss pay you when you worked there? How long ago was that? Maybe use that as a starting point, but obviously increase it, accordingly.

  • I'd figure out what your pay rate with them was on an hourly basis before and then double it. So if you made $40k per year, your hourly was probably around $20/hr. Double that for $40/hr.
  • My DH (who does a lot of freelance work) says you may want to bid the whole job, instead of charging an hourly rate.

    $100/hr SOUNDS steep, but as DH says "wouldn't be out of the ballpark depending on what topic his newsletter's about".

    It all really depends on how much research is involved, and if you are creating the content, etc....

     People will usually pay a higher price for these services....it's kind of like how convenience stores will charge more money than Wal-Mart....you are selling the SERVICE as much as you are saving them the time that it would take to do it themselves. To that company, it's probably worth it.

    GL.

  • I'm in marketing as well, and I agree with a previous poster that you should bid out the entire project rather than a per-hour fee. Chances are even if you provide a per-hour fee, they'll ask you to estimate your hours. 

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  • I'm a marketing coordinator working on billable accounts I bill at $25/hour and I have 7 years of experience as a writer/editor (this is my first foray into mkt). As a freelance editor I charge $3/page which comes out to being abour $40/hour.
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  • $100/hr sounds steep, but $25 or $40 is way too low. What is the scope of the project? Will you just be developing an editorial calendar and managing the list, or will you be designing the newsletter, coding it, testing it, etc.? Are you using a service like Emma or Mail Chimp, or will the newsletter be DIY, which requires some technical maintenance? Also, I don't think $100 is at all out of line for a larger metro like New York or LA or Chicago, but I'd think it would be on the high side for Austin (base this off where the client is, not where you are). I'd ballpark it in the $75-$85/hr range.

    Also, unless the scope is VERY clearly defined and your contract is iron-clad about things like revisions, I wouldn't quote a flat fee - you could easily get screwed. I've found the longer a project runs, the greater the chance of scope creep. If they want an estimate, certainly give them one - but base it off your hourly rate and clearly state conditions (timelines, expectations, etc).

  • I manage freelance writers/marketing specialists for my job and the average rate is about $80 per hour in the metro Atlanta area. That being said, the average hours per project is about 12.

    If you're going to be working a lot of hours, you might want to cut them a break. Is there anyone in your area you can ask so you can make an informed pitch when presenting the info to your boss?

  • It sounds a little steep but not at all out of range. I charge $50 to $75 an hour but don't have as much experience.

    My old boss explained while helping me pitch my freelance work that if you really are doing consulting for a company you have to take into account your expenses. It's not just your time they are paying for, it's your Internet connection, your paper, supplies, taxes, purchases, etc. You are an independent service they are hiring.

    Now, if they are hiring you hourly as an employee, not just consulting, I would charge less.

  • Ditto PP - you need to build in your cost for supplies (to include computer, phone and internet), taxes since you will have to report the income, etc.

    We can't tell you what to bid b/c it will vary greatly by region and scope.  But I think since you're a former employee of theirs you should have an idea of the going rate.

    As for how to quote it - I would quote them $X for the project with the written assumption that the project will take X hours.  For hours beyond that, the cost will be $x/hour.  This way they can budget for the whole project, but it protects you if they give you a zillion rounds of edits that eat up a lot more hours.
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  • Thanks, gals.  I actually wound up bidding $85/hr with the written assumption that the project would take an estimated 33 hours.  I will be copywriting, designing the template(s) for the newsletter, pulling/editing the distribution list and the project will be taking place over the next few months.  Considering that almost 40% of my salary will be going toward taxes, I think this is fair.  If I were a FT employee, they'd have to set me up with benefits, vacation, etc. 

    I'll keep you posted!     

  • image Julia_JJ:

    $100/hr sounds steep, but $25 or $40 is way too low. What is the scope of the project? Will you just be developing an editorial calendar and managing the list, or will you be designing the newsletter, coding it, testing it, etc.? Are you using a service like Emma or Mail Chimp, or will the newsletter be DIY, which requires some technical maintenance? Also, I don't think $100 is at all out of line for a larger metro like New York or LA or Chicago, but I'd think it would be on the high side for Austin (base this off where the client is, not where you are). I'd ballpark it in the $75-$85/hr range.

    Also, unless the scope is VERY clearly defined and your contract is iron-clad about things like revisions, I wouldn't quote a flat fee - you could easily get screwed. I've found the longer a project runs, the greater the chance of scope creep. If they want an estimate, certainly give them one - but base it off your hourly rate and clearly state conditions (timelines, expectations, etc).

    Dude, Julia...I'm starting to think I undercharge everyone after our various conversations on this board. I really need to reevaluate.

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