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Setting pricing rates for your creative services

How to set your creative freelance rates & decide your pricing


Wei Ting Yu – Makeup Artist

Setting your freelance rates as we all know can be challenging. We’ve put together some useful tips to help you with this topic. 

When you enter the creative industry and become a creative entrepreneur/freelancer,  you decide on what you’ll charge to make your business successful and earn a good salary. When working out your rates, you will need to consider a few different factors likely to impact your fee that you charge. If you haven’t determined these fee impact factors this article will help you address them. 

Here are 4 Ways to determine your freelance rate

Setting your rates is one of the most important things you’ll do before starting a freelance career, but also something that you will keep changing around with more and more experience.

But when it comes to your freelance success and work-life balance, determining your freelance rates is a key influencing factor that should not be underestimated. These are 4 ways to determine your rates. 

Put your experience forward

When setting your rates, it’s critical to take into account your real-world experience in the field. Everything from the number of years you have worked in the creative industry to the degrees and certifications you hold can be used to justify your price. Remember all the investments you made in order to get where you are now. You’ll find that freelancers tend to cluster in three main groups – junior, mid-weight, and senior. Research your creative industry category to understand your industry standards.

Look at your freelance expenses

As a freelancer, you will be responsible for paying any and all bills that come your way. So, it’s important to consider these expenses when fixing your creative service rate, or you’ll end up working longer and harder to earn a decent living wage. What sort of expenses could these be?

  • Phone & wifi expenses
  • Website development & designing
  • Advertising costs
  • Rent & utilities 
  • Software subscriptions
  • Travel expenses
  • Insurance costs
  • Taxes, pension & student loans (Very important)
  • Legal & accounting fees
  • Hardware equipment
  • Training & professional education
  • Professional membership fees
  • And have a small expense pot for emergency expenses

By working out your total creative services expenses, you’ll be able to average them across all your clients and save yourself from high overheads. 

Ask other creative freelancers

Honestly, just ask! If the thought of broaching this subject makes you shudder, rephrase the question. Ask for a range of min to high. No one knows the market better than the people who earn their bread by pitching daily. The easiest way to obtain this information is to turn to your network of creatives via Wishu, The-Dots, or Facebook Groups who are freelancing.

Set a benchmark

Lots of freelancers share their pricing strategies and pitching methods online, so you might find a lot of help on personal blogs and freelancer-focused outlets like Wishu In-App Community Tips & Insights. 

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