Your Complete Guide to Setting Freelance Marketing Consultant Rates
Download Your Freelance Rate Sheet TemplateMake it easy to calculate fair and freelance marketing rates with this simple checklist:
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Research Market Rates for Your ServicesSince there’s no crystal ball that’ll tell you exactly how much to charge for marketing consulting, the best thing to do is to compare. And there’s no better place to do that than online.
1. Find Salary Research Reports OnlineThere are websites that give you access to salary research reports you can study to help you determine your freelance marketing consultant rates. For example, there’s PayScale.com. PayScale is used by both employers and job seekers. As a freelancer, you can use it to find information on how much people in your field are earning for their services. Getting a salary research report on PayScale is simple.
- Log in using your username and password (if you don’t have an account, you can log in through Facebook).
- In the search field marked “search salaries” at the top right of the page, type in “marketing consultant.”
- You will then get a market range of how much consultants are earning today. Here’s what it looks like:
2. Assess How Much Someone with Your Experience Level Can ChargeThis step can also be done on PayScale. Here’s how.
- Go to your PayScale dashboard and click I am an individual.
- You’ll be asked if you’re an employer, a job seeker, or just an individual exploring current rates. Click exploring.
- PayScale will then ask you a series of questions. You’ll give details related to your working experience, education, location, and more.
- After you’ve filled in all your details, you’ll get a customized report. It’ll look something like this:
Setting Your Own RulesAs you’ve noticed from the above reports, there’s still a huge dollar gap your proposed freelance marketing rates have to fit into. How do you pick the exact freelance marketing rates to charge for each project?
1. Determine How Much You Need to Earn per Year (Costs and Overhead)Step one is coming up with the fixed amount you need per year. Take out a pen and paper (or open your go-to computer program) and make a list of your expenses.
- List down monthly expenses like mortgages, insurance, car payments, energy bills, and grocery items.
- List down recurring expenses like dental appointments, medical checkups, and car maintenance.
- Put in a category for emergencies and unexpected expenses.
2. Determine How Much You’d Like to Earn per YearAfter you’ve listed all the necessities, it’s time to go for “luxuries.” These are expenses that’ll make your life pleasurable and worthwhile. Some of them include:
- Family trips
- New gadgets
- Designer clothing, bags, and shoes
- Gym membership
- Books and educational items
3. Determine How Many Hours You’ll Need to Work vs. Would Like to Work to Meet Your GoalsYour earning goals aren’t the only determiners of how much your fees should be. You also need to consider the kind of lifestyle you want to have. Here’s how.
1. Find out How Much You Need to Earn per Week.For example, you need to earn $65,000 a year. Divide that into 52 weeks. That’s $1,250 a week.
2. Estimate How Long It Will Take You to Finish a ProjectLet’s say you have a project that’ll take you 40 hours to complete. If you charge $1,250 for this project, you’ll be working around eight hours a day from Monday to Friday. However, maybe you don’t want to work a 40-hour week. There’s a reason you’ve decided to become a freelancer, and maybe it’s because you want to spend more time with your family. If this is so, you can charge double for the project and complete it over two weeks. The result? You’ll only be working four hours a day. That’s more time spent doing other things you love to do.
Decide Whether You’ll Charge per Hour or Per ProjectDeciding whether you’ll charge freelance marketing consultant rates per hour or per project can be tough. What it boils down to is exploring the pros and cons of each and then deciding what will work for you.
1. The Pros and Cons of Charging Freelance Marketing Consultant Rates per HourPro: Charging per hour is a good idea if your project requires a huge amount of work with considerably small output. For example, you’re asked to determine a business’s marketing message. Although the output will only be a few sentences, you need to spend hours researching and brainstorming. In this case, charging per hour is more beneficial than charging per project. Pro:
- You get to earn a fair amount even if the project changes. Some types of projects change with time. With these projects, charging per hour protects you against doing too much work for a pre-set price.
- You earn less. For example, let’s say you’re a fast worker and can complete a $400 project in four hours. This means you’ll be earning $100/hour on the project! It’s hard to find a client who’ll pay that much per hour.
- You tend to become less efficient with your time. Since you’re paid per hour, you slow down on your work. Professionally, this will do you harm in the long run.
2. The Pros and Cons of Charging Freelance Marketing Consultant Rates per ProjectFor many freelancers, charging per project is more appealing than charging per hour. Still, looking at the pros and cons will help you determine what’s best for you. Pros:
- When you charge per project, you enjoy more freedom with your time. Imagine you’re given a project that’s due in a week’s time. If you can complete the project in a day, you have six free days to do what you want. On the other hand, charging per hour will have you hard at work every day of the week.
- Experience will improve your speed. As you take on more projects, you will find yourself working faster and faster. This grows your earning potential for the future.
- You can earn more by helping clients get over the psychological hurdle of paying per hour. Here’s an example:
- You won’t earn for revisions. If the client is unhappy with part of your work, you’ll have to change it without extra charge.
- You can sell yourself short on complex projects. If you don’t know exactly how much work a project will take, you can earn less if you make the wrong estimate.
3. How to Determine Which is Best for YouThere’s a heated debate going on about whether charging per project is better than charging per hour. But you don’t need to get into it. For you, it boils down to what projects you’ll take on and how you work.
- Consider the type of project you’re taking on. If it is complex and you don’t know how long it’ll take you to finish, charge per hour.
- Consider the type of worker you are. If you work quickly, have years of experience, and get better with time, charge per project.