Ever wondered if you're being paid the market rate for all the long hours you work? Well if you are working every hour God sends then maybe it's time you put your prices up. Today I'm going to have a look at typical day rates for freelance creatives, but before I start, let's think differently about the prices you charge.
By differently, I mean this: When you run a business, even a freelance creative business, the goal is not to make a living.
The goal is to make a profit.
Businesses only survive if they make a profit. Yours is the same.
So it's very important you price yourself correctly. To start, I suggest you guesstimate all of the costs/expenses associated with running your business, (Computer costs, printer costs, paper, advertising, accountants, petrol and anything else you will expect to fork out.) Let's say that figure comes to £250 a month,or £3,000 a year.
Now work out how much money you need to live for a year, including mortgage, bills, food expenses, clothes and French Pinot Noir. Oh and don't forget the taxman will always want his pound of flesh. In order to make calculations easy, let us just assume that total of all of that comes to £40,000 a year.
Add these numbers together and you need to be earning £43,000 a year. Now with holidays, weekends, reckon on a maximum of 200 working days in the year. A simple day rate can then be calculated by dividing your total costs by 200, which in this example comes out at £43,000/200 days or £215 pounds per day.
The only problem is that £215 a day assumes that you will be fully employed every available day which is unlikely. It is better to cost on the assumption of being employed 80% of the days available. Hence 80% of 200 days would be 160 and so the day rate would be £43,000/160 or £269 per day.
And £269.00 is break even. Add another £10 per day and you'll also make a small profit of £1,600 a year. So to earn £40,000 a year you need to charge around £280 a day.
So what are your chances of that happening? Below is a list of day rates for various creative types. Although some may be earning slightly more than we've published here, this is true of the majority. And frustratingly, these rates have remained the same for at least 10 years, although some may argue that digital freelance rates have increased over that time.
Creative Director: £300.00 to £500.00 per day
Creative Lead: £275.00 to £400.00 per day
Senior Designer: £250.00 to £300.00 per day
Designer: £200.00 to £275.00 per day
Junior Designer: £150.00 to £200.00 per day
ADVERTISING CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Creative Director: £400.00 to £600.00 per day
Junior Team: £200 to £300 per day
Middleweight Team: £400 to £500 per day
Senior Team: £500 to £700 per day
Junior Art Director: £150 to £250 per day
Middleweight Art Director: £350 to £500 per day
Senior Art Director: £500 to £700 per day
Junior Copywriter: £150 to £250 per day
Middleweight Copywriter: £350 to £500 per day
Senior Copywriter: £500 to £700 per day
Junior Copywriter: £150 to £250 per day
Middleweight Copywriter: £300 to £350 per day
Senior Copywriter: £350 to £500 per day
SEO Copywriter: £250 to £350 per day
Senior Artworkers: £180 to £240 per day
Mid-weight Artworker: £130 to £180 per day
Junior Artworker: £80 to £130 per day
Head of Development: £350.00 to £500.00 per day
Development Consultant: £350.00 to £450.00 per day
Senior Web Developer: £250.00 to £350.00 per day
Web Developer: £200.00 to £350.00 per day
Lead Tester: £300.00 to £400.00 per day
Software Tester: £250.00 to £350.00 per day
App Developer: £300.00 to £450.00 per day
Technical Project Manager: £250.00 to £450.00 per day
Head of Project Management: £350.00 to £600.00 per day
Senior Project Manager: £300.00 to £450.00 per day
Project Manager: £250.00 to £300.00 per day
Senior Account Director: £400.00 upwards per day
Account Director: £275.00 to £350.00 per day
Senior Account Manager: £175.00 to £200.00 per day
Account Manager: £150.00 to £200.00 per day
Account Executive: 22k to 28k
Head of Planning: £600.00 to £1,000.00 per day
Planning / Strategy Director: £400.00 to £750.00 per day
Senior Planner / Strategist: £300.00 to £450.00 per day
Planner / Strategist: £200.00 to £300.00 per day
Research Analyst / Junior Planner: £150.00 to £200.00 per day
USER EXPERIENCE & IA
Head of UX Perm: £600.00 upwards per day
Senior Information Architect: £400.00 to £550.00 per day
Senior UX Architect: £400.00 to £550.00 per day
Information Architect: £300.00 to £350.00 per day
Usability Consultant: £250.00 to £350.00 per day