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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/7/15

Finances for Freelancers: What is your time really worth?

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(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Ryan Robinson recently published an enlightening graphic for freelancers on his blog. It includes great tips for calculating your hourly rate, which he gave permission to use, here.

If you do freelance work, and you feel like it's always tricky to make ends meet, this information makes it perfectly clear why that may be happening.

Ryan notes,

"What is your time really worth?

When you're a freelancer, it can be really hard to tell. As a full-time employee, your salary also takes into consideration business costs like health care, licensing, taxes, and other business essentials -- but when you work for yourself, you've got to cover all of that and more.

Often, in the interest of netting new clients and seeming like a more attractive hire, freelancers will charge as little as possible, hoping to make up for your low rates by sheer volume. This kind of pricing, which photographer Sue Bryce calls a "survival rate," is extremely risky, because it doesn't take into account the ebb and flow of work, nor does it allow you to grow your business by expanding markets or investing in marketing.

When you charge enough to not only survive, but thrive, says Sue, "you find better prospects and clients. It is that simple."

"You find people who can pay what you need to earn--then you ask them for it," she explains.

Ryan designed a great graphic to help freelancers figure this out. It's a large one, so it appears below in chunks.

How much to you want/need to make?

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Consider expenses which may have been hidden if you were employed by someone else:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Figure the costs of doing business:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Figure the costs of living:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Add the two to get your new expenses as a freelancer:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Calculate your new adjusted annual salary:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Determine your number of billable hours:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Calculate your number of billable hours:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Calculate hourly wage:

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

Now, follow the steps to figure out the hourly wage you need in order to live the life you want.

(Image by Ryan Robinson,   Details   DMCA

See Robinson's post for more info and for the original graphic in a higher resolution.
And you can download his free "Essential Guide to Launching a Freelance Career" here.
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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