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billing and rates advice

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Ryan Shoveybilling and rates advice
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 11:33:34 pm


First off, I have scanned through the posts and even searched for "rates" in previous posts. I couldn't seem to find the answers I am looking for.

Basically, I"m fresh out of college and trying to get my business going in Orlando, FL. I do some freelance after effects and final cut jobs, with some audio mixing and dvd authoring on the side. I'm trying to figure out how to charge for such jobs. for instance, I just finished a opening credit/ closing credit roll for an independent film. They offered $100, so I accepted... then it took me almost three days to get it finished after changing things around per client's request. The work felt worth more than $100 for sure.

I also created an animated HD logo and was paid $300... is that worth it? I mean, it took me about 2 days to complete the thing, working I'd say about 8 or 9 hours per day.

What kind of range should I be looking into for such work? I'd love to start putting money into my funds for new equipment and better housing. Any ideas or advice?


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Ryan ShoveyRe: billing and rates advice
by on Feb 20, 2008 at 11:36:42 pm

Sorry, just thought of another point. I do work for an Internet company where I film and code people onto a series of websites ( for example). They pay me $15/hr, which feels very low to me. Opinions? Thanks again!

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Mike CohenRe: billing and rates advice
by on Feb 21, 2008 at 12:19:18 am

if you are just starting out and want to make a name for yourself and develop a reel, you need to weigh low pay with perceived personal benefits against being taken advantage of.
If you are in business for yourself, which is ambitious right out of school, you need to consider these factors:
1. Profit - the money you keep
2. Cost of goods sold - the cost of materials and of your time
3. Overhead - the cost of electricity, paying of your gear, insurance, etc.

If your sole source of income is freelance work, then figure out how much you need minimum per month to survive, and work backwards to determine how much you need to charge.


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Joseph M. MorganRe: billing and rates advice
by on Feb 26, 2008 at 6:28:33 pm

As for web programming, you should not accept anything less than about $25/hr for that, but in Florida, you can charge around $45/hr, but only if you are fast. For e-Commerce, and complex enterprise apps, think $60/hr and up.

For any kind of freelance work, no one wants to nor should pay you to learn. Therefore, you have to try and assess how long it would take you if you have 5 years of experience. Base your rate, then, on that amount of time.


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Zane BarkerRe: billing and rates advice
by on Feb 21, 2008 at 4:04:28 am

You need to figure out what your personal hourly rate should be, and once you determine it NEVER compromise it. Accepting a low offer will only allow the customer to under pay you again in the future "but you did it for this much last time" is never something you want to hear. Also do not fall for it when they say, "if you do if for this much this time we will pay you full price next time" They will ether not come back or they will say "but you did it for this much last time". It just not worth it.

Here is a thread from the cow that talks about determining rates.

As for the whether or not your are getting under paid at your current place I cant say. Remember you are just out of college so that will play a factor in how much you can expect to be paid.

One thing to remember about what you charge on your own and what you make working for another person, is they are two completely different worlds. There is plenty of over head in a business so an employee will NEVER make as much an hour as what the owner charges for one hours of work.

Lots of things to conceder.

Insurance, and other benefits
Marketing time and costs
equipment costs

Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!

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