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Working for Freelance companies.

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Chris KwasnikWorking for Freelance companies.
by on Dec 16, 2012 at 2:09:14 am

So I finally left the day job to get more video work. I've been working with two freelance video companies part-time aside from the real job for a year, and I guess before I start doing my own I want to work for some more companies to gain experience and knowledge in this trade. I was wondering before handing out my demo reel and resume to other companies how much should I say I charge, I feel as though with the ones I work for I am charging way lower than I should be but also understand I can't give them industry rate since its under there company, corporate overhead and all of that jazz so what would be a fair rate.

Here's my little demo to show you what level my work is at.
https://vimeo.com/54838918


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Mark SuszkoRe: Working for Freelance companies.
by on Dec 17, 2012 at 3:32:44 pm

A freelancer always charges more than someone working full-time at a company for the same work. That's because the freelancer has to cover all the added expenses and benefits themselves. When you work full time for "the Man", they take care of a lot of that in the background.

What every freelancer has to do at some point is calculate their day rate and hourly rates. You base job bids on a time estimate, so many hours or ays, multiplied by that rate. The day and hourly rate is carefully calculated and represents the amount you need to get per hour to keep you not just solvent, but profitable. Any time you are paid less than your calculated day rate, you are actually losing money. Or at least, giving it away for free.

Search this forum for threads about calculating rates, there are millions of them.


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Tim WilsonRe: Working for Freelance companies.
by on Dec 17, 2012 at 6:31:18 pm

[Mark Suszko] " The day and hourly rate is carefully calculated and represents the amount you need to get per hour to keep you not just solvent, but profitable. "

The magic word is profitable. The advice I was given as a tot absolutely worked for me: figure out the hourly rate you need to cover ALL the bases (including a chair for your office, software upgrades, new gear on your chosen schedule) -- then double it. THAT's the number that will take you close to profitable, at least partly because no freelancer works a full day every day.

If that "doubled REAL expenses" number is higher than is feasible to charge in your market, you need to:

  • Figure out a way to cut costs without cheating on the math
  • Figure out a way to need less from your life. Who needs chairs, right?
  • Get a full-time job
  • Get out of this business
  • Charge
your profitable rate anyway and make the market come to you

Am I missing any options?

In any case, if you don't do that first math correctly, you're in for a world of hurt. A world of hurt with no chairs.

Tim Wilson
Vice President, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW



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Chris KwasnikRe: Working for Freelance companies.
by on Dec 19, 2012 at 6:26:59 pm

Thanks for your the responses, but before I start in the market I would technically being working for the "Man," and would 30/hr be feasible working for someone else? Not as my own freelance but under there company.


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