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patricka

Freelance @ Home Rates

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Hey Gang,

I've recently been interested in remote freelance work. I've talked with a few of my buddies about working at home, yet haven't aquired a solid rate for the situation. It's been suggested that the typical (per day) charge is applicable. However already working at a studio during the day, significantly depletes the hours i am available. If I am asked to work on a project from home and only have so many hours do do it in (6pm - 3am) would it be fair to charge per day? Should the company even know that I have a fulltime job in the first place? What are your thoughts?

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Guest Sao_bento

Hey Gang,

I've recently been interested in remote freelance work. I've talked with a few of my buddies about working at home, yet haven't aquired a solid rate for the situation. It's been suggested that the typical (per day) charge is applicable. However already working at a studio during the day, significantly depletes the hours i am available. If I am asked to work on a project from home and only have so many hours do do it in (6pm - 3am) would it be fair to charge per day? Should the company even know that I have a fulltime job in the first place? What are your thoughts?

Depends on how you do your billing. If you were on a film crew, I think the day rate covers 10 hrs and everything after that is overtime.

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Hey Gang,

I've recently been interested in remote freelance work. I've talked with a few of my buddies about working at home, yet haven't aquired a solid rate for the situation. It's been suggested that the typical (per day) charge is applicable. However already working at a studio during the day, significantly depletes the hours i am available. If I am asked to work on a project from home and only have so many hours do do it in (6pm - 3am) would it be fair to charge per day? Should the company even know that I have a fulltime job in the first place? What are your thoughts?

 

Don't forget to factor in all the $ that you are saving the company- They don't need to have a desk for you, a computer, software, tech support, or a phone. Nor do they have to pay to maintain kitchen and bathroom facilities.

 

I tend to charge more for working at home just to discourage the practice. I prefer to work in-house.

 

They should know that you have a day job. Otherwise, they will call you at noon asking for revisions by 2 or 3pm and expect you to drop everything and do it.

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So should I fix my rate so that it reflects being overtime, since I will be working after hours? Should I be compensated for not having a life of my own? It makes more sense to me to charge more during the weekdays ($80 per hour) and a little less during the weekends ($500 per day). Eh?

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Guest Sao_bento

I've been told $80 per hour is a lot. In usual circumstances, yes I will agree with that. Yet for this situation, would you consider that fair?

Depends on the location, the client, the use of the work, etc. If you can get it, get it.

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I've been told $80 per hour is a lot. In usual circumstances, yes I will agree with that. Yet for this situation, would you consider that fair?

If your client balks at that price, explain that it is not your usual rate, but circumstances require you to charge a higher rate.

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Would you ever mold your rate depending on the size of the company? If they are small time and primarily working on little bumpers and no commercials or entertainment spots, would you charge less or more? Or would you consider how long they have been in the game?

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Would you ever mold your rate depending on the size of the company? If they are small time and primarily working on little bumpers and no commercials or entertainment spots, would you charge less or more? Or would you consider how long they have been in the game?

 

It depends. If I liked them, and liked working there, I might be flexible if the job was low-budget but fun to do. If the company was small-time, I would probably not work there, unless they had an interesting project coming up.

There are definitely places that are just about the profit margin, doing bumpers and stuff that isn't really creative at all, with no ambition to grow into higher profile work. It will be a paycheck, but not a place to grow as an artist.

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If you're already putting in 10 hours somewhere you should charge accordingly if you're working at night.. Otherwise, whats the point of the second job besides losing sleep and your mind?

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I don't agree. It's not the clients fault you have a full-time job and have to work on it at night. It's freelance .. it's on the side .. it's remote .. why should they pay more for that? It's your choice to work the extra hours .. I think it should just be your standard rate. If you don't want to give up your free time .. don't take the extra work. But I don't see any reason it should be charged higher than normal. My 2-cents.

 

If you didn't have a full-time job I'd agree with the others .. or if you were full-time freelance. But not in this case.

Edited by jasfish

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I think $80 is maybe a little to light, I know of post houses that charge $130-$160 an hour. That's why I bill out at around $100, on a 20hr project I'm saving them over a thousand dollars, there usually happy to pay it. I think the biggest thing is, what is your time worth between the hours of 6:00pm-1:00am and bill accordingly.

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I'm glad someone else thinks this is undercharging.

A one-person studio could not maintain a business on $80 an hour. There are too many hidden expenses. Equipment, software updates, cards, dvd reels, URL, not to mention telephone, fax, extra meetings. Most importantly, you don't work every day. It's not out of the ordinary to go for weeks without a paycheck. When I left freelancing, around 2002, the good designers were charging $1,200 a day to work from their studio, and it's depressing to see people selling their their skills and talent for so little.

 

People who already have a job so feel they can take less are being shortsited because the odds are that at some point, they too will be in the freelance pool.

 

For perspective, kids right out of lawschool are being hired at $145,000 a year, plus expensive meals ordered in while on the job, and limos home when work goes late.

 

I think $80 is maybe a little to light, I know of post houses that charge $130-$160 an hour. That's why I bill out at around $100, on a 20hr project I'm saving them over a thousand dollars, there usually happy to pay it. I think the biggest thing is, what is your time worth between the hours of 6:00pm-1:00am and bill accordingly.

Edited by tomcat

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We're not lawyers but the I agree with your point on charging.. The more everyone charges accordingly the better it is for everyone else in the long run.. Too bad its taboo for people to discuss their rates and what should be charged for projects.. and i'm not just talking about the crappy craigslist $15/hr gigs.

 

For perspective, kids right out of lawschool are being hired at $145,000 a year, plus expensive meals ordered in while on the job, and limos home when work goes late.

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As someone who has done a lot of freelance both on-site and off-site. . .and now being a boss-man and hiring these types. . .there are a couple of things everyone in the thread is missing. . .

 

It is your SKILL that will determine rate. On select occasions, when we have an established relationship with a freelancer, or the task is very time consuming (i.e. rotoscoping) we'll allow a freelancer to work from home. We do not increase the pay. . .it's more like a bous to be able to work from home.

 

Unless you have a dozen machines, proprietary software, every plug-in on the planet (and the underestanding of when and how to use them!) there's no real benefit for an employer to have you work off-site. Typically, freelancers as LESS PRODUCTIVE working from home! I might get some flack from all of you freelancers out there in this. . .but i did say "typically". . .that doesn't mean EVERYBODY!

 

I'd recommend being flexible on your rate depending on the project. If you REALLY want to work from home, discount it! You should not consider your 6pm - 3am time as OT. . .that's your self-imposed work schedule. Go more by what type of project it is. . .if it's very intense, quick turn around. . .alert your client and just charge them some additional hours. Have an hourly AND a day rate and see which works out better for you.

 

Make sure the quality of your Full-time work and your after hours work don't suffer from burning the candle at both ends. . .employers will be less likelyto pay your rate if the work is crap.

 

pay range:

 

just out'o'school design no experience - $150/day

high end art direct/design, 3d specialisty - up to $1000/day

 

I'd say the average I've seen is $350/day

 

remember also that the employer will EXPECT a level of work equal to the level of pay. . .if you go in asking for $500/day. . .you better deliver top notch work.

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I'm an at home freelance graphic artist and I charge $40/hr for MONTHLY 3D contracts that amount to more than 15 hours per month. Less than 15hrs/month is at $60/hr

 

I know I'm cheap, but I'm not totally up to industry standards either. I also live in a graphically depressed region of the world and so my price reflects what I've been able to pull.

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Not to veer this discussion off into the much discussed hourly vs firm bid topic, but in your situation I believe you're better off with a firm bid on the project rather than an hourly rate. That way you and your client both know what's expected and what it will cost ahead of time, and you can tailor your work to the budget. I work 100% from my home studio, and only quote hourly rates if the client absolutely insists. I have my own internal hourly rate that I use as a starting point for bidding, but there's a lot more that goes into a project than hours. Here's an example:

 

On a recent project I was asked to do a short VFX shot of steam exploding out of a cooking pot. Everything was already in the footage except for the steam. I bid the project out at $1,000, and the client agreed to the amount before I started. Now, it just so happens that I know Trapcode Particular pretty well, and have done a lot of smoke and steam with it. So, I whipped this thing off in about an hour, and it looked great; client loved it, etc. Obviously my rate is not $1,000/ hour, but you have to factor in what you're giving to the client as well as the time you put into it. A less experienced desinger might have taken 10 hours getting that shot right; should he get paid more for taking more time than me? Of course not. The situation is similar to visiting the doctor; he spends 2 minutes examining you, writes a prescription, and leaves. You pay him $250, but you're not only paying for his time, but his years of experience, education in the field, etc.

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There's a ton of great info in this thread. . .might be useful to actually DEFINE what "freelance" is. . .or maybe better yet. . .a couple of distinct subsets?. . .because it's a term that's tossed around like a mexican hooker in the back of the A-team van!

 

ON-SITE FREELANCE - work for hire done on a daily or project basis. pay is generally per hour, day or project. You are under design supervision by a creative director or art director and a producer. work is done on company's gear and software.

 

OFF-SITE FREELANCE - work for hire done on a daily or project basis. pay is generally per hour, day or project. You are under design supervision by a creative director or art director and a producer. work is done on you personal gear and software.

 

FREELANCE STUDIO - work for hire done on a project basis. pay is generally per project. You may be working under client supervision, but in this subset, you are essentially running a business and managing yourself and not realying on a company's management/infrastructure. work is done on your gear runs through your pipeline. Your client may be an ad agency, network or corporate entity but wouldn't generally be a design firm.

 

ROTO MONKEY FREELANCE - you work in a hole, recieve less than 8 minutes of sunlight a day, on a G3 given to you by your girlfirend's little brother. you work for bananas.

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