Jen Dziura is a friend of mine who wears even more hats that I do. In addition to comedy, performance, producing spelling bees, tutoring–she also writes a career column for The Gloss. Here’s a bit of her excellent post about how to set your freelancing rates and how much to pay an assistant.
The goal of this column isn’t to actually tell you how many dollars to charge for your services, but to give you some ammo when negotiating, and to make you feel generally ballsier about quoting prices and sticking to them.
The conventional wisdom for freelancers is to take whatever you’d make per hour in a regular job and double it, since you’ll be paying your own taxes and benefits, and you’ll have to market yourself and spend time perusing contracts and a whole lot of other things you won’t be getting paid for directly. So, if you made $60,000 in your full-time gig, you’d divide by 52 weeks per year and then 40 hours per week to get $28.85 per hour. Double it and round up for good measure, and you might charge $60 per hour.
However, an hourly model of charging for things implies that 1) you shouldn’t be rewarded for being faster than other people (or that, if you are faster, you should lie), 2) work should be compensated based on time spent rather than output (which might be why you got out of the 9-to-5 working world in the first place), and 3) all of the hours a person puts in on a task are equally valuable.
Read the rest over at The Gloss.