Freelancing has been around for a while but skyrocketed the most during the global lockdown. According to stats, there are currently over 1 billion freelancers, which constitutes about 31.4% of the world’s workforce. And, it shouldn’t surprise you to learn that a huge part of modern freelancers are students.
Freelancing opens many new horizons and exciting opportunities for college students. First of all, it is a great way to prepare for their future careers. By starting out as freelancers, young people can acquire hands-on experience and start developing portfolios that will make them look good to potential employers.
Apart from that, freelancing also helps students make money for a living. It doesn’t take as much time and dedication as full-time jobs. Student freelancers can use “do my paper with WritePaper writers” to help their job-study balance by easing and ensuring high grades, which is barely possible with a full-time job. At the same time, such projects can help young people cover their tuition, fees, and even additional expenses. The only question that is always there, though, is how much to charge for your online work.
If you are a student freelancer, read this detailed guide on pricing your efforts appropriately to get on the right track!
Determine How Much You Need to Survive
First of all, before you can define your rates, you need to have a clear understanding of how much is enough for you.
Take time to calculate the minimum amount of money you need to survive each month. Be sure to consider the following expenditures:
- Tuition and fees;
- Monthly rent or dorm room cost;
- Utilities and bills you have to cover;
When you put all these together, you will have a specific amount of cash you need in order to survive. This should serve as the basis for your price formation.
Define How Much You Want to Earn on Top
No one wants to work just to cover their basic needs. So, of course, you will want to earn more than you need just to survive. Now, you have to define how much that would be.
Consider your personal needs and wishes. For example, if you want to eat out every day or travel every half year, note this down. Later, when you identify all your needs, calculate the approximate amount of money you want to earn on top of your base income.
Calculate the Number of Days You Will Be Available
Since freelancing rarely gives you a chance to earn a fixed amount of money every month, it is important to know how many days you will be able to work a year in order to calculate your rates appropriately.
You have a total of 365 days in a year. Subtract from this number weekends (around 104), vacation days (25), statutory holidays (10), and sick days (on average 5). Then, since you are a student, subtract from the remaining number around 30 days that you won’t be able to do your job due to exam prep and schoolwork. As a result, you have 191 days that you can work.
Now, translate this into hours. On average, you will be available for around 7 hours a day, which is a standard workday. If so, 191 days x 7 = 1,337 hours a year.
Calculate the Acceptable Minimum Rate
Finally, knowing how much you want to make and how much you will be able to work, you can finally figure out your minimum acceptable rate (MAR). To do this, you want to take your overall expenses (the amount of money you need to survive), add the amount you want to make on top of that, and divide this by the number of hours you can work.
- Let’s say your monthly expenses add up to $7,000. That’s $84,000 a year.
- You also want to have 35% more for personal expenses. That’s $29,400 on top of your base salary. So, the total income you’d like to get equals $113,400.
- $48,600 / 1,337 hours a year that you can work = $84 per hour.
This calculation will help you get a general idea of how much you need to charge your future clients to cover all your expenses and needs. But, this is not all. Your MAR is just a starting point.
Analyze Your Niche
When defining the appropriate fee for your freelance work, you clearly can’t set just any number without considering the type of work you do, your skills, and your experience. Or, better say, you can set any price, but this doesn’t mean that someone would be willing to pay it.
Thus, after identifying your needs, you should carefully analyze your specific niche and see how much money other specialists make.
To give you a starting point, according to Upwork, the average fees of freelancers are as follows:
- Writers – $30-40 per hour
- Programmers – $60-70 per hour
- Graphic designers– $40-45 per hour
- Digital marketers – $50 per hour
After you consider the average hourly rate for your niche, be sure to consider the following factors as well:
- Years of experience;
- Reviews and rating;
All these factors also affect price formation and should be kept in mind.
Try Different Charging Models
It is a common practice for freelancers to charge for their work hourly. But, there is a catch. Depending on the type of work you do and the speed at which you get it done, sometimes, an hourly rate might not be an option for you.
In order to make your freelancing career comfortable and profitable, be sure to consider other charging models too. For example, you could have a fixed daily or weekly rate or charge per project. Study different options and find something that fits you best.
Consider Fees and Taxes
Last but not least, when you want to rate your freelance work, you should never forget about all sorts of fees and taxes.
First of all, every freelance platform and banking system will charge you certain fees for their services. Secondly, when you start making money, you will have to pay at least an income tax based on all your earnings. Generally, you can expect to pay around 30-35% of your salary on different fees and taxes.
So, here is one more tip for you – when defining your rates, be sure that you get enough after the subtraction of all fees and taxes. This is something that many beginners overlook. But, you shouldn’t make the same mistake.
The Bottom Line
Becoming a student freelancer and landing your first project is sure exciting. But everyone who gets to this point faces the same issue of not knowing how much to charge for their work.
Hopefully, this detailed guide will help you define the appropriate rates based on your expertise, expenses, and needs. Use the tips from this article to calculate everything right. And remember that the best thing about freelancing is that it has no limits. So, the rates you define now are just a starting point for you!