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Freelance rates query

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Stinger88 polycounter
I expect threads like this already exist but I cant find any after a quick search. So i'll start one.

I was made redundant from a games company a few weeks ago...BOOOO! So i've been looking at my options. Applying for other jobs and putting out the word that i'm also available for freelance work. I've had a few replies but one of my friends asked what my daily rate is. I've never really given it much thought. When I was on my degree I did a bit of freelance here and there. But as I was a student I just said something like £200 a week. Which was just a number off the top off my head. I was happy to get the work at the time and it went toward my portfolio. So it was just extra Beer tokens really.

Now that i'm proffessional I think i should ask for a more proffessional rate. So what should I charge....

Having looked about at freelance sites people are charging between £15 and £30 per hour (£120 - £240 per day). Which works out at quite a bit more than I expected. Obviously some people might just be greed online and charge more than they deserve.

Should I charge proffessional rates? (which could scare the clients away)

or

Should I be charging roughly the same as the (much lower paid) full time job I had?

I dont want to over or under sell myself. I know I should be asking for what I think my work is worth. I'd be happy to say £100 per day, hell I'd be happy to say £50 per day for now. Just to earn some cash.

Just wondered if anyone had any advice on the matter before I go and make a fool of myself and ask for £240 per day (I WISH!)

Replies

  • Ben Apuna
    You should charge whatever you need to charge in order to be happy and thrive. That amount will be different for everyone.

    Calculate your living expenses + work expenses (software, hardware, web site hosting, electricity, self-employment tax (not sure how that works for UK...), etc...) + some profit + extra to cover the times when you don't have work.

    If you go lower than that you'll not make it in the long run as a freelancer, even if you do you probably won't be happy about it.

    By charging cut throat low rates you'll attract the "wrong" clients.

    Don't feel bad if you get ripped off the first time out, I believe it happens to pretty much everyone.

    Best of luck :)
  • Wahlgren
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    Wahlgren polycounter lvl 10
    I've noticed that a majority of the paying-men don't really want rates. They just want to offer you a set amount for an asset that needs doing.

    I see the possibility of this not working out, but then again. It might. Any thoughts about this guys?
  • rollin
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    rollin polycounter
    per asset rates are just another way of per our rates.. you just have to calculate your own speed into the equation

    If you need 5 hours to do something and you have an calculated per-hour-rate of X then you need to charge 5*X for this asset
  • d1ver
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    d1ver polycounter lvl 12
    I'd say it would be logical to take the salary you had inhouse and then divide it by 168 hours which is an average per month. Then if you work from home add a bit for your rent, for an eventual hardware update, for electricy and stuff and you should pretty much have your number.

    But be carefull. There actually are great artists from post USSR countries(and probly indochina too) that do outsorcing for AAA games and they usually get from 7,5 to 15 bucks per hour for the most badass artists. There probably are those who earn more but I've never heard of them. The general case for seasoned artsits with a fat portfolio is around 10$. So if the client konws how to use internet I doubt he'll ever buy your videogame art services even for 15£.

    Sorry to bring you down to earth if I did and I hope things are different where you are.
    I remember browsing through turbosquid some ~3 ears ago seeing people selling lousy models for many dollars. I thought I was going to be rich in an instant.) But it just didn't happen that way.
  • Tully
    As a freelancer you incur extra costs (your own health insurance, hardware/software, taxes, an accountant etc.) and have a lot less job security. This is worth more money! Don't sell yourself short. If you are a professional, you deserve to make the rates in keeping with that. You don't want to get in trouble with your government, so be sure to put away enough money to pay your taxes, and pay them on time.

    Also, don't think that you'll necessarily always have paid work to fill all your time. You've got to make enough money to pay your expenses and keep yourself fed. You've got to be making enough when you do work to make allowances for times when you're not.
  • Stinger88
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    Stinger88 polycounter
    Awesome feedback so far guys. Its definitely helping me decide what sort of Pay rate I should be asking for. Not too much but not too little. So, a little bit above what my job was paying seems about right and also fair to the client.

    Keep it coming. Anymore advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Also If anyone has any "How to become a Freelance artist for Dummies" type links that'd be cool. I havent got the foggiest idea about paying my own taxes and stuff. Im in the UK btw.
  • AlecMoody
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    AlecMoody ngon master
    I think you should just focus on an hourly rate and not worry about a day rate. With an hourly rate you can estimate the cost for a pay per model scenario easily too.

    Keep in mind that when you are freelance you pay a lot more in taxes and your income is not as steady as a salaried job, that needs to be factored into your rates.
  • Stinger88
  • kat
  • Eric Chadwick
    Great thread. Added to the wiki (along with some other good info)...
    http://wiki.polycount.com/CategoryGameIndustry
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