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Advice on hourly rates for Graphic Design or Writing

Active Member
Kimberly L Member Since: Jan 2, 2017
1 of 6

Hello everyone, I just started on UpWork yesterday. I am overall new to freelancing.

 

I am learning tons about it, one of the most important being the shocking low-wages those of us in America are competing against. It's safe to throw Data Entry and VA shopify/amazon jobs out the window from what I can see, those are given to those that are capable of living on 1-2$ wages.

 

I have been advised that I should specialize in a niche instead. I am considering Writing or Graphic Design. I am struggling on deciding what would be a reasonable hourly or fixed amount for either of these jobs? For example, Graphic Design I would probably start off by doing Brocheures since I enjoy those... But I do not know what would be a generally acceptable rate in my proposal.

My question is (please, just a general answer, I know every job is different)
- What should a brocheure design cost per hour ?
- How much should I charge per word if doing a writing job? 

*Keep in mind I am just starting and have no reviews so I need a generally reasonable number


Thanks to all that can help. I feel these are important to ask because I can see how easy it is to be low-balled for work and I want to make sure I am not selling myself for short. 

Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
2 of 6

From what I know $3.00 is the minimum hourly rate here.  But to get an hourly contract these days, one must prove worthy of fixed-price contracts first it seems.  The hourly rate does not really bring much significance unless the time tracker is seen as a sacred tool.  Clients can go over that rate.  That's why there are such things as bonuses.  Most importantly, relationships with clients must come as our priority and quality work must be our dictum with our every breath.

 

How will one be low-balled for a task that one truly enjoys doing?  When I engage myself with something that excites me, I lose all sense of stress.  In the process, I get to prevent the accumulation of my medical bills.

Active Member
Kimberly L Member Since: Jan 2, 2017
3 of 6

Juvy Ann,

 

Thank you for your quick response.

 

The question I was asking was intended for experienced freelance Designers and Writers that are successful in their field that strongly advise against low-paying freelance jobs. I understand the importance of relationship building between clients but I simply cannot afford to spend my time on low offers since they will never amount to anything but some change here in America regardless of how much I enjoy doing them. I wanted to know their suggested minimum, not the suggested minimum set by upwork which is well below the minimum wage where I live. Thanks. 

 

Mods: I accidently selected her response as a solution, my apologies.

Community Guru
Juvy Ann P Member Since: Oct 29, 2015
4 of 6

Hi Kimberly,

 

If you simply cannot afford to spend your time on low offers, you have the option not to submit proposals to those clients.  If there is an option for you to delete my post, you may as well do that.  I apologize if I volunteered to add information that you do not wish to read at this moment.

 

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 6

@Kimberly L wrote:

Juvy Ann,

 

Thank you for your quick response.

 

The question I was asking was intended for experienced freelance Designers and Writers that are successful in their field that strongly advise against low-paying freelance jobs. I understand the importance of relationship building between clients but I simply cannot afford to spend my time on low offers since they will never amount to anything but some change here in America regardless of how much I enjoy doing them. I wanted to know their suggested minimum, not the suggested minimum set by upwork which is well below the minimum wage where I live. Thanks. 

 

Mods: I accidently selected her response as a solution, my apologies.


 Kimberly,

 

Juvy Ann was right about ignoring the low ballers.

 

However, your question covers two different skills and to begin with, you need to decide which of the two you can confidently offer a client. It seems you do not have sufficient experience in either graphic design or writing to  place you ahead of thousands (if not millions) of freelancers more qualified than you.

 

So - your major skill now, is your proposal letter - the one that will convince a client that you are the one they want at the price you want.  It is not really enough to say that you like designing brochures. You have to give some proof of this. If you are going to offer writing, then you need to offer proof of this too.

 

Right now, before applying for any jobs, try and build up a convincing portfolio in the area(s) you wish to work and try and improve your spelling if you wish to be a writer - a vocational profession.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
6 of 6

Writing is also saturated with lowballers and freelancers. I'm constantly spammed with cringe-worthy types of writing jobs. 

 

If you choose writing, you'll need to further narrow down your niche. 

 

Only you can adequately place a rate on your level of writing skill. However, there's a cognitive load issue you'll encounter as you have the following learning curves:

 

A. Contract management and dealing with an array of different client personalities

B. Upwork TOS and how the system operates in general

C. Discerning the scammers from the legit clientele

D. Entering a saturated market and competing against thousands of others who may have more experience and education in the field of writing (or as Nichola state...possibly MILLIONS of others)

E. Developing a writing voice but also managing the fact that you'll adapt that "voice/style" to the client more often than not

F. Choosing a niche (health, fitness, lifestyle, fashion, gardening, diet/nutrition, or so many others)

G. Decide whether you're going "all in" as a freelancer or if this is just a "hey I'll try this out part time" 

H. Proposal writing and self-marketing

 

If I'm forgetting anything, I'm sure a fellow freelancer will add to the list. 

 

I strongly suggest you do some research on all of those topics.

 

Many people think "Oh I'll do writing because that's easy."

 

And then I see their JSS levels tank because one or more of those points above has been neglected.

 

I'm not discouraging you. However, I am giving you what I call "full frontal reality" for you to consider. 

 

Best Regards,

 

Kat