Save time & money by managing your freelance work with Bonsai
Our all-in-one software suite makes it easy to manage your paperwork, keep track of your finances, be prepared for tax season, and more. With smart automation and deeply integrated product components, Bonsai can give you peace of mind to focus on your craft.
Use Bonsai's clean and intuitive UI to create winning proposal templates and get notified when the client replies. Draft a bullet-proof contract template in minutes and easily send the online contract for e-signature. Get paid on time whenever you create and send professional invoice templates using Bonsai.
Are you ready to discover how Bonsai can help? Sign up for a 14-day free trial to see for yourself.
Bonsai is designed to help you do more and work less.
Bonsai products have deep integration and smart automation to save you time and make sure you get paid.
You focus on the work you love and we handle the rest.
Deciding what you should charge for a project is not always easy, especially when starting out as a freelancer. However, a few factors can affect your rates: your experience, your skills, the demand for those skills on the market.
In order for you to increase your freelance rates, you should always try to learn high valued skills. Those ones can help you land some sweet deals and turn you into an expert in the industry.
We all had that issue when a client wants a luxury car but only can afford a basic one. First of all, you should be confident with what you charge, if a client is pushing your rates back by saying you're too expensive, you can show them different online resources such as this freelance rates explorer.
Be careful when picking your clients, the cheapest ones aren't always the easiest ones. Many freelancers will tell you that their most difficult clients were the ones paying the least. Remember, when picking your clients go for quality over quantity, it will also help you with building your freelance portfolio.
This is a tricky question when looking at freelance rates. Many freelancers prefer to charge per project as the better they become the less amount of time it takes them to finish a same task. As your are becoming more experienced and efficient, you should not be charging less than when you started. This is why a per freelance project rate could be preferred.
As explained earlier different factors impact your freelance rates: skills, experience, demand for those skills.
Determining what your annual income should be can help you calculate your hourly freelance rate. When doing this calculation, make sure to factor in your vacation time but also the non-billable hours such as create freelance proposals, invoicing your projects and finding new freelance projects.
We have released this tool to visualize freelance designer and developer rates by experience level, skill, and geography. We’ll discuss how the tool was made, how to use it, some interesting findings, and its implications for the freelance industry.
Simply put, knowledge is power. New and experienced freelancers alike find a hard time defining the right prices for their services. Once they’ve decided on a rate, justifying it to a client who has little experience working with freelancers can be challenging.
There are many sites like Glassdoor that offer salary data comparisons for full time employees. However, there isn't a site like this dedicated to provide insights on freelancers rates. We had this data, so we built the Rate Explorer to make it easy for freelancers to compare their rates in the largest publicly available rates database on the internet.
Bonsai’s core product is a free work contract creator for freelance designers and developers. To create a contract, freelancers must describe their work and enter terms like payment details and deadlines. Users have created over 30,000 freelance contracts for work ranging from iOS development to Wordpress web design contracts, to graphic design contracts. A freelance contract template is the perfect way to get started
This data is already quite structured, so aggregating and analyzing it was straightforward. The only complicated step was mapping the free text description of work to skill set tags (e.g., front end development, iOS development, UI/UX design, etc).
To do this, we wrote a small script to programmatically identify these skills in the job description and tag them. We also hired freelancers to spot check and review these tags to ensure accuracy. We completed this data together with clients and freelancers surveys which helped us precise our figures and findings.
Bonsai only supports contracts in the US, UK, and Canada for now, so there’s no visualization for freelancers in other countries yet. However, we allowed users to enter their own rates for any type of work and in other countries so we can enrich the tool with additional locations or skills in the future.
Pricing can be a complicated subject, and many factors should go into pricing your work. These can include the demand for your services at that time, your short and long term career goals, your relationship with the client, and the non-monetary value you get from working with the client (e.g., adding a big name to your portfolio, networking, etc).
The Freelance Rate Explorer should be used as a directional indicator to help you position yourself against the community. Beyond that, you should take into account all the other factors particular to your relationship with the client and project.
There are a few general points that held true across the data:
This happens to be true even for highest charging designers (ie Product Designers) when compared to lowest charging developers (Front-end / Android)
While developers can see their rates increase quickly with their gaining experience (typically after 3 years), most experienced designers grow rates at a slower pace. The most common explanation we’ve heard for this is local or international competition at lower rates, including from part time designers. The lower barrier to entry for design types, plus the smaller project sizes, leads to lower rates.
This could be due to higher competition and / or costs of living in those areas, but coastal regions generally had higher rates than the south and midwest. This was surprising to us, giving how much design and development work can be done remotely, but it’s a reminder of how important local relationships can be in finding work (and determining your rate!).
For all skills and locations, the most significant jump in compensation per experience level comes between the 1-3 and 3-5 year categories. Having spoken with our users, this can be most often attributed to them developing essential business skills (project management, negotiation...), developing their knowledge about their market and their clients, building a strong portfolio and leveraging their network.
We’re continuing to add data and features to the Rate Explorer. Our contracts data for the US feeds directly into it. As soon as we have sufficient data for other geographies and skill types, we will open those visualizations.
We also created a dedicated page for marketing consultants & freelance marketers to find more information about rates. Please visit the following page to find out more: marketing consultant rates.
You can help by adding your rate and sharing with others to do the same. The more data we have, the more valuable the tool becomes for everyone!