How much should we as creative pros charge for our services? Assuming you have settled on an hourly rate for design, video editing, writing, etc., you may now ask about those other aspects of running your business and how you can earn as an expert when you’re away from your desk.

Here’s a quick guideline to work out how much to spend or to bill for certain expenses.

Lecture at a school or association: 3x your hourly rate
Presentation at a Conference: 4x your hourly rate
On-site Consulting rate: 1.5x your hourly rate (plus travel)
“At-cost” rate for non-profits or friends: 85% your hourly rate

Max you should spend on a meal with a client: 75% of 1 hour @ your rate
Max you should spend on a meal with a friend/colleague: 50% of 1 hour @ your rate

At first it may seem dramatic to raise your fees for a specific instance of work, but this takes into account the preparation time for each, as well as the opportunity costs of being removed from your normal flow and current projects. For example, you might give a 1-hour talk at a conference which will raise some awareness for you and your company, but that might require 10 hours of preparation (or more) and may take you away from your office for 3 or 4 days to recover from traveling.

Have you worked out a fee structure for your company? How does that compare to the above guideline? Leave your comments to share your own results with the community.

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About the author: Prescott Perez-Fox

Prescott Perez-Fox is a New York-based graphic designer and brand developer with 17+ years experience in branding, packaging, graphic design, and web design. He runs The Busy Creator.

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