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Old March 3rd, 2011, 04:41 PM   #16
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Everyone's advice is great but geared more for running your own business rather than freelancing.

...
Freelancers ARE running their own business - they have no employees, true, and probably no storefronts but they are businesses all the same and the people that hire them are their customers. Pricing your bids or setting a rate that your client must offer in order for you to acept their gig as a freelancer is no different a process than pricing your product as any other small business would do.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 05:10 PM   #17
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Running your own business with GEAR as almost everyone stated is completely different from freelancing because there is very LITTLE overhead; thus, most people's 'bottom line' price would be very very low.

Furthermore, there is much more risk AND reward for running your own business versus freelancing. I can make $3k profit from a quick to shoot (1 day for shoot & edit) 30s TVC but it would take an entire week of freelancing to make that. Freelancing has a set price per hour range unless you are among the best.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 04:41 AM   #18
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Running your own business with GEAR as almost everyone stated is completely different from freelancing because there is very LITTLE overhead; thus, most people's 'bottom line' price would be very very low.

Furthermore, there is much more risk AND reward for running your own business versus freelancing. I can make $3k profit from a quick to shoot (1 day for shoot & edit) 30s TVC but it would take an entire week of freelancing to make that. Freelancing has a set price per hour range unless you are among the best.
Depends on how your price is determined, Do you passively let the client determine what they will pay you or do you tell the client how much they'll need to pay to secure your services? I do the latter, based on my perceptions of a) the current prevailing market situation; and b) my perception of my value viz a viz other competitors for the work.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:07 AM   #19
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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You have a serious problem with your rate structure if what you say is true. $15/hr wouldn't even cover the cost of the gear expenses for me (so we're not talking about cost of living here
It's not so much a problem with the rate structure, more just the way some jobs are priced.

I work for myself, but work across many areas - similar activities, but they pay very differently - some jobs that will be longer term are at the UK union rate or above - but this doesn't mean good. In fact, the trend is for fees to stay the same year to year, yet the complexity of the work increases and it takes longer to do the same things. We have a minimum wage here in Europe, which is roughly $10 an hour - six UK pounds. The trouble is that many employers simply offer this rate, and people work for it. I don't. I don't even price jobs by the hour. The snags come when simple jobs expand, and take up more time than budgeted and as a result, if you do calculate back to hourly you get depressed.

A good example is a project I'm currently working on. Installing motorised trusses for lighting in a studio. Plans drawn, components sourced and priced, ready for the actual quote - if the price is too expensive, then the client may just walk away, and we make nothing at all, and our time and effort was free - or maybe the client likes it (as in this one) but wants changes. So this morning, I re-draw the plans and start again. This is just how our business works - it evens out.

Our crewing jobs now get priced for short, medium or long days, and we just hope the medium ones extend into long ones!
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Old March 4th, 2011, 12:54 PM   #20
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Running your own business with GEAR as almost everyone stated is completely different from freelancing because there is very LITTLE overhead; thus, most people's 'bottom line' price would be very very low.

Furthermore, there is much more risk AND reward for running your own business versus freelancing. I can make $3k profit from a quick to shoot (1 day for shoot & edit) 30s TVC but it would take an entire week of freelancing to make that. Freelancing has a set price per hour range unless you are among the best.
Sounds like maybe a definition of "freelancing" is in order. I worked for many years as a freelancer, but I had about $80,000 of my own gear. To me, freelancing just means you don't have one steady job or client, but everyday you may be working for someone else, maybe doing a different job function for each one. So I "freelanced" as a sound guy, but I had all my own sound gear. I also freelanced as a camera guy, with my own camera equipment, did freelance editing, etc. So I had plenty of overhead, even though I did not have a storefront shop. So as someone else said earlier, freelancers ARE running their own business and definitely need to figure in any overhead costs they have into their rates. This includes their office set ups, insurance, expected costs of repairs, advertising, accounting, etc. in addition to the cost of the gear they would bring along on the job.

Btw, even if someone is working as a freelancer who does not own any gear, they still have a bunch of overhead costs of running their business that should be figured into their rates as well.

Have fun!

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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:08 AM   #21
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Originally Posted by Rob Neidig View Post
Btw, even if someone is working as a freelancer who does not own any gear, they still have a bunch of overhead costs of running their business that should be figured into their rates as well.
Such as mortgage/rent, food, insurance, utilities, transportation, taxes, licensing...

Now I'm mildly depressed.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #22
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Running your own business with GEAR as almost everyone stated is completely different from freelancing because there is very LITTLE overhead; thus, most people's 'bottom line' price would be very very low.

Furthermore, there is much more risk AND reward for running your own business versus freelancing. I can make $3k profit from a quick to shoot (1 day for shoot & edit) 30s TVC but it would take an entire week of freelancing to make that. Freelancing has a set price per hour range unless you are among the best.
There are PLENTY of freelancers who own their own gear, look in any big market and there are
plenty of freelance cameramen that own a camera package.....sound guys that own their
sound package.....editors that own their edit bay and so on. I am not sure what the
correct definition of 'freelancer' is, but I just see it as a general term meaning you are NOT
'staff' and get jobs on a case by case basis. I do a variety of work, sometimes I produce a
video from 'concept to completion' and write the script, shoot the video, make the motion
graphics, edit the video, score the video and so on. Other times, I am hired by a TV station or
other production company just to shoot an event or something similar. Still other times, I am hired
to edit some pre shot footage into a program. I still consider myself a freelancer, even though I own
my own gear......just as I also consider myself a 'small business owner'. I actually think
that a 'freelancer' IS a 'small business owner', and sometimes they DO own their own gear.
And there is no 'set price per hour range' as far as I know....at least it is not set by the client!
I set my price, and they can either pay it or not. Sometimes they pay it, other times they do not,
but they don't get to tell me that there is some sort of 'set fee' for 'my type' of work. I set my
prices myself.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #23
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

People,

THIS thread is about someone asking about being a freelance editor, which does NOT include a bunch of gear.

Can we stay on topic?

About mortgage and transportation costs: If person A owns a $500,000 house and a $60,000 car, should that person automatically be able to charge more than someone owning a $200,000 house and $30,000 car - NO. However, if Person A has a studio in his house for business (which is why it costs so much), that is a different story.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:15 PM   #24
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
People,

THIS thread is about someone asking about being a freelance editor, which does NOT include a bunch of gear.

Can we stay on topic?

About mortgage and transportation costs: If person A owns a $500,000 house and a $60,000 car, should that person automatically be able to charge more than someone owning a $200,000 house and $30,000 car - NO. However, if Person A has a studio in his house for business (which is why it costs so much), that is a different story.
Ummm......look again. This thread is about someone asking about being a freelance
editor/videographer (yes he mentioned videographer in the initial post.) He does NOT
specify that it does not include a bunch of gear. I think we are totally on topic here.
A freelance editor/videographer many times DOES own a 'bunch of gear.'......as in my case.
Furthermore, he states that he 'edits, shoots, produces and knows After Effects ok but not
great' which leads me to believe that he is looking at doing much more than your contention that
he is 'just editing'. Hence my posts.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:25 PM   #25
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Originally Posted by Gabe Strong View Post
Ummm......look again. This thread is about someone asking about being a freelance
editor/videographer (yes he mentioned videographer in the initial post.) He does NOT
specify that it does not include a bunch of gear. I think we are totally on topic here.
A freelance editor/videographer many times DOES own a 'bunch of gear.'......as in my case.
Furthermore, he states that he 'edits, shoots, produces and knows After Effects ok but not
great' which leads me to believe that he is looking at doing much more than your contention that
he is 'just editing'. Hence my posts.
Ummm....dummy me. Sorry about that.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:49 PM   #26
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Na, not dumb, it's easy to overlook things in posts, I've done it hundreds of times myself.
I think one thing is true, a person who is hired as a freelancer who OWNS gear, will and
should charge more than someone who is going to use 'company gear'. Of course there is
another type of freelancer who rents, and thus the rental costs have to be built in, and may cost
more than the freelancer who owns gear.

However, as a freelancer, YOU can set your own rates. You may have to modify those rates if
you are not getting enough work, but you are the one who decides what you will charge. It is wise
to do some market research and try and find out what others charge, and so on, but
ultimately it is up to you......and you really need to know your market to do this well.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #27
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

When I do small jobs which could be classified as 'freelance', I include the cost of my time and what it would cost to rent my gear such as $325/day for an EX3 kit. When I need an extra cameraman for a multi-cam shoot, I charge the cost of rental as a line item and the labor cost usually $400-500 for a full shoot; so, I can make a small profit from the labor. For example, we know an ABC cameraman so I pay him $400/day and bill $500. I have no problem paying good money to an experienced cameraman because I know the results will be good. However, for other less experienced operators, I usually limit what I'll pay to $250-300 and bill $400. This is for labor only as we provide the camera gear.

As a favor, I have charged only $250 for my time to shoot a quick 30 min event or 5min talking head. The delivery was just youtube and no editing was required.

I have one issue with charging whatever you 'want'. You really need to research your local market and what the rates are. For example, people working in Chicago for Chicago clients can charge a bit more whereas working an hour outside of Chicago has a lower 'market' rate. Essentially, charge as much as the market will bear. This is why Hollywood uses Canada for so many productions.

EDIT: Just read the rest of your post, Gabe, and you said exactly what I just said.

PS My foot is wedged pretty good in my mouth ;)
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Old March 8th, 2011, 11:33 PM   #28
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Still holding on to the basic idea that my business is built upon...

NEVER SELL TIME.

Every single second of every single day your INVENTORY is disappearing and you have NO option of a way to control the loss, let alone figure out a way to get it back.

Sell expertise. Never time. Period.



My 2 cents.
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Old March 9th, 2011, 10:14 AM   #29
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

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Every single second of every single day your INVENTORY is disappearing...
That's what makes it valuable. The less time you have and the more time that has been "disappeared", the more valuable it is. It's rare.

I'm very interested in your idea though. Anywhere I can read more?

Thanks.
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Old March 11th, 2011, 08:28 AM   #30
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Re: how much per hour. am I worth, and how much are you worth

Bill, I agree. Expertise is the best way to market and sell you services in order to be properly compensated. The problem I see is that this is also the most difficult approach for many clients.

I try to sell myself on quality and expertise but find many people just can not get off of shopping by price alone. Many times it seems one is competing with the very person asking for a quote as them doing it themsleves is on the table. Makes me shake my head when people want to sell premium goods & services for a premium price but are o.k. with putting it in a homemade YouTube wrapper!

I hate this end of the business. Clients seem so erratic at times that I never feel like I am running with the best numbers.
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