Freelance advertising rate for creatives in NYC?
July 29, 2013 6:43 PM   Subscribe

What should my day rate be for copywriting at a major ad agency in New York City?

I'm an experienced Associate Creative Director (Copy) working in advertising in NYC. I've been full-time and have just gone freelance. The bulk of my experience is at one of New York's top agencies; I have a great portfolio of work for impressive clients.

What should I tell recruiters are my day and hourly rates? I know I could take my most recent salary and break it down by the hour, but I also know freelancers charge more than fulltime employees by the hour as they have to take on their own taxes, healthcare, etc.

How much am I worth?
posted by annabellee to Work & Money (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Here's the current suggeseted rate chart from the Editorial Freelancer's Association. The closest category they list that would seem to apply for you is "Writing, grants/proposals/sales/PR," for which they give a range of $50 to $60/hr. Since you're in New York, I'd say $60/hr. at a minimum.
posted by scody at 7:12 PM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]

I've been freelancing for a few years now and this is how I ended up at my rate. Calculate what you earned hourly when you were salaried. Now take that number and multiple it by 2 to 3X that amt (when I started, I only charged 2X the amt,but was really, really overbooked, so I pushed up over time).

For a day rate, what I now feel most comfortable with is what a client proposed to me: what is your hourly rate? Multiply it by 10. The only time I actually do charge a "day rate" is if it requires travel, though.

I'm wondering why you are doing this through recruiters.I looked into that early on and the few recruiters that I encountered wanted to take a large piece of the pie for the contact.You should easily be able to find this info on your own and contact companies directly. LinkedIn also works well and the clients can find you.

Will also email you for a tiny bit of additional information.
posted by Wolfster at 7:16 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]

I'm also memailing you!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 8:51 PM on July 29, 2013

As an ACD, how much did you pay the freelancers you worked with? You (and/or your former colleagues) should know exactly what the current market can bear.
posted by judith at 11:27 PM on July 29, 2013

Just a data point. I charged $70/hr at my very first job in Chicago as a junior freelance copywriter. Agencies routinely bill writers, especially senior ones, at $120-$150 an hour to their clients. Were I to go freelance at this point in my career, I would gun for $90/hr at the lowest.
posted by Lieber Frau at 6:26 AM on July 30, 2013 [2 favorites]

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