Let’s say you’re hiring a freelancer or two to help improve the marketing effort of a campaign. You’ve identified the project they’ll be working on, about how many hours it should take, and the context they’ll need to be successful -- but you still haven’t decided on the hourly rate.
Instead of spending hours figuring out how much you should pay your marketing freelancer, take a look at the data we’ll pull for you. We've rounded up the national freelance hourly rates of marketing consultants, PR professionals, and SEO specialists.
But, before getting into the details, here’s a basic formula to calculate the hourly rate of freelancers.
Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator
To calculate an hourly rate, start with an estimate of yearly income and divide that by how many hours you typically work in a year. Though the number of hours worked might change depending on industry and job functions, it's safe to assume that most professionals work 40 hours a week for 50 weeks.
The other two weeks are likely spent on a vacation or sick days. With that in mind, the average full-time professional works about 2,000 hours in any given year.
This makes the basic formula:
Rate = Annual income / Hours worked in the year
This is illustrated in the graphic below:
If your goal is to make $58,000 a year, here is how you'd use the formula to find an hourly rate:
$58,000 / 2,000 = $29/hour
We will continue to use this formula for different industries and professions within the freelance industry.
Hourly Rate for Freelance Marketing Consultant
Marketing consultants are professionals in the marketing industry who act upon strategies built by market research and the professional's experience. Their primary goal is to drive sales by delivering fresh marketing campaigns and expertise.
Businesses hire a marketing consultant if they need a new outlook on a current project or an entirely different project that's being taken in a direction that's usually foreign to the business. Hiring a marketing consultant is a more cost-effective way to bring on more help, since it's freelance consultants aren't full-time staff.
The industry standard for a marketing consultant is $47,682/yr in the US, according to Glassdoor. This is illustrated by the graphic below.
If you were to use the formula above to find an hourly rate for this salary, you would divide $47,682 / 2,000 for an hourly rate of $23.84.
Let's say you're looking for a marketing consultant with years of professional industry experience to work on a project that will take several months. For these levels of experience, you might find hourly rates to range from $125-$150 an hour.
It all depends on your budget, your reasons for hiring, and what's best for your business. All of these factors come into play again when calculating the hourly rate for public relations freelancers.
Freelance Public Relations Hourly Rate
Freelance public relations professionals help coordinate and define the image of a brand. They also have a hand in managing public perception of their clients’ products and can serve as a point of contact for press inquiries about those clients as well.
Businesses might hire a freelance public relations professional if they are looking for an outside perspective to gain insight into brand building or garner press about their company. Freelance public relations professionals also are a cost-effective way of hiring more help, like marketing consultants.
The national average for a freelance PR professional's yearly salary is $54,114/yr, according to ZipRecruiter. This is illustrated by the graph below.
To use the formula from above, taking $54,114 / 2,000 = $27.05/hr.
Next, we're going to look at calculating the hourly rate for an SEO specialist.
Freelance SEO hourly rate
Ahrefs is a marketing tool driven by data and powered by backlinks and keywords. Last year, they surveyed over 300 freelance SEO specialists about their hourly rates.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) makes sure a business's online content ranks highly on search engines to gain organic engagement. Typically, marketers use websites like Ahrefs to run data reports on where content is being ranked on Google, which words are garnering traction, and where a business falls on search engines.
A business might want to hire a freelance SEO specialist to gain insight into how people are finding their business (or how they aren't). They also might look into hiring a specialist in this field to gain valuable online data that previously hadn't been calculated. Ahrefs found that the most popular hourly rate is $100-$150 for SEO specialists.
It also provided a graph on how much specialists tend to charge based on years of experience. For example, a specialist with less than two years' experience is more likely to charge $75 per hour, while someone with over ten years' experience is more likely to charge $150 per hour.
All it takes is a simple formula to find the hourly rate for freelancers. By using some industry benchmarks, you can easily find a freelancer that fits your budget and goals. And, for freelancers and businesses looking to hire freelancers alike, we have the ultimate guide on that very subject. For more information about the ins and outs of freelancing, check out our post here.