Freelance Business Report, 2014

Facts, Stats and Numbers from the Last Year

Last year, I decided to publish my total earnings from freelancing in the design industry as well as a few other key metrics about my little business. Due to the great feedback I’ve received about the high level of transparency, I’m doing the same for 2014.

Income Report

First, 2014 was the most successful year of the three years I’ve been freelancing. I was able to increase total earnings by 14% compared to 2013 ($147,000) and by 134% compared to 2012 ($71,550).

Total combined income 2014 $167,597.00 (124.170,00 €) before taxes.
Total spendings 2014 $4,319.19 (3.199,40 €) excluding taxes.
Tracked hours 2014 1,610

This year, I’ve not really raised my rate overall, but I’ve sorted my clients into separate hourly rate tiers. This allowed me to increase overall revenue while still working with clients who are either short on budget (but have great projects) or can provide work me with on a regular basis (basically a discount for long-term clients).

Tier Type Hourly Rate % of Income
1 Day-1 Long-term Clients $ 65,00 15%
2 Long-term Clients and Great Clients with short budgets $ 80,00 10%
3 Standard Rate $ 95,00 40%
4 Agency and Corporate Clients $ 125,00 35%

In addition to my income from consulting, I’ve generated a little passive income from my blog basically by displaying FusionAds and some referral links to my articles. Overall, my blog generated $900 over the last 12 months.

Client base

Over the past year, I was mainly working with clients I’ve also worked with in the years before. A few great long-term clients are always the best foundation for a solid freelance business. In addition, I worked with a few new startups and helped design, build and iterate their products.

While I generated a few more leads in Europe and enjoyed working on products that are focused especially on the German market, the major income stream is still coming straight out of the United States (85% California), just as in years before.

My website

In September, I completely redesigned and rebuild my website. It was incredibly time-consuming, but I’m really happy with the result. I’ve received tons of compliments from clients and other designers about the new site. Thanks for that!

The traffic on my site increased slightly compared to last year, but I hit the magical number of one million page views this year.

Page Impressions 2014 1,095,628
Unique Visitors 2014 449,749

A great highlight from my blog are „The iOS Design Guidelines“, the longest article I’ve ever written, which was shared more than 5,000 times by readers on Twitter and Facebook.


The year started with a skiing trip in the Austrian Alps, followed by a three-week vacation in Thailand and the Philippines.

After coming back to Germany, I decided to spend more time in Asia to discover different cultures and great food, make friends, learn a new language and escape the cold European winter.


After a short planning period, I hopped on a Thai Airways A380 with nothing but two bags and moved to Bangkok, without a return ticket. In the past six months, I have made a bunch of trips within Thailand, from Udon Thani in the north to BKK, where I established my new „living base“ to the south, with its wonderful islands. I’ve also visited Laos and Malaysia.

What’s next?

This is likely my last freelance report. On the 1st January of the new year, I’m joining everchron as a Lead Designer to work full-time on a product that lawyers will love. There is not a lot to show and tell at the moment, but since I’m working with the guys at everchron for more than two years, I know that they are just as enthusiastic as I am about bringing clean and modern designs into the dark corners of corporate products. I’m excited.


Thanks to everyone who supported me over the past year.

My thanks go particularly to my amazing clients of 2014 – AppLovin, everchron, Bewo Kompakt, Social Airways, First World Solutions, Erwin Hymer Group, MESM, Appointlet, Felix Andersen, TrialEdge and Simple Donation.

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