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.
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 ($71,550).
This year, I’ve not really raised my rate overall, but I’ve sorted my clients into separate hourly rate tiers. This allowed me to increase overall revenue while still working with clients who are either short on budget (but have great projects) or can provide work me with on a regular basis (basically a discount for long-term clients).
|Tier||Type||Hourly Rate||% of Income|
|1||Day-1 Long-term Clients||$ 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.