Sunday, May 31, 2009

Consultant rates in the communication / technical writing field

Getting in the right ballpark in terms of cost is critical to survival as a freelancer. The pitch, proposal and negotiation process is complex, and it's more an art than science. It helps to know the general boundaries, though, and in an effort to continue sharing those, here are some tips I picked up recently from Karen A. Shriver, author of "Dynamics in Document Design: Creating Texts for Readers" and a successful consultant on major national projects but also regional and local ones as well.

She recently spoke at Texas Tech about consulting and efficiently described the job as selling either A) Production skills (redesigning, reevaluating, etc.), B) Advice or strategy (assessing and evaluating options) and/or C) Training (teaching people how to ...).

In the communication field, she said the rate range right now is roughly $50 to $125 an hour for those with master's degrees and $100 to $500 an hour for those with Phds. Those are broad numbers, of course, and many factors shape a bid and job. Yet those looking for starting points on bids might find that scale helpful.

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