(MoneyWatch) If you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, it can be hard to price yourself. After all, do you have a clear idea of the market clearing price for what you do, for what skills and expertise you offer?
The answer to that question will depend on many factors. You'll need to make enough money to cover your expenses, of course, but your rate is based in large part on your skills, experience and locale. When I started freelancing, I wasn't savvy enough to take stock of all those factors, so I took cues from other folks in the same profession, and often let the client lead the pricing conversation to see where we landed.
These days, there are easier ways to figure out what you can charge. If you're looking for a way to gauge your hourly rate or project fee, for example, check out an iPhone app called MyPrice.
The first time you run MyPrice, you'll need to spend about 10 minutes completing a profile that describes your current career. The software includes all the factors that go into setting your rates, such as education, years of experience, the kinds of clients in your portfolio and where you're located. It doesn't take long to complete the profile, which is all multiple choice, and when you're done the app recommends an hourly rate.
If you are fairly new to your business and still not sure if you're pricing yourself properly, MyPrice can give you an idea of whether your rates are in the ballpark.
For everyone else, the app is free, so try it out and let me know if you agree with its assessment. Sound off in the comments and let me know how accurate the app is at setting your rate.