said 2 months ago:
I have found that the world expects an hourly rate.
However, deep in my heart, I feel hourly rates are a dishonest measurement in creative work and unfair to both sides of a contract. Only part of our work can be measured in time.
A great deal of our work is in the realm of ideas. A good idea can come in a flash—or can take grueling hours. The value is not in the time spent but in the benefit to the customer or project.
Setting an hourly rate is like grading your own paper.
You’ve also created an image. You hope to be considered better with a higher hourly rate but you may just be driving people to short-cut or use free or entry-level talent (which can be good!). So you know what you need to pay the bills but you end up adjusting it for the particular client and market . . . it’s all a game. You end up telling the client what they want to hear.
Furthermore, we live in a interruptive society. Hours are rarely dedicated.
Every hour therefore has a different value.
I much prefer to scope the job and quote the job. For repetitive jobs (newsletters) I maintain the same price so that the customer can budget. For other jobs, I remain as inclusive as possible but include a caveat, rarely exercised, that if the work exceeds more than two correction passes (not measured by hours) than an additional charge will be incurred — and this is often measured by hours — because that’s what people understand at that point.
And think this approach creates trust and teamwork. Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose, but the relationships are usually better and that’s always a win.