The Ultimate Pricing Strategy To Charge What Your Time Is Worth

The Ultimate Pricing Strategy To Charge What Your Time Is Worth

On a recent trip to Australia, I stopped by Brisbane to have a drink.

At the bar, I started chatting with the locals. We talked about their love of rugby. They bought me a couple of pints. I asked what the hell was up with all the scary insects in Australia.

You know, the usual conversations.

Then, we started talking about business.

I was blown away when my one my new friends said he prefers NOT to charge for his work.

“I feel guilty when I charge people for my time.”

Sound familiar?

He’s not alone.

Tons of people — including successful entrepreneurs — struggle with pricing strategy. For example, six-figure copywriter Neville Medhora recently told me he hesitated to raise his rate.

In this article, I’m going to share a pricing strategy which has allowed me to stop feeling guilty about charging people.

(In fact, it even helped me QUADRUPLE my hourly rate.)

You’ll learn about the various pricing strategies ANYONE can use for freelancing, consulting, or project work. Plus, I’ll show you how to charge what you’re worth without feeling guilty.

Let's do this.

Get the same pricing strategy six-figure consultants use

Why We Feel Guilty Charging for Our Time

As employee #4 at, I was in charge of growing the user base from 0 to 100,000 users in six months (here’s how I did it).

When they hired me, they paid me a salary of $100,000. I thought they were crazy, and I truthfully didn’t think I deserved it.

After I quit and started AppSumo, one of our first deals was a one-hour talk with me for $250.

It sold out.

A few months later, we did it again — this time with a $500 price.

That sold out, too.

Then, we raised the price to $1,000 for a one-hour call with me…

Yup, all gone.

The pricing strategy of Noah Kagan

EVERY TIME my team at AppSumo wanted to push out a new deal for an AppSumo customer to buy a consultation with me, I resisted.

I had tons of guilt about charging these prices, and I went back-and-forth with my team about lowering the price or offering “discounts.”

Why did I feel this way? Why do we feel guilty charging for our time?

In my experience, there are 3 main reasons people feel guilty charging money for work:

  1. You don’t feel worthy or realize the value of your skills to others. In other words, you have a badass talent and just say “it’s nothing special.” But others see it as very unique and valuable, and they’ll pay to learn from you or get your help
  2. You don’t feel qualified as an expert because you believe you need more experience, accolades, or certifications. Compare this to my brother who’s a doctor. He has NO QUALMS about charging a lot for his time, since he put in an additional 8 years of school and it’s “accepted” doctors charge a lot
  3. You’re afraid charging friends (or friends-of-friends) will damage the relationship

How can you get away from this negative thinking? How can you charge even more money, knowing you fully deserve it?

The first step is to understand the intricacies of how to price. When you’re prepared, you feel less nervous and guilty.

Let’s dive into the strategies to price your work and charge people for your knowledge and help.

How to Price Yourself & Charge for Your Time

Part of the reason so many people are scared of setting their rate is because there are so many options.

It’s overwhelming to think about where to begin:

  • What’s my hourly rate?
  • Am I pricing myself too high?
  • Is my work good enough to charge people?

If you just started a business I’m going to show you the most commonly used (and easiest) pricing strategy.

If you’re an expert in your niche or industry you’ll learn how to break from the shackles of hourly work and level up your cash flow.

If you’re trying to maximize growth and revenue, I’ll share how to boost your revenue when you have diverse, proven, and in-demand skills.

Hourly Rate: Charging for the Hours You Put In

The most common pricing strategy for freelancers and consultants is an hourly rate.

One way of determining your hourly rate is to reverse engineer your last salary.

For example, let’s say you made $70,000 last year. There are roughly 2,080 working hours per year, which means your hourly rate is about $33.

Sounds easy, right?

Not so fast. There are a couple things to keep in mind...

First, many first-time consultants and freelancers forget their rate assumes a 40-hour workweek. What if you can’t find enough clients to fill up all 40 hours? What if you get sick? Or what if you just want to work less?

Second, many people don’t consider total comp and benefits (like health insurance) in their pricing. You’re going to pay for those on your own, amigo. No company to help you out now.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the hourly strategy. It just means you should be careful.

A good rule of thumb: If I don’t expect to work the full 40 hours, and I have to pay my own benefits, I take my hourly salary rate and double it. In the example above, an $33 hourly rate would turn into about $65 per hour.

If you’re just starting out, an hourly rate is an easy and effective pricing strategy. And remember: It’s often better to take the easy route and just get started. Refine later.

Project-Based Fees: Make More Money in Less Time

When you productize your services, you start to free yourself from the shackles of time.

Instead of being locked into an hourly rate, you charge based on the value or results you create. Typically, you charge project-based fees as you become more familiar with the results you give your clients.

If you’re a web designer who knows your web redesigns get a 10% revenue lift for your clients on average, and this usually equals about $30,000 more revenue for your client, you can price accordingly.

When consulting, I like to deliver 10x what I charge — so $30,000 average increase in revenue for a client would mean I charge about $3,000.

Free yourself from the shackles of time. Charge your clients for projects, not hours. (Tweet this)

To start billing project-based fees, ask yourself: What value do you give?

Remember, it doesn’t always have to be pure bottom-line revenue. If you help your client save 10 hours per week, it could be worth tens of thousands of dollars to them in saved time.

But before you dive into project-based pricing, be careful setting your price based on the time you think you’re going spend.

It’s easy to set your price too low and work 2-3x more hours than you priced. This is why I recommend you start with hourly until you’re more familiar with your industry and client project requests.

Tier Pricing: Advanced Tips to Maximize Revenue Growth

Before getting into how you can develop pricing tiers for your business, let me run you through why you should test pricing tiers as you grow your freelancing or consulting:

  1. Tiers pricing helps you make more money. There’s a famous pricing example from The Economist where multiple tiers helped “anchor” people into paying more. In your own business or consultancy, try testing 3-5 different tiers
  2. Expand your reach to a wider audience. Different price points help you to reach prospects with various needs and budgets
  3. Drive more qualified leads. Lower priced tiers can help you get one foot in the door. It acts as a gateway for your customers to test out your product or services before moving gradually to higher tier packages

With so much opportunity, how to do tier pricing RIGHT? No sweat, I’ve got you covered. #fistpound 👊

Step 1: Create base features you want to include for every tier

The first step is to start organizing the base scope of benefits you want to provide to every customer.

At my 8-figure company Sumo (here’s what I learned while growing the company), all customers get access to apps, A/B testing, and all design templates.

What are your “base” features?

Maybe it’s…

  • 2 hr email response time to any client requests
  • Free website audit (worth $300)
  • Basic SEO report for the client’s website

If you’re not sure which base features to use yet, that’s OK. As you become more familiar with client needs, you’ll be able to fill in the gaps.

Step 2: Develop a buyer persona for each tier

Tier pricing widens your audience by helping you target different groups of people with different needs.

An individual who just needs you to write an email funnel vs. a client who wants you on a monthly marketing retainer to help them send emails and optimize their opt-in forms every week have different needs.

For example, MailChimp has three pricing tiers for three different customer personas:

Step 3: Include additional features and benefits

The final step is to add unique features and benefits to each tier. Here are three questions you can ask yourself to develop higher tier products:

  1. What does your “high end” client need help with?
  2. What about your middle-level client?
  3. What’s the most basic service you’ve offered in the past a client has been happy with?

At Sumo, we learned our biggest clients have a lot of different tools they use for their businesses.

With our "established" business owners this means supporting email providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, and Zapier.

And for our massive enterprise customers, this mean supporting enterprise products (like Infusionsoft and HubSpot).

And if you need more advice on how to price, here’s a recent podcast on building a six-figure business and pricing your services accordingly.

Get the 3 best pricing strategies in a PDF to go

4 Ways to Justify Your Pricing Strategy to Yourself (and Your Client)

Even after reading the EXACT proven steps I’ve used — and hundreds of my consulting friends and readers have used — it’s easy to feel nervous.

But I want to make sure you don’t quit now.

With your pricing strategy picked, here are four ways to feel confident in whatever pricing you decide.

1. Understand the Value You Help Create

It’s easy to start feeling guilty when you can’t directly see the value you bring to your client or customer.

The best way to overcome this type of guilt is to understand the problems you help solve.

For example:

  • If you’re a marketer, you’re solving a sales, branding, and cash-flow problem for businesses. Even if your marketing doesn’t lead to $1 million in direct revenue, it can help your client or customer. For example, are people spending more time on the site? Is your client getting their own higher quality customers? Are people happy with your service?
  • If you’re a copywriter, you’re solving a messaging problem for your clients. You’re helping your client create more compelling website copy, email drip campaigns, landing pages and more. You’re uniting the brand under one “voice.”
  • If you’re a fitness trainer, you’re solving a health problem for your customers. This doesn’t necessarily mean weight loss: Maybe you’re helping people feel healthier. Improve their diets. Lower their cholesterol levels.

To gain clarity on the value you create, talk to your clients or customers about their goals. Then, break down metrics or key performance indicators you can quantify and measure success.

The key to remember: Value isn’t always created with a dollar sign. When you map out the metrics or key performance indicators, recognize the value you’re charging and price accordingly.

2. Recognize That People Are Buying Time

Some amazing products and services which have gained huge market acceptance over the past few years do ONE thing really well: Save people’s time.

  1. Uber: People don’t just use these services for convenience. People use them to save time getting from one place to the another
  2. MacBooks, iPhones, and Android devices: Help people to get more work done in a shorter period of time and allow them to connect with another person with ease
  3. Your amazing restaurant down the street: Saves you so much time in growing your own ingredients and preparing your own meals

Time is a finite resource, and everyone values their time.

Even if the financial ROI is cloudy, many business owners will buy your product or service if it means they’re able to free up their time for something else.

If your service doesn’t help customers generate direct revenue, think about how much time you can help your customer save.

If your product or service helps save time, you win. (Tweet this)

This is exactly why I created Sumo as a way for business owners to increase their traffic and email subscribers — without wasting a lot of time.

And, it’s why I’ve hired a digital editor even though I know how to write. Having someone help me with writing means I can create better content at a faster pace for you.

3. People VALUE What They Pay For

What happens when your friends give you their “great” advice?

Even if their advice is really, really good… most of us (including myself) don’t listen to it.

People ignore valuable insights when they're free.

Now, think about getting advice from someone like Tony Robbins, who charges $2,000 for a seminar. Thousands of fans will do exactly what he says with strong determination because of the cost.

(Speaking of Tony: learn why I recently walked out on a $2,000 Tony Robbins event.)

Most of us value what we pay for over what we get for free. So do your customers.

Another example: I recently gave a friend a few free AppSumo products. Three weeks later, I hit him up to see what he  implemented in his business.


He didn’t do a DAMN thing with the products I gave him for free. On the other hand, thousands of customers have paid for these products, implemented them in their businesses, and received crazy results.

Money is a truth-teller. When you trade your money, you’re automatically more invested.

4. Start SUPER Small

“I’ll just be nice and give this away for free.”

How long will “free” pay your bills?

When you charge nothing, you’re undervaluing yourself. You have a solution for someone else’s problem and you asking for money is fair.

If you’re scared about charging too much at first, even simple pricing strategies can work: charging $1 is better than giving it away for free.

Some examples of the price point you can start with:

  • If you’re a graphic designer, start your rate at $25-50/hr
  • If you’re business consultant, start at $50-80/hr
  • If you're a copywriter, start between $40-70/hr

Start small. Then, gradually increase your price as your business gains traction and provides significant value to your customers. (You can also add more benefits and features as you increase your price.)

With Sumo, I used to do a 10% price markup on every product

As the business grew, I start experimenting with the pricing. I tried marking up 100% because a few of my friends kept nagging me to charge more.

Guess what happened when I 10x’d my markup?

  • Same conversion rate on sales
  • Higher-quality customers who appreciate our products more — which leads to more positive reviews
  • Fewer refunds because higher price helps filter out bad customers

If you’re feeling guilty charging for your time, just start small and experiment.

Pricing strategy can be confusing, complicated, or scary — but with my four tips above, you’ll be ahead of the pack.

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149 responses to “The Ultimate Pricing Strategy To Charge What Your Time Is Worth”

Jeffrey k. Brown, PhD, RPE, BCE
November 23, 2019 at 7:14 am

Outstanding article. I am a Freelance medical entomologist and contracted for expert witness at $300 per hour. After reading this article i am reevaluating my fee which i will receive because my participation is invaluable. I am being considered for a multiyear contract and was concerned about pricing because i really wanted to do this work when i read about project pricing...excellent. J.brown,PhD, RPE, BCE

November 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

Really useful, thank you

Arthur Pallister
September 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm

Spot on. Recently started in business and the price is not the point. They just want the service.

Christa René
August 27, 2019 at 12:41 am

I’m so grateful to you for sharing all this info. Trying to convince myself that what I feel the need to charge is not something I should also feel guilty about, is extremely difficult. I so greatly appreciate the encouragement. Thank you!

Valissa Dreyer
May 27, 2019 at 1:05 am

what is my worth if im the organiser, inviting in a new club, start up with a location and no investoers?

March 16, 2019 at 4:51 pm

Thank you this was very helpful. Now I just need to get rid of the guilt and fear and I should be good. Any more suggestions is good.

January 26, 2019 at 5:46 pm

I lead a Women's Creativity Workshop bimonthly in LA. I provide supplies, space, my valued time. I charge $40! I have woman say, they wish they could afford the full amount. I'm always struck by this and not sure how to respond. I'm a licensed therapist and art therapist. Any suggestions on replies?

February 28, 2019 at 1:21 pm

Charge more - $80 or $200! This gives you the freedom to offer scholarships and discounts to the group of women who can't afford your service.

Steven Perez
June 9, 2019 at 2:38 pm

I do advertisements for a real estate association. The only way to get a way from people that are cheap is to bring in more people. As easy as it sounds. It's 100% true. As a man looking for gold in a lake picks up a handful from the water and swishes it around, he only finds 3 pieces of gold. He then gets a bucket and then swishes it all in his pan and find 20 pieces!. What I'm trying to say is that the more people you gather, the more golden nuggets(people) you will find that won't mind paying your fee

August 22, 2018 at 2:01 am

Thanks for reminding me to continually eveluate my value to others, its so.easy to be complacent about this at times, it always cost me money. Rfs

July 17, 2018 at 10:49 am

This let us with plenty of homework 😀

Kandi Kisses
June 15, 2018 at 3:24 pm

Thanks again for your helpful advice.

Tracy Martin
June 14, 2018 at 8:00 am

That's what I'm going about I like that and Great Ideas...

June 10, 2018 at 4:39 am

Thanks so much. This article has taken off a lot of doubts on my mind.

Judy Wagner
June 9, 2018 at 11:17 pm

I have been a math teacher/professor for over 50 years. I have won teaching excellence awards and I have given teaching/learning seminars at my college. I am going to retire at the end of June and I want to do 1 to 2 hour seminars at community colleges and high schools helping teachers learn how to become more successful in their classrooms. I have handouts and all types of information as to how to create a learning environment in which students can be successful . My question is what should I charge per hour for a 1 to 2 hour seminar plus travel expenses. Is $75 per hour good choice for what I am trying to do? Should I go lower or higher? Can you give me some reasonable advice? Thank You

Benjamin Ulrich
February 16, 2019 at 2:17 pm

Hey Judy
It's great that you want to pursue your passion and teach others - this time teachers.

When you ask what price you should charge for a seminar, I think Noah's article provides a lot of insights.

What I learnt from reading the article was that you think of the value you provide for other teachers.

- Students scoring higher on GPA's
- More students going to college
- Less students dropping out of school
- Better retention rates
- Better participation
- More and deeper materials studied
- Less stress and emotional upheaval for the teacher
- Less preparation work
- More fun and free time
- Potential of receiving awards
- Recognition from parents and principal and students for your work
- ...
- ...

If you lead with the value of your class, then you can maybe expand your seminar into a full-day training and charge hundreds of dollars...

Eventually you should think of creating an online training course and have the 1-day seminar as a premium charging even higher prices and only work with the most ambitious teachers that have already gone through your course material online.

Also, make sure to start talking to teachers about their problems and needs.

Get real world data.

Best of luck


Leah Moon
May 10, 2018 at 6:50 pm

Incredibly helpful, thank you! Came for another reason, and now percolating on how tier pricing can fit into my business.

Alex Choompo
May 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm

Good Job ive learnt a lot from this..

March 3, 2018 at 11:20 pm

Superb article!
What is it called when you ask for something like a base salary, to secure a specific time frame (your availability) for a client on an ongoing basis (to complete assignments if needed) whether needed to perform work in that time frame or not.
I'm essentially me something for leaving a slot of my time available for you this week in case you need me (whether you need me or not) otherwise I am going to fill that slot of time with other work that I know I'll paid for.
Thank you in advance for any advice.

Caslista McPherson
February 18, 2018 at 3:00 am

Enjoyed the article from the "Buyers" side. Will keep me wise in tactics used to "increase" their revenue while depleting mine. Two way streets.

Katrina Marie McIntyre
January 28, 2018 at 2:07 pm

January 28, 2018
Thanks so much for the tips. I've been giving advice 'for free' most of my adult life, but I simply can't afford to do so any longer. I completed my last graduate degree in August, have massive debt and still have no job prospects in sight. (As a native of Albuquerque, my recent move to central New York has been beset with difficulties from the start.) Your advice makes sense--I certainly have undervalued myself. Navigating my way as a consultant at sixty-two may be a challenge, but I am willing to learn.
Kate McIntyre

Jason Waite
January 18, 2018 at 8:31 am

Noah, what would you charge for a high quality article like one you've wrote in this piece? Pictures, SEO, & content marketing best practices like you've done? I write similarly & am curious how to price hourly on freelance sites? As well I'm more interested in the client (monthly retainer) side of things. Thx!

December 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Thanks for the tips!

Vanessa Wiesenthal
December 14, 2017 at 2:40 am

Hi Noah - great article...very much appreciated I'm transitioning career from Accounting to Business Relationship Executive, believe it or not! - not sure of the title, however it involves bringing individual and organisations together where they can build, share and improve their individual and collaborative business outcomes. For many years my peers and associates have recognised the value I helped create, delivered and maintained outside of my profession - this was in relationship building. I have the talent to bring people together efficiently and effectively identify benefits of a particular collaboration. My annual salary within accounting, (including superannuation and KPI incentive structure was $109,500.00 gross per annum. I have 30 years corporate experience I would appreciate your opinion on which fee structure I should adopt. I've recently taken the leap of faith and starting my transition and have had numerous offers of engagement however all have asked what my charge rate is.
Thanking you in anticipation

November 30, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Thanks for Ur article. I'm in the medical field and have a very busy schedule. Patient's are struggling to get my appointment as the average waiting time to see me is 20 days. I have very reasonable fees and I wish to increase my consultation fees. But I have not done that because I feel very guilty of charging patients more, as I feel it is not right on my part to hike my fees just because I am in demand. Actually my colleagues who are not very busy are charging higher fees. I am struggling to spend time with my family and get adequate sleep. I enjoy work and very passionate about it cos seeing patients getting better gives me a great feeling. Earning money is not my first priority, as by god's grace my needs are less. But sometimes I feel I should charge higher so that I see less no. of patients and have a peaceful life. Just don't really understand what to do and how to reduce my work load . I struggle saying no to a patient who is in pain and wishes to see me. My front desk staff has a tough time handling the patients as they always want an early appointment.

January 24, 2018 at 12:23 pm

Why don't you consider a "concierge" type of practice where by you charge your patients a monthly fee instead of per visit? You determine when you will be available yet make a steady stream of income while putting limits on how many patients you're willing to take on. It seems to me to be better for the doctor and the patient. Better quality of life for you and able to spend more time with your patients. Patients have better access. I saw one website where a doctor charged $79/mo per person. That equates to $948 per year per patient. How many of your patients actually see you EVERY MONTH? Many go to the doctor quarterly or only when needed. You can also put a limit on the number of visits per year without paying additional charges. You'd have to determine what the best price is per month for your practice and the max. # of patients you're willing to take on.

Melissa Hardwick
November 23, 2017 at 1:20 pm

Thank you for this article! Timely for me as I'm starting out my Interior Design Business- and what I love to do and comes easily for me- is hard to put a price tag on!

Heidi Day
June 7, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Thank you sooo much for this. I have such a fear to charge what I'm worth. I know that is because I don't believe what I'm worth... The proof is in the puddin' I really appreciate this article. Now, let me go create my pricing structure!

May 24, 2017 at 4:33 pm

Thanks for your reflection. I am a trained education consultant working full time as a tutor (because it pays better than my other offers). Your tips were encouraging. There is always the fear that if I charge more, I'll scare the client away. This is one family who claims they want me to work with their son till he finished: 5 years. But five years means I'm taken off the market for that long. I pay my own insurance. I pay my own self-employed taxes. I have a PhD in education and 30 years of teacher/training experience. I hired in at an okay price, raised my price in 3 months and they didn't blink. Now, summer's here and I'm wondering --should I propose another way of charging? by the week? by the month? Your thoughts would be helpful.

Marsha Kelly
May 18, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Brilliant article on all the factors that go into developing the right price for both your customers and your business

Ndoda Ntilini
May 15, 2017 at 7:12 pm

Thanks for the amazing insight. Its very good advice, however free :).

May 14, 2017 at 7:52 am

Thank you for addressed many issues that I work out my business as well as with my students

Jill Brennan
May 8, 2017 at 12:15 am

Great article Noah and timely as I'm preparing a fixed price proposal for a new offering 🙂
One of the problems with getting people to do things for you for free is that because its outside of the normal rules, ie I pay you and you provide me with what you said you would, it can be a lot harder to follow up and ask for what was promised. 'Mates rates' where something is free or done in exchange for doing something for them are often very wobbly on agreed deliverables and due dates. Most times I'd rather pay than muddle through all that uncertainty. So if someone is offering their service for free they need to provide great service in a timely way. Free shouldn't equal disappointing or it won't help your confidence and get you out of it and properly charging.

Andrea M.
October 12, 2017 at 8:22 am

I often feel that sometimes when you take on a project for free the leader often lacks the delegation of expected tasks and deliverance. Which is what I'm often discouraged by because I don't receive the feedback as I normally would for paid gigs.

May 6, 2017 at 11:30 pm

Love this.

Such a gift that you're writing more.

Thank you!

April 20, 2017 at 4:04 pm

Hi Noah! Great article, amazing how this is such a huge problem for so many of us.. Can I ask you how you tackle friends? I am going to start a consultancy job for a friend (not a close friend though) and am feeling extremely uncomfortable to charge him a lot of money, but I have two kids, need to make a living, and while I am working for him, I wont be able to take another job.. Do you ever find yourself in this situation? Any tips? Thanks!!

April 17, 2017 at 4:36 pm

This is something that I have been telling my husband for years: Your time has value and your customers do not have to like you and vice versa. My husband had kept his fee for service artificially low for years and I sat down with him last year and told him that making $1 per hour in profit was not viable as a horticulturist.

He was met with some resistance. One client stated that he will not discuss it with my husband until this year. My husband had me provide a list of where the money goes to and a price list of his services. When one client received this list, it was met with some hostility. Another client advised that he had thought that my husband's fees were previously too low and was happy to pay the increased rate.

This year, my husband has been busier than ever and has increased his client base and income. Additionally, he is undertaking further study which will provide further return on investment and attract new and higher paying clientele based upon the new skills.

March 19, 2017 at 3:09 am

I'm a rehabilitational massage therapist with 14 years of experience and I've put a lot of time into learning the best of the best techniques to make the biggest changes with the least amount of downtime for my clients.
I've been charging $120/hr for the last few years because it put me at a comfortable rate and ensured that I would get less riff raff. I have found that people are fine with it for the most part- enough that I can hand pick who I want to work for (I go to homes).
I'm also a new mom, and while I have the freedom to have help, I enjoy being home with my baby, so I'd ideally only want to work a few hours a week.
I've been considering raising my rates to $150/hr for a while now, to match a few of my peers who have different niches within the same clientele, but I've been hesitant because what I do is SO easy for me and I enjoy doing it so much. I know my clients can afford it, I know I'm worth it, and I definitely know I have put the time and money into crafting my skills. I just need to make the jump without psyching myself out about a $30 difference. I hope I'm in the minority of the people who have stumbled upon your page because I feel like I should see a shrink about something so trivial giving me this much anxiety.

February 14, 2017 at 11:24 pm

I have charged $0 so far and the people I worked with,got results.

Chris J
January 14, 2017 at 1:09 pm

I produce records for singer-songwriters and bands in Austin and surrounding areas. Determining how much they make as a result of working with me is really challenging. Consumers don't buy records anymore. But I have pushed artists to make their best work, which in turn gets them fans. Then those fans pay for shows and merch. Several artists I've worked with have been able to quit their day jobs after making a record with me.

How the hell do I quantify that ROI?

December 29, 2016 at 4:53 am

I am software developer. I charge $5 per hr.

August 23, 2016 at 12:54 am

I have been in a bad situation because of charging less in my bussiness of beauty 5yrs down the line I'm still in the same place. This truly is n eye opener to me I'm worthy more than l charge

July 29, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Well, I had been making my own hair care all nature product for a while & every woman I know kept asking about my lovely hair. So one day I decided to just make the formulation in my kitchen and just sell the product. It costs me $1.27 to make each bottle. When I first called my girlfriend about it, I had not figured how much I wanted to sell the product and when she asked me for the price - $25 instantly came out of my mouth. I have been selling it at that price without a problem! A 20-fold markup! The women are all raving about it and I perfectioning for a boarder market. I think I'll jack the price to $45 at that point - I am a scientist and my product is scientifically formulated.

July 16, 2016 at 1:43 am

This is a constant struggle for me! I have a really hard time trying to charge people for my services... Perhaps there are some self esteem issues here

Peggy Verney
April 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm

I just started charging for services. I am a 61 yr. old life coach with diversified background to offer clients.
In addition or as part of the coaching process, assisting individuals with life changes for themselves and their families can be time consuming and incorporate many skills on my part. I often have given this for free to friends and colleagues. I saw an article in a nh paper recently speaking about a council reviewing what it takes to live in my nh area. It stated $26.00 per hour. As of this moment, I have only asked once.
I would love some coaching from you. I would listen

Dr. Doric E. Earle
January 2, 2016 at 1:09 pm

Its human nature to want to associate with success. There is a sweet spot at which your clients will be happy to pay for your time. You can also have a "free" consultation to set the hook so to speak, but you must charge for time unless your advice is crap....history and society chock full of metaphors relating to "giving it away", from dating to real estate - there is no free lunch. So so don't give yours away.
I charge on a sliding scale - $45/hr for individual personal strategic planning, $85 / hr for nonprofits and startups, $125 / $250 for the mature / bigger firms. I do give some time away usual in the assessment phase but ya gotta

November 11, 2015 at 8:04 pm

I charge $5,000 an hour to stare deeply into my eyes and guarantee you walk away with all the answers.

October 2, 2015 at 5:34 pm

Hello Noah. Your email references a 300 price point but the clickthrough is 600. I'd like to sign up for 300 please - I just got fired, have 3 kids and need to get up and running fast and money is tight. Will pay you double at profitability! It's sort of the reverse of what you are talking about. 300 is a lot to me right now (will highly value course) and willing to pay more when able. 2 solid ideas to execute on.

Michele LaCagnina
August 14, 2015 at 3:51 pm

This post came at EXACTLY the right time for me. Thank you!

August 7, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Great post.

I'd say in a lot of cases, the key is actually to not charge by the hour at all, but to look at charging from more of a "by project" lump sum basis. For service based jobs like web programming or graphic design, charging by the hour can actually mean penalizing yourself for being experienced and efficient.

If I can do something at a higher level and in a quarter of the time as another designer, I need to make sure that I'm not being paid based on time spent. Learning how to properly estimate jobs to maximize your hourly earnings is where it's at.

Noah or anyone else that would love to chat about this, let me know.

Mark Snell
August 2, 2015 at 8:55 pm

I charge AU$100-$150 per hour

July 27, 2015 at 2:26 am

I'm a male midwife in the UK, one of only 91 out of 38,000 I have been qualified since 1994 and asking for money and charging for what I do has until now been difficult. I have been charging £35 per person on day long workshops and am not making very much money at all.....

July 9, 2015 at 3:11 am

Awesome article, sharing it RIGHT now with the whole community of freelance translators, who too often settle for too little and think they can't ask for more. Thanks for the good work 🙂

(I am currently charging 35-40 € / hour to agencies, and 50-60 € / hour to direct clients, but I'm in the process of changing a few things)

June 30, 2015 at 1:25 am

Hi Noah,

I love your emails because they always hit the nail right on the head. The biggest problem I have is charging people for my music. I also have a membership site where I give my subscribers 5 tracks a month and have only been charging $5 a month. I have seen other sites who charge a lot more for just one track and I know that mine is just as good in most cases, but I still have a hangup about charging more.

Julia McCoy
June 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Noah, thanks so much for writing and sharing this. It spoke to me TODAY because my team is launching our new rates for our content agency (after re-vamping, improving and adding to our products and re-training our team..) TONIGHT -- some rates are up by over 50%.. can't help but second guess when it's a big question of what if. So, this post was what I needed, right now.

I don't charge "per hour", per se, because I don't sell my services anymore - I work on building my own company, training my team. But I sell our content services at $75- 100/hour. This is at hourly rates, if someone needs to talk to their Content Strategist or social media manager. Most people buy our per page rates which are averaging $40/blog - at our new rates.

I really, really want to get this free hour, and I'll shamelessly mention that. 🙂 Why? First, I've been following you ever since I saw you recommended by SEJ, then read your profile and how much you love Tacodeli. Well, I love that place. Secondly, I've been ready to find a business coach/marketer advisor for my company for about three months now, and just haven't had the time. I think you're amazing due to what you've said right here.

June 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm

Loved this blog! I have landed my first proper job within media, and don't understand how freelance works! I was feeling super guilty today because I feel like my boss Is over paying me for what I do, he pays for everything all my expenses ontop of my wage and I feel bad because im being paid for a job I love and find easy! But reading this blog has eased my mind slightly, thank you for writing it!

Pardeep Goyal
June 3, 2015 at 6:08 am

This is the best article that came across this week. I am glad I subscribed to your blog.

I just started providing writing services as freelancer. I have not set any price for my articles yet. I am willing to start as little as $30 for 800-1000 words article which takes about 3-4 hour of my time.

With time I will see how worthy are my articles for customers. I am even willing to write free as guest author for many websites in my niche.

May 8, 2015 at 4:13 pm

wow great article! This resonates so much because recently I backed down on charging people for a coaching service. It just didn't feel right. Puts things into perspective. I kinda feel like im worth the money but in a way im not. Definately going to man up and start charging. First I will give it away from free until I no longer have any time.

May 1, 2015 at 11:29 pm

Noah, you were in Australia and you didn't call me for some taco's. SHAME on you. Lol!
I Charge $35.00 per hour in my cleaning company for the work that my cleaners perform.
But since I am just starting out online I wouldn't want to charge anything at the moment because I just want to help people get ahead. And I truly understand the importance of reciprocation it usually comes back ten fold. "Funnily enough it hasn't for me yet and I have bled for people." " Maybe it was the wrong people.

Anyway Thanks for being You Noah great post by the way.

Cheers Ray
P.s Why were you in Australia anyway I saw that someone asked you come over but you never elaborated on who it was and why.

April 27, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Ok , so i am a 16 year old girl who is a singer-songwriter, recording artist , and music producer and i want to know is it wrong to charge my immediate family for my beats ? My sister is 20 years old and she has a gameplay channel on Youtube ( check her out its Britt X Bratt ). She needed intro and outro music for her videos and on her first upload she asked me to make her a couple of beats. i happily did so cause i wanted to help her channel out.

For her next game series she asked me again and i told her i was going to charge, but i ended up not charging her after we got into an argument. Now she is asking me AGAIN to give her a beat for her new game series but this time i put my foot down and said i have to charge you. she got upset and its weird between us now. My mother told me i was wrong for wanting to charge her and i will "reap what i sow" because karma is a b**** and i shouldnt charge my family just because im low on customers. My sister does do a lot for me like giving me money if i need it for school projects and if we get fast food she will pay for my food too. However i have no job since i dont have enough "experience" for any hiring jobs and i do need a source of income.

i feel really bad now but at the same time i cant keep putting all my time into her project and it not help me any when i could be making material for other people who are willing to pay full price. MIND YOU , at regular price, exclusive rights for my beats cost $100 and a leasing contract costs $20. i only want to charge my sister $10 for the exclusive rights until she gets to 10k views on Youtube.

Making beats is not easy, very time consuming, and i give her great quality music. The time i use to make her beats is time i dont really have, as i am a all AP / Gifted student in high school. The money i get from her is going to go torwards my development as an artist and my music equipment , which in turn is going to benefit her too with an even better quality of music.

This is making my head hurt and i believe its going too far now. im afraid it is only going to get worse. i used to be able to show my family my beats before anybody else hears them, but now when i show them i get the comments " wow you can make other beats but you cant make me one" and "careful how you treat people because karma is a b****". it is putting alot of unnecessary pressure on my to either stand my ground for what i think is right or give in to what my family thinks is right. Someone please help me and give me advice for what you think is right.

thank you in advance,
Skylar aka Charisse aka RisseBeatz

business inquires email
beat inquires email the above or
My Youtube singing channel : Charisse923
my sisters Youtube Channel : Britt X Bratt
My soundcloud account :

Dale Degagne
April 29, 2015 at 7:05 pm

In life we operate based on two distinct sets of rules - Business and social. When you mix them, the two, it needs to be clear which set of rules you're playing by. You started out in the social realm where you do things to help the other person, and they in turn, at some point will do something to help you. And now you want to move it to the business realm. So I can understand where the argument is.

Hopefully she's not all take take take - and if she is, then you're better off now not doing anything else for her.

That said - it's really up to you whether you do it or not. If you want to charge her then that's your call.

Personally - I don't charge family for anything...ever. I also prioritize paying work above work that I do for them (unless it's super urgent and they're super nice to me and super awesome with doing other things that help me out). But, that's your call. My suggestion though is to set a policy and stick to it.

Emil Kirilov
April 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm

I charge 22 eur/h for technical consultations and freelancing. Why I charge this amount? Because I know that this rate is OK in my place and my colleges charge similar. I just compare to them but I do not do anything more special than them.

February 20, 2015 at 2:21 pm

This is great perspective, thank you for sharing this Noah. Been a problem for me in the past but this should really help.

January 31, 2015 at 8:33 pm

I used to charge $100/hour for business and life coaching services, but just increased to to ~$150-200 hour (depending on how many sessions someone buys up front). I'm highly skilled and honestly even $200/hr is cheap for what I do...but I'm just starting out and am deciding to work my way up to what I think I'm really worth.

Joseph Dabon
January 10, 2015 at 12:35 am

if one is just starting up , it does feel a little squeamish to charge for something we do for others. But as we grow up in the trade and start learning the value of our time, boy, we must charge.

January 2, 2015 at 2:12 pm

I charge $20k a year per person for my proprietary individual coaching. Why? Because I'm worth $30k a year. WTF? Now I'm raising my fee.

December 29, 2014 at 11:29 pm

This article was just what I needed. I have the experience to prove item number 4 that if you give away enough times, you have a host of clients and not enough time and money to service them!

December 21, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Thanks for your post, I have been a victim of this guilty syndrome for long. I normally make a living from web development. this guilty stuff, have resulted to being people using me and expecting free service at my own cost and time

Stephen Price
December 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I am really great at what I do. But I have a fear of asking what I must be worth. Everyone says I am too expensive but I always feel taken advantage of, like what a fool I am and get depressed and desperate and just am starving and yet I am Louvre documented. How to I get over the fear of asking and value my work?

November 24, 2014 at 12:59 am

I don't charge for the advice because of feeling guilty ...

Dale Degagne
November 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I charge $175 USD per session (1.5 to 2 hours) for financial coaching - The typical person learns how to re-jig their expenses etc and usually saves 10-15% of their income.

But I still feel guilty sometimes, even though I know that people will be Thousands ahead next year after even just a couple sessions.

Great blog post - thanks for letting me know I'm not alone!

October 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm

Ok, I feel bad as I charge around €20 for some small consultancy work. I do feel ok with that because people hiring me will have to commit much more (as in time, wages, etc...) to hire me, even if in the long term they will win as the hourly rate will drastically go down (if hired).
I do want to charge much more as €100 or €200 per hour for few simple reasons:
a) I am sick of my field of work, I don't like consultancy and I'd like to keep away few things from me.
b) If they accept my big hourly rate, at least I am sure that we will focus on important stuff -> Even if I am sick of my field, at least it will be interesting.
c) I am a good guy, but sometimes I would like to act like a wxxker. 😀

October 9, 2014 at 6:41 pm

And now I know why I resonated with that video you did with go David Deida seminars.

Next you'll be saying you go to Abraham Hicks seminars as well. 😉

Marc Manieri
October 3, 2014 at 8:37 pm

I charge $50,000/year for success coaching. There is no hourly rate to calculate b/c of the positioning of the opportunity. People pay for results.

I charge that much b/c the large investment calls people up to play big. There's no messing around. Either we go create something beautiful and powerful and amazing together, or we don't work together. So the money calls people to attention and motivates them to play big and helps to move people through their fears when things get edgy. In addition, for those clients that can't easily write a check for that amount, who they need to BE in the world to create that money (all fees are charged up front) is the same way they need to BE to achieve their dreams. So the money starts the creation process immediately.

October 3, 2014 at 7:36 pm

I really like this email and i couldn't recognize this concept before , i spend many hours everyday speaking with strangers and providing them with my little tiny experience and in fact this becomes very difficult as i lose many hours that i could use wisely in another thing , thanksss

Konrad W. Gorak
October 3, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Excellent article Noah. The whole idea of being worthy and money related stuff start in the early years of our lives. We're told different things, what we should, and what we shouldn't. All our money beliefs come from our parents, school and environment in general. There are people who tell us how much are we worth. And it sits in our subconscious until we grow up and start a business. The reality sets in.

I am a business & marketing strategist. Over the last couple of years I interviewed many business owners, CMO's, CEO's. They all shared same issues. Unworthiness is a common problem. I had huge problems with feelings of being taken for granted or feeling of worthlessness. I invested in some kind of "beliefs about money" clearing sessions and after that I went from charging $300 to $2,000 per hour. Now I charge for the real value of my help.

You have to realize who you are for your clients: a money facilitator or money maker? If you're a money facilitator you're not positioning yourself well. People don't know why should they give you so much money. It's all about clear communication and showing off the real value of your services.

From every session with me people make 5 to 10x more money than they invested. It's a win - win situation. Why I charge so much? Experience. I always say that it's so easy to run a successful business in US or in UK. I grew up in an eastern european country where running your own business is really hard. Very high taxes, corruption, people have less money for your products, etc. I've built businesses there and here in the UK. And I did it while being full time dad to my 3 children 😉

Kevin Raposo
October 3, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Dude, I totally hear you on this post. Time is very valuable for me. I mean, cmon, I have a life outside of this digital world. Good stuff, Noah!

Jeremiah Boehner
September 15, 2014 at 2:11 pm

My Hourly rate at the moment is around 50 bucks an hour. Meaning no matter what I'm doing, sleeping, eating, watching TV I'm making 50 dollars an hour. So if something costs less than that to do an I can outsource it (IE my laundry, cleaning my apartment, running small errands) I do. If someone wants me to do something for them. I charge them 75 bucks an hour to make it worth my wild.

I hope to increase that to SUMO levels in the near Future.

Barbara | Creative Culinary
September 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm

While I am building a blog into a full time business I continue to do web development work at $150/hour. I found myself in a situation with peers not too long ago that wanted to make a lot of money but simply did not value the time I put into the effort to help them get there and I was nickel and dimed to death; effectively cutting that rate in half. So I quit letting it be known to that group that I do websites; went back to more traditional, local marketing and have doubled my income.

I don't need the cheap clients; the ones that value the work I do and the results they see don't blink an eye at their invoice!

Kimanzi Constable
July 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Great post Noah! I charge $166 an hour. For the value I provide (the results I get my clients) and my time I feel it's a good trade off. I am completely booked so I know you would tell me that I need to raise my prices!

June 26, 2014 at 11:09 pm

This hits me with spooky precision.
Thank you.
I have a gift for counseling, people tend to open up and confide in me with ease. I have counseled married couples striving to save their marriage, businessmen that needed a place to cry, and loners that thought no one could love them if the truth about them were known.
It's always been an energizing experience to be part of. But I've never felt good about charging people for my time.
I always wanted to start some "muse" business so that it would find my lifestyle and allow me to counsel for free.
Anybody want to get some free counsel from me and suggest a fair price?

June 14, 2014 at 4:44 pm

Hey Noah!

Your in Aus! Are you doing any seminars or something like that of the sort? Hoping to a hear a "yes", also hoping to hear a "yes, in Sydney".

Would love to go to something like this!

Big fan,


June 4, 2014 at 10:00 am

i was just thinking about this yesterday, as i've been asked by some potential new clients and returning old clients for proposals on various projects. i charge $125/hour for freelance writing/marketing for financial services. but i usually quote per-project rates so that they don't feel like they can't call me whenever they want. honestly though, they're so price insensitive that i could charge twice my hourly, rack up the hours, deliver the same value i do now, and they'd probably never blink. Points 2-5 are nice, but it's Point 1 that i really have to work on.

Marie Youngblood-Krebs
May 23, 2014 at 3:38 pm

Noah, I love your style, though it was hard to take at first. I write blogs and create marketing materials for real estate professionals, after 16 years active in the industry myself. I charge $40 per blog, which includes providing graphics and posting it. Creative stuff is per piece, usually averaging about $25 per hour. I love what I do now, so I don't feel like I'm too cheap, or too expensive, because I provide a quality service and product. You asked, there ya go!
I love, love, love the apps of yours I use on my website! I'm NO techie, and they were easy to install and set up - THANK YOU!!!!!!

April 11, 2014 at 8:38 am

Loved this article. We are a small but very experienced family business. We went from charging £25ph to £75ph. Logically you'd think it would become harder but actually it was easier as we seemed to have more crediability. The more (unique) value we bring to a client the easier it is to charge higher premiums. Some projects now start at £10K. We can provide a better service, to clients we prefer to work with as we are less pressured. Its learning to have the confidence in yourself.

March 26, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I make a ridiculous amount of money when I do iOS app development and I used to worry about it being ethical. Then I realized that I didn't want to spend my time developing apps for someone else with the few hours I had for personal projects, and if someone wanted those hours for their projects, it was going to factor into the cost. Since having that thought, I've realized that I can set my price at what I feel my time is worth and if people want it bad enough they will hire me. If not, well then I get to do what I want with my time :).

January 8, 2014 at 2:20 am

Excellent points here! I also think putting your fee's can help you weed out the clients that don't appreciate what you do for them and aren't willing to invest in their business.

November 2, 2013 at 9:43 am

I LOVE and really appreciate this post. I have failed to charge for my services-precisely because i felt guilty. I find this to be especially true with family and friends. This article gave me a lot of food for thought and a completely different perspective.

Thank you Noah!

September 29, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Great post!

I am going to charge for my time.

Often, I volunteer in sense of being charitable working with non-profit organizations. Little I realized they don't really value my expertise or my time.

Often they would tell me, "I wish I took your recommendation in first place."

I want to be respected. Therefore, forth on, I am going to charge for my time.

September 26, 2013 at 8:24 am

Thanks for sharing Noah.
Just today i stumbled into your blog, and i blame you for being unproductive today :P...

I have a question.

When do you know when it's time to charge more, and what if you have worked before with lower prices for the same people?


September 8, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Yes, # 1 has crossed my mind a lot lately.

I make clients a lot of money! I only get $125 per SEO report to do it and it takes me about 3 hours to finish a report. I do all the planning for the month for all clients and manage communication with them through phone and email. This is all covered under that $125 per report/per month. They've started to ask for my advice on different website/blog SEO related topics often, maybe once every two months from different clients. It takes me about 30 min to 1 hour or so to research and write them back with the info, depending on the topic and if it is a recent algorithm update.

Recently the blog posts I've written for them have gotten them on page 1 of Google in about 3 spots and more on pages after that. They've reported making sales from the blog posts because they're coming up for the keywords and the content is audience specific information.

They're telling me they're signing clients from what I'm doing. I'm getting them leads to their landing pages through AdWords and increasing their conversions every week.

I've taken NLP courses, copywriting courses, and have taken so many other courses and have case studies I can write from client feedback and analytics information. I'm starting to think that the $125 per report for about 5 + hours on each client, possibly more for creating the schedule is not as much as I want to make now. I am working about 12 hour days and feel like I don't get to spend as much time with my family as I'd like to.

I have a lot of business ideas and have clients that ask for my business advice, business structuring and organizational advice, marketing advice, community management advice, social media advice, all the way to spiritual advice...

... and yet, I do feel guilty charging for time, but feel angry when someone asks me something I know is going to take awhile to answer and I maybe get $25 for my time, if that.

I think it is time I start taking my business seriously and not stuck at $125 per report as contract work for a client. I am signing up for your course, How to Make a $1000 a Month Business. There, I made a decision.

August 20, 2013 at 1:42 am

I charge $75 / hour for design work. I used to charge less, but I didn't like the type of clients I was getting so I raised the rates to get a better quality of client. I will probably raise it later in the year since I have more than enough work right now. Basically, the busier I get, the more I charge, and the more I charge the busier I seem to get. Psychology is funny. 🙂

August 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Working up the audacity to charge for teaching new sport bike riders how to survive their first few thousand miles riding on the streets... The potential valuation is huge! And I have a hella gift for helping these guys. There is still this huge internal roadblock I'm facing in regards to charging. I also plan to give away a huge helping of the 'necessary' stuff... But there is this block. Working to he through it as I read this awesome article!

Thank you!!!

August 16, 2013 at 4:38 pm

About 10 years ago an attorney called me to testify in court on a case. My fixed overhead was 70K per month excluding my salary so using simple math I told him 2k per hour. He told me that the most he had ever paid was 200$ per hour and said no-I also said no. 3 months later a check came from him for 2K I called him and said I wanted something extra from his client-a picture of my great-great grand father that she had in her store. I testified in the case , his client got 500,000$ and sent me the picture . I'm not always that good , but once is pretty good.

August 16, 2013 at 4:24 pm

I will save you 20minutes of life. I read all comments. Pick Helen as a winner, she makes sense and is not blabing about shit nobody cares about. and now pick me....

August 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I charge about $12/hour for event production. I started working for free and after two years all my clients were paying, but because most of them are non-profits and small businesses I feel guilty or scared that I will lose them if I ask for more.

I need the money, even if it's only $12, and I am struggling to transition to a higher price point. I'm definitely overqualified for the job (I am a licensed attorney too) but I feel as though I'm small potatoes compared to most production companies.

August 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

I charge $100 an hour for consultation, but measuring my outputs & client results I'm totally undercharging. My performance and value are worth more! I am restructuring my pricing model. Lastly, on occasion I've performed free work on some products that I offer (in this case number one on your reasons of guilt association would apply). It's not difficult for me to perform a mini project so, I have no problem with taking 5-10 minutes out of my busy day and performing the task for a friend who should hire me.

Thank you for this post, two resolves for me: restructuring price/value model asap no more free work regardless to the size of project.

August 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

I recently began charging a $50 fee to consult with aspiring authors. They want information about the publishing experience as well as writing tips and I think most of the people I consult with feel like this is some sort of short cut to doing the actual work and going through the process of publishing a book. I definitely feel like I should be charging more and now that I've read your article, I will be doing that as soon as my website is up and running. I'm going to double the fee for my one-hour consultation. I will fold that fee into the total for services rendered should the client decide to use my company to edit their completed book or better yet, use me as their ghostwriter. Sounds like a grand deal, if you ask me!

Thanks for this inspiration!

August 16, 2013 at 8:47 am

I charge $80/hour, but I'm in the infancy stages of my blog consulting business. I definitely add a bunch of value to any blogger or freelancer, but you are right about pricing and self worth.

When I worked for a corporation they charged double the hours of what I could actually do (programming software) at their rate... why? Because I did such a great job efficiently. I was stunned, but it did help me secure the raise I asked for. My time and skill were valuable and they were making much more than they were ever going to pay me.

Thanks for this!

Alex Prandecki
August 16, 2013 at 4:30 am


! Great stuff man !

Enjoyed paying for your email templates, or maybe I'm enjoying the thought of making ten times over what I paid for them even more.

I sing at senior homes. $65-$75/hour. I love those people. But "taking on the world with business" is calling me.

Had a show on the strip in Vegas and you know what I learned?
I don't want to have a show on the strip.

Let's talk for less than 3.14 minutes, so that I don't take more of your time than that number has to offer.

I opened a company (GetWithIt!) with a couple friends that I believe will interest you. It's got pre-traction of 20k per week on FB and over 4,000 likes in just a few months.

Get with it,

August 15, 2013 at 8:01 pm

At the moment I charge 10,000 per year to my company because I kinda fell badly into the role and that was a step up from 0. If you take into consideration the fact that I get in most days after 12, and the other days later, i am usually gone by 6, I take an hour for break, spend a good amount of time on reddit and most of the rest of the time doing jack shit. I realise this job is costing me a fortune because I am wasting so much god damn time at a shit hole where i think i am undervalued and I am probably regressing from all the demotivation and the generally caustic environment I figure I am earning about a good negative -$100 per hour and all because I am to spineless to do anything about it.

August 14, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I actually charge nothing at the moment and this was a great article to show I just need to jump into the abyss and just experiment. Thanks for sharing

August 13, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I never quote or charge by the hour because if you look at professions people hate (rip off mechanics, lawyers) they always bill per hour. Instead, I just charge monthly retainers and then send detailed service reports and monthly results so that the client sees work being done and progress. Now give me my consulting. In exchange, I will rewrite one of email promos in an A/B test. If I lose against your control, I will buy you a very expensive bottle of scotch.

August 13, 2013 at 8:01 am

Great post as usual, Noah. Thank you!

August 13, 2013 at 7:45 am

I have struggled with charging for my time. I know I need to but I am still growi g into it. Your post was very helpful. Thanks Noah.

Matt E
August 13, 2013 at 12:50 am

I usually try to get people to pay flat rates for particular projects, because my "hourly" rate is typically higher that way. That said, when prompted for an hourly rate I typically get $50 an hour.

August 12, 2013 at 11:16 pm

I was thinking about this topic in the last 2 weeks really - you're a mind-reader Noah!

I found an awesome solution: called the Strategy of Preeminence from Jay Abraham (Youtube it!)

It has 3 main components.

1. and most importantly:

You have the obsessed attitude and decide you're not going to wait for money to change hands before you start contributing, guiding, advising and proteecting them.

PRetty much the same as your 4th point.


POSITION yourself from the beginning as the ONLY VIABLE SOLUTION, to a pain or problem or a great opportunity in their life.

Then and only then you never let your client buy for less, less quantity or quality or less fruequetly or smaller package what he or she should buy.

Allowing them to do that - is againt your moral obligation (!) as their trusted advisor.

For me this idea and what you told in Sales Workshop killed every last fear againt selling.

If I KNOW that's the perfect solution for someone I HAVE TO sell it - no doubt.

I studied something very similar from Highvalue sales course from Appsumo 🙂 and it also helped a TONE!

Just 1 more thing:

you had 2 extremely HUGE freebie which were life-changer for me.

Yesterday's Biz Idea Validation and 2 free email from Neville which taught me how to create an inforpduct with Gumroad in 4 days.

Sometimes I was not 110% satisfied what I bought on Appsumo. But since I already recieved greater value for free - I never wanted and refund or complain.

Which makes VALUEABLE freebies incredibly useful.

August 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

If you knew you were going to die in X amount of years, you'd dramatically change the per-hour rate at which you'd charge for your time, especially if you're already well-off.

I bet an already wealthy person would refuse ALL requests to consult on a paid per-hour rate if he/she knew with absolutely certainly he/she only had like 5 years left.

P.S. I'm re-commenting so as to turn off that 'Notify me of followup..." setting.


August 12, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Life coaching- price is glass of champagne. I need to get better at charging more. Teach me, Noah-san!

August 12, 2013 at 6:01 am

I charge - (minus) 50€ / day. WHAT? Yes, I pay for my work. Here in scandinavia we have free education but while the universities fail to offer suitable education for what i want to be (rockatar startup marketer) i had no other choice than push myself into a startup and learn the hard way. Data is my passion and if they wont hire me once i show them the results, I have a pretty good feeling that someone else will.

Matt Coffy
August 11, 2013 at 1:20 pm

$500 An hour and it's worth it, period. I can help even apsumo improve it's marketing strat..

Briana Cavanaugh
August 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

I've been moving towards financial bliss coaching and away from the bookkeeping work I have been doing because I love it and I'm great at it. It turns out to be helping people love and really see their genius themselves so that they can do things like track their money and get clear about what they need to charge as well as things like save them on taxes and have strategies for saving that really work.

This issue of charging what you're worth is an interesting one. I have about 20 years of experience doing various things that lead me here. On the one hand I charge $150 an hour for coaching, which is about $100 less than my nearest competitor. I've been doing that because I am afraid that my client will vanish and that I won't be able to feed my kid and also because people accepted any number I gave them until I got to this one. So I raise my prices to find a place that it seemed like the market would bear.

I know what I do changes lives and there must be something stuck in there (in my head), but the $250/hour feels like a big number and I'm just not sure that I'd have any work at all if I went there. My clients love me, but it still feels like a big number.

Also the idea of getting and hour with you seems like an awesome thing - I'd love a report back from who ever does get that time with you!

Scott Britton
August 10, 2013 at 6:25 am

I charge $200 an hour for short term business development consulting. I don't open my rolodex unless I would have without a consulting engagement in place.

Honestly, I don't have an amazing reason why this is my number. A few friends paid someone I know this and I was like "hey I'm better than that guy" and settled on that.

Where I struggle is who to charge. There's a ton of people who are at the periphery of acquaintance who I want to help, but it's just not scalable to help everyone and I want to make sure they actually value my time vs. just yes me to death and continue to do the same shit they're doing that doesn't work. Would love some ideas on a framework who to charge and who not to charge.

Tony T
August 9, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I was trying to charge $80-$100 for software consulting (focusing on data analytics/machine learning) three years back.

I felt uneasy about advertising myself and taking money from people since I was fresh out of school (albeit graduate school), so I ended up not taking offers and worked on stuff for free. I guess it stemmed from a fear of failure which I'm coming to realize from your "How to make your first $1 course" :).

Thanks for this post. It's always inspiring to read your stuff.

August 9, 2013 at 6:50 pm

$100/hr for strangers with money. Just got some ITC consulting work for high value biotech (if you knew where I lived you would be amazed at that rate, not a high tech or high socio economic area).

$50-$60 for strangers with less money. This is because $50/hr is better than $0/hour and I don't do work for free, especially web dev/website builds as you're then on the hook for support which means WHERE WOULD I HAVE TIME TO GO SURFING AND CYCLING.

For family: $35/hr, just coz. Working with mum's partner on education based iPad, the 35 is a cut rate because there will be profit sharing. Plus she's given us so much (we moved away from the big bucks of Melbourne for a lifestyle change and they've helped with expenses and stuff whilst we got on our feet/got jobs.)

[My business - coffee subscription biz in Oz, needs work, would delight in unflinching red hot magma scrutiny of yours.]

August 9, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I'm like your brother--we don't charge by the hour. We send in forms that are then reimbursed by others at rates that have really no connection to whatever 'value' may or may not have been provided (time/teaching/education... high value/low pay. Cut, poke, ram a person into a big magnet.... low value/high pay).

Why? No idea. The system is crazy.

Love your points in this though--particularly #3.

Skin in the game keeps people motivated.

Thanks for the post!

Clay Hebert
August 9, 2013 at 12:08 pm

For short-term consulting for big companies, I charge $1,000 per hour.

For paid speaking, $5,000 in-town - $10-15K out-of-town.

For individual hustlers and entrepreneurs spending their own money, I charge much less, $250 / hour, billed at $4.17 per minute and all donated to charity: water, done through Dan Martell's

Clarity has become my perfect filter for dealing with one-off requests for advice and random "coffee meetings". More on my thought process around that here ->

(Noah - not trying to drop a link in the comments, but I thought it was relevant to the "charge for your time" discussion. Feel free to delete.)

August 9, 2013 at 11:53 am

Hey what's up Noah? Great post on providing insight into the psychology of selling to a customer.

I charge what works out to be $1,000/hr as a developer in SF. The work I do typically increases sales by ~10%. I help them implement a content marketing strategy to drive an audience to submit their email. Then email is used to build trust and eventually funnels them into a landing page for some product. Of course I look at the metrics, run a/b tests, and optimize those conversion rates.

It's a tough sell for a client who doesn't understand the huge value in that. But when I have clients that understand, I only need to work a few hours a week delivering them that.

I'm trying to replace that income with products.

August 9, 2013 at 10:17 am

I charge $250 an hour for wedding photography.

Even I think that's a crazy amount - but there are so many reasons why it makes sense.

Why? Simple...

That price tag is a filter - it brings us special weddings and couples that actually care about what we produce. The work you accept only ever brings you more of the same kind of work. Get known for low cost gigs and it's hard to break out of that.

We can limit the number of bookings we have in a year, pour 10x attention and creativity to each booking & still make the same revenue.

Less stress as we're not continually marketing.

More fun as couples are responsive and give great feedback which then leads on to more great bookings.

My aim is to get to a similar level with tech consulting and offering entrepreneurship advice, yet strangely that's where the guilt kicks in.

Help me Noah!

Melanie Toye
June 22, 2016 at 4:14 pm

I like your comment about getting known for low paying gigs. That is so true!

August 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

I charge $107.38/hr. Because its slightly higher than my competitors and its weird enough to make an impression (I get asked about my rate more than anything else which is a great lead-in to what I offer :).

August 9, 2013 at 8:10 am

Hi buddy!

I realised this after a Landmark seminar that I attended, that I hate asking for things because I make assumptions about what others are thinking of my asking, so I just end up giving my services for free or giving in to the possibility of no possibility. That is a downward spiral mentality.

Since then, I'm committed to being a powerful, unconstrained, and confident businessman, and I've upped my freelance rate to $100/hr. When you take your rates seriously, you give people permission to trust that what you are doing is valuable, and there is no chance to low-ball when referrals come around.

There are of course the coveted friends and family discounts, and through that I'm very fortunate to work with some awesome people like Noah and Neville.

Thanks Noah! xoxo

August 9, 2013 at 7:50 am

Great email Noah. I always struggle with this charging guilt but I am getting better about it. Charging $200/hour for consulting at the moment but feel like it should be more factoring the value we're creating for the client. I'm noticing a direct correlation with the amount that I charge and the respect and behavior of the clients, like you say.

Hope you enjoyed yourself in Australia!

Lain Ehmann
August 9, 2013 at 7:44 am

Fabulous question. When quoting a job, I try to picture the looks on my kids' faces when I tell them I have to work instead of hanging out with them. Then I get a number in my brain - and increase to 150% of my original quote.

Right now I would say I'm pricing my time around $100 an hour. I know I'm worth more than that.

Melanie Toye
June 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I love this idea! Not hanging with the kids makes me feel so guilty and unhappy but bills have to be paid and I do love what I do. I am going to try it next. I have written 11 books, I used to give them out for free or charge $1 but I don't have the volume of customers so I did freelance writing roughly $35 per hour or more. Now I offer courses because I know I have a lot of knowledgein the industry and with my freelance writing mentorship course I knowI ca make them money if they apply it so I do charge $499 but with that they get heaps of resources as well. I had someone sign up to it as soon as I created the course. I have other courses too that excite me to create and are a little different. Here is to stop feeling guilty for providing a product/service that is a one of a kind and is memorable.

August 9, 2013 at 7:24 am

I have tried different rates. Many people want cheap, it's depressing, and then complain. Free has't got me anywhere yet but I'm putting the effort on selling cuz I can do more.

August 9, 2013 at 7:19 am

I host and produce a podcast about the New Mexico startup community. I have had requests for help with setting up or improving podcasts. This 'free' service was my opportunity to learn how to coach and encourage others.

I am about to speak a few local business events, and I anticipate some additional interest in producing regular audio/video content. I plan on offering a setup/production service for this type of content for $400/month for weekly content production. That will come out to about $50/hour.

August 9, 2013 at 7:18 am

I landed a consulting gig a month or so ago, and am being paid a small amount each time a product is sold. This structure has the potential to be very valuable for me ($20k+ for a few dozen hours of my time), and a good chance of being at least somewhat valuable.

I like this structure because it aligns me nicely with the goals of the client, but waiting for the money to come in I definitely sometimes wish I was getting something for my time upfront.

We'll see how it pans out in the long run ...

Yael Grauer
August 9, 2013 at 7:01 am

Great post. I like the focus on the hard (ROI for the client) and soft (why we feel guilty asking for money in the first place).

I charge $100/hour for writing and editing. I try to break down work that pays per word into that rate as well, though it's hard to tell how long something will take.

I'd honestly rather someone ask me to do something for free than offer me some of the rates they sometimes do. ($5 per post is insulting.)

I do feel guilty from time to time, so here's what I do if someone can't afford me.

-I set aside a half hour twice a week to help people who can pay my hourly, but can't pay a minimum. People who want me to proofread something that'll literally take me two to three minutes. It's worth it for me for the exchange of ideas from scrappy entrepreneurs, without cutting into my time.

-I do a pay-what-you-can sale once or twice a year, where people can tell me what they want and name a price. I usually get only three or four grateful people. Most of these freeloaders, for some reason, don't even subscribe to my blog or pay attention to my Facebook feed.

-I teach workshops/classes at very reasonable rates. My workshop on breaking into freelance writing is four hours long and only costs $66...and I bring fruit and chocolate and handouts. 🙂 There is also a low-income rate that the place works in and I always make sure people can apply for a scholarship.

-Although I usu. charge $100/hour for consulting, I take free 10-minute calls on Fridays between 3 and 4PM. I do ask that people read everything on my blog about the topic they're asking about ahead of time, so that I can answer their question in 10 minutes.

-I'll take on free work now and again, usually for a non-profit organization (like writing for Spezzatino, a magazine which raises money for the Healthy Food Bank), but also every once in a while as a way to say thank you for someone who's gone above and beyond to help me...or for a friend of a friend. I just make sure to know my limits.

-I'll mentor students for free...but only 1-2 at a time, and they have to have drive and talent and follow-through and show up to our meetings on time or it's over. Meetings are once or twice a month and we'll follow up weekly via email. Even though they actively seek me out to meet, I still feel like I pick them; they don't really pick me.

January 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm

Hey Yael!
I do writing as well - any advice on how to find clients willing to pay higher rates?

Kate Huyett
August 9, 2013 at 6:45 am

I charge $20 per person for a class on how to transition from finance to tech and have also taught it in person for a similar rate which backs out to ~$100-200 per hour typically.

One of the other reasons I struggle with charging for stuff is social proof - how many people do you give free stuff to as an initial distribution tactic vs when/how much do you start charging later.

March 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm

I guess one or two are enough. If you can satisfy someone with your product/service then you're ready to charge for it.

August 9, 2013 at 6:23 am

I charge $100 per hour. Usually I do 30 minute sessions.
I help people find a great partner and keep a great relationship.

Why do I charge that? Im really good at what I do, and its all from life experience and study and some self development courses. Im not certified in anything. (Happening soon). And I have several clients who have amazing results. Its a fair industry standard and Im okay with it. For some its high, for some its not.

Jamie Wilson @ Jelly Bean Quilts
August 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

I charge $40-50/hour for my baby clothes quilts... minimum of $475 for the smallest size.

It charge almost double what my competitors charge. And I have a backlog of 35 quilts to do, so I guess I'm doing something right! I know how much work it is & I know how awesome my quilts are (how else are you going to create a cool heirloom art piece out of those baby clothes your kid has grown out of?) so I feel pretty comfortable with my prices.

But I do think it's harder for people like me in the art/craft/semi-luxury purchase areas to charge what we are "worth." Because I'm not making people more money. That would be easy to justify, of course! Sometimes I feel like the only people making real money are consultants that tell other people how to make money, which seems a little ironic actually, or people who can create a virtual product & sell it a million times. Maybe I need consulting on becoming a consultant.

November 4, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Yes. Totally this!
I have just started making plush toys. Sewing and seeing patterns when I look at stuff is something I learned as a child whose Mother was a sample machinst. I enjoy making plushies (and later maybe move onto clothes like my Mum) so I dont feel at all comfortable charging and cringe at even asking for €15 but the need to eat is stronger.
A lot of it is confidence but even with praise and connected orders I still can't override the thought that they're just being nice. lol

Thomas Mann
October 5, 2016 at 5:36 pm

Hi Katy, that's why platforms that allow you to communicate easily what is your rate and how much your time is worth are so important,

August 9, 2013 at 5:48 am

Hello Mr. Kagan,

I split time between freelance behavioural economist and starting up a biz. For the consultancy work I charge £300-400 per day ($466-621). Why? Could come up with some fluff but, as with all pricing, it's pretty arbitrary.

Two good books for anyone wanting to understand more about the psychology of pricing (ie: to work out how they can charge more for their product/service whilst still giving the buyer a great experience) are:

The Psychology of Price - Leigh Caldwell


Priceless: The Hidden Psychology of Value - William Poundstone

Happy Friday,


August 9, 2013 at 5:27 am

Hey Noah,

I charge ZERO to friends, because I just want them to succeed and i am happy to help. Besides, not charging makes it more fun for me. I always ask them though "Help the next guy, instead of giving me anything"

I guess guilt comes from the question "Can I really help them this much?" So one way I tough to do it, when I start charging one day, is to first try to access if I CAN help them, and only consult those I think I can bring real value to.



August 9, 2013 at 5:26 am

I manage projects, and I charge £50 per hour, with a day rate of £450. I've only ever got to use the day rate once so far.

Sometimes people are shocked at £50 p/hr (?!). They say, but that's more than I make (in my high-powered job, etc). But it's not like I charge every waking hour! If I'm lucky I charge a couple of hours a day.

August 9, 2013 at 5:25 am

Nice post mate. I'm taking on board your comments and I'll let you know how things go!

Hoo Kang
August 9, 2013 at 5:01 am

I work as an IT Coordinator, but I'm evolving into entrepreneur-mon.

I work with a highly specialized student information system and charge $250 an hour and a retainer.

I also like to charge a lot, because I like to spend my free time with my family (2 daughters and my wife.)

Working 40-50 hours a week, plus church events, and family take up all my time.

If I want to do consulting work - which I normally don't want to do, but will help if they pay me and really want me to do it.

Paul @ Padorec
August 9, 2013 at 4:47 am

I love the story of Dr. Deming. He is one of the fathers of the efficiency movement and lean manufacturing philosophy. When the American Manufacturers ignored him after the war he went to Japan and built Toyota into a lean powerhouse. Eventually, Detroit took notice.

My Dad got to work with him on a few occasions, and the man charged up to $10,000 per hour. That's right - and he would deliver many times that multiple in value. Here's the kicker - if Dr. Deming came back and you had implemented the things you had discussed previously, he typically didn't send an invoice for that session. If you hadn't done a thing though, you were getting an invoice for a full $10,000/hr.

As long as he felt that you valued what he brought to the table, he was happy to just help. When you ignored him and wasted his time, however, then you would have to pay for that. Interesting man, Dr. Deming.

August 9, 2013 at 4:20 am

It definitely depends. I teach Pilates, So I charge more of a "going rate" for that. $35-50 for the hour for a group class, $95/hr for a private. However, the 2 businesses I own are another story! CABARRET ( I charge up to $100 an hour for a class and up to $500 for a 2 hour event. My public speaking coaching service ( has group classes, which are a lower rate, but private sessions are $125.

I don't feel guilty about these. I know that not only am I providing services, they are services that I created! The client is paying for the time and creativity that went into that creation. As well as the exclusivity of working with the creator, the mastermind, the boss.

June 4, 2014 at 8:20 pm

I'd say double those rates and see what happens.

Melanie Toye
June 22, 2016 at 3:57 pm

Nicole, I like your last sentence where people are paying for you to be creative! Thank you that is what I needed to hear.

August 9, 2013 at 2:39 am

Same here, I was feeling guilty for charging so I was doing free self defense seminars in Central Park.

The people in the seminar then asked about private lessons with me, now I'm charging people for privates.



August 9, 2013 at 1:43 am

I charge €75/hour for IT consulting because that's what a weeklong supply of burritos cost in my country and also, so that I can beat Tim Ferriss and live the "1-hour workweek" and still have food on my table.

August 8, 2013 at 8:22 pm

I was planning to give my ebook away for free but now I'm gonna charge for it.

thanks for planting ideas into my mind.


August 8, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I run a guitar studio and charge $75 for an hour long lesson. Most other guitar teachers charge half that. I was hesitant at first and I started with a lower rate (to test and validate) and progressively raised my rates (and will likely continue to do so). Noah (and Ramit) are right: as my rates increase I have fewer customer issues and I feel an incredibly strong obligation to provide the absolute most awesome guitar lessons in the universe. I also believe that by charging my current rate I attract (and retain) serious and committed (and totally kick-ass) students (who are obviously the most fun to work with).