Freelance Work, Hourly Rate Or Flat Fee?

I’d like to discuss a question that was posed to me recently..

I’m a freelance web developer. Should I be charging clients by the hour or by the project?

Here was my response.

I suggest you charge by the project. While it’s true that consultants and lawyers charge by the hour, that’s not your occupation. You’re completing an agreed upon task so you should charge a flat fee for that. By charging by the hour you’re selling yourself short.

What if you complete your jobs quickly, but have a high hourly rate. A client will be instantly turned off by the high hourly rate and the uncertainty of the length of time to complete the project. Clients have budgets. They, like anyone else, like to know how much something costs before buying it.

Yes, I know that saying $70/hr sounds less than $400. But think of it this way, by charging a high flat fee you are building certainty and a perceived value in the final product. These are two factors that ultimately lead customers to make a purchase.


  1. Alison Moore Smith February 18, 2011 Reply
  2. admin February 19, 2011 Reply

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