Since I started babysitting as an eleven-year-old kid, I’ve been trading my time for money. A dollar sign has been attached to each hour of my life (at least it’s felt that way) for thirty years. So, I pulled a Leonardo DiCaprio. (I’ve moved on to a different model.)
When you book with me, you’re given a day (or days) on my calendar where I focus exclusively on your project. You get results quickly and are free to move on to whatever’s next.
I like freedom. I value it a lot. When you find yourself doing the math on how much money you’re losing to go on a thirty-minute run, because you could be logging hours on a project instead? That’s a problem.
And that’s a big flaw in the hourly pricing model—there are only so many hours in a day. It puts a cap on your earning potential, and we’re all in business to make money.
There are a couple of other problems I have with billing hourly… at least in my experience as a copywriter.
Charging hourly is an illusion.
Let’s say you’ve budgeted $2000 for your website copy. Great! You have quotes from three writers…
One charges $40/hour, will cap work at 50 hours, and offers a turnaround time of one month.
One charges $100/hour, it will take them 20 hours, and they’ll turn it around in six weeks.
One charges $2000 and will have it done for you in one day next week.
Will it really take the $40/hour writer 50 hours? Could they do it in eight? Will it take the $100/hour writer 20 hours? or will it take them 10? Will it take the $2000 writer eight hours? Four hours? Do you even care?
Copywriting isn’t pasta.
Macaroni cooks in the amount of time the package says it will. You’ll have your noodles the way you want them, within an exact timeframe. There is no such precise science to writing. You can not order your copy al dente.
You can’t turn an imagination on and off like a tap. I can’t turn on a timer for an hour and promise you that a killer video script is going to come out of my brain. It might, but it might not. I need time to sit on it and let other ideas drift in and out of my awareness.
I might find myself with a brilliant idea as I’m going to bed… should I add that onto the invoice? Do I start my clock only when I think about your job? Do I only think about your job when I start my clock?
Billing hourly literally puts a limit on creativity and that’s not serving anyone.
Sometimes (usually) the cheaper option is actually the more expensive one.
If you’d like to chat about how we could work together, go ahead and book a clarity call.
And while we’re on the topic of freedom (and models), I leave you with a George Michael throwback.