Is Hourly Billing Really Nuts?

Is hourly billing always nuts? Or are there some edge cases where it might actually make sense for your expertise business?

Jonathan and I explore a handful of potential edge cases (but also offer up some non-hourly options that just may serve you better):

When you’re working like a dog (earning maybe $100-$250K billing hourly on a site like Upwork or from an agency or two) without real positioning—and you’re ready for a more livable alternative.

When you’ve just left corporate life and are first hanging out your shingle as a freelancer or consultant.

When you’re so new at your craft that you’re actually not that good yet.

And even where we could make an edge case for hourly billing, we get hyper-specific on when/how to gracefully transition out.


“They like the promise of not working like a dog all week. And not feeling like they’re losing $200 an hour when they’re not working, when they’re on vacation.”—JS

“Just go back to your source of leads…and significantly increase your hourly rate.”—RM

“Why would anyone feel obligated to pay you some amount of money per hour because you decided to have a really expensive lifestyle?”—JS

“It’s a very rare person who comes right out of corporate and says ‘I’m going to do productized services. Here’s what they are. Boom. Let’s go’.”—RM

“I don’t think it never makes sense to think about how many hours something’s going to take you to do, just to make sure that you want to do it. My point is don’t base your price on that.”—JS

“Hourly rates just exacerbate that inner discussion about whether or not you’re worth it.”—RM

“Productized services make it easier for you to hit a home run, to deliver positive ROI, to get a great testimonial.”—JS

“Offering productized services gets rid of a lot of extraneous BS because you are hyper-focused on delivering only the things that you are really good at delivering.”—RM

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