Freelance Pricing: Hourly or Value-Based Pricing?

A budding product designer asks:

“…hourly pricing as opposed to value pricing? What pricing models have worked out best for you and why?”

TLDR: value pricing.

Full story…

A few years back, I got hired by a well-known blogger to build his membership site. At the time, I was charging 75/hour. After the project was complete, I suddenly started getting emails from acolytes of his who wanted me to build them a similar kind of site.

I ended up creating a fixed price project and charging 3K for it.

Dozens of his followers bought the package.

And, I made more off that than anything else I’ve ever done.

Thing was, the projects took me 4-5 hours to complete. My clients didn’t know and didn’t care. And so, I went from making 75/hour to over 500/hour. That’s the benefit of value pricing.

Let me put it another way…

How many hours of work went into making the computer, tablet or phone you’re reading this on? What was the cost to the manufacturer to make it? Do you know? Do you care?

When you make your services look more like products…

People stop caring.

They’re paying for what they get not what it took you to make it.

That’s the sweet spot.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you never charge an hourly rate. There are times and situations where that makes sense. But, your goal should be to have and push people into fixed-price projects as much as possible.

Last thing…

The reason a lot of freelancers DON’T use value pricing is because it takes some work to get right. You can’t just throw up any old package and have it work. You have to figure out your “magic bullet” offer.

The offer that’s like “free ice cream on a blistering hot day”.

To quote the infamous copywriter, Frank Kern.

Good news is there’s a simple, data-driven process to do this. So, you KNOW your offer will be a hit. It’s not rocket surgery. It’s simply a matter of putting in the effort and implementing.

But, if you DO…

I’m confident you’ll create an offer that can bring you in 100, 200, 300 or more per hour… that potential clients will be tripping over themselves to hire you for. Obviously, no guarantees, but I’ve seen it time and time again.

In any case, I show you the process in the first installment of my Freelancing 101 series: What Services to Offer. I show you how to figure out your perfect niche, what services you should offer, how to package your services to look more like products and what to charge.

All based on real-world DATA…

Not guessing and hoping.

It’s not for everybody, that’s for sure. It takes some thinking and some work to get right. But, once you do… watch out!

Anyway, link to enroll in the course for free on Skillshare is here:



P.S. If you want more info on the free Skillshare offer, the full details and how to get free access are here:

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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Bob Patterson

Not only is John a very talented programmer and developer, he is also an excellent communicator. He has a talent for taking complex subjects and communicating them in terms that anyone can understand. This is a rare combination. This ability has enabled me to take my skills and knowledge to the next level. Thank you John for for all that you do.

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