How Much Should I Charge You and Why?
Free Initial Consultation
Let’s start by saying I’ll give you a gratis 30-minute (or so) consultation about services and fees to see if we’re a good match for your project. I’m not an aggressive sales person, so you can relax and start here, knowing I won’t pressure you to hire me.
- It’s your choice (and mine) as to whether we work together.
- If I know I’m not the right person for your job, I may give a referral to someone who is a better fit.
We might talk in person, or on Zoom, or via another online platform. (I can arrange the Zoom meeting for us, so you don’t need to know how to do that.)
Read this page for a full understanding, or scroll to charts below for the bottom-line without learning about any adjustments we might make for your special circumstances.
Go to the very bottom for info about products that I sell, versus services I offer.
What’s In This Page on Fees?
Below, I’ll discuss Hourly Rates, Flat Fee Charges, and Retainer or Service Agreements to help you determine what you need. (My fees are based on current market rates, as listed by Writer’s Market and other resources.)
I, of course, prefer Retainer and Service Agreements, which offer the greatest flexibility and continuity of spread-out, budgeted payments, which benefit both my clients and me for big projects. However, you have options, as described below.
I welcome and serve men and women of all demographics.
Pretty much everyone has felt “out on a limb” at some time. That’s when you need the kinds of help I can offer.
NOTE: This discussion applies to my charges as a free-lance writer, editor, and provider of additional services, such as coaching or counseling.
- If you were to hire me on a long-term contract, under a retainer agreement, or for a permanent full-time or part-time position, the base rates below would not necessarily apply.
- Scroll down for information about retainer and service agreement options.
- Classes for individuals or groups also have different pricing from writing/editing and coaching/counseling services.
“What is your hourly rate?” That’s a question people ask frequently. But an hourly rate is not always the best way to determine how I can accommodate your budget, given my costs.
In addition, most clients have no concept of the amount of time and effort that must be spent in writing, reviewing, ensuring photo and text licensing compliance, or editing projects.
An hourly rate can hurt both the writer and the client, and it raises the question, “How many hours will this job take?”
Therefore, sometimes, I charge by the hour; other times, I charge by the project or establish a retainer or service agreement. Here’s why.
Retainer or Service Agreement?
Project Flat Rate?
Charging an hourly rate often results in someone’s being wronged. If a writer is slow, the client pays too much. If the writer is fast, (s)he often is paid less than the slow person, and that’s not fair.
For example, if it takes the writer only an hour to write or edit a project that would take most people six hours, and the hourly rate is $100, the writer should not bill a mere $100 for the product that would give a less-talented writer $600.
- It often is difficult to judge, in advance, how much time and research of content, photos, licensing, and subject matter will be involved. This is especially true when the client and writer have not worked together before and are unfamiliar with each other’s work and work habits.
- Also difficult is clients’ ability to predict whether they will like the writer/editor’s finished work.
How To Judge the Quality and Nature of the Work + the Cost
The following is my practice, designed to help both parties judge the nature of the work and a fair price. I:
- Ask the potential client to provide a sample page of the project under consideration.
- Write or edit it in accordance with my understanding of client needs, based on the free initial consultation.
- Provide my sample to the client for evaluation.
Following that exchange, we decide whether to work together. If the answer is “yes,” we determine the project scope, price, and payment arrangements.
Regardless of the type of fee arrangement, there is an additional consideration. How much background does a writer or editor have in your subject matter or in editing? Does the person have true expertise with which to contribute toward evaluating or correcting your work?
For example, as a holistic healer, I am intimately familiar with various terminology and modalities. That makes it easy for me to write and edit content about healing, meditation, and metaphysics. On the other hand, I know nothing – nada – and zero about astronomy, so NASA probably would not want to hire me to create a technical manual.
- A seasoned business person may know of issues or best practices about which you’ve never thought.
- A person with broad experience with people of differing cultures may give you insight into the perspectives held by the audience you’re trying to reach.
Upon consideration, you may want to incorporate some of those ideas or frameworks into your project. The writer/editor has provided you with a value-added perspective in these instances.
Pardon me, while I take a brief moment to “toot my own horn” for your edification.
A recent graduate or a novice with no work experience, for example, cannot provide the value that I offer you, based on my extensive work and life experience.
In fact, I was surprised to learn that my being well-versed in several areas of employment and having had extensive “extra-curricular activities” as a volunteer is a primary attribute that is most valued by several of my clients and colleagues. They comment on it frequently and usually refer to it as accumulated “wisdom” or say I have a deep or sophisticated insight into various situations. Click Here to see a few testimonials.
To summarize, I am:
- a seasoned manager in both international and “Mom & Pop” corporations, large and small non-profits, higher education, and state government
- a volunteer, who has had a radio show, written a play and scripts for performances, and who has worked with people suffering from addiction, AIDS, homelessness, sexual abuse, and well as with prisoners in max-level security institutions
- and a holistic healing practitioner with many certifications, services, and products.
Flat Fees vs. Hourly Rates
If you estimate that a job will take 10 hours at $100 per hour, that’s $1,000—unless it takes you longer. To many clients, that sounds more risky than, say, a guaranteed $1,300 flat fee. It’s like the difference between an adjustable rate mortgage and a fixed-rate mortgage.
“Flat Fee” ~ Agreed Upon Total for the Project
The flat fee is a guaranteed price the client can depend on instead of one that varies according to the time involved. However, this method of charging also can be challenged and challenging.
Whatever the hourly rate or the flat fee might be, it will sound like a lot to some people and like “peanuts” to others.
If the project requires a lot of research or otherwise takes much longer than originally anticipated, the writer/editor is not compensated fairly for the work. However, the client should be happy, even if the service provider is not!
What are Some Services for Which I Charge Variable Fees?
My Persuasive Presentations, LLC fees vary, depending on which kind of services you choose.
- One category is for various levels of Reviewing (Critiquing), Writing and Editing. You can Click Here to see the differences. Know which kind(s) you need.
- A second category is either for Personal Advice and Spiritual Counseling or for a more formal Life Coaching program. Counseling and Coaching services require certifications, which I have earned. Click Here for more details (on another of my websites: getwell.guru.
- The personal growth counseling and life coaching services are explained in detail on my other website, My Get Well Guru, but I include some fee information here for your convenience, so you can find everything in one place. See chart at the end of this page.
- Rather than a formal counseling or coaching session, you also can opt for the informal one-time-only, sporadic, or ongoing “Sip and Share” on Zoom sessions, which are less expensive.
Each situation is different and requires differing amounts of “behind the scenes” work from me in addition to any appointments we schedule.
Factors Which Influence Your Price
Fees are influenced by the:
- amount of lead time you provide
- complexity of the work
- amount of research involved
- travel requirements
- ability to do the work and transmit it online for the most part.
Standard Fees for Reviewing, Writing, and Editing Services
Writers Market and other resources show a typical range of from $40 – $150 an hour, depending on the kind of project. I have chosen 3 levels of pricing, based on level of time and effort involved and on whether the client signs a retainer or service agreement for which (s)he gets a reduced rate.
We will transmit most or all of the work electronically. However, if you require that I print and “snail mail” items, I will charge the exact amount incurred for those expenses plus a small administrative fee.
Typically, we can meet online; but, if “local” travel is involved, I will charge you in accordance with the time MapQuest or Google Maps say it should take, rather than how long it really takes to commute.
ASK ME WHETHER REDUCED PANDEMIC RATES ARE STILL IN EFFECT!
The Fee Chart for Writing/Editing/Reviewing
|Medium to High Degree of Time/Effort/Difficulty (M/H D)*||$60 per hour (+ printing and mailing expenses, if required)|
|Light Degree of Time/Effort (L D)||$30 per hour (+ printing and mailing expenses, if required)|
|Retainer and/or Service Agreement||$50 per hour for M/H D and $30 for L D (+ printing and mailing expenses, if required)|
*For typical reviewing, editing, and writing, my fee will be based on an estimated hourly rate of $60/hour. That fee Might be higher for very complex or otherwise difficult projects. However, ….
If someone already is a good writer (meaning I don’t have to fix huge numbers of errors, rearrange passages, and do a lot of research), I may reduce that rate to half price ~ $30/hour.
Note: most people/projects qualify for the $60/hour rate if they do not contract under a Retainer or Service Agreement.
Either way, the minimum charge is for one hour, and the costs are prorated in fifteen-minute increments thereafter.
NOTE: I do NOT charge you for failures of the Internet to do its duty.
Do I Ever Charge Flat Fees?
Yes, we may come up with a flat fee. What if parts of your job are easy and other segments are difficult? I’ll charge you at the lowest applicable rate, and we might decide to package that combination of tasks and prices into one flat fee for the whole project.
What if We Don’t Have a Retainer Agreement?
- Then, my policy is to require a down payment before I start work.
- The amount depends on the size of the project, but it could be two-thirds, one-half, or one-third of the total amount due.
- Usually, the bigger the project, the higher the down-payment, so I don’t do all that work and then have someone fail to pay me.
- After the down payment is received, I start the project and then bill you at the time I convey the deliverables to you.
- Payment is due upon your receipt of the deliverables each time.
Rate Reductions for VIP Clients / Retainer Agreements / and Life Coaching
What Is a Retainer or Service Agreement?
- A Retainer Agreement is a contract in which a client retains the services of a provider for a retainer fee. The retainer fee is an advance payment of a professional fee for the provision of (potentially specified, but not enumerated) services required by the client.
- For example, a lawyer might be “put on retainer” for a client who does not know if and when legal services may be necessary, but who wants to ensure the commitment of that lawyer to serve when needed for whatever issues fall within the lawyer’s specialties and skill set. The same concept applies to writers and editors.
- The payment might be due on the first of each month for services that will be rendered intermittently throughout the following months.
- A Service Agreement is a provision within a Retainer Agreement.
- It is an agreement that a service provider will receive an advance payment (retainer fee) for the services to be rendered over a specified period of time.
- For example, it could be for the duration of a specific project to be done within six months, rather than being an open-ended contract for all kinds of services.
- One example is based on an hourly rate. At XYZ hourly rate, the provider will give you XYZ number of hours of work in the area covered by the agreement. Thus, a retainer with a monthly payment of $600/month – at the rate of $60/hour – gives the client 10 hours/month of services.
If you put me on retainer for six months or longer, you become a VIP Client. I’ll give you a reduced hourly rate and other benefits. You also may qualify in other ways to be one of my VIP Clients.
A retainer or service agreement acts like a payment plan for you.
Benefits of Using a Retainer or Service Agreement
When you qualify as a VIP Client, you get the highest priority in terms of how I allocate my time.
We also make special arrangements to “roll over” into succeeding months work that was not needed in a current month. This helps you budget more easily. You don’t have to pay huge sums when there is a large amount of work that needs to be done in a short timeframe, but there may be little work needed in the following month.
Rates for Special Groups and Non-Profits
In addition, I occasionally give discounts to specific, (documented) non-profit organizations and to networking group members, or to worthy causes. Contact me for details.
What About Personal or Spiritual Growth Consultations?
These kinds of consultations usually do not involve the enormous amount of work between visits, unlike a formal life coaching program. Thus, I typically, charge between $60 – $100/hour, depending on what we are doing.
Sometimes, I suggest classes, in place of a personal consulting session. They may be much cheaper – especially if the class is open to others to attend, so that all participants share the cost of each session.
The Fee Chart for
Please go to my My Get Well Guru page about Life Coaching. There is a lot of work for both the client and me to do. It’s far too complex and boring to put on this page. Nevertheless, I hereby post the fee schedule for a formal Life Coach session or package. Chirp! Chirp!
How to Make Payments Directly to
My Persuasive Presentations, LLC
I will provide you with an address to which you can transfer money to my bank (Zelle) or PayPal account. Zelle omits the fees that PayPal charges.
I don’t take credit cards. However, if you need to pay me by check, I’ll start work after your check clears.
Product Prices Versus Services Fees
My book is available on Amazon, which sets (and changes) the price in accordance with its whims.
However, if you want to purchase the playbook, to mount productions for academic classes or as non-profits to raise awareness about issues like homelessness, addiction, AIDS, courage and faith, Click Here. The playbook is in 8 1/2 x 11 format and contains line numbers as well as licensing provisions.
(Note: the wellness products and merchandise I sell (Chi machine, Healy, and Nancy’s Novelty Photos on Pixels products) have prices set by the companies for which I am a distributor, and I am not at liberty to change them nor to create payment plans. They occasionally offer specials, however.
My customized HypnoMeditations take MUCH longer to create than you want to pay for at an hourly rate, so the current price is a per-project price of $188, not counting the consulting time during which we determine your needs.
LET’S TALK! HELP IS ON THE WAY!
Do It The Write Way! Let My Fingers Do Your Talking!