Hello Successful Creatives,

How many of you just try to sell your services for a flat hourly rate, with no options, no upsell, no complimentary products or services? With an hourly model, you end up working like mad, underpaid, with no cash flow. It’s frustrating and exhausting! In order to get back time, earn more and enjoy their businesses, we suggest that our clients ditch the hourly trap, and develop packages that leverage the skills they already have. And we encourage them to have their clients pay upfront or at regular, agreed upon intervals for the packages they’re buying.

Why is charging hourly a bad strategy?

I used to charge hourly. I had lots of clients coming to me, and I was busy all the time (overtime in fact), but I wasn’t making any real money until I changed my strategy. I began by reducing the number of hours I worked with a client privately while adding other valuable training and tools and resources (a library of expert trainings; group accountability and deep-dive group trainings, for example) to support the client more holistically. Then, I priced these packages according to the transformation they provided the client, not the time it took me to deliver the service. Finally, I required that clients sign an agreement and pay a deposit exactly when they made the decision to work with me for a particular period of time (I used to wait to collect the first payment until after the service began. I lost a lot of clients when I didn’t collect a deposit in the moment of sale). Clients had the option to pay monthly, or to receive a break on the price if they paid up front. How many times have you seen an offer presented like that? Why? Because it works. I have found that when creatives provide a total price for a collection of benefits and services, offer support structures beyond hourly engagement, and put people into contracts that solidify commitment, that business owners enjoy much more predictable income, over longer periods of engagement, allowing them the space to take on more clients while delivering fewer hours to client service. Even better, working this way, the business owner actually has happier clients who are getting better results, based on the investment they’ve made in the package and engaging with all of the package’s many benefits.

In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you must break the habit of being paid by the hour. Simply by changing your pricing strategy from an hourly model to a package model you can significantly increase your income, get paid upfront, and provide a much better service to your clients.

To your success,

Melissa McFarlane
Creative Successful Entrepreneurs


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We help creatives start and grow businesses. We help people turn their passion into income. We show people how they can make a real living doing what they are best at. And we’ve been doing it for over twenty-five years. Join the hundreds of successful artists, designers, coders, inventors, coaches, writers, visionaries, teachers and alternative practitioners who have used CSE to turn their creative passions into thriving businesses.