In Which I’m Ridiculously Open About My Rates + Money

Has this ever happened to you?

One of your favorite, widely-read blog announces that they’re taking sponsors.
On Facebook , a graphic designer friend says they’re taking new clients.
A writer whose work you admire announces that she’d be happy to help people edit their book proposals.
But none of them actually mention how much they charge.

There are plenty of super valid reasons not to post your rates.  You want to write up individualized quotes for each client.  You want some wiggle room - depending  on how eager you are to work with someone.  Or maybe nobody else in your industry posts their rates and you’re worried that yours are way, way too high (or too low.)

There are also lots of reasons to be totally, totally open about your rates - which is what I’ve decided to do.

Reason 1
I want to save time - both mine and my potential client’s
I spend at least an hour every day responding to queries about my rates and how I work.   The answers to these questions are always the same and I do have a template email that I use - but wouldn’t it be a lot easier if I just posted my rates on my site?

Reason 2
I don’t want people to assume I’m out of their price range
Hiring someone to write a sales page for you seems like a Big Huge Deal that will cost you $500+ and take a month.  And maybe that’s accurate with some people or marketing agencies! My turnaround time is 2-3 business days and I charge $180 for each permanent page.

Reason 3
Being secretive exhausts me
I can’t be bothered to charge people different rates.  Isn’t transparency a million times easier? Now I’ll know that every person who emails me for copywriting or editing work has downloaded my rate sheet, knows they can afford me, and has (probably) decided to hire me.  Easy peasy, right?

Of course, there are projects that don’t fit on my rate sheet: 100-word elevator pitches, mottos, researched and ghostwritten blog posts, on-going consulting gigs.  And of course, there are projects and professional fields that don’t lend themselves to rate sheets - a static webpage shouldn’t costs the same as a totally interactive, built from scratch website.

But it brings me (and my inbox) a lot of peace to be open about how much I charge.

Do you post your rates online?  How do you deal with putting together quotes for clients?

P.S. other money stuff:  If you’re self-employed are you topping out your Roth IRA?  You should be.  I’m doing it and it’s not nearly as complicated as I thought. I also keep my money at a credit union rather than a bank and I looooove it.  Also, if you’re self-employed and you travel for work a lot, you should know about per diem tax deductions.  This ish will save you thousands of dollars a year. 

photo by // cc



I love it when solopreneurs are so open about money sources and income; it’s fascinating and so very helpful.

Also, when I scroll through sales pages and reach the end and there’s no price or no indication of a range or anything, I think I unconsciously assume that it must be really expensive and that’s why they don’t want to advertise the price and so I never end up asking for a quote. I didn’t really realize I was doing that until now.


I love this post for about eleventy jillion reasons. One question: How long did it take you to streamline your process to utter and complete simplicity? Mine feels really clunky and I can’t figure out what to do to streamline it. And what tools do you use exclusively when you’re working with clients (PayPal and Google Docs and Media Fire? Or is it all fancy and automated)?

(Hope this provides some blog fodder as well:)


Good question, Lauren!
I think my process has always been pretty streamlined - sort of because it never occurred to me to make it complicated - if that makes sense.

Stuff I use to run my business:
Mediafire (to store my ebooks)
Google docs (to share documents and edit them together + to make spreadsheets of tax deductions)
Google calendar (to remind me when to send invoices)
Picmonkey (for photo editing)
Hootsuite (for scheduling social media)

That’s it!


I am a ridiculous researcher. I research the crap out of everything before I make a decision to even purchase something. I feel like if I ask about rates I will commit to something before I am ready to. I feel like if more people posted their rates it would make it much easier for people like me to make the decision to utilize your services.


That’s how I feel, too! I figured if I felt like that, other people probably did, too. So let’s all just save a lot of time and be honest about prices, right? 😉


I always perfer when someone posts their rates. If I’m trying to do some quick research I hate sending tons of e-mails just to get a quote and if I don’t seen dollar amounts on their site I assume they cost more than I have.


I totally appreciate when people do this and are open.

I’m currently working on some rates etc for something I’m thinking of launching, but would love to know more about how freelancers and entrepreneurs come up with their rates.

Alan Moore

I couldn’t agree more. We are constantly trying to get financial planners to post pricing on their websites, but very few do. Makes it impossible to price shop.

And thanks for recommending Roth IRA’s! Easy way to start planning for retirement/future goals.


When I was looking at wedding photographers, I never even bothered to contact people who didn’t post ballpark rates. I don’t mind the “my average wedding fee is $1.5k, but it might change depending on details you want,” but the “contact me for a quote” was just too much work for me.


Great article and I can definitely relate to Reason #1. I’m still in the stages of feeling out my rates and seeing if they’re appropriate for the type of work I’m doing (I also do social media management as well) I do have a base template I work off of so that does make life a whole lot easier. :)

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