When, around a couple of months ago, I switched to an hourly rate model, although I was sure that it was the right decision, I wasn’t exactly sure how my clients in India would react.
In western countries an hourly rate is the norm so I haven’t had any problem with 90% of my work (less than 10% of my work comes from India). In fact they used to find my previous way of charging – per document and on top of that different rates for different documents like the homepage, other primary pages of the website, articles, blog posts, press releases, etc. – quite confusing and, in many cases, unacceptable.
With the new charging model, per document, and even per project, I am making a lot less than what I used to make, but I have more work, my conversion rate has perhaps doubled, and above everything, I know that for every minute I spend working on a document, I am being paid for that time. It’s a nice feeling.
My conversion rate has almost doubled and I can think of 2 reasons why:
- I have started charging an hourly rate so there is no ambiguity — whether I’m working on the homepage, other pages, writing blog posts or even making design changes to an existing website, I’m charging my hourly rate and my clients know that.
- Since at the time I made the switch I had no idea on what basis I should charge an advance, I stopped taking an advance
Prior to charging an hourly rate I could never think of not asking for an advance but I really don’t know what happened and suddenly I felt, there was no need.
In this way, there is no financial uncertainty for the client. He or she knows that I’m not going to disappear after taking an advance. It is in my interest to turn in the work in good quality and on time and I’m perfectly fine with that.
And what about if one of these clients don’t pay after I have submitted the work?
Well, I will take it as a part of doing my job. I am getting enough work, so even if a couple of clients don’t pay (such a case, surprisingly, thankfully, happens just once or twice a year) it hardly matters.
I’m enjoying my work more and I’m less insecure. The quality of my work has improved considerably and so has my confidence as a writer.
Another consequence of me switching to an hourly rate is that I have altogether stopped working with content writers. I am doing all the work.
Of course, later on, I will again be outsourcing some of my work but this time I will make sure that the final version that leaves my computer will be mine and not that content writer’s.
And my Indian clients?
Some are fine with the way I charge, and some are not. It has been a mixed reaction. On the other hand, clients of Indian origin who are living abroad have reacted favorably.