July 11, 2018

More reader feedback on “3 ways”

Y’all are still sending in great responses to the “3 ways to try to ditch hourly with existing clients” message from a few days back.

Here’s one that provides a counterpoint to my assertion that none of the “last ditch effort” approaches I offered have much chance of success (shared with permission, name withheld by request):

To be contrarian, I’ve pulled off #1 twice now. I think the big key in my case was the whole “unlimited” part of the monthly retainer. As you’ve pointed out in the past, the stop gap to help limit abuse is the “one business day” response time. So far I’ve not had to use it.  All that said, both times I was doing less “turn the crank and have code come out” work and more advisory work. The one engagement is super profitable. I went from billing $140/hr plus $75hr for travel (they are a 5h round trip and I’m onsite once a week) to last I measured about $180hr inclusive of my travel time. The best part? I’m getting paid $180/hr to listen to podcasts/audiobooks. I just renewed for another 6mo, 100% up front. The other engagement was only two months, and ended because the group I was advising basically was dissolved. Of the $12k I charged them, I spent maybe 6hr answering questions. Not a bad rate there either.  I know the point you’re trying to make, and for pure dev/design delivery service, I think it’s a very tough move to make. 

Thanks, anon! Excellent counterpoint - and congrats on the success!

As this reader points out, his hourly situation started out more advisory than the Alice scenario I described in the original message. I think the Alices of the world would be less likely to have this kind of success.

Still, it’s a good illustration of the nuances of different people’s situations and potential for success.



P.S. Do you think you’ll be sending out a proposal in the next month or so? I can almost guarantee that you’re going to price it too low. Last month, I had a student close a deal at a price $40,000 higher than he was planning on asking prior to my revisions. There’s currently one opening left in the program. Learn more here -> jonathanstark.com/coaching