Consultant rates — the rate for a consultant’s fee varies from consultant to consultant. Setting a consulting fee rate should never be looked on as a minor activity. The rate you choose to charge for your consulting services has a lot to say about you and your business.
If you waffle when clients ask about your fees, they may think you’re inexperienced, about to inflate your rate, or unsure of yourself. Know your fees before you ever talk to a client. If you charge by the project based on a variety of factors, tell the client. Say what you use to calculate a fee and tell them that you’ll come back with a quote in X days. Most people would rather hear that than "Um, uh….I don’t really know what this would cost. Uh, I’d need to think about it."
When people ask me how much I charge per hour, I tell them, "I charge $x per hour, plus tax. However, that’s not as helpful to you as knowing the rate for this project. I typically charge by the project, so that you know what you’re committing to and so you can budget accordingly. I’d be happy to prepare a quote by next Thursday."
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(Want even more info? Get 60 pages on setting consulting fees in my Consulting Fees: A Guide for Independent Consultants).