How Much Is Your Time Worth?

That is such a loaded question, isn’t it? Time is one of those things we value a lot, yet in business we tend to overlook things that suck it out of us like a shop vac. Sometimes we place our emphasis on the wrong things and as a result we end up doing things ourselves that are better delegated, outsourced or otherwise more effectively handled.

I asked this question in my feeds the other day and got a lot of interesting responses. Here are some of what people said:

  • About $40 an hour.
  • ‎$50/hour
  • I’m salary so it’s all in baby
  • Time is really all I have whether or not I am making money so it defines who I am by how I use it! What time is worth may depend on what you value!

There were many other answers as well, but these seemed to best sum up the lot of them. One recurring and most common of all those that answered was that their time was “Priceless“.

Priceless is an interesting term. When it is the answer given to something physical you are considering selling, it indicates you do not really want to sell it. Think about it…

So if your time is truly “priceless”, you would never sell it. Yet we do sell our time every day. To our employer, our clients, our family, etc. The tricks is to determine what you really think your time is worth to you, then make business and personal decisions consciously that are in alignment with that value.

So I ask you, how much is your time worth?  Think for a moment or two…

Me? When I consult brands on social media, marketing or other business segments, I charge between $250-$400 per hour. I am not just billing for my time, but also my expertise or skill in a certain area, plus my time. So when I am spending time doing something within our company that does not result in direct income, I end up costing US $250-$400 per hour. Make sense?

If you are a social media agency, you understand the value of time. You sell your time and expertise to your clients under the guise that they could never have the time or knowledge to do it themselves. Hence, they need you. Your time in the form of business efficiency, effectiveness and knowledge are what you provide. The more a prospect or client perceives value in your time, the more it is worth to THEM.

Social media is human intensive when done properly. If you don’t realize this, you do not understand how social media marketing works. Using your time wisely to get the most value from it should be the most important thing you manage in your social media marketing efforts.

Food for thought…

16 Comments

Filed under Social Media, Social Media Management, Social Media Marketing, Strategy

16 responses to “How Much Is Your Time Worth?

  1. Thanks for the thoughtful definition of a consultant’s time. And I’m not charging enough!

  2. This is a great question we should all ask ourselves–it really helps to redefine our priorities each day. As an entrepreneur, my time is my product and I only have so much I can sell off. I have to make sure its priced right that its both fair to me and fair to my clients. It’s tricky to get your footing and each new proposal I put together is a re-evaluation of how much my time is worth.

  3. Between $250-$400 an hour is a big difference! How did you come up with these numbers to start with, demand?

  4. This is a FANTASTIC post, and so timely. I recently wrote a blog post entitled “There is no free lunch” that spoke to the idea of Value…the Value of time. I often say I’m not a cab: I don’t charge by the minute, and you’re not paying me for time: you’re paying for the value. (This goes along with the proverbial “Can I pick your brain” issue, but that’s a whole blog post in itself:)

    I’ve been a business/life coach for over 25 years, long before there was a moniker for it. And my fees are in line with what yours, although a tad lower. But I’ve found that what works offline does not translate online. Because I customize each and every working relationship, that’s easy to discuss face-to-face to create a truly customized relationship.

    But online…a whole different ball of wax. People want to know what you charge right up front. And since I’ve never promoted my pricing (because I’ve often said, if you ask me first what I charge, before you even know what I can do for you, you’re not my customer), I’m in a personal dilemma. I know I need to create “packages” or pricing for my online presence, but I’m fighting myself every step of the way.

    I’ve done my homework. Researched tons of “competitors”. Asked clients and potential clients. No clear-cut resolution…yet.

    Thanks for this great post. You took the words right out of my mouth: “I am not just billing for my time, but also my expertise or skill in a certain area, plus my time.” Truer words were never spoken. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Thank you so much Kaarina. Great comments. I don’t suggest to any social media agency or similarly your business to publish set prices or packages. You’re right in that every client is different and therefore every program is different, so package pricing makes no sense.

      Great feedback, thank you again!

      Robert

      • Wow, that’s a very refreshing perspective. Many “experts” say that it is a “must’ to publish pricing. Your response resonates with me, is how I’ve done business for 25+ years offline, but has flown in the face of what the online “gurus” have said: that prices must be published.

        Now I have even more to consider…or re-consider:) Cheers! Kaarina

  5. Good to know Robert! We have a client meeting tomorrow, and we definitely aren’t charging enough!
    Matt

  6. AB

    Robert,
    I am considering going into the business, was wondering if you’d be willing to help out a young, aspiring entreupenter and take a quick look at my contract I drafted. If not, I definately understand, but thought it was worth a shot. Your posts have been incredibly helpful. Thank you for your time.
    AB

    • Of course Amy… Shoot me a DM on Twitter and we will get something set up.

      Robert

      • AB

        Robert,
        I tried to send you a DM but guess it didn’t work because you aren’t following me back. I uploaded the file on Media Fire http://tinyurl.com/6q7a9j7

        Thanks for taking a look at this. I have no clue what I’m doing so any feedback would be great! (if you don’t want to post this to your blog that would be great, I couldn’t figure out how else to contact you.)

        The company who is interested in this is a very small kolache shop, so I figured 1-2 status updates would be all they needed for awhile, until they gained some followers/friends. I also offered to do this for free for them, so they could be my geuinea pigs (even though the contract has prices listed on them, I won’t charge them).
        Have a great weekend!
        Amy

      • No way! What’s your twitter account? So sorry, I get 150 follows a day and well, I am not perfect. :-(

        Mention me in feed and I will rectify this right away!

  7. I think that time rarely has a consistent value. If I am super busy – my time is worth more than if I am not. If I see the time spent as an INVESTMENT in future business – I am willing to work for a bit less.

    The most important part of your post – was to raise the issue. We all must periodically assess what we are worth and the value of our time. When we are aware of what we are worth – and the current market for our expertise – we will always know what to charge – (or more importantly – not charge) when an opportunity is being weighed.

    Rock on!

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