Best Rate for Freelance Producers (Charging for Value)


When someone asks you what your rate is, how many times do you just blurt something out without any thought or reasoning behind it?

Many of us hope that the client will happily accept and not try to negotiate a cheaper rate.

Instead of working more hours to make money, you should be basing what you charge on the value you can bring to a client.

By focusing on value, you’re not only serving your client in a more meaningful way, you also make more money for your studio.

Let me show you!

Get industry-quality in your music every time (steal this framework)

If you’re like most people in the music business today, you’re probably producing your own music.

We put together a brief training that covers a totally new approach to music production. Until now, everyone has been teaching production totally backward.

Just click below to watch.


But if you just want to learn about production rates specifically, keep reading.

The Difference Between Charging Based On Value Rather Than Time

music producers should stop charging based on time

When I started working for bands and artists I had no idea how to charge them. I knew I needed a rate so I just made one up that I thought would be a good day’s pay. The more I did it the more I learned what people were willing to pay me and I kept raising my rate accordingly.

This seems like the correct way of doing it until I started learning about basing my rate on value rather than time.

Then I learned you can actually make a better income by working fewer hours…

The main difference between charging based on value rather than time is that you can make more money while working fewer hours. It’s a plus for clients as well because they don’t have to worry about how many hours you spend on a project. And they get the option to decide what to spend their budget on (but more on that later).

Even if you do the same work and get the same results as the other person down the street, the fact that you are focusing on serving your clients’ goals and dreams rather than billing hours will set you apart. It also allows you to offer a better service.

And why should the number of hours or days you spend on a project determine how little or how much you get paid?

What if what you do only takes 1 hour but the value of your work will continue to bring in money for your client for months or years to come?

That’s the difference between charging based on value rather than the time.

What can this do for your home studio?

Beyond making more money, you are also able to start serving your clients in more meaningful ways.

It’s a win-win situation.


How To Determine Your Clients’ Goals And Dreams

take detailed notes of what your clients want from their music

To start applying this method you need to spend a bit more time talking to and figuring out your clients’ dreams, goals, past struggles, etc.

One of the best ways I have found to do this is by either inviting them to a Skype or phone call, unless you can meet them in person, of course.

In this conversation, you want to gather as much information as possible of what their goals and dreams are with their new record, single, EP or whatever it is you will work on.

Not only that, but you also want to find out if they had any past struggles. Perhaps it took too long to get their last record finished or they didn’t spend enough time to make it as good as possible.

For example, you can ask:

  • What’s your goal with this project/What do you want to accomplish?
  • Do you have any specific requirements of how you like it to sound?
  • Did you have any struggles with your last project that you’d like to avoid this time?

Make sure to take notes of these comments because you will use them in your business proposal to the band.


Your Business Proposal

By now you have taken notes of everything you could from your call with the client. Including what their budget is.

I suggest that by the end of the phone call you propose to send them a business proposal. In this proposal, you will put together a few packages they can choose from.

It’s in this proposal you can really show the client that you understand their goals, past struggles, etc., by providing solutions to those problems and/or goals.

Even if they didn’t have any past struggles or issues, you still need to make sure you meet their goals.

Offer the client different packages, for example:

  • The Bronze Package
  • The Silver Package
  • The Gold Package

have multiple payment packages for clients to choose from

There are many reasons why offering 3 packages/offers to a client is useful. The way I think about it is that the “higher value” package (The Gold Package) comes with more services that’ll help them achieve their dreams.

The Bronze Package meets the client’s budget and gives them what they hired you for. Let’s say they hired you to mix a song, that’s what they will get.

Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s in the other two packages where you can offer them more value. For example, a mix plus a master or a complete production from start to finish.

It all depends on what you found out in your call.

Beyond them wanting you to mix their music, what if the band told you they want more fans? Can you provide any solution to that goal/problem?

This is a great way to grow your business. Show them that you’re “more than” a sound engineer. You can offer more services to your clients.

In the example above, if you can help the band grow their fan base that’s an option you can offer in your Gold Package.

That’s how you can provide more value per “package” for a higher price.

Let me show you how the example above might look in a proposal:

The Bronze Package:

  • Mixing
  • 3 revisions

Cost $

The Silver Package

  • Mixing
  • Mastering
  • 3 revisions

Cost $$$

The Gold Package:

  • Mixing
  • Mastering
  • 3 revisions
  • How to grow your fan base solution

Cost: $$$$$

This is a simplified version but you get the idea.

By putting in the work of exploring your clients’ dreams, goals, struggle and putting together a business proposal using the method above is how I was to double my income on a recent project. And you can too.



By charging based on value, you can grow your business exponentially. This mindset allows you to provide more services, more value and earn you more money.

It takes a bit of practice but the more you do it, the better you will become at asking questions and figuring out your clients’ needs.

Next Steps

If you want to dig deeper into music production and learn what it actually takes to make mixes that sound pro…

And you’re an intermediate or advanced producer…

Be sure to check out the free masterclass:


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