Pricing. That word alone can give most freelancers an anxiety attack.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Here’s the deal:
You’re charging too little.
And I probably still am too. But I’m working on it.
I recently raised my prices. I basically doubled them.
And you know what happened?
I got more clients.
And I actually need less of them to “survive”.
As my past coach & now friend (and FTF community member), Heather Thorkelson says, “Less clients = more time to spoil the ones you’ve got.”
So now, not only do I have more requests in my inbox (we’ll talk about why in a second), but I can be more picky and only saying yes to the ones I know I truly jive with.
Which makes work more fun.
And we all want more fun right?
Pricing always comes down to confidence & comparison.
When I first started, I chose my prices by looking at others in my industry. I then thought that they had way more experience and a bigger portfolio than me, so I reduced their price down to what I thought someone couldn’t say no to.
I wasn’t thinking about the value I provide or the time I spent educating myself to learn the skills I had.
I wanted to have a price someone couldn’t say no to. Eek. People can’t say no to low prices right?
Here’s why raising your prices can make you more appealing to potential customers:
- Anyone who looks for a service is not just looking at you. They’re checking out a few options. If you’re the lowest price, they will likely wonder why. Do you not have a lot of experience? Are they going to get screwed somehow? Are there things they need that won’t be included? Yes, people price shop, but price isn’t what will make their final decision.
- It gives potential clients confidence that you know what you’re doing and they’ll be taken care of.
- It allows you to take on less clients and give more attention to the ones you have. Clients want that attention, and want to hire someone that will provide it.
- Higher price = higher perceived value. Lower price= lower perceived value. People want more value.
I recently hired a copywriter for my website relaunch. I had looked at a ton of copywriter websites before deciding who to go with. As any new business owner, I hesitate to make investments in my biz, so I was some-what drawn to the one that was half the price of the others.
She did have great testimonials. Her own copy got my attention. She was available in the time-frame I needed. But she was promising much more for a significantly lower price. And in the end, I couldn’t stop myself from thinking she must not be that good, and went with the higher priced one.
I didn’t think it through then as much as I am now while writing this. It just kinda happened that way subconsciously.
And I don’t want potentially awesome clients not choosing me for those reasons.
Which leads us back to the fact that I raised my prices.
And got more clients.
Other benefits besides just increasing my income significantly:
- Higher paying clients respect my time & skills more.
- Higher paying clients know what they want and can clearly state it.
- I am more excited about going above and beyond for them because I know that I am being paid what I’m worth (there is nothing worse then the resentment that comes when a low-paying client expect too much from you).
- I’m more motivated to do better work.
- Higher paying clients refer higher paying clients. (no need to worry that the first client may be a fluke)
- I can stop saying yes to those clients that I know (from the first consult call) are going to be a hassle to work with. You know what I’m talking about!
- Higher paying clients understand the value of my services and are extremely appreciative of it. We all want to feel appreciated.
So go on now, raise your prices please.
But, Leah, I’m just starting?!
Just pick a number to start. (Even if there’s a high chance it’s too low)
No bites? Tweak your website, tweak your marketing, tweak other stuff, but don’t lower it until you’ve exhausted the other possible reasons.
A lot of bites? Great! Maybe you started too low, time to reevaluate and see.
You’ll quickly see how much work you put into each project and how each project makes you feel in terms of being respected for the value you provide rather than the price.
Then raise that number again. Raise it every 2 months if you want. Keep adding more value, and increasing the price until you find that magic number where you truly feel you’re being compensated for the value you provide.
But don’t let prices keep your from putting your stuff out there.
The point is…your prices aren’t set in stone. The freelancing thing is just a big series of experiments. So experiment with it.
Still stuck in the how-much-to-charge trap? Here are some of my favorite resources:
Get over your money fears with Denis Duffield Thomas
Heather Thorkelson’s How To Charge Whatever You Want For Your Services
Freshbooks Breaking The Time Barrier
Seth Godin’s What Does “Too Expensive” Mean?
So….I wanna know:
What has your experience been with raising your prices? And if you haven’t yet, tell us what’s stopping you? Comment below!
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