How to price your services

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So in case you didn’t know, I run a free community group on Facebook with thousands of cool, smart business owners (you can join here if you’re not a part of it yet). It’s a place where they can ask questions, collaborate, rant, get help, and just shoot the shit with other people who understand what they are up to and want to help. And on Fridays I let them go buck wild promoting anything and everything they want.

And as much as I LOVE seeing what everyone is creating, because duh – it’s all super impressive and amazing stuff – it physically PAINS me to see how CHEAP people are pricing their stuff.

The web designer who charges $299 for 5 custom pages of design? NO!
The copywriter who is offering an About page for $99? UGH!
The health coach who is offering a full meal plan and nutritional protocol for $49? PLEASE STOP!

 

Here’s the deal: When you WAY undercharge, you’re not only undermining everyone else in your industry, but you’re also making people think you’re not good at what you do.

 

I know when I see a $15 haircut versus a $75 haircut; I almost always know I’m going to come out looking way hotter with the $75 cut.

It’s the same reason people spend $2000 on B-School and put such high value on it, but don’t look at another business coach’s $150 program in the same way.

Right? You know exactly what I am talking about.

The right pricing can help make sure your clients value what you do enough to put in the time and effort to get the results they came to you for without being lazy fuckers that don’t put in the work, and then don’t get results. When you charge more, people give a crap and actually want to try harder, which obviously makes you look better, which means you can charge more in the future. Boom.

 

If you want people to take you seriously and you don’t want to piss off everyone else in your industry, putting some thought into your prices is super important.

 

BUT – you also don’t want to be one of those assholes who jumps right out of the gates charging premium prices. If you have NO experience and aren’t even sure you can deliver the goods, you’re going to screw over your clients and yourself and potentially ruin your business forever.

So then, how do you find that balance between too cheap and too expensive? How do you decide on prices that feel good for you AND for your clients? How to you settle on numbers that portray your value, without you looking desperate, but also without inflating things to ridiculous amounts because someone told you to “charge what you’re worth”?

You find your “baby bear” number — the number that feels not too high and not too low.

Because the truth is, NO ONE can tell you how much to charge. At the end of the day you have to feel confident in the prices you set and have the confidence to say them out loud to prospective clients. Your baby bear number will help you work from that place of confidence. Write down your too-high number. Now write down your too-low number. Now pick a number somewhere in the middle and check in with your gut – how does it feel? Still too high? Go lower. Feel too low? Go higher. You’ll eventually find the number that feels juuuuuust right.

And remember that your prices will change! The number that feels good now won’t necessarily feel great in 6 months from now. Give yourself permission to start where you’re at and know that as your confidence and skills increase, your prices will too.

xo becca

PS. if you need help strategically pricing your services, check out my mini-course Get Paid!

 

Read 11 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. BrittanyHammond

    I love this article, especially since I was planning on increasing my prices a smidge. However, I can’t help but point out there are a lot of UNQUALIFIED people out there charging WAY more than they are worth. I think there needs to be a distinction between the whole self worth and business worth/credentials. I started doing web design this year and my prices started at $1000 for 5 pages. That might not sound like a lot for a website, but I knew I couldn’t charge more because I lacked the experience. I know I am worth more and I know I’ll eventually get to the point where I charge more. Since doing b-school, I’ve noticed a sort of trend of people who are all about charging high prices because they are “worth it”. I get it, I do ! But if you’re gonna be charging $250/hour, than you better freakin assume your role and provide a damn good service or product.

  2. JanHenry1

    Whenever I see someone posting a really cheap deal for websites on the groups I’m in I want to cry. Because I consider my prices to be quite low as it is (I’m about to double them actually), so to see someone charge so low it’s not even worth me promoting myself drives me nuts.

  3. “Be confident in what you charge and give your business the chance to pay your rent and bills and help you buy bread and booze and all that other stuff that you need to really LIVE.”

    It’s mind boggling some of the pricing people … um “professionals” are listing out there. If you are charging that little, I imagine you have little more than cardboard over your head. Really. I’ve had more than a few clients approach me after they kind of went through and “experimental” phase with someone who was charging way less.

    Love this :)

  4. This is very useful, I know I went from doing freebies for 3 years of my trade in Video Production, simply because I wasn’t confident enough in people paying me for my service as I self doubted a lot, and used it as a practice tool.
    Now all of that has changed! I went from £0 – £150 per day for pre production (filming) and it doesn’t stop there… I also include post production (Editing) prices in on an hourly rate.

  5. Steffan Zach Amazing! I have nothing against working for free to learn when you’re starting out – I think it’s WAY more honest than charging premium prices when you have no experience! Thanks for sharing!

  6. Art of Breaking Out I know! I have worked out some of the hourly rates of what I sometimes see people charging in the group, and it is less than minimum wage :(

  7. JanHenry1 I hear ya! That’s why I wrote this post! I see it a lot with designers and copywriters. And while I LOVE that there are options out there for people who can’t afford premium contractors, I think there is a way to offer lower priced packages that don’t give away the whole farm and undercut other people’s pricing.

  8. BrittanyHammond TOTALLY right Brittany! It drives me crazy seeing people charging premium prices who have NO experience and can’t deliver. I have had it happen with people that I have hired – I assumed their high price meant they would be the best – and they were not. And some of my colleagues have been experiencing this too – paying upwards of $3k/month for services that just didn’t deliver what they said they would. This has to stop.

    And the whole “charge what  you are worth” is a crazy idea all it’s own. Can we really put a dollar value on our self worth!? HUGE problem with that!

  9. BrittanyHammond

    Rebecca Tracey BrittanyHammond Ahh I am so glad you agree! I was scared I was gonna get hate mail after posting this! ahah
    To be honest when I first started out I TRIED to do work for free and it never ended up working out. People didn’t follow through or maybe didn’t value my free help. Once I had my first paying client, I never went back!! I even increased my prices within the first month! I know my prices are still pretty low right now compared to other people. I am probably still struggling with my own self worth limiting beliefs aha but ya, definite distinction between self worth and the value of product/service. Sometimes I even get in this mind thing of like “well I’m not working for lesss than 100$/hour” but sometimes I do! It’s hard to put an hourly rate on it!

  10. Rebecca Tracey Hi Rebecca, that was me many years ago ;)

  11. Loved this post and resource, thank you!

    After I did a ton of research to see what others were charging and was confused about the complete and total price difference, I had to just wing it to try to come up with pricing. I wish I had seen this article before I did that, but I feel completely validated in the process that I followed.

    Gut Feeling method pretty well describes the way I came up with the pricing for the offering I just put out – This amount felt too low, that amount felt too high, here’s the middle and let’s add a smidge for good measure. Then I asked myself “Would I pay this?” and the answer was ” Yes I would.” So I said, that’s the starting point. Let’s go! It’s lower than my mentors would have liked to see me set my prices, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking what they said I should ask (which was ironically more than what they asked when they were at this stage of the game… that was part of why it didn’t feel comfortable)

    I also had to prep my budget for the coming year, so by default had do a version of the More scientific method… I need X dollars bare minimum just to meet my needs, let’s add $500 a month for incidentals. That’s not a round number, so let’s round it up to the nearest thousand. There’s my bare minimum. How many clients do I need to get to make that, how many other revenue gen opportunities do I need to get (pay for blogging, housekeeping, concierge his, etc….) Or do I have to go back to corporate and do my thing on the side? It gave me the lowest I can go price for my services. Which felt too low, so I raised ’em….

    Now … if only that list of mine would start spinning up the leads I need. …

    Love your work. I am so happy to have found your site. Thank you.