Pricing. It's one of the trickiest areas of working for yourself - it's so easy to get trapped in comparisons, feeling less-than, getting tangled in self-worth issues, not feeling right about charging for something you love to do...
However, if you're running a business, there's no escaping charging for your services. So, how do you do it in a way that feels right?
Well, first of all, here are three myths about pricing:
- never give away your services for free
- do your market research and charge the 'going rate'
- charge what you're worth
What's wrong with them?
- When you're starting a brand new service, the best thing you can do is give it away for free - that's how you build up experience, test and tweak your ideas in a no-pressure environment, build up testimonials, get your first client referrals. Everything is easier if you start by working for free. Then, once you've done a few free iterations, move to charging a bargain price that would make your service a no-brainer for your ideal client. Do another few iterations at this low price point, take on board all the feedback you get (and make sure you ask for plenty!), revise what you do accordingly, see where you can add more value, then raise the price.
- Yes, it makes sense to have a rough ballpark idea of how much others working in the same field as you charge for what they do - but a rough idea is all you need. DO NOT just look at what others charge and then charge the average of their prices. Think about haircuts - some salons charge £5, others charge £100 but they also provide very different experiences for their buyers. What experience do you want to provide for your client? What could you offer that no one else is doing? How can you more completely solve your client's problem? And what would that be worth to them? Can you create a transformation in their life where others would just tinker on the surface? Can you give more follow up than anyone else?
- Charging what you're worth is a mixed up way of thinking about things. It suggests that those who make their services available at an accessible price are worth less than those who only offer premium-priced services. Essentially, anything that ties your self-worth to a price point is nuts. You are a human being: your worth is above rubies. If you spend your days as an auxiliary in a nursing home, working for the minimum wage, you're probably a worthier human being than most of the rest of us. Don't charge what you're worth, charge what the result you can get your client is worth to them.