I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen questions like these in Facebook groups:
– Should I charge hourly or per project?
– How much should I charge?
– Should I post my pricing on my website?
And you know what, I asked these same questions when I started my design business.
I experimented and tried several different combinations.
Some things worked and some didn’t.
My number one pricing tip for creatives is this:
Create Package Pricing and Post It Clearly on Your Site
Simple, right? For creative entrepreneurs, and especially designers, I have found that if you create package pricing and post it clearly on your site you will book the greatest number of quality clients for the least amount of headache.
Let’s break it down.
Create Package Pricing
Clients prefer package pricing over hourly pricing. Hourly pricing brings up questions like:
- What if this project takes longer than her usual?
- What if something comes up unexpectedly and she ends up taking 5 extra hours?
- Do I have to pay for time spent on emails?
Package pricing implies expertise. You know the value you bring, and you charge appropriately for it.
Bundle Everything Together That Your Client Might Need
When creating package pricing, you want to start by listing out everything that your ideal client needs in a website.
Consider the following:
- What site elements do your clients ask for, over and over? (logo design, category archives, social networking icons, etc.)
- What do clients need, but don’t ask for? (security features, anti-spam plugins, WordPress training, etc.)
- What can you do to make your clients’ lives easier? (include migrations, hosting setup, etc.)
Look at everything that your ideal client could possibly need or ask for during a project and bundle it together (within reason) into a complete package.
Do Not Nickel and Dime Your Clients
Nobody likes to hear, “Sure I can do that, but it’ll be an extra charge.” Do not nickel and dime your clients. Include everything they want and need for a fair price.
My basic rule of thumb is… if a client needs something and it’s going to take me less than 30 minutes, I do it happily and for free.
If a client asks for a different favicon, give it to them!
A new cover image for Facebook, what’s the harm?
Once you’re armed with this information, build frequently asked for extras into the price of your packages. Your clients will feel well taken care of and you get to raise your prices appropriately.
A little trick I use is to pad my prices a bit so that I can include smaller items (like the examples above) and present them as a complimentary gift to the client.
Price Your Packages According To Value
When designing websites, you have to remember that clients are hiring you for a reason. Either they don’t have the time, talent, or skill to create their own website design.
This means that you offer a valuable service.
I highly recommend pricing your packages based on the value the client receives, not the time it takes you to create their site.
When thinking about how much to charge for a package, keep in mind:
- the hours you will spend on design, development, communications, etc.
- the hours it would take the client to do it by themselves
- your business costs (software, services, fonts, images, etc.)
- your years of experience and expertise
If you want to learn more about value based pricing, the incredibly awesome Chris Lema wrote a book on it which I highly recommend.
The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten on the dollar amount of what to charge is this: if the price doesn’t make you nervous to post on your website, it’s not high enough.
Post Your Prices Clearly On Your Site
If you don’t post your prices (or at least a starting price) most people are going to assume you are too expensive for them. They’ll never even contact you.
Either that, or you’ll waste your time taking potential clients through an inquiry process when they can’t afford your services to begin with.
By posting your prices, you are more likely to receive inquiries from serious buyers because they already know how much you charge, have seen your work, and are clearly interested in working with you!
Be confident in yourself. Post your prices proudly!
Looking for more pricing advice?