HOW TO SORT OUT YOUR PRICES TO SORT YOUR BUSINESS PROBLEMS

Jun 21, 2021

HOW TO SORT OUT YOUR PRICES TO SORT YOUR BUSINESS PROBLEMS

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MY PACKAGES AND PRICING LOOKED LIKE MY SOCK DRAWER. MESSY, IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND ANYTHING AND NOTHING MATCHES UP. PLUS THERE ARE A FEW HOLES TO FIX. 

THE PROBLEM WITH TREATING PRICING LIKE THIS IS THAT IT CAUSES ALL SORTS OF OTHER ISSUES THAT I NEVER REALLY CONSIDERED. I DON’T HAVE A MONEY MINDSET - OR NOT A HEALTHY ONE. AND I DIDN’T GO INTO BUSINESS TO THINK ABOUT MONEY. 

WHEN I FIRST STARTED MY CONTENT WRITING BUSINESS ALL I WANTED WAS TO DO A JOB I ENJOYED, THAT I WAS GOOD AT, AND BE ABLE TO PICK UP THE KIDS FROM SCHOOL. PAYING THE BILLS AND SAVING SOME CASH CAME AS A RESULT. 

AND THAT WAS FINE FOR A FEW YEARS. THEN I WANTED MORE. I SAW OTHER CONTENT WRITERS DOING SOME GREAT THINGS. I COULD SEE THEIR DAY RATE WAS ALMOST DOUBLE MINE. PLUS, THERE WAS A CYCLE OF THINGS GOING NOT QUITE AS WELL AS I’D LIKE AND I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY. 

BAD BILLING HABITS

IN THE EARLY DAYS OF MY BUSINESS, I’D SAY THINGS LIKE, “OH THAT’S OKAY, IT WILL ALL EVEN OUT IN THE END WHEN THERE’S A QUIET MONTH” OR,  “YES, I CAN DO THAT. NO PROBLEM.” 

EXCEPT THERE WAS NEVER A QUIET MONTH AND I DIDN’T ASK TO BE PAID FOR WORK THAT FELL OUT OF THE SCOPE OF THE CONTRACT. MOST OF THE TIME I DIDN’T HAVE A CONTRACT. OR A WRITTEN BRIEF. 

I WORKED ON WORD OF MOUTH AND TRUST. 

THE PROBLEM WITH THIS IS THAT IT SETS BAD HABITS. I HAD CLIENTS WHO PAID VERY LITTLE, OFTEN LATE AND SOMETIMES NOT AT ALL. I WAS WORKING EXTRA HOURS, OVER-DELIVERING, AND THEN WHEN IT WENT QUIET - YEP, THOSE CLIENTS WHOSE WORK WOULD “EVEN OUT” SUDDENLY WANTED TO PAY ME LESS. 

OR THEY WERE ALWAYS IN LAUNCH MODE AND MY RETAINER NEEDED TO COVER IT. 

HUGE MISTAKE. 

THE PROBLEM WASN’T MY CLIENTS. IT WAS ME. 

MY BAD MONEY MINDSET WAS IMPACTING MY BUSINESS AND HOW MUCH I COULD WORK. I SOON HIT A CAPACITY CEILING AND WASN’T CHARGING ANYWHERE NEAR ENOUGH TO TAKE ON SOMEONE NEW TO HELP.

PRICING PSYCHOLOGY

NOW, I MAY NOT HAVE GONE INTO BUSINESS TO EARN THE BIG BUCKS BUT I SOON LEARNED THAT I NEED TO BE PAID MY WORTH. I’M A GOOD CONTENT WRITER AND MY BLOGS MAKE SALES FOR MY CLIENTS. MY SALES PAGE COPY CONVERTS. AND THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAPTIONS I WRITE GETS ENGAGEMENT. 

I’M GOOD AT MY JOB BUT I WASN’T GOOD AT CHARGING FOR IT. 

WHILE YOU KNOW THAT IF YOU PAY PEANUTS YOU GET MONKEYS, THE SAME IS TRUE FOR YOUR PRICING. BARGAIN BASEMENT SERVICES ATTRACT BARGAIN-BASEMENT CLIENTS. 

WHILE INCREASING MY PRICES IS SCARY, I CERTAINLY ATTRACTED BETTER CLIENTS AS A RESULT. 

WHICH IS GREAT. IF MY PACKAGES AND PRICING STRUCTURE WEREN’T STILL A TOTAL MESS. 

PAIRING UP THE PRODUCTS AND PRICING

THEN I MET EMMA THROUGH WINN. SHE TOOK ONE LOOK AT WHAT I WAS DOING AND TOLD ME I WAS OFFERING A CONFUSING SERVICE WHERE NO ONE KNEW WHAT THEY WERE BUYING OR FOR WHAT PRICE. 

AND CONFUSED PEOPLE DON’T BUY. 

HERE’S THE THING, I WRITE COPY FOR A LOT OF BUSINESS COACHES LIKE EMMA. WRITING THEIR WEBSITE COPY, BLOGS, AND SOCIAL MEDIA. SHE WAS ABLE TO GIVE ME EXTRA SPECIAL INSIGHT INTO WHERE I WAS GOING WRONG. 

TOGETHER, WE WORKED THROUGH JUST HOW MUCH I SHOULD BE CHARGING. THIS WAS AN EYE-OPENER BECAUSE I WAS STILL ON THE LOW END OF MY INDUSTRY. EVEN THOUGH I’M PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED AND HAVE YEARS OF EXPERIENCE. 

THEN WE PACKAGED IT UP SO IT MADE MORE SENSE. WE CHUCKED OUT THE STUFF THAT DIDN’T WORK (OR THAT I DIDN’T REALLY LIKE DOING). AND MADE A NEW PRICE GUIDE. EMMA SUGGESTED I BREAK IT DOWN INTO A MENU SO PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS COULD DECIDE. 

THIS IS MUCH BETTER THAN MY PREVIOUS METHOD OF A ROUGH QUOTE (USUALLY BASED ON WHAT SOMEONE ELSE PAID) AND A SALES PROPOSAL. NOW MY SALES LEADS CAN SEE WHAT I CHARGE AND WHY. 

THEN SHE DID SOMETHING BRILLIANT. SHE PUT A DATE ON IT FOR WHEN I NEEDED TO UPDATE IT ON MY WEBSITE. AND SHE MADE SURE I DID IT. 

YOU SEE, I COULD PUT A DATE ON IT BUT I’LL GET AN INTERESTING PROJECT THROUGH AND THAT WILL DISTRACT ME. THEN THE DEADLINE FLIES BY AND A YEAR LATER, MY PRICING IS STILL A MESS. 

BUT HAVING THAT ACCOUNTABILITY TO GET IT DONE MADE THE DIFFERENCE. I SAT DOWN AND DID THE WORK. 

NOW THE MAGIC HAPPENS

I GOT AN EMAIL FROM SOMEONE WHO I DIDN’T KNOW. THEY HAD LIKED MY WEBSITE CONTENT AND THE WORK I DID. I HADN’T STALKED THEM ONLINE OR SENT IN A PROPOSAL. THEY’D COME TO ME. 

AND THE FIRST THING THEY SAID TO ME ON THE PHONE? 

“I LOVE YOUR PRICING GUIDE. IT’S SO CLEAR AND GIVES ME EVERYTHING I NEED TO KNOW IN ONE EASY PLACE. THIS IS THE REASON I WANT TO WORK WITH YOU.” 

AND THIS WAS ONLY ONE SMALL PIECE OF WORK I DID WITH EMMA. SHE ALSO HELPED ME OFF-BOARD SOME OF THOSE UNSUITABLE CLIENTS, SET ACTIONS TO GET MY PODCAST UP AND RUNNING, AND LOTS OF OTHER NIGGLES I HAVE IN MY BUSINESS. 

THERE’S STILL THINGS I NEED TO ACHIEVE BUT KNOWING I’VE GOT CLEAR AND HELPFUL PACKAGES THAT ATTRACT THE RIGHT CLIENTS HAS MADE A HUGE DIFFERENCE TO MY BUSINESS. WITHOUT WORKING WITH EMMA, I’M QUITE SURE MY PRICING WOULD STILL BE A MESS AND I’D BE MISSING OUT ON THE KINDS OF CLIENTS I WANT TO WORK WITH AS A RESULT. 

NOW TO TACKLE THE SOCK DRAWER. 


IF YOU’D LIKE TO PINCH MY PRICE GUIDE AND MAKE ONE OF YOUR OWN - PLEASE GO AHEAD AND DOWNLOAD IT HERE.


THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY THE LOVELY FIONA BRENNAN

FIONA IS A CONTENT WRITER AND CONTENT MANAGER WITH A BACKGROUND IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND A TRAINED JOURNALIST. YOU CAN FIND HER AT INDIE ESSENTIALS OR YOU MIGHT SPOT HER RUNNING AROUND DIGLIS WITH THE VEGAN RUNNERS. 

 
 

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