How To Price Your Offers As A Service Based Entrepreneur
How do you know that you’re charging the right amount in your business? And how do you get over the imposter syndrome, that you’re charging too much or too little?
I’m hoping to go through a couple of examples to help you on your journey and tell you why I price my personal branding photography and website design services at the high level that I do.
I’m going to start with a little story that I recently read in the brilliant book, The Fortune Cookie Principal by Bernadette Jiwa that I think captures the high/low debate perfectly.
In the summer of 1990, it was a terrible time to own a hair salon in Sydney’s Queen St. In the mile long stretch of shops there were 20 salons to chose from.
Hair cuts that were all around $20 were steadily being knocked down $1 at a time by each salon in turn.
Until everyone was selling $12 haircuts just to compete and stay open.
One smart salon owner stayed true to his pricing and put a big sign up in his window, which simply said - we fix $12 haircuts.
You don’t have to tell the same story as everyone else. You get to choose.
The price you charge sends a signal to the right people.
This is exactly where I’m at in my business right now.
What I do isn’t what most website designers do, I’m not saying what they do isn’t great work but my clients generally need more than a standard 5 page website, corporate transaction.
I work with heart centred female entrepreneurs who sometimes don’t know exactly what they want for their websites. They want expert guidance, they may need a boost with their confidence for new photography, help with clarity on their offerings and how we put that across online. And a big one - making sure their personality ‘personal’ brand comes across online so that they attract their ideal clients. All of this is done through us having conversations. My zone of genius is being able to translate the essence of my clients into their online presence.
My work is just as much about my clients transformation as it is about them getting an incredible product at the end of it.
That’s why I “don’t charge $12 for a haircut, I charge $20”!
When at the Dior exhibition in London recently I was lucky enough to have a guide chat to me a little about the history of this incredible fashion label.
He spoke of Christian Dior being a savvy business man and told me a fab story of how Mr Dior had been in a dress fitting with a high value client, he was chopping pieces off the dress as he worked, shortening the hem, changing the sleeve. When the woman said she’d like a hat to go with the dress, he picked up some of the excess fabric from the floor and started pinning it into a hat directly onto her head.
He told her that the hat cost £3,000, to which she replied “but you’ve just made that in minutes and with fabric from the floor”. He replied, “ah yes but I’ve honed my craft for over 20 years, which enables me to create masterpieces”.
She bought the hat!
Those skills he had, they were accumulated over the many years of his life up until that point. He was also creating an experience, women loved going to his shop and meeting with the man himself, feeling special and looked after.
Of course you should look at your market place, see what others are charging but don’t try to conform to those lower rates if they don’t feel good to you. Know your worth, the product you deliver, the experience your clients receive and ultimately the transformation they go through is often priceless
My clients tend to be women, 30+ who are at the top of their game in their careers and want to pivot into the entrepreneurial side of business. They usually don’t really know where to begin, and want to hire an expert who can hold their hand and take them through the process whilst also being able to delegate the project and trust that the result will be 100% “them”.
Or my clients are already entrepreneurs and want to up-level in their business. They have an idea of what they want but need someone to pull it out of them, without it being too painful ;-)
What they all love is that I’m a one-stop shop for creating their personal brands, that I’m able to see their project through from start to finish. They’re busy people and it means that they don’t have time to hunt for lots of different people to fulfil each piece.
You might be a website designer too but your clients are in their 20’s and don’t have a big budget, they just want something simple, they’re pretty clued up on their branding, they just need a quick website pulling together but don’t know the tech side of things. Your prices will reflect that and perhaps be more on the Gap side of the scale.
To conclude there are no set rules (sorry I know that doesn’t help) – it’s just what you feel your services are worth and whether you believe your audience wants what you’re selling and will pay for that experience. But know that you’ve got so many skills that you probably don’t even realise you’ve gathered over the years and many that you do.
I’d love to know why you charge what you charge in your business. Is there anything else that you look at when creating your pricing around your offers?