How do you know if you’re pricing yourself beyond what the overall market can bear?
Here’s what I often recommend you do to find out. Start with a project you’re very comfortable with. And with your next new prospect, quote 10-20% higher than you have been. If you start getting more “yeses” than “nos,” you still have room.
It’s important to understand that there’s really no such thing as “what the overall market can bear.” The range is very wide. Frankly, much of it is arbitrary. And you can generally keep going up with the right clients, the right positioning, and the right set of offerings.
This is more challenging when your services are very much run-of-the-mill. Which is why blog posts are so challenging from a pricing perspective. Because, to a large degree, they’ve been commoditized. And one of the few ways you can make them profitable is if you can write them really, really fast!
But that’s a losing model. Because in the long run, for many clients, it’s difficult to distinguish how your higher fee will make a difference when they have access to other writers who can do it for much less.
When we’re talking about higher-value custom work, however — projects that are either higher profile, more strategic, and/or the client understands that there’s a lot riding on getting it right — it becomes much more difficult to price-shop.
Your ability to keep pushing up your fees little by little is based on these 3 core factors:
- What kind of solution you’re willing to create. Again how complex and comprehensive an offering are you willing to put together.
- How profitable you want the project to be for YOU. Because you might feel as if you’re entering a very high fee range and that’s making you apprehensive. But when you look at the sheer effort involved in doing the work and the toll it takes to do it right, you realize that you HAVE to push up the fee. Otherwise it’s just not worth it.
- And finally, your confidence that clients are going to get value based on previous projects that were similar. So if you’ve done a few of these for two or three clients and they were all thrilled with the outcome, that can help you feel more confident to continue raising your fee gradually.
And that last point is key. Because at the end of the day, your ability to get the fees you ask for has a lot more to do with confidence than with what the market can bear.
Confidence will always be a bottleneck limiting your growth. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just a “thing” thing.
Bottom line: don’t worry too much about what the market can bear. Again, the range is very wide. Frankly, much of it is arbitrary. And you can generally keep going up with the right clients, the right positioning, and the right set of offerings.
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