Does putting pricing on your website help or hurt creative freelancers when it comes to getting new design clients? Find out the pros and cons to help you decide if you should put pricing on your website.
- Episode 30: Avoid These 12 Mistakes When Pricing Your Design Work
- Episode 46: 6 Reasons Freelance Designers Should Screen Prospective Clients
- Design Mentoring
Like many designers, you may be wondering: should you put pricing on your website? Will it help you get new clients? Will it prevent you from getting more clients?
I’ll dive into the pros and cons of putting pricing on your website and go into 11 things to consider when deciding whether or not to put pricing on your website.
6 Reasons to Put Prices on Your Website
Let’s start with the benefits and how having pricing on your website helps you.
1. Screening Prospects
The first reason is screening prospects. Putting prices on your website can help eliminate tire kickers who are only price shopping. This helps you because you don’t waste time in the sales process on potential clients who can’t afford you or don’t put that much value in your services.
If you wouldn’t get out of bed for less than $5,000 for a logo design and someone expects to pay $100, you don’t want to spend time trying to convince them your service is worth that. Their expectations or budget and your fees are really far apart. Plus, you shouldn’t have to convince anyone to hire you.
Prospects who are price shopping are often looking for the next deal. They’re not usually in it for a long-term relationship. Once they find a designer who’ll do it cheaper, they’ll leave.
You don’t want to win work because you’re the cheapest designer on the block. No one wins the race to the bottom.
Not only that, but keep in mind that it costs more to acquire a new client than it does to get more work from an existing one. So do you want someone who sees the value or just the price?
So it saves you time and frustration.
2. Trust Building
That leads me to reason number 2—transparency and trust. You will be seen as more open and transparent. They might feel like you won’t try and just charge whatever you can get away with once you learn more about them and their budget.
Putting pricing on your website can help position you in the marketplace, how you’re perceived.
If you want to be seen as the McDonald’s of design services, there’s nothing wrong with that—as long as you’re profitable. Lower pricing would align with that positioning.
If you have years of experience in a certain niche or industry and have results to show for it, having higher pricing could be part of your marketing strategy to set you apart from other designers who don’t specialize in a certain area. Think of it like doctors who are general practitioners versus specialists. People are usually willing to pay more for the specialist and they expect to pay more for the specialist.
4. Setting Expectations
When you put your pricing out there, you’re setting expectations. So if you’re uncomfortable talking about money, like most creatives are, this makes the money talk easier.
It helps eliminate sticker shock. If they’ve already seen your pricing and they get in touch, that tells you they’re probably OK with your pricing.
But this not only helps you. It helps prospects too. It gives them an expectation of cost. It tells them how much they can expect to pay to work with you.
If no pricing is shown, they may assume that they cannot afford to work with you.
Let’s get into some other ways putting pricing on your website helps prospects.
Budgeting is another way. Sometimes potential clients are in the research stage and not ready to hire. So they’re planning ahead. They are looking to see what they might need to budget for in the future when they do decide to move forward.
They may or may not have a realistic expectation of what they want will cost. They might think something will cost $500, but after they do some research, realize it will cost them $5,000 for the quality they want and the features they need.
6. Saving Time
While you’ll save time by screening prospects up front, they don’t want their time wasted either. They don’t necessarily want to have to get on a call and go through a spiel (what they perceive as a spiel) to get an idea of cost.
Cons of Putting Prices on Your Website
So what are some cons with including prices on your website? Let’s get into 5 reasons not to put pricing on your website.
1. Setting the Wrong Expectation
The first is that it could potentially set the wrong expectation.
Every project and client are different. Putting prices on your website could potentially set the wrong expectation if a potential client’s project is less or more complicated than the typical projects you take on or show on your website.
You may understand this important difference, but they might not.
So they might assume they would pay less for a larger project that doesn’t seem to them to be a larger project, or maybe they assume they would end up paying more than you would charge for a smaller project.
2. Limiting What You Charge
Putting pricing on your site might make you feel limited in what you charge if a larger client comes along and expects to pay the pricing they saw on your site, rather than what is necessary for their specific needs.
Blair Enns says all the time to price the client, not the job. So if you usually work with a certain size client and a larger one comes around, they may expect to pay less.
They might think you’re baiting and switching or trying to price-gouge them.
3. Missing Opportunities to Educate
Potential clients with lower expectations may run, in which case, you miss an opportunity to educate them. They may or may not come back later. I have actually had that happen.
A prospect reached out to me to ask a range for a new website and expected that what they were looking for would cost a fraction of what I charged. When I told them this, I explained why and what would be involved with the work. A few months later, they came back with the money ready to work with me.
4. Removing the Human Connection
Part of why a client may want to hire you is for your personality or your approach. If you put pricing on your website, they may not reach out. You may miss an opportunity to talk with them, which could otherwise help you get the work.
Plus, you may want to talk to them to help you assess whether or not they might be a good fit.
5. Showing Your Hand
Putting pricing on your website means that your competition will see it, which could lead them to lowering or raising their pricing to match yours. That’s not to say that they offer work of similar value or that they even have the same niche, of course.
A Happy Medium
Putting pricing on your website is definitely something you can test out. Try it both ways for a few weeks or months. See if you get more inquiries or inquiries from more qualified prospects.
Otherwise, a happy medium could be using a phrase such as “Starting at $x,xxx” or sending a prospect a price sheet or some examples of price ranges for previous work you’ve done just to give them an idea of cost.
You could also consider adding video content on your site to establish more of a connection with a potential client before they reach out. That gives them a chance to get to know you a bit, and it can build trust. If they like you, they may be willing to pay a bit more than another designer too.
For More Information
If you’re not sure what to charge in the first place, check out episode 30, Avoid These 12 Mistakes When Pricing Your Design Work.
If you’re looking for ways to screen clients or aren’t sure how that can work for you, be sure to check out episode 46, 6 Reasons Freelance Designers Should Screen Prospective Clients.
If you need one-on-one help with this or another creative business issue, inquire about a mentoring session at https://creative-boost.com/design-mentoring.