I am a freelance WordPress web developer who provides a host of other services, including: SEO, social media profile optimization, email marketing campaign management, social media strategy, consulting, graphic design and the list goes on... I'm currently preparing to overhaul my operation with new pricing, more structured policies and a vastly improved image. Since I'm a one man army, I'm struggling with how I should price my services, as I feel there is a huge variation in the value provided. Would it be best to charge a flat rate for all services, including monthly routine maintenance and plugin updates, or would it be advisable to charge a premium for more expert services such as marketing strategy, optimization, and design, then charge a lower rate for routine technical stuff? Opinions and advice on this subject would be very appreciated. :)
Great question. I stay at the competitive rates, not more expensive than the competition and not so low where potential clients do not think your services provide no value.
For me, $90 per hour has worked wonders, because some clients think anything with 3 digits like $100 and up per hour is too expensive.
The best pricing strategy that works well is an "a la carte" proposal where you provide as many services for your clients as you think they need, but let them choose what they need.
For example, you can offer the a la carte as:
- SEO at 5 hours per month
- Social Media at 10 hours per month
- Email Marketing at 15 hours per month
- Wordpress design at 8 hours per month
If the client only wants Social Media and Email Marketing services, you charge them $2,250 per month ($1,350 + $900) per month. It works well for me and my clients.
I would be willing to speak to you to show you samples of my proposals to my clients and how the A La Carte approach works to offer your services like email marketing, social media marketing, and SEO.
Pricing for different tasks that require the same amount of time from you tells the Customer (and your subconscious) that you're working at a 5 on task x, but working at a 9 on task y simply because it costs/earns more. That seems to be a disconnect. Your time is your most precious asset, and I would charge for it whatever you're doing. If you build a site, and they are happy with your dev fee, but feel like you should charge less for SEO, simply let them find another SEO guy. That's their choice, but YOU are worth $xx.xx, no matter what you're doing.
Also, in general, take whatever you're charging and add 10% to it. If you're still busy, add another 10%. Let the demand level determine how much work you do, and at what cost.
I suggest dividing your services into transactional services (like hosting, updates, or design work) and consultative or strategic services (like consulting and marketing campaign development).
Transactional services can be project, hourly, or retainer based (i.e. $5,000 for a new website, $75/hr for ongoing design needs, or $200/mo for updates). Consultative services are better on retainer (i.e. $500-1000/mo to advise on the best keywords, review copy, and report success).
From a business perspective, the more clients you can fit into a monthly package, the more efficient you'll be. Let me know if I can help in any way!
There are three prices, low mid and high. Most people will be in the low to mid ranges and very few will be at the high end. I ALWAYS price myself to be the BEST and the best costs more. I'd say package your prices into a high end rate and a mid tier rate. This way you can give options and say I recommend this package which do you want. Then you can let them sell themselves on what they want or even use your lower price as a down sell to your higher price.
Most people are scared to price high and want to stay competitive. That's a bunch of BS. There's always going to be a high end rate so why not have that be YOU? I'd say have like a $10k package as your low end and then a $25k or $50k package as your high end. Then position yourself as the best in front of your ideal audience.
Don't let price get in your way and scare you, people who know they get what they pay for will hire you and it's not about price. Price is never the reason people don't hire you, it's value. If you show the value then how can the NOT hire you at those rates because it won't cost them a penny.
Show them ROI and COI. ROI is Return on Investment but COI is Cost of Inaction. What's it costing them to NOT hire you now at those rates. I coach people on this all the time and it's just a fear they have. Fear of the unknown is what keeps people where they are undercharging and undervaluing their services.
You have a choice as to where to be in the market place. Have confidence in yourself and your services. Where do you choose to be? Where everyone else is or to separate yourself as the best?
I totally agree with Preston. People will pay based on value. People usually have the money to pay for the things they value the most. Case in point, I've worked with impoverished families who need financial assistance and food gifts. Yet, some of them always have money for beer and cigarettes. Ironic, isn't it? Don't make it about price, make it about the value you provide in solving their needs or pain points.
Perceived value is also important to remember. You know the saying, "you get what you pay for". Well, that is a double edged sword. If you price too low, people will expect a low-end product or output. But, if you price too high and do not deliver the value you promised, you will never see them again and your negative reviews will eventually put you out of business or force you to change your model.
So, like Preston, I say price at the high end of the market provided your can deliver great value and customer service. If you try to price in the low - mid end of the market, you are just a commodity that can easily be priced shopped.
Sell in terms of the client's "investment" not "cost". Differentiate and show them how working with you will yield them greater results than hiring a commodity provider.
Call me if you need more help with your strategy. All the best!
Riddle me this... What brand is the #1 cola drink? OK, you're right, Coke it is. Who is the #3? No clue, right? Because no one cares about #3.
No one cares about you if you aren't #1 (or maybe #2) in your niche/market. You sure don't want to be the cheapest. So if you're in the middle, you're nobody.
You can never win if you are playing someone else's game!
So how do you win?
You MUST create your own game. Then you are automatically #1!
Here's your SEO biz model in a box:
• hyper focus on a very narrow niche - make sure it is full of PWM (Players With Money)
• instead of SEO/social media everything for everyone, specialize - you are the SEO Wizard who gets unbelievable walk-in results for ONLY multi-location dental practices doing over $1M in annual revenue
• further narrowing: you pick a target city and tell all your perfect buyer prospects that you are accepting applications to work with you
• you'll only work with the highest bidder starting at $2k per month and the rest of them will become competition that your client will decimate with your superior SEO skillz
• sign them to a 12 month contract because SEO takes time to work its magic then go month to month
• if your client wants to cancel, no problem - you'll go to their competition and they'll soon lose their new patient traffic and go out of business
Gotta run - busy helping a couple more winners win more by doing less, better...
Pricing is a marketing decision! You cannot answer that question by asking a forum like this. You need to ask your customers and prospects. List out the top companies in your field that serve the same market you are targeting and check out what they charge and how their services are bundled. Test out your findings with as many people in your target market as you can and carefully record the feedback you are getting. Adjust when required and keep reviewing your market and competition. It's ok to start as one person but extra help is important too. I will be happy to work with you to make this happen.