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Are You Pricing Yourself Right Out Of Work?

The WordPress developer flashed across my screen in a nanosecond of Twitter interaction.

I’m always on the lookout for savvy technical resources, so I tracked down her website and cruised through it. Our world views seemed to gel and I could see she might be a fit with a segment of my client base.

And then I saw her fees.

Yep, she posted her hourly rate. And it was about 60% of what I usually encounter for her niche.

A pure bargain hunter might be thrilled. But instead, it made my radar click on.

Why would she charge so much less than her competition? She didn’t appear to be inexperienced. Was she tentative or perhaps not very good? Could she handle the needs of a demanding client? I didn’t want to experiment and so my curiosity died there.

She underpriced herself right out of a conversation.

And that’s the dirty little secret of pricing.

Your clients and prospects will often instantly decide whether your brand supports your price and vice-versa.

It’s not always logical—but it is sticky.

So what’s the right pricing strategy for your services and digital products?

You align your price points with your experience, your reputation and your value.

Let’s hit each of those in turn.

Your experience. This is not about how many years you’ve been plying your craft, but the lessons you can apply—quickly—to the challenges and dreams of your ideal clients. Maybe your business is new, but you’ve been solving a certain kind of problem many times over. That has value you want to reflect in your pricing.

Your reputation. Hint: the more well known you are, the easier it is to set premium prices. I’m not saying it’s always fair, but when you have a brand name people recognize, they’ll pay more. That’s why McKinsey commands more than ABC Consulting and why Seth Godin could price himself higher than 99.9% of independent marketers. Becoming known has value that translates into a price tag.

Your value. The more demonstrated value you deliver, the more you can charge. My WordPress programmer was selling time by the hour, not outcomes clients could rally around. And yes, value can be a tricky thing to show, but there’s one universal solution: real-life client success stories and testimonials. Not just any old stories, but those that zero in on your unique deliverables, targeted to your sweet-spot clients.

Setting the right prices for your services and products is an integral part of your brand. Don’t let it be an after-thought.