One of the questions that freelancers, creative entrepreneurs and micro-business owners like us can get stuck on is “How do I price my work?”. In fact, sometimes a few google searches can take you straight from that question to asking “What the heck do I even need to know so I can start pricing my work?!”.
There are no two ways around it, pricing your work is complicated. Not because it's unknowable, but because it's a loaded topic. It makes you think about what you’re “worth” and brings up all kinds of feelings about money. And I bet they’re not Scrooge McDuck's feelings.
But if you consider a few key things, you can make sure your pricing catches your customer's attention in a good way, and that you have a business that carries you toward your goals and dreams.
Today I've put together a few questions that are worth asking when pricing your work that can help you make sure you cover all angles when you’re working this out. You can use it for new products and as a way to check in with what you already offer.
But this isn't just about earning less than you're worth. Pricing your work intentionally can have a huge impact on your life.
When I started working as a web designer, I charged $350 for blog designs and $650 for a website designs. The pricing was based a little on time and mostly on how my partner and I felt we were worth. I was self-taught and designing part-time, and any money I earned seemed like an exciting vote of confidence. (It still does!)
It was exciting to work for myself, so when my freelance work and other online income added up to a part-time income, I quit my day job and added more design work to fill in the new availability in my schedule.
But I didn't adjust my pricing.
My business has never been a hobby. I needed to make sure I could help with our monthly bills and mortgage payments. Due to my prices being too low, I accepted many projects and needed always to be working. My overconfident and optimistic outlook on pricing quickly had me taking on too many projects, and feeling like I never saw my husband.
I soon realized that I couldn't double my output without needing more time to recharge. And work on my business. And adjust my prices to course correct. But, I already had accepted a waiting list of clients expecting to pay my bargain basement prices.
Five years later I wish I could travel back in time and hug that younger version of myself.
Well, hug her and then make her spend an afternoon with me so we could take her enthusiasm and great ideas and turn them into a business that pays the bills and supports her sanity!
Since I got serious about business and pricing, the changes have been profound. Using the same skills I had when I started, in the last three and a half months, I’ve made over $36,000 USD in sales.
That’s what I made in my first year of working for myself. I had to pinch myself when I saw it.
And I'm doing it by working less, having a great life I look forward to every day and genuinely helpful people who want to build amazing online businesses and to learn how to create a healthy business for themselves.
I’m not saying that there’s a shortcut to success (it’s taken me years) but there are potholes you can avoid that will make your journey more direct.
Want to dig into pricing? Get your free worksheets!
To help make pricing easier, I've made you a book of worksheets that helps you ask & answer strategic questions about:
- What you should take into account when pricing your time
- How to tell if your idea is in a tested & true area for business.
- How the journey your customers are on should affect your prices.
- What experiences you're creating for your clients & how that
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Pricing your work means you have to get comfortable with people attaching a dollar amount to your ideas. No matter who you are, you're going to have feelings about that, especially at first.
But what you learn as you work through pricing becomes part of your superpowers. And that helps you become a badass business version of your sweet self.