Three Reasons Why You Need To Charge Full Price For Your Services
Quality stands out. Charge what you’re worth.
In a world with sites like fiverr, one can find cheap, low quality content services on the regular.
Problem is, low quality doesn’t go far. And people like quality. They will find a way to pay for it if they value it.
Sure, some people really don’t care about it. But those who want to make a difference in the world and connect with people appreciate well-crafted, authentically written content. I’ve got the clients to prove it.
Early on in my career, I considered lowering my rates in order to attract new clients. But I followed my instincts and stuck with the rate I charged. Even after I scared away a few potential customers in doing so.
Sure I was bummed that I missed out on a new gig at first, but then I realized something. I’m worth what I charge. And if I lower my rate for someone, I’m opening the door to an endless influx of bartering sessions with clients who don’t value what I bring to the table.
So even though I’ve had countless twitter friends suggest I give discounts, or offer “buy 3 get one free” options, I don’t. I charge full price. And here’s why:
Three Reasons Why You Need To Charge Full Price For Your Services
- When you give a discount to someone who hasn’t proven they deserve it, you say, “I’m easily manipulated.”
Unless you’re on a beach in Mexico, having a client barter with you over your rate isn’t a good thing. If they aren’t interested in paying for your services, there are plenty of other options for them, especially when it comes to content in this content-shock world.
Trust is a two-way street. A client needs to earn your trust, just as you need to earn theirs. Only after a client has paid a full-priced invoice a few times over do I consider giving them a deal. And by deal I mean if they offer me long-term work I’ll knock a bit off the top to show my appreciation for the steady flow of income. Otherwise, no dice.
2. When you don’t charge full price, you say “I’m insecure about the quality of work I’ve completed, so I’ll charge less to appease my guilt.”
A client of mine gives unrequested discounts all the time, by way of showing the hours he hasn’t charged for on the invoice. He also deals with clients taking forever if at all to pay, and arguing with him over invoice totals. The purpose behind his tendency to offer discounts is, “I’ll show them what a good guy I am by documenting the work I did for free.” But to me this practice says, “This dude may have overcharged, and is now trying to appease his conscience by showing a discount.”
Regardless of his intentions and how they are perceived, unrequested discounts bring into question your credibility and abilities. Believe it or not, some people like paying full price, particularly for quality items. Case in point all the women walking the planet in red soled high heels that cost $1000.00 plus. So when you reduce prices or charge too low of a fee, people may assume what you’re giving them is low quality. Which brings me to my next point…
3. When you don’t charge full price, you say “I didn’t put in the effort this project required.”
Perhaps the invoice total doesn’t match the effort. Your feelings will tell you if this is true. Do you feel good about the work you did? If not, make sure you do moving forward. Put more time in than you quoted if necessary. Do whatever it takes to make sure you are confident with what you charged.
Do you feel uncomfortable with every invoice you send out? Then adjust your rate to a number you feel good about. You can always raise your fees down the road when you feel the time is right.
Don’t be swayed by the opinions of others, particularly those who tell you to ramp up your fees. I realized in formulating this post that at one point I was indeed overcharging. I followed the advice of some twitter friend (who wasn’t even a writer) who said I should charge X amount of dollars. Pure silliness. Insecurity sure takes us on the most counterproductive of paths…
Speaking of Insecurity:
We all struggle with it, but don’t let your clients see it. Nothing severs a quality business relationship faster than being insecure in front of a client. Be freaked out, be nervous, be worried. But be all those things in front of your friends or family. Do not let those feelings cross the business boundary.
Your clients are not your friends, and shouldn’t be privy to the insecure teenager that resides within you (PS: we all have an insecure teenager taking up space in our minds — so don’t feel bad about it.) That is not to say a client can’t become a friend. But there are certain aspects of you they shouldn’t see if you want a quality biz relationship, namely the part of you that thinks you suck at what you do.
Yes, we all have days where we think we suck. But that doesn’t mean our clients need to know about it.
Bottom line is, insecurity stinks. People can smell it like a shark can smell blood in the water. The difference being that people run from insecurity. They like confidence — they eat that shit up. So while there may be days you don’t feel good enough, don’t let your clients see it.
Experience has taught me that the vaccination for insecurity is hard work. So put more time in when you feel the gremlins lingering. And get your work to a point where you can release it to the world without intense worry.
Ditch The Need To Give Discounts
When you give a discount, or don’t charge anything at all for your services, you tell the world, “I’m not worth my rate.” I know we all have high hopes for our lives, financial freedom being one of them.
I’m telling you straight up that you’re not going to get where you want to be by giving unearned discounts or doing free work all the time. And you’re not going to attract quality clients either.
This is not to say a heathy dose of philanthropy isn’t a good idea. You don’t have to wait until you’re rich to start giving back. In start-up stage or when the money is pouring in, donating your time is a great practice. It turns on the tap of abundance. You just need to be sure of the reason why you are discounting or offering your services for free. Is it because of insecurity? Or is it because you really want to work with a kick ass non-profit? (Like this one I work with)
So dig deep. Figure out a rate you feel good about and charge full price. Don’t give someone a discount until they earned it, if at all. Focus on creating top-notch work you can be proud of, and the right clients will come along.
And again, it’s OK to give some time away for free. Just make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and not to appease the insecurity gremlins.
Value yourself, because if you don’t no one else will.
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