For many years, I have been developing websites online as a “digital nomad” wandering the web for internet gigs and unique opportunities. When I was not so well experienced, I made my major selling point to be my low-prices and often disagreed with people who said that I should raise them.
I thought that I should charge less because I took twice or three times as long to learn and do things that experienced developers/designers could do in half the time. As I worked I always felt uneasy about not being the “right freelancer” for the tasks at hand but eventually, I became more comfortable to charge for what my skills were worth.
This took a longer time than I thought (years) and wasn’t smart. That was S-T-U-P-I-D. It should have learned sooner that when we buy services from others we don’t just buy their skills or time.
Before we buy a service, we buy them (understand them) as a person. It’s what makes the local coffee shop X better than Coffee Chain Y down the road.
Your personal brand is worth infinitely more than your skills or talents will ever be.
Taking this in regard, As a freelancer, your selling point shouldn’t be your skills, talents, achievement, or pricing (though these are important).
Your biggest selling point is your personality, standards, charisma, the way your live your life and the atmosphere that you provide.
Now that I think about it, a lot of people that I have worked alongside weren’t hiring me for being the most affordable option, and those people are still in touch and I still enjoy valuable online andnon-workk relationships from those initial jobs.
Pricing is more than an estimation of functional value plus markup; The price you set helps determine it’s worth.
Imagine that you are in the market for buying a new house. A realtor shows you to a very nice home, that has all of the amenities and then some. You’re ready to hear the price, and the realtor drops it on you in a way you don’t expect. They tell you that they are running a special and it will only cost $500 to own the home today free and clear, the deed signed in your hand (no mortgage).
Instead of being relieved at such an awesome deal that you scored for your family, you would probably get out of there as fast as possible.
WHY? There was nothing that you saw that was visibly wrong with the house, in fact, it’s the best house you’ve seen in your home search so far. If there’s any source of unease as a buyer it’s because of the home’s value was grossly misrepresented in its sale price and also in comparison to the market that made you doubt the quality (and the realtor).
The same thing happens in pricing your products or services.
When you are providing much more value (skills, talents, yourself) than you are currently charging and your pricing is far below market rate, you are not only doing yourself a disservice, but you are actually forming doubt in your customers’ minds before even exchanging goods.
This is why some sellers and small business owner may report that they sometimes have issues with customers when they charge lower prices.
This notion gets even worse with services, as when you price your services for lower than their true value, you as a person will be doubted and your skills and talents are valued less. (ex: logo creation for $2 per customer)
De-valuing your services and products is an excellent way to go out of business.
Learn to fairly balance all that you have to offer into your prices (time, skills, talents, personality). If you price your products and services that way, as you become more talented, skilled, or better suited to handling the task or problem, your rates will match your quality.