Pricing is of the biggest areas I’ve wrestled with in my freelance copywriting business.
Why? Because explaining to a potential client why they should hand over their hard-earned money is intimidating. You have to ask for something, which for many people like me, is hard to do. But over time, I’ve realized there’s a smarter way to tackle the pricing issue.
With any new client, there’s always the conversation about, “How much will this cost me?”
Being a service-based business, I initially tried the tactic of just sharing my rate for different projects and stopping there. But the times when I’ve essentially slid the overturned paper with my number on it across the table, the other person often just decided to get up and walk away.
Both parties ended up wasting time on a phone call and initial research, and nothing came of it financially on my end. Bad news. As time passed, I realized I needed to get smarter about my price talks, and needed to share more than just my rate. There needed to be some explanation behind my price quote.
The Value Conversation
The next question was, “How can I explain the value I’m providing, instead of just throwing out a number?”
I first looked back to the successes I’d had with past clients. After all, the best proof I have that I’m good at copywriting is the tangible, measurable results I created for others. I found a few great stats, like:
· Boosted client’s revenue by $10,000 in six months
· Drove up website traffic by 58% in one month
· Wrote email copy that generated 800+ leads
Then, I pulled a few recommendations from my LinkedIn profile that spoke to the unique benefits I could provide as a copywriter. One of my favorites came from Lena Prickett at SnapApp (because I really pride myself on efficiency):
“Kaleigh is one of the best freelance content writers I’ve worked with. She has an incredibly quick turnaround time — which is such a load off in a field that can be full of delays and missed deadlines. She quickly adopted the SnapApp voice and tone so her pieces fit right in on the blog.”
Then, I needed to start leveraging these hard numbers and elements of social proof in strategic locations in hopes of driving up the success rate on proposals.
Moving forward, I started sprinkling in these facts and testimonials not only on my website, but on proposals, estimates, emails, and in phone conversations I had with potential new clients.
Rather than just listening to their needs and then sending over what I expected to be paid for that service, I explained the why.
I would say, “Here’s my rate for these services, and here’s why I’m at this pricing level. I’ve had a great track record with other clients, and have produced results like X, Y, and Z. If you decide to work with me, you’re not only tapping into a wealth of experience and knowledge specifically dedicated to high-quality copywriting, but you’ll be working with someone who truly produces results and metrics you can measure.”
On the very first email I tested this new strategy in, I got a response back in 10 minutes from a brand new client who said, “Yes, absolutely. Let’s move forward.”
Why It Works
The thing is, most of the time, I’m working with businesses, organizations, and individuals who are looking for my copywriting services because they need positive results that they can either see for themselves, or can report back to a supervisor.
They need my work to ultimately have an impact on their bottom line through things like product sales, sign-ups, or website visits.
And as long as I take the time to explain how they can measure the impact my services have on their business (sometimes through tracking blog post visits, monitoring referral traffic for products, etc.) while also showing past successes, it’s a no-brainer for them to say “yes.” Really, with all of that information right in front of them, it makes it difficult to say, “No, I think I’ll pass.”
Explain Your Value in Relation to Price
You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but pricing (specifically in a service-based business) is a conversation about value—not cost. If you take the time to explain why you charge what you charge, you make it simpler for the client on the other end to understand why you’re the best possible option.