How I decide what to charge.
– What is the value of an hour of your life?
– How about five year’s worth of experience bundled into a 10-page digital booklet?
– Should you have a “flat rate” for your services or customized quotes for every project?
– Are you as valuable as you think you are? Or are you kinda delusional?
Whether you work for yourself — or for somebody else — these types of “pricing questions” can twist your brain into a soft pretzel. I’ve spent plenty of restless nights fretting over my pricing. Even now, several years into my entrepreneurial adventure, I still get a flurry of butterflies in my belly every time I price a new offering or think about raising my rates.
Like many people, I have a tendency to “overthink” my pricing.
The following 3 questions usually help me to stop fretting and arrive at a decision:
1. How much money do I want to have in my pocket when all’s said and done?
And after I’ve factored in PayPal fees, taxes, expenses, the whole shebang — what would I need to charge to hit that mark?
This is a simple question that many people never ask themselves. I say: ask it first. Figure out how much you’re hoping to earn. Start there.
2. Given what I’m promising to deliver, what type of price feels fair and appropriate?
Some people are flabbergasted when I state that my “day rate” (one full day of my time) is $1,500.
But when you consider what that “day” includes — 10 hours of time with a professional ghostwriter / writing coach… consulting to help you find the right words to describe your skills, your work, your mission in the world… pages and pages of language (often 10 – 30 pages or more) that I’ve written especially for you, including website copy, newsletters, emails, video scripts, product descriptions, and so on — when you hash everything out like that, $1,500 might actually feel like a bargain.
Consider what your customer is actually receiving — completed work, tangible takeaways, results, benefits, the ability to finally do [fill-in-the-blank] after years of struggling. What are they getting, exactly?
When you tally everything up, what feels like a fair price for what you are promising? And are you confident that you can deliver on that promise?
See if a “number” comes to mind. And if one doesn’t, or if you feel uncertain about it, this third question might help to resolve things…
3. What feels good in my hut? (hut = heart + gut)
At the end of the day, this is what matters.
If your hut says, “Yikes, no way, that price is way too high!” — pause and re-consider.
If your hut says, “This feels scary, but good-scary. I’m ready, I can deliver, let’s do this!” — then you’re probably right on the money.
As you’re checking in with your hut, it can be helpful to consider your “deepest intention” for the product or service that you’re releasing into the world.
Is your intention to get your guidebook into the hands of one thousand teenage girls? Is your intention to coach executives at the highest levels of leadership so that you can create a wellness revolution in corporate America? Is your intention to provide emotional support to veterans of war and their families — and making tons of money with this particular offering isn’t really a top priority for you?
Knowing your intention can often make the “right price” feel much clearer.
And then once you’ve settled on a price, your task is to deliver your absolute best work. Behave as though you’re the best in the world, and one day, maybe you will be.