Should Freelancers Show Pricing On Their Website
The debate continues on whether to display your pricing on your website for all to see. This is the question that freelancers ask all the time. Like any debate, there are arguments for and against showing pricing on your website. However, I’ve always been firmly on the “for” side. I’m hoping that this article will provide the insights needed to convince you to show your pricing too.
Firstly, just to be crystal clear, you absolutely should be showing your pricing on your website for all to see. No doubt about it! Here are a few reasons why:
Many an amazing freelancer left some money on the table
Why is this? Because they were not at the table in the first place.
Okay, let us take a step back here. Some time ago, I was looking for freelancers for something I needed done in my own business GigMastery.com. My requirement was specific.
- They needed to have experience copywriting
- Reliability was key
- I needed a person who had a good understanding of a specific topic.
Apart from this, I had a budget and this was not negotiable.
I was clear on what I needed. I moved ahead and put out some calls to the freelance community and a few Facebook groups. Having access to a ton of talented individuals is an awesome problem to have, not being able to look through all the responses was not so great.
I ended up having about 10 million browser tabs open at one time, looking through everyone’s portfolios, previous customers and testimonials. Guess how many of the tabs I ended up closing after looking through all of them?
Almost every single one of them.
Here’s the issue.
There is only one of me and a huge amount of amazing writers of copy and creators of content. I have to screen everyone of the stunning individuals who took the time to actually respond to my call quickly.
The websites I exited, either told me that I had to book a call to “discover my need” with them, or reach out for further info and pricing.
Said differently, no pricing existed upfront on their websites, and frankly, nobody has time for all of that discovering anymore.
Given my specific budget, I knew what I was willing to spend. I also knew that I was not going to sit through hundreds of hours of “discovery calls”, only to learn that they (the freelancers):
- Were too expensive for my budget
- Were way lower than what I was willing to spend (which is another way freelancers say “I don’t have all the experience”).
Gladly, for me anyway, this meant I only had a small list to choose from – these were the freelancers who showed their fees directly on their websites.
Sadly, for all those other talented lancers who took a stab at the request, they left money on the table – because, the information they provided was not complete for me to make the rapid, informed decision I needed to make.
The reason this is more likely to stop prospective customers from reaching out
Here are some take-outs from my experience trying to hire a freelancer:
- There were a ton of options, not enough time to browse through so many websites
- There was just no time to get on so many discovery calls
- I kept moving on (I didn’t have a choice)
- My shortlist consisted of only a hand full of freelancers who listed pricing on their websites and actually pitched up to the table.
Sometimes things remain the same: Arguments why pricing should NOT be on your website
Many so called “gurus” will say that you need to be cagey with your pricing because:
- Freelancers can then submit tailor-made “custom offers” accounting for everything the customer actually need (less everything they don’t want)
- Then you can “play-it-by-ear”, meaning a freelancer can then quote based on the customers budget – which can obviously only be done through a face-to-face discovery meeting, right?
- Oh, and, with a discovery call, you are not committing to a single fixed price.
I have several counters to these points, but to list a few:
- You can always submit a custom quote using a customer take-on form to understand their specific needs.
- Sorry folks, but freelancing is certainly not some poker game, where the one side constantly tries to get the other to reveal what their bottom-line is. This makes the relationship between the client and the freelancer feel strained off the bat.
- Contracts can be used to define what is included in the price you charge and how extra’s that are not included will be dealt with.
The ultimate customer experience is not all about you
Are you seeing the pattern?
Each of the arguments “against” showing your pricing on your website is from the freelancers perspective.
Who truly benefits from custom quotes? Is the customer really the one worried about being locked in? Who is wanting to quote based on a customers budget?
The freelancer is the answer to all of these questions, the freelancer.
Here is my bottom line (all poker games aside), customer service is not about you!
Your prospective customer’s experience should be all about them: what they need and want, what benefits they can earn. In the case that I described when I hired a freelancer, my needs revolved around timing. For other customers it may be about transparency.
I understand that all freelancers have a stake in the work they perform, and should expect that customers appreciate & respect that. However, the only way to achieve this is to anticipate what your customer needs and respond to that even before they know their needs.
Empathy always works when it comes to creating the ideal customer experience. When freelancing you can easily convert a customer from just a customer to a true-believer by putting yourself in their shoes. So when time is a factor, like it was for me, make it effortless for them to commit to buying your services.
Inherently this means that you are also winning.
Showing pricing upfront is a strategy that will work for customer and freelancer
So, if you were slights annoyed with the whole “it is not about you” thing I mentioned and you’re thinking “but I have bills to pay and have to be super strategic!”. Then, don’t forget that I get it! The purpose is to prove to you that putting your customer first has a strange way of coming back to show benefits to you.
Why pricing on your website works:
- You get to avoid the cheapskates who contact you to just get something for next-to-nothing
- You don’t waste your time creating an entire proposal for someone who is simply “checking around”
- Customers who enjoy transparency and moving quickly will love you loooong time
- You should be targeting customers who are willing to pay your price – it’s for good quality after all, right?
- Linked to the above point – your price is often linked to your value, so if you have the testimonials and portfolio to back up your price then there should be no question on the height of your fee.
As a closing thought, if you have never shown your pricing upfront, think about this: how weird would it be if you walked into a clothing store, tried to buy an item but you were told that you should first book a fitting appointment. Thereafter they would choose something for your budget, custom quote you first and then, when all is done, it still didn’t sit quite right.
Hmmmm. Makes you think.
I encourage that you perform some A/B testing. Keep your website as it, for a few weeks, then change it to show pricing to see if it changes the way customers engage with you. I think the difference will be as clear as your pricing shown on your website.