There are two numbers I didn’t spend much time thinking about
until I started working on my pricing.
Those two numbers are
1) The minimum amount of money a new client can spend with me
2) The maximum amount of money a new client can spend with me
But shouldn’t we take any amount of money someone wants to pay us?
In the beginning I did. I wrote blog posts for $10. That was in 2007. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no experience freelancing. I had to start somewhere. My minimum probably WAS $10.
Fast forward a few years and I was into a ten thousand dollar website and way over my head. I didn’t have a maximum. That was no fun. I had a huge amount of anxiety about that project, in part because I was not confident I could deliver something I was proud of. I NO LONGER SELL THOSE TYPES OF PROJECTS.
Why Set a Minimum?
The reasons are many.
- Every time you start with a new client there’s a certain amount of “onboarading” you have to do. You have to get to know them and their branding. You have to set up files and record keeping. You have to send invoices. What is the least amount of money you want/need to make if you’re going to do all of that? You’re not invoicing for setup, usually, so how much do you need to produce something meaningful and recoup setup costs?
- What is the minimum amount of time you need to spend in order to produce something meaningful that both you and the client feel good about? I’ve played with a few half price project audit packages and I probably won’t do that again because I don’t feel like I had adequate time to produce something that *I* felt very good about delivering.
- What is the minimum investment you need for a new client to make so that THEY are committed to the project and follow through? If what you’re doing requires follow up and activity by the client and they don’t have to invest much of their time and money into it, they might not do what they need to do in order for everything to be successful after your part is done, but what they might think is, “Well that wasn’t very helpful” even though you did your part. (I’ve been guilty of this! Purchasing a class and then not taking it all. Apparently it didn’t hurt enough for me to be committed.)
Everybody’s minimum is different. Mine is about $500 these days.
Why Set a Maximum?
Quite simply: there are projects that are beyond what you can handle or feel confident in delivering excellent work.
If someone came to me and said they wanted to pay me $50,000 to run a year-long marketing campaign I’d refer to another agency. I do not have the bandwidth or skills to manage a $50,000 campaign if it was dropped in my lap.
The other reason is that having a maximum limits how far either party can dig in to the unknown. Everybody’s maximum is different. Mine is around the $2,000-$4,000 mark for new clients unless it’s a book project because those can be $6,000 or $8,000. I have LOTS of experience with book projects, though, so I’m comfortable taking a new client on for that type of project at that price. I am confident in my ability to deliver something everybody is happy with.
Action: Think about your maximum and minimum numbers and steer new clients within those boundaries. Alert! Email Marketing Webinar Next Week
I’m teaching a webinar about email marketing next week for GWA. It is open to non-members as well. If you’ve wanted to start building your email program for yourself and your clients this is the one to attend. (Hint: if you don’t have an email list you are leaving money on the table. I’ll explain why during the webinar.)
Learn more and register here >
Bookmarks of the Week (Month? It’s summer!)
I’m traveling and sportsing, so my emails are on a schedule of their own right now but I’m still stockpiling links.
I can only HOPE to aspire to the level of awesomeness that my colleague Rachel reaches in her marketing tip videos. You just have to watch.
I went to see Ocean’s 8 last weekend and it was DELIGHTFUL. If you know me, you know I love to look at designer jewelry, fashion, and handbags, even if I only actually participate in purchasing handbags. It was FASCINATING to watch those ladies work their marks. I have to say that Cate Blanchett’s character’s outfits and accessories were my favorites.
What are you up to this summer? Hit “reply” and let me know about your next vacation, new favorite song, or cool recent read.