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“How much?” Those two words are chilling enough to cause frostbite. Sure, it’s a perfectly logical and, quite frankly, inevitable question for prospective customers to ask. Nevertheless, it terrifies me.
The problem with “How much?” is that there are too many ways to get the answer wrong.
One answer wins you the job, but leaves you feeling cheated or rushed. Another answer causes the customer to walk away, looking for a cheaper option. And another is so low it convinces the customer you suck at what you do.
Worse, determining what number is wrong for which reason is near-impossible, because the whole thing is subjective.
Excuses for NOT listing SEO copywriting prices online
So, is it any wonder we freelance writers tend to shy away from posting our prices publicly? The first time someone suggested I put my SEO copywriting rates on my website I blanched. What if a potential customer isn’t willing to pay that much? I’ll scare them off. Or, what if they’re willing to pay more? I’ll lose money.
How can I be flexible and negotiate if my prices are out there for all to see? Besides, each project is different so doesn’t it just make sense to create an individual price quote for each.
My opinion was only bolstered as I looked around the web and found very few SEO copywriters publishing their rates online. This is standard industry practice, I told myself. I’m doing the right thing.
The fact of the matter is that after nearly four years in this business I know what I WANT to charge.
I also know there are copywriters who charge significantly more, and scores who charge significantly less. That puts me comfortably in the middle, and I believe I’m worth my asking price. So, why am I still afraid to answer “how much?”
Because I’m afraid of being told “no.”
My epiphany about publishing SEO copywriting rates online
Over the years I’ve performed mental gymnastics trying to come up with the right answer to “how much?” I’ve spent hours putting together fancy proposals hoping they’d convince prospects to pay more. And I’ve suffered the frustration and disappointment of losing bids I thought were a sure thing.
So, I recently asked a negotiations expert how I can know the right answer to “how much?”
She said, “Ask yourself, what is the value of my services in the hands of my market? If your market can’t afford you, change your market!”
Huh? You mean I’ve been wasting time and energy trying to fit my prices into my market, when I should’ve been finding a market that fits my price?
The benefits of posting your SEO copywriting rates online
So I’m taking the plunge. I’m establishing standard rates and posting them on my website.
Does this mean I’m unwilling to negotiate? No. But it does mean I’m facing my fears and taking charge of my pricing . If someone sees my rates and decides to go elsewhere, then they weren’t the right customer for me anyway.
I figure this is going to help me:
1) Generate higher quality leads from my website.
2) Save time by focusing my sales efforts on the right people.
3) Establish credibility with people who visit my website.
4) Close more sales.
What about you? Do you publish your prices online? What are your reasons for or against doing so? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments section below. (And please join the discussion in my Network of Web Professionals group on Facebook and LinkedIn).
Alexa Steele is The Website Wordsmith and founder of Mystique Marketing Communication. She and her nationwide team of Internet marketing specialists provide premium services including website design and development, SEO, social media marketing, and website copywriting. In short, “we communicate with the people who make you money.”
photo thanks to Tax Credits