My favorite sessions at the Creative Freelancer Business Conference are the ones that address how to deal with money.
I always listen carefully for advice on how to talk with my clients and prospects about costs and how to present my pricing in a way that appeals to people. This year, Jason Blumer delivered a session called “The Intimacies of Pricing Your Customer” where he discussed how to transform your clients and prospects into firm believers in you and your services.
I knew his advice was good, but at the time I had no idea that I would be implementing it within days to transform a “small job” into a $2,500 project!
The three-tier pricing strategy
Jason talked about presenting three different prices for services. The first price is always the highest and is presented as the most desirable. What makes it so is that the highest level of pricing comes with the highest level of service. For instance, you will provide five initial concepts instead of three, or the client will be able to have four edit cycles. The midrange pricing offers fewer options and the lowest price offers the fewest number of options. Presenting your pricing and services in this way allows people to pick the option that’s best for their needs and their budget.
I’d scheduled a client phone call on the last day of HOW Design Live. I had 45 minutes after a session to kill before the call, so I started looking over my conference notes. I realized that the job I would be discussing, designing a PowerPoint template and user guide, was a perfect candidate for the three-tier pricing strategy. Designing templates always follows the same formula, so it’s easy to predict about how long it will take and what to include in the job. It struck me that by including or excluding certain aspects of the project, I could create three price levels. I knew that if I had those prices and job descriptions on my website, we could refer to these during our call and make it more productive. Time to edit my website!
Putting project prices and descriptions on my website
There wasn’t much time, so I used the first names I could think of for the three packages: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Not my most original work, to be sure, but these names are universally understood and require no explanation. After that, I needed to figure out what would be included in each package.
I started by describing what was included in the Gold package, since that would include the most options. Once I finalized the description, I simply removed services and reduced the number of original concepts and edit cycles for the Silver and Bronze levels. I set the price ranges based on what I’d charged other clients in the past for similar work and how long it usually takes to do the work.
I finished editing my website one minute before the scheduled time of my call. Whew!
A slam-dunk of a phone call
In the email he’d sent requesting the call, my client had described this template design project as a “small job” because he had no idea of what would be involved. As the conversation unfolded, it became clear that this would not, in fact, be a small job. After we’d spoken for a while, I told him that my template pricing packages were on my website and gave him the URL. He was silent for a minute or two while he skimmed over the page. Then he said, “I guess what we really need is the Gold Package.” We then proceeded to hammer out the details of the job and I agreed to send him a proposal, which he approved the following week.
In the past, I’ve used advice gained from the Creative Freelancers Business Conference to improve my business. But never before had I done it so quickly and with such instant success! This one job will more than pay for my investment in the conference. I recommend you try it for yourself to see if the three-tier pricing structure works for you, too!
About Laura Foley
Laura Foley helps people to be less terrible at PowerPoint. As a Cheater of Death by PowerPoint, she transforms slides into effective marketing tools through workshops, consulting, and presentation design services.