A common question I get asked is “why don’t you list prices on your website?”
The fast answer: one size doesn’t fit all.
I’ve worked with clients who need a simple homepage and I’ve worked with clients who have a homepage that scrolls and scrolls … and scrolls.
The amount of time to write those two pages is drastically different, never mind the content strategy behind what content is going to go where on the page.
The client with the page that scrolls and scrolls and scrolls may have great buyer personas and understand exactly what they need to do to create an effective homepage, whereas the “simple” on the surface page may require a style guide and personas.
I prefer to sit down with my clients and get a feel for what they truly need (once, that even meant me guiding the client to a strategy that didn’t involve hiring me). Then, I can quote an accurate price.
If I put “website, $500-$2,000 per page,” inevitably that price range looks a little all over the place. What constitutes a $500 page versus $2,000 or even more? Even choosing “starting at…” language meets there’s an expectation the price may be somewhere in that ballpark.
Inevitably, that starts a project off on the wrong foot. How can I give an unknown project from a client I don’t know yet a ballpark price?
Others like to offer packages with prices that include a certain set of work (e.g. 5 emails, 3 Facebook posts, and a sales page). But in my experience, it’s hard to quote package prices when every client needs something slightly different. To say, “I’ll build a webpage for $X,” means that every client fits into a similar webpage template. Even to assume someone needs 5 emails, 3 Facebook posts, and a sales page is making an assumption about what their business needs in the moment.
As a copywriter, my job isn’t just to produce great copy. It’s to work as a partner with your organization and understand what will help solve your challenge, whether in the short- or long-term (or both). That may mean a brochure makes more sense as an email or A/B testing subject lines on your sales funnel.
Some writers like to think in terms of value they’re delivering clients. “If my client is going to make $1 million from this sales page, why shouldn’t I charge $10,000?!” Sure, maybe that makes sense for that project and client, but does it make sense to put that on your site?
For me, that’s not the brand or image I want to project. Charging clients astronomical rates and then touting that fact feels tacky.
All of my clients have been repeat clients. Some I’ve worked with for four years. Why? Because I feel I’m fairly compensated for the work I’m providing, and my clients are happy with the value I’m providing.
It’s like what what a Moroccan friend once told me about haggling: “If you’re happy, and they’re happy, why not just be happy?”
Copywriters have the tendency to feel like they have to raise rates or else they’re not “successful.” Or want to filter out clients they don’t think are willing to pay enough.
For me, I’d rather have a conversation and see if we’re a good mutual fit. I always use nonprofits as an example because they often have smaller budgets. But just because an organization’s budget is smaller doesn’t mean we can’t work together.
And you have no way of knowing that until you have a conversation.
Your turn! Do you include prices on your website? Why or why not?