Should you include your pricing on your website? Why or why not?
It’s a question that comes up all the time. We service providers work ourselves into a tizzy over whether or not to show prices on our websites.
I have a large network of marketing professionals, made up of web developers, graphic designers, copywriters, SMMs and SEOs. And we’ve had many debates about the pros and cons of listing prices.
These discussions were illuminating, with newbies and seasoned pros weighing in on the topic.
After taking into account my experiences as a business owner and as a consumer, I found my choice easy to make.
Why I decided to list my starting prices
Transparency is a good thing
When I visit a website, I appreciate seeing the pricing laid out for me, in clear terms. Those sites that say “call for a quote” always seemed a little sketchy to me; like they want to know my budget first before they pull a price quote out of thin air.
But while I used to think that asking for a budget was shady, I see the value in it now. Knowing a client’s budget lets you tailor your services, to meet them where they are, and is a great way to help out a new business. And to me, asking for their range while freely giving my range keeps the conversation fair and respectful.
“What’s your budget?” is also a good litmus test. If the client responds with a dear-in-the-headlights look, it may mean they haven’t really thought about it. Which can often be a red flag if they’re not serious about hiring you. And businesses that are very new or are more hobby than business will often not even know their budget.
Gatekeeping is a bad thing
Some websites have their price list positioned like it’s a treasured prize and require visitors to sign up to get it. Don’t emulate those sites. The whole point of being a service provider is, you know, being of service. Being helpful. Creating complicated process to build vanity metrics doesn’t help anyone.
And if you think you’re “nurturing your email list,” grow up. People will give their throwaway email address and unsubscribe as soon as they get your download.
Gatekeeping your pricing hits me the same as those Instagram posts that say, “drop a heart if you agree”. Ugh. It’s such an obvious ploy, manipulative and achingly desperate.
Post your content, people will respond or not. Post your prices, people will call or not.
Not everyone is your client
Some people don’t understand the value of what you do. They’ll think your prices are too high. And that’s okay. They’re not your ideal client.
Some people, who may understand the value, are not yet successful enough to afford your level of expertise. That’s okay, too. There are other providers who will help them at their price point.
Your case studies, referral network and portfolio should back your asking price with demonstrable value. By the time the right people get on a Zoom call with you, they will have already sold themselves on hiring you.
We have to get comfortable talking about money
Money conversations can be awkward or nerve-wracking for anyone, but this is especially true for women. We’re accustomed to being paid less for our work and are conditioned to downplay our value. We tend to feel bad asking for things.
While it may seem easier to postpone the dreaded money conversation until the last minute, it can set you up for failure in two ways.
If you shy away from the topic of money with potential clients, it doesn’t come up until the last minute. Then, if your prices are higher thanexpected, they feel misled.
On the other hand, if you’re feeling pressure to land the client, you might lower your price to win them. But is that really a win? No.
Leaving prices off your website creates an opportunity for you to undersell yourself when you and your client inevitably have the price conversation.
An argument against showing prices…
Some of my colleagues don’t show prices because their prices vary a lot between clients. Having a few levels to your pricing is totally acceptable, and using a “starting at” price keeps your offers from getting too long or complicated.
Pro Tip for new marketers
When you submit a proposal to a prospective client, give an estimate instead of a absolute dollar amount. This gives you wiggle room when complications crop up. And make it clear that you will invoice for anything that is out of scope.
My signature method for avoiding scope creep is getting the project properly defined in the first place. Learn about the Digital Marketing Strategy workshop that I offer.
While we’re on the topic…
Why Clients Don’t Like Questionnaires
Resources for Your Business