My friends of Gomediazine asked a very interesting question in their blog, this is a question I’ve been turning it over in my mind for some years. Someone asked whether is good or not for a freelance designer to show your price list in public.
Pros of displaying your prices:
- The clients can make a pre-selection: This way only the ones who are really interested in your services will contact you.
- You can save up in negotiation: The client will be disposed to pay your price, so the negotiation will be quicker and more effective.
- If your price list is cheap, you’ll attract more clients.
Cons of displaying your prices:
- “Fast food” effect: Looks like your work is mass-produced, lacking personal attention. Not smart at all.
- You lose some negotiation margin with high-profile clients.
- You are giving information to your competitors.
Conclusion: Showing your prices you sacrifice your image in exchange for time and stability. Depending on how advanced your business is, and what your objectives are, this can be more or less recommendable.
This is my story
In my personal case I started without any knowledge about marketing or design, without any resources and completely on my own. My objective is to reach the highest levels of quality. Profitability is an important thing to me, but secondary.
Phase 1: Beginnings
When I started designing by order, my main problem was to get clients who purchased my work. Besides, my quality and my prices were quite low. My goal was working cheap to get a stable clients list, to improve my portfolio and my skills as a designer.
In this stage it is a good thing to publish your price list because, to be realistic, we will only get clients more interested in a low price than in a good quality. Competitors won’t be a problem either, because no one will notice you. On the other hand, we’ll save lots of time when making estimates.
I would sacrifice your image in exchange for time and stability. In this stage you don’t really have an image.
Phase 2: Setting up
When you already have a stable clientele, managing your time becomes very important. By increasing your presence in the net, you’ll have to deal with lots of clients with very low budgets (even without a budget at all), so the ideal would be to show your price list. This way those not-desirable clients will discard themselves. It’s a good idea to make your price list as ranges of prices, which can give you some negotiation margin with the rest of the clients.
This would be the mid point, I would sacrifice some of my image in exchange for time.
Phase 3: RockStar
I still haven’t reached this stage but I can imagine how it will be. In this stage my image will be very important, so I would hide the prices and I would hire an assistant to manage the costumer service and negotiate with clients.
It’s time to invest in image and time.
What’s your experience?
I’m aware that this is not valid for all fields. In the case of a web programmer, the tasks are very complex and everything will depend on the requests of each client. In this case maybe we could show the price of one hour of work… Discussion is open