Why Your Prices Should Be Listed On Your Website

So you can stop Wasting everyone’s time

Why You Should List Your Prices On Your Website

“Should my prices be listed on my website?” I see this question pop up often from other entrepreneurs in service-based businesses. I find that we all have opposing views depending on how long we’ve been in business, services offered/industry, lead generation wishes or a myriad of other personal reasons. For those just starting out, it can be quite confusing so I wanted to touch on it and open it up for discussion here on my blog.

When I first launched my writing and digital marketing business I didn’t post my rates on my website. I was in “do-mode” of getting my business out to the world so I was doing everything on the fly in order to push past the fear. I’m the kind of person that has to act fast because if I think about it or research too long I become paralyzed with fear.

The thought that I may have been losing customers because prices weren’t listed on my website  never crossed my mind. Another reason that I didn’t have prices listed was because I was unsure of them myself. I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into a price that I wasn’t confident about. I was still “feeling things out” so I felt more comfortable winging it.

As time went on and I did more research, I found that most entrepreneurs suggested posting rates for the world to see. That was a scary proposition because that meant I had to commit and really put myself out there.  What if my rates were too high, or worse, too low? It was a vulnerable moment but I did it and perhaps you should consider it too.

Here are a few reasons you should consider posting your prices on your website.

Stop Wasting Everyone’s Time

Time is an asset that you can’t get back and your potential clients feel the same way. If you’ve made it on their shortlist but they’re unsure if they can afford you or they’re in a pinch, you may fall off the list. Don’t give them one more reason to not choose you because you don’t have your rates posted.

Sorry to break it to you but there are tons of businesses that do what you do in some capacity. The potential client may connect with you and love how you do it but if they have to go through a long, drawn-out process to get basic information they may just move on. It’s that whole path of least resistance thing. Ain’t nobody got time for all that!

Time is an asset that you can't get back and your potential clients feel the same way. Click To Tweet

Let’s not disregard your own time as a business owner. The time you spend vetting people and responding to requests about your prices takes away from time you could be pitching new clients or working with those who get it. Do you really want to spend several minutes a day or week turning people away or even worse negotiating your prices? Of course not.

I’m well aware that if you’re just starting your business and clients aren’t exactly flooding in that this doesn’t sound like the worst thing that could  happen. This brings me to my next point.

weed out who isn’t a good fit

By posting your prices on your website you immediately weed out those who aren’t a good fit…yet. Your ideal client is comprised of a number of qualities, however, a big one is that they can afford you. Let’s be honest here for a moment. We all have bills to pay. The potential client could very well check off every other box with the exception of money. But you still need to feed your family and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Can you imagine if I walked into Restoration Hardware holding a catalog with everything in it circled but had no money? Sure, I have the taste and desire to purchase but no cold hard cash (I don’t do credit). I’m not their ideal customer yet and you can believe they won’t feel bad about turning me away and neither should you. I’ve struggled with my discounting mindset but I know I’m worth it.

On the reverse, many potential clients could assume that they can’t afford you without a price to go on. This may be true and it could also be false. Do you really want to take that chance? If you remember my case above, initially I just didn’t think about posting my prices.

Have you heard the cliche “if you have to ask the price that means you can’t afford it”?  Most of us subconsciously believe that so when we don’t see prices we perceive and assume something is out of our league. Now this might be what you’re going for. Many entrepreneurs sell their services based on value vs. price. They prefer their ideal client to be value-focused vs. price-focused. This is actually a great strategy that you can use…and still list your prices! That’s why it’s imperative to know who your ideal client is and what your brand stands for. It comes down to positioning.

Many entrepreneurs prefer their ideal client to be value-focused vs. price-focused. Click To Tweet

I’ve heard business owners say that they don’t list prices because that’s how they generate leads. There are many great ways to get leads  but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

Prices aren’t Set In Stone

Fear is palpable when you’re an entrepreneur. You’re constantly wondering if you’re making the right decisions. You’re reading every blog, watching each webinar and digesting e-courses galore to make sure you’re on the right track. You’re also grasping at straws from others who’ve come before you and that’s where finding your tribe comes in.

It all seems so overwhelming and finite. Well, it’s not.

A major thing to keep in mind is that it can all be changed literally with the click of a button. It’s your business so you make the rules. How awesome is that? If you think your prices are too low or high, simply update your website to reflect that. Is your pricing structure not working or not attracting your ideal client? Change it after doing some testing.

When it comes to pricing (or anything) it helps to see how others have done it and adapt to best practices. You still have to do what works best for your business but you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. I’m constantly looking at entrepreneurs who inspire me to see what they’re doing and tweaking my own model. It’s perfect because when you’re fairly new in business it’s expected and no one notices or even cares. Take advantage of it and play with it. I love having all control since it’s one of the reasons I started my own business.

“How do I quote a project or list prices without knowing the intricacies and details of an individual project?” That’s one of the questions I had when I began freelancing. You will undoubtedly need more information before accurately pricing a project but you can still give people an idea of your range.

Here are some brief suggestions of techniques to help you with pricing your services:

  • Use software like typeform to create a form to vet clients
  • Use terms like “Starting at ….”
  • Include a price range “$500 to $1,000”
  • Breakout types of services and prices
  • State that custom projects will be quoted separately

I hope this helps you decide what’s best for your business. If you liked this article, sign up for my list below to be the first to know about my upcoming ebook. I’ll give you helpful tips, tricks ,and information on how you can move past the fear to start the service-based business of your dream, start earning an income fast and live the laptop lifestyle!



Do you have prices for your services listed on your website? Comment below and let me know your thoughts either way.

 

How to Write the Perfect Pitch

 AND get attention for your brand

Write the Perfect Pitch

If you’re a writer or an entrepreneur, most likely you’ve written a pitch of some kind. If you haven’t, rest assured you will at some point or you maybe you’ll hire someone like me to do it. At any rate, it’s important to know how to use a pitch to grab attention for your product or service. I was very uncomfortable the first time I wrote a cold pitch. A cold pitch is pitching to someone you have no connection with. The fear of rejection was palpable. But did I die? Nope, and neither will you. Now I write pitches so often I don’t even bat an eye. Fortunately, I hear back more often than not.

If cold pitching gives you the hives, I’m going to walk you through a few pointers. You can also check out a sample pitch that I used to cold pitch a current client of mine. Use it as a template to write your own perfect pitch.

Ok. You’re probably wondering why would you need to write a pitch at all. Here are some times when you may need to pitch someone:

  • Cold pitch your services to clients or agencies
  • Pitch product to blogger or journalists
  • Guest post for blogger
  • Contribute to publication
  • Pitch startup for funding (different beast)

Now that you know why you need a pitch let’s get to work. Keep in mind that keeping your pitch brief is best. Journalists and popular bloggers don’t have a lot of time so keep it short and sweet. If they’re interested and want more information, they’ll ask you for it.

The Research

A pitch has many functions but it always needs to be tailored. Don’t be that person sending out a run of the mill spammy cold pitch. It’s the hallmark of an amateur and will be sent to the trash immediately. Journalists and bloggers can smell spam a mile away. And trust me…it wreaks.

The first step is to do your research and find the correct person to send your pitch to. Research the specific person’s real name, connect with them on social media and even comment on their posts. It also helps to show that you’re familiar with their work by referencing a similar story they’ve covered in the past. The same applies if you’re connecting with a journalist to pitch a product. As a journalist myself, I know that research is the foundation of a great pitch.

Tip: Give a little information about yourself but focus on what you can offer/provide. State any features and benefits.

Pitch The Angle

Why are you writing this pitch? What are you hoping to gain? Publicity, exposure, connections…those are the usual suspects. Ideally, you already know the answer but if not figure it out beforehand. You’ll also need to do some brainstorming on the angle of the story. The goal is to do as much of the work for them as possible. I know this sounds backwards or like a lot of work but by doing this, you’re more likely to get exactly what you want. For example, If you pitch a popular blogger to guest post on their blog, I suggest giving them a choice of 3 topics that you can write about on their blog. This also helps you because if they accept your submission you already have a topic and you can get straight to writing.

To pitch a popular blogger or publication, give them 3 choices of awesome topics you could cover on their blog. Click To Tweet

Tip:  Perform a search in the bloggers toolbar to make sure the topic hasn’t been covered recently. If it was previously covered, simply work a different angle or solve the problem. This is a gimme if that particular post was really popular (comments & shares). You can also read comments and get ideas based on reader’s pain points.



The Call to Action

One of the most important things that people miss is a good call to action or CTA. It seems simple but you’d be shocked at how often this is forgotten. I’ve also seen weak calls to action. “Well um if you want to check out my stuff…”. Where’s the confidence, friend?  You’re awesome and so is the product/service you provide. Why wouldn’t they want to feature you?

There are various ways to prompt the reader to act and move the process forward but you have to make it easy for them.

Below are a few CTA’s you can use or use a variation of a few:

  • Add social media links (Link to your most popular/used social platforms)
  • Link to best samples/portfolio
  • Link to demo video
  • Contact information (A MUST)
  • Schedule meeting
  • Link to E-commerce or brick & mortar business
  • E-Press Kit Link
  • A relevant source

The CTA is one of the most important elements of the pitch so don’t leave it out. Put yourself in the readers mind and include information you’d want to know but don’t give away too much. Don’t write a book…just give the basics.

Tip: If you’re pitching a submission to write, include your turnaround time and the # of words you project the piece to be.

The Follow-Up

As I mentioned earlier, anyone you’d want to pitch to is likely super busy. If you don’t hear back immediately, don’t feel slighted. Most professional bloggers and publications have an editorial calendar planned out months in advance.  Your story may not fit into their content plan or strategy at the current moment. Maybe they’re on vacation or it fell off their radar temporarily. Don’t let it fall off your radar. The key is good old-fashioned follow-up.

I always end a pitch or any request with the following line: “If I haven’t heard from you by __________, I’ll follow-up with you”. Then I drag it to my calendar and follow-up with the person when I said I would.

Hopefully, this gives you the structure for writing a pitch to get you noticed. Have you had to write a pitch before? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Why You Need A Welcome Packet Now Plus Free Template

How to Manage Expectations and Set Boundaries

Create a Welcome Packet for Clients!

I’ve learned so many lessons as a new freelancer. One of the biggest lessons comes from the challenges I’ve faced in setting  boundaries and expectations with clients.  I’ve been so focused on the grind and hustle that I had no idea I needed to think about these things early in my business. I can tell you now that was a big mistake…HUGE. What I needed was a welcome packet. A welcome packet helps to gather information, manage expectations and set boundaries with clients.

In a former job, I used to manage employees and I recall my supervisor telling me, “to be unclear is to be unkind”. And it’s so true. Of course, he was referring to my employees at the time but this is true of any relationship. You can’t fault a person for abusing boundaries and expectations they didn’t know existed. A welcome packet is a great way to do this.  The most successful entrepreneurs do it this way.

To be unclear is to be unkind Click To Tweet

I look at misunderstandings as a lesson. Several experienced members of a freelance group suggested that I create a welcome packet. This is why it’s imperative to have a tribe of people around you. They clue you in on these things. It never even crossed my mind. I was too busy frolicking in the entrepreneurial land of butterflies and rainbows. The miscommunication with a client brought me back down to earth quickly. I’m a freelancer but I’m still working with people with different personality traits similar to coworkers.

 

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Why You Need A Welcome Packet 

There are many reasons why you need to create a welcome packet if you don’t already have one.

A welcome packet helps to:

  • Create concrete (written) information the client can refer to throughout the process
  • Define the scope of work (questionnaire)
  • Let the client know your work hours, contact information and preferred method of contact
  • Give the client an idea of your workflow process
  • Invite the client to work with you (welcome letter)
  • State preferred payment methods and arrangements (terms can be explained in further detail in contract)
  • Include FAQ’s that you feel a client may have
  • Be a predecessor to a contract

 “Attract the Right Clients for Your Business” Welcome Packet Templates! Everything you need in one place to get your onboarding process started on the right foot.

You can send this packet before they sign the contract for a sneak peek or you can send it with the contract. It’s really up to you and you’ll know what’s best at that moment.

This due diligence has a number of benefits. It helps clients to drill down on their scope of work and gives me an idea of what to expect when working with them. The client may even find when completing the questionnaire that his/her needs aren’t what they thought they were.The information may also prove that the client is not a good fit for how you like to work and vice versa.

I’ve created some templates to give you an idea of the kinds of information I like to request and the questions I ask before beginning work. You will also find a list of the “FAQ’s” that I like to include with my welcome packet. You can list whichever you’d like but I find those are the main ones I’m asked.

I left out some personal information that I give to my clients but I also watermark my documents to personalize them. The areas highlighted in yellow are what you will need to modify.

I hope you found this information helpful. As you can see a good welcome packet helps is the most important part of the process. You’ll able to find the right clients for your business and save time from dealing with the wrong ones.

 

 

 

How Our Favorite Brands Have Gained A Cult-Like Following

Branding Breakdown Series (Part 1: Chick Fil A)

chick fila

I’m going inside some of our favorite brands to identify what makes them a branding success in my 3 Part #brandingbreakdown series.

I’m a big consumer of these companies/products and have often wondered what kind of sorcery they’ve cast to keep me coming back for more with my hard-earned dollars in hand.

You can rest assured that it’s not dumb luck and these behemoths have poured considerable time and money into studying their customers and perfecting their image.

In a previous post ,“Are You Striking The Right Tone For Your Brand?”, I included a downloadable PDF Exercise to help you identify companies that are doing it right and how you can find your own distinct voice.

In Part 1, we’ll be breaking down Chick Fil A. The home of the chicken sandwich that will make you bite your own finger. I’m not so secretly hoping that I will be rewarded with a lifetime supply of free food and sweet tea. If you can make that happen, hit me up.

While the delicious food is an important part of the equation, there are a multitude of reasons why Chick Fil A is winning in business. Let’s dig in shall we?

1). Customer Service – It’s consistent. It’s welcoming. It’s fast. It’s everything we’ve come to know and love about our experience at Chick Fil A.

As a matter of fact, if someone told you they had a bad experience at Chick Fil A, you may not believe them choosing to count it as an off day for your companion and not the establishment itself.

That’s how you know they’re doing something right. Sure the food is yummy, but let’s be honest, there are other places you can pick up a more moderately priced meal. Chick Fil A just goes that extra mile.

When you leave and the employee says “my pleasure” you actually believe them and that, my friend, is worth $7.00.

2). Employee Investment –You’re probably thinking, “What does this have to do with anything and why do I care?” Let me explain.

Several studies have shown that employee satisfaction has a major impact on the quality of service. Great customer service is a direct result of satisfied employees.

Chick Fil A believes in promoting their loyal employees by rewarding them with franchise opportunities. Ashley Derby started with Chick Fil A in high school and continued through college working her way up the ladder. Now she owns her own franchise. Read her story here.

Bottom-line: it pays to be kind to your employees and include them on the buy-in of the larger goal. Click To Tweet

3). They Stand For Something –While many may not agree with their Christian religious beliefs, it’s a breath of fresh air that a company still stands for something in a time where big companies are selling their souls in exchange for a higher stock price.

Chick Fil A is privately held allowing them to make decisions that align with their values. They believe so strongly in these principles that the restaurants are closed on Sundays so their employees may attend church service and spend valuable time with family.

This also lends itself to the scarcity theory. We’ve all seen a social media post of a friend who’s dying because they couldn’t get their fix on a Sunday.

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and the cravings grow more intense. Kind and genius!

4). Steady growth – Chick Fil A is growing slow yet steadily. The company is not oversaturated like McDonald’s which means it’s not as easily accessible. You won’t find one on every corner.

Chick Fil A has a very selective franchising process making sure that every owner has the proper capital and same core values just as the founders intended.

How is this helpful for the growing brand?

Well, making sure the company is on solid footing and all franchise owners have bought into the larger goal on the front end is key to staying power.

Is there anything I’m missing? Are you a fan of Chick Fil A? If so, what do you love about them?

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter so you can get the #brandingbreakdown of 2 more popular companies.

Here’s a hint: you may have a beverage with the logo on it in your hand right now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Striking the Right Tone For Your Brand? (plus Free Downloadable Exercise in PDF)

personalitywordswordle-colour

If you think about your circle of friends or family and their personality style, you could  likely come up with a minimum of 3 keywords to describe them.

Maybe your dad is quirky, dry and sarcastic while mom is silly, goofy and fun. The same thing applies when you think of some of your favorite successful brands and the way they market to their audience.

It’s important as a business owner to decide what the tone of your business will be early on. If you’re a real estate company with a high-end clientele, you may prefer to strike a tone across your brand that is refined, sharp and sophisticated.

On the other hand, if you are a hair salon known for edgy styles this could get boring  fast, therefore, the content you share should correlate well with what your customers have come to expect from your business.

The key is to be genuine so it appears effortless.

Also, keep in mind that if you lean one way, you can always fuse in  the opposing style. As a matter of fact, this is suggested where appropriate just to keep your followers on their toes.

If you are unsure of what the tone of your brand is or are unclear of how to go about crafting your tone and style, I’ve developed a small exercise to help you clarify the tone of your business.

Download PDF here: How to Strike the Right Tone For Your Brand

Of course,  it’s always a great idea to test if the tone you’re conveying and content you’re sharing is right for your business and that is by keeping a keen eye on what gets the most likes, comments and shares.

If you have any questions about the tone of your brand and would like assistance in clarifying which tone works best for your business don’t hesitate to call me at 602-761-0885 or reach me by email at niaonsocial@yahoo.com.