Tell me if you’ve ever thought or said the following:
“I don’t want to scare potential customers away by talking about price before I have a chance to talk about value.”
“I sell so much better on a consult call and people are more likely to book me if they can get to know me first.”
“My price varies a lot depending on the scope of the project, so I really don’t want to go listing any hard and fast numbers on my site.”
I totally hear you!
But in this post/video I want to share with you why listing your prices for everyone to see could actually be super beneficial for your web design business.
Have you ever been shopping, and you stumble upon a super high-end looking boutique where the minute you step foot in the store, everything just screams “I’m expensive!”
Still, you are obsessed with the dress that the mannequin had on in the window so it wouldn’t hurt to just check.
But after awkwardly crawling over all the other things in the window display, you realize the dress is missing its price tag.
You’re already feeling a little silly and out of place, so there’s no way you are going to draw further attention to yourself by flagging down one of the designer-wearing employees to ask how much it costs.
So instead you head a few blocks down to peruse a store you know you can safely afford.
I hate to tell you this, but your potential clients are doing the same thing!
Your web design portfolio is drop-dead gorgeous, super curated, and clearly a head above the rest.
As obsessed as your potential client is with your work, if they can’t easily access your prices without having to ask, they may just assume they can’t afford you.
Hiring out their site to a pro probably feels like a pretty massive investment for them, so they may fear the sting of rejection if the budget they worked so hard to save up just doesn’t cut it.
But if you had only listed your prices, they may have realized that your basic package was actually the perfect fit!
Good! That’s information you’re kinda going to want to know before you hop on a call!
Which brings me to reason #2 to go ahead and list your prices…
No matter how much someone adores your work and really really really wants to work with you, if their budget for their entire site is $500 bucks and your packages start at $5000, no amount of time spent on a consult call is going to change that.
Yes, sometimes people just truly don’t know what a website costs and therefore didn’t know how to properly budget (which we will talk about in a minute here), but for the most part, the money is what it is, and some people simply won’t be able to afford your services.
It would be a massive waste of their time and yours to hop on a call, spend 30 minutes excitedly talking about their project, only to dash their hopes and dreams at the end of the call when you casually mention, “oh yah, and here’s what it costs…”
It’s embarrassing for them, and all sorts of awkward for you, and it can all be avoided by listing your prices right there on your services page.
Will you be doing fewer consult calls? Yep! But the calls you are doing will be with the right people!
And since you already got the initial investment talk out of the way, it won’t be looming over you the entire call, and you will be able to relax and use that time to connect in a more authentic way with your potential client instead!
So as I mentioned earlier, some people simply don’t know what a website costs. They’ve never worked with a designer, and they have no idea the work that goes into building the thing.
They look at their baby business and think, “hmmm…I’m not really bringing in much income yet, so it doesn’t make sense to throw too much at a website just yet…”
…and then they arbitrarily pick a number that sounds like a lot to them, but is also low enough that they won’t have to eat Raman Noodle for every meal that month.
What they don’t realize is that a bad or non-existent website could actually be part of their income problem, and that if they invested in building a better online home for their business, they may start to see some real growth!
By listing out your packages and pricing in detail, you are not only setting an expectation for what it realistically costs, but you also have a chance to educate them on just how much value a killer website could bring to their business.
They obviously already know they need a website.
(That’s why they are looking for someone to hire!)
But what they may not know is that not every website is created equal, and just because you build one, doesn’t mean the people will come.
There’s some legit strategy and site-building best practices involved, so while you’re talking dollars and cents, it’s also the perfect time to chat value as well.
It may also help them realize that they may not be ready for the giant 10-page website, copy, and branding redesign they had been picturing, and that their current budget may be better suited to one of your more basic packages to start.
Once again you’ve saved face on what could have been a disappointing consult, and you are freed up to focus on the positives during the call and the benefit you can bring.
You’ll also be able to encourage them that as their business grows, you can start to revisit some of those other services they had their eye on, and that you will always be there to help them round out their website even more in the future!
In the beginning of this post/video, I shared the analogy of the shopper who was scared to ask how much it costs. But that is not the only way you are missing out on sales by not listing your prices!
Some people may just not bother to ask!
Time is money, and if they are busy building their business, and have a bajillion other things they need to be doing that day, they are not interested in having to dig for information.
They probably have 15 tabs open from their hurried Google search of “website designer for event planners” and each tab gets a quick comb-over to decide whether or not you can offer what they need.
If it comes down to you and 3 other designers who have similar offerings and abilities, and the other 3 list their prices and you do not, they may not bother to take the time to email you to find out.
If they do take the time to email you, and you don’t get back to them with your pricing and services guide that very second while their mind is still on their website, then it could be too late!
They could have already decided to book a consult with another designer who has made it easy to take the first steps towards working together.
So when setting up your website, you want to make sure that a potential client has easy access to everything they need in order to say yes to start working with you, before you ever jump on a call!
You might be thinking…
My advice for you is to take everything you would ever say in a consult call, and add that straight to your services page!
When set up correctly, your website and portfolio should do the selling for you, to where it can literally book you clients in your sleep!
That way, the consultation call is not so much about convincing anyone to work with you, but rather you finding out whether you want to say yes to working with them!
The cost of a pro-designer website is a pretty massive investment for most business owners, and they may be feeling a bit nervous about dropping a serious chunk of change on this project.
Besides getting them to fall in love with your portfolio, you also need them to feel like they can trust you with their baby (A.K.A their business.)
So if you are currently being all hush-hush about your packages and pricing, your client may begin to wonder what it is you are so worried they will see.
They could subconsciously be thinking:
“Do they not believe in the value of their work?”
“Do they know deep-down they are overcharging for their packages?”
“Are they going to hit me with some random hidden fees or unexpected charges after I agree to work with them?”
I can tell you right now, your client’s biggest fear is getting duped by some so-called designer, followed closely by getting cornered on some scary, salesy feeling Zoom call.
And I’m sorry to say that your super-secretive inquiry process may be reinforcing those fears!
Put their mind at ease by letting them know what to expect, and I promise you both you consult calls will start to be so much more enjoyable for both you and your potential clients!
Ok, so you may be thinking, “I get it Paige! I see your point…”
If the cost of a project depends on a bunch of different factors, and you’re worried that by listing your prices, your future clients will hold you to some unrealistic flat rate, then I would encourage you to use language like “prices starting at” or “average investment is” on your services page instead.
You don’t need to go listing out the price of every last A Lá Carte option you offer either, but just make it clear what each of your base packages include, and that additional services would be at an extra charge.