I am a very frugal person by nature. I rarely buy new items if I can find a better deal second-hand. Without realizing it, I took that mentality into my writing business.
In the summer of 2016, I was making far more than I ever had, but was still averaging around $50 an hour and $3,000 a month. That felt like a good accomplishment until I realized that other freelancers were charging a lot more. The funny thing was that I had more experience than the writers that were getting paid more.
At the same time, I was only charging $0.99 for my two Blondie McGhee books and was not seeing a lot of sales. My goal is to be featured in BookBub, and one tip other authors have suggested is to apply when your book is at a higher price. So I marked up my books to $2.99.
The Surprising Benefits of Charging More
I raised my freelance writing prices by gaining new clients. The new clients and brands that wanted to work with me were not turned off by my rate of $300-500 an article. This allowed me to start making $150 an hour on average.
As I picked up more clients, I was able to say goodbye to lower-paying clients without animosity. This in turn led me to earning more while working less. What?
I was surpassing my $3,000 a month goal by the 10th of each month, and even made $6,500 in December. However, I had more time to pursue other passions, like writing my third Blondie McGhee book, reading more, and doing more hands-on activities with my family.
I switched Blondie McGhee’s pricing to $2.99 for eBooks and kept the paperback books at $6.93. This strategy did not get me into BookBub, but it improved my ranking in Amazon. Both of these changes dramatically increased how many books I sold.
In October, I sold more than 100 paperback books. Then in November, I sold over 400. Then in December, I sold over 700. The eBook count for those months was not as high, but I was still making more on the Kindle books than ever before.
Why You Should Charge More
If you work your tail off to create a quality product, then why shouldn’t people pay more for it?
A higher price conveys the message that it is a higher quality product. If I saw two writing courses, one for $5 and one for $99, I would wonder why the $5 one was so cheap. I wouldn’t think I was getting a deal; instead, I would wonder if it would be a waste of money.
When you charge more, you also have to work less. You either have to work less to create one product or work less to find buyers for your product.
At $2.99, I earn a 70% commission on my eBook. That means I make $2.05 off of one book. At $0.99, I only earn a 35% commission from Amazon, which means I make $0.35.
While that is a big difference, my thought was that more people would want to buy it at the $0.99 level. Wrong!
If I sell just one book at $2.99, I make more than selling five books at the $0.99 level. It is much easier to convince one person to purchase your book than five people.
How to Get People to Pay More for Your Products or Services
No matter what market you work in, there is a good chance it is saturated with people willing to do your job or sell a similar item for less. For example, you can find a writer from India that will gladly write an article for $5-10. Similarly, you can find someone that sells crafts for one-third of what you charge, so how do you get people to pay your prices?
Step 1: Establish Your Value.
I earn more for writing because of my experience and connections. Are my writer skills on superman level? No – far from it! I know there are many better writers than me out there, but they do not have results behind their talent.
Whatever services or products you are selling, spend time thinking about what makes them valuable. Why is your craft item, course, designing skill, etc. better than your competitors? If you cannot come up with a reason, then work on it.
Fill in the blank: My _____ is better because ______.
Here are some examples:
- My finance writing it better because my articles are more likely to be republished by top sites like Forbes, Time, and Kiplinger.
- My fish blog is better because I create close connections with my readers.
- My soy candles are better because they are made with organic lavender that reduces stress.
- My artwork is better because 20% of the sales go to an orphanage in Kenya.
Find out what your blanks are and capitalize on that.
Step 2: Learn the Importance of Copywriting and SEO
Effective copywriting can sell just about anything. Tim Ferris, the author of the 4-Hour Workweek, says that he pays attention to what he buys. If he buys a shirt or course from advertising, he will then add it to his swipe file. He evaluates what exactly made him commit to the purchase.
I suggest you do the same. What was the last thing you bought or were tempted to buy? Take a look at the words used. How can you implement that persuasiveness when you sell yourself or your product?
You can have the best course on how to fish, but no one will know about it if they can’t find you through a simple web search. Use search engine optimization, SEO, for every product sold online, your brand, your crafts, your content, etc.
How do copywriting and SEO boost your rate? Copywriting will show potential customers that your item is valuable and worth the rate. SEO will allow you to get more potential customers in front of your product. You won’t have to worry about one person complaining your course is too much if you have five other people buying the course happily.
Step 3: Reframe the Value
Whatever your product or service, you need to show potential buyers the value in terms they can understand. As a writer, clients are not just paying for some words on a page. They are paying for my expertise, my unique voice, my experience, and me as a brand. What makes me more valuable than Joe Brown, the freelance writer who only charges a penny per word? A whole lot, and a simple Google search will tell potential clients that.
You have to frame the value of yourself or your product like that. Here are some more examples –
- Yes, you can hire a writer for less, but your readers will not connect with him or her like me.
- Yes, you can make that scarf yourself, but then you still have to spend money on material and time making it.
- Yes, you can teach yourself how to be a Pinterest superstar if you read enough articles online, but my course will give you the best info in one spot. You don’t have to search and hunt for it. My method is proven successful.
Step 4: Remind Buyers of the Potential Loss
I bought a course from Jordan Page called the Budget Bootcamp. I paid around $140 for it, which might seem ludicrous for someone that is looking to save money. If you are looking to better your budget, why would you throw $140 towards a course? Do you know how many groceries that could buy?
However, if I use this course and figure out a simple way to budget and save an extra $50 a month, by the end of the year I will have saved $600. If I never took the course, I might not have heard of this specific strategy or I would not have been motivated to make the change.
In the end, I could either have not bought the course and had $140 in my pocket OR I could have made the plunge and ended up with $600 in my pocket (or $460 above what I paid for the course). Which one would you rather have?
The most successful sellers don’t remind their readers that they will be losing $99 on a course. Instead, they remind them they will be losing much more. For example, when I launch my course, my knowledge and expertise can help you earn at least $2,000 a month. If I charge you $250 for this amazing information and you start making $2,000 a month, then you will make $20,000 a year. By not purchasing, you are in a sense losing $20,000.
The idea isn’t to be deceitful. I have taken several courses, and there have been several that have allowed me to make or save at least triple the course price.
The bottom line is that if your product or service is high quality, then it should demand a higher price. If your product or service is not of a quality that can command a higher price, then work on upping the quality.
Have you had good experience charging more? Share your story.