Should you be listing your prices for services and digital products on your website? It’s a question that all consultants and professional freelancers have to answer at some point. But, it can feel like a chicken or the egg dilemma: if you list your prices, visitors may make decisions based on that alone and they may be less likely to buy from you (especially if your services are costly), but on the other hand, if you leave your pricing off, people may not make the effort to explore your offerings further.
The truth is both strategies work. But they do so in very different situations. So how do you know which one is for you? Consider these three points:
1. How well-known are you? If you are just starting up your business and no one knows who you are, then potential customers will have a hard time evaluating whether your prices accurately reflect the value that you are offering. In this case, it wouldn’t make sense for you to prominently list your prices on your site. You would need to spend some time and effort building a relationship with your target market. There are many ways to do this, such as hosting a webinar or a live Hangout Q&A, guest posting and commenting on sites that are frequented by your target audience, and posting informative and engaging content on your blog that specifically answers the questions your target market has.
Once you proved yourself to some initial clients and you’re starting to build up a list of people who would recommend you to others, you can start creating the kind of context needed to convince new potential customers of your ability to deliver great value. More on this below.
2. Who are you targeting and what kind of relationship are you looking for? How are you positioning your business against others in the same niche, and who are you targeting? If you specialize in providing specific services at a very low cost or with some highly desirable features, then it may make sense to list your prices- even at the beginning. But, on the other hand, if you will be working one on one with the client, and there is the potential for a long term relationship, then the relationship itself, not the price, is the more important factor. In this case, the focus on your website (and your outreach efforts) should be about trying to cultivate these relationships by offering quality resources and information, by engaging people in the conversations they are already having, and by getting them to join a mailing list that you actively maintain. Once these things are in place, then you can talk prices.
3. Can you create context on your site? As you go about building your reputation, you can start adding elements to your site that help prove your credibility and create a context that new visitors can rely on to determine if your pricing is fair. This would include things like your subscriber list count, well-known websites where you have been published or mentioned, as well as names of well-known client’s and their testimonials. If you want to see this in action, look at what Neil Patel does on his site QuickSprout. He plays up the fact that he’s worked with many big-name companies, such as TechCrunch and Amazon, as well as many big online personalities. This gives him instant credibility even if you’ve never heard of him before.
Once you’ve created enough context, in many cases you can successfully list your prices since visitors will have enough information to gauge the quality and effectiveness of what you are offering.
In short, deciding whether or not to list your prices on your website really boils down to understanding where your business is currently holding, who you are targeting, and what your relationship will be with your clients.
I think it depends on what you are selling. If you are selling commodity products without much differentiation you can publish the price. However, if you are selling high value, differentiated item it is better to talk to potential customer to explain the value provided at that price. Without it there is a danger of them misunderstanding the value and comparing your product / service to others’ without proper base.
Yes, I agree. The more standardized and “commoditzed” the product, the more it makes sense to list prices. But, in a case where the “product” is interconnected with a service, and the value is interconnected with the experience and expertise of those offering it, the more context you as the business owner need to provide to your potential customers to support the pricing.