I love to share ideas about money because people rarely do - no one talks about this stuff!
And right now, the world is throwing us through just a *few* money loops. You’ve probably lost work and so have your clients. I have. What you can afford has changed. What your clients can afford has changed. It has for me.
If you (like me) have lost work, when you picture the next piece of work coming your way, it’s easy to assume people will want to pay less. Or not be able to pay as much.
But is that true? What are you assuming about the situation that might not be real?
Tricksy assumptions trip us up when it comes to money. For an abstract construct (it doesn’t actually exist), money is a deeply personal and highly emotive subject.
- You might be thinking about discounting.
- You might be thinking about charging more because every scarce project needs to count.
- You might be thinking about working less - lockdown is teaching us the art of slow living, after all - and want to change the way you engage clients and price your services.
SPOILER ALERT: there’s no right answer!
But there are some really useful ideas to guide freelancers thinking of changing their pricing during and after the pandemic. It’s advice that applies outside of these circumstances too.
Read on and offer your thoughts. I’ve never lived through a pandemic and welcome your insight.
Discounting in or after a pandemic
Some ideas you might like to think about.
- If you’re discounting the price, what are you taking away from the service?
- What are the terms of the discount? For example, how long will the discount continue?
- If you’re discounting an ongoing service, does your client understand why you are applying the discount, when the discount will end and what the ‘normal’ pricing structure looks like?
- How much do you want to discount by? What’s acceptable to you? What allows you to profit (you deserve to) and thrive?
Increasing prices in or after a pandemic
Some ideas to consider.
- Have you asked your client what their budget is? If they’ve said they don’t have one, have you explored a ballpark with them?
- Have you understood the value of your service to your client, and ensured your client understands this too?
- Is there a structure behind the price, rather than a finger in the wind, that helps you assert the value of your services? This structure could, potentially, warrant a higher figure than the wind-finger version.
Changing the way you operate during or after a pandemic
I am loving the slower pace lockdown has delivered. I’m working more closely with my clients, I have greater visibility over my business and I’m getting to work on passion projects (like helping freelancers figure out fees). I am seeing a lot of dead wood disappear from my processes right now, and it is opening up a world of potential for how Incredibble operates.
You too? What’s it like for you right now?
I’ve been thinking about what it would take to maintain this when the world establishes its new post-pandemic normal. Inevitably, my pricing structure would change. Because I *think* I would take on fewer, bigger projects and hope to monetise a passion project or two.
Some things I’m considering.
- How do people assign value to what we do?
- Which are the most valuable services we currently offer?
- Are there more valuable services we don’t yet offer but could in the future?
- Would I be talking to a different type of client?
- It would be a fun experiment to explore pricing and services.
- What do my team want to do? What are their aspirations and goals? Could we work together to help each other create a work-life balance of our dreams?
- Where do I find the most joy in my work? How could I do more of it?
Figuring out fees is so subjective. But there are some guiding principles that help freelancers thrive (not just survive), avoid undercutting the market and charge their worth. I’ve poured those principles into this free 4-page ebook. If you’re a freelancer (from any discipline) I hope it helps.