Why you should post your prices online

July 8, 2019

You’re on Instagram and one of your favourite people that you follow has released a new service or product. Their video or caption describing it has hooked you, and you only have one question: How much does it cost??? The answer is not in the video or caption, nor is it on the web page that you clicked on to learn more about the new offer. Instead, you’re invited to “DM for prices” or “Email for pricing”. As a price-aware consumer, I don’t want any barriers to knowing how long I have to dig into my couch corners for to find enough money for your awesome product or service; I want to know if this is something I can invest in right away if I crack open my piggy bank, or if it’s something that I need to give up a few (hundred) lattés for.

I’m not sure that you can convince me that you absolutely must keep your prices under wraps, so let me share three reasons why I think you should make your prices public, if you aren’t already doing so.

Posting your prices helps YOU ATTRACT your ideal client

In the example that I opened with, most of us as consumers fall into the category of wanting what’s being offered, yet needing to know if it’s something that we can invest in right away or if we’ll have to wait. By posting your pricing, you know that anyone who sends you a message for more details likely won’t balk later on because of price because it’s right there, in their facein your caption or on your website. However, when your prices aren’t displayed, you’ll likely spend a lot of time answering the question “How much will this cost?”—I know this because I have my rates posted on my website and it’s still the top question that I’m asked! Potential clients who can’t afford you will know, and this should reduce the numbers of inquiries you receive from them. By posting your prices, you’re saving clients who can’t afford your services time that would be spent making inquiries, and saving yourself time that would be spent responding to inquiries from potential clients with an incompatible budget. Time is limited and I’d rather invest mine in potential clients than spend it dealing with disappointed people who are annoyed that I wasted their time.

you come across as a transparent business owner

Less than a year ago, I was scammed by a “too good to be true but totally believable” deal online. Thankfully, I paid with a credit card and the credit card company had my back—even so, it took a few months to get everything sorted. While I hope it’s not the case, it’s possible that you’ve been scammed before too. If you’ve been a victim, you tend to be more cautious moving forward, and attracted to transparency and openness, especially online, where you can only go by what you’re shown.

When you post your prices online, you’re saying to potential clients, “No secrets here—what you see is what you’ll pay” and that gives a potential client confidence in you as a business owner. After all, if you can be upfront about pricing, you’ll probably be upfront about other things too.

you build your confidence as a business owner

When you offer a service, there’s a vulnerability in saying “This is what I believe that I’m worth”. Women are generally not as confident as men when it comes to charging for products and services, partly because we tend to empathize too much with our potential client and partly because we don’t believe we should charge what we’ve decided to charge, due at times to impostor syndrome. In the past, I’ve drastically slashed my rates for someone who told me that they were a stay-at-home mom—while that was technically true, I soon learned that the image I had in my head of her situation was nothing like I had imagined (read: she could easily afford my original rates) and soon enough, I learned that when someone invests in something, they treat it differently than when they’re paying a pittance—many people don’t value what they don’t invest in. I learned my lesson (but it wasn’t the last time that I was persuaded to reduce my rates).

Deep down, we know that how we price our services has nothing to do with our self worth, but sometimes it can feel like the two are connected, especially when your services are rejected because of price. For that reason, publishing your prices helps you to own them and to believe that what you offer is worth what you’re charging for it. Every time you say your prices out loud, you’re affirming that you deserve to receive that amount of money. The only way to increase confidence in your rates is to declare them matter-of-factly and your website can be your ally in sharing your prices.

still don’t believe it’s worth sharing your prices?

If you’re selling a product, I can’t think of one reason to keep the price confidential because for products, if all other things are equal, people buy (or not) based on whether they believe the item is worth the number on the price tag. With services, some people only want to reveal their rate after the potential client understands what they’re getting for their money. I understand this to a point, but you’re not 100% off the hook from publishing your prices: you can always give a potential client an indication of your pricing by sharing the average or minimum investment required; something like, “pricing from $X”.

What’s your personal policy on posting your prices online?

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Copy Editor

Elevate My Writing is a copy editing service for online business owners. You’re the expert on what you do; my job is to take what you write about what you do and polish it so that you make the right first impression and present your brand in the best possible light!

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