Do you quote your rates on your site?

12 replies
For those of you who sell copywriting services on the web, do you post your rates on your website?

If so, how do you quote? Per project? Per word?

I think most copywriters don't quote at all... How does that work out?

I'm also seeing that the more experienced the writer, the less likely they are to quote. Most of the WSOs don't quote either, though I should admit, I haven't looked at many.

What are the pros and cons?

I imagine that the advantages of not quoting are that you can scope out the project first, plus you get the opportunity to sell your client on the fee through personal interaction...

...And the advantages to quoting? You get a chance to undercut higher priced competition, & you capture those clients who are leery of high prices and just want the job done.

I'm also thinking that -- since the most likely path to finding a client is either contacting them over the phone -or- them coming to you via referral -- you're better off quoting. You avoid subjecting "qualified" prospects to sticker shock if they can review your rates right there on the web.

... Particularly if you know the kinds of projects you'll be working on. For example, if you know you write a lot of web page copy, you can quote per word, or if you know you write tri-fold brochures you can quote by project. If you know you write letters, you can quote per page.

I'd be interested in hearing the insights of the pro freelancers here.
#rates #site
  • quoting up front makes no sense at.

    All projects are different.

    For instance, some people want to sell a small ebook, or an entry level product, and make a few bucks and build a list.

    Some clients have all the pieces in place to do a six figure launch together.

    Should they both get charged the same? Of course not.

    You are not selling copywriting...you are selling a result.

    You're fees should be in some way, indexed to that result.

    Even in WSO land, the same applies.

    I had a client a couple of years ago looking for a quote for a WSO. It was a 6 week coaching program with 20 hours of videos and the price point was $197.

    This is way different from some guy selling his listing building 15 page ebook for $3.

    More time, research etc involved.

    People who ask for the quote up front only do so because they know no other question to ask.

    Serious clients will want to talk to you and make sure you are the guy for the job.

    Then they look for a proposal.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I have "starting prices," but I post them just to scare off people who don't have the investment mentality I'm looking for.

    A lot of my quotes are usually double or tripple (+ backend) what I post as my starting prices.

    It all depends on how much time and collaboration is involved. It matters how long term the relationship is too.

    Are we doing a one-off kinda thing? "If it succeeds... great. If not... oh well. That's the way the cookie crumbles."

    Or...

    Are they investing in keeping me on for the long haul?

    Like Peter mentioned...

    Once I have a phone or Skype conversation with a prospect, I'll sit down and write up a proposal. The proposal isn't just about building the value and demonstrating my expertise, it's also about making sure there's complete and total transparency for what I'm offering.

    By the way...

    Never charge by the word.

    This is a game of time and/or potential ROI.

    What I mean is...

    Sometimes you might be on-board a project for 3 months. How much is that worth?

    $15,000? $25,000? More?

    Next question...

    How much profit can we reasonable expect to generate - if the campaign fires on all cylinders?

    $100,000? $500,000? $5,000,000?

    How much of an investment is worth to unlock that profit potential?

    It's the copywriter's job to keep people focused on the ROI.

    But it's also the copywriter's job to keep clients away from believing, "I know what my audience will respond to." They don't. Sure, there may be a few exceptions to the rule, but generally, the client doesn't know. It's all just best guessing.

    Why bring that up?

    Well...

    How much money does keeping a campaign in-check run these days?

    I'd say a lot.

    Sometimes the collaboration process feels more like counseling.

    And it is.

    People's limiting beliefs and judgements almost inevitably come up during the writing and marketing process.

    Oh...

    And are you just writing the front end offer?

    Or are you working on the positioning for an entire campaign?

    Email swipes, squeeze copy, presell copy, OTO's, AR, affiliate/JV partner copy, banner copy, Facebook ad copy, etc?

    A quote has to reflect all of these different moving parts.

    My take.

    Mark

    P.S. I know some of what I said might seem like, "What is this guy talking about?" to some people. Don't worry 'bout it.
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  • No.

    Most "good clients" (the ones who understand what a copywriter does and how it can improve their business) know that you need to understand the scope of a project before you quote an exact fee.

    You might get slightly more calls if you quote prices up front but most of those calls will be time-wasters.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrisv24
    I would never put my rates on a website as each project is different. When I first started out with copywriting work I would have rates per 100 words but I found out pretty quickly that each job is different, one article of 500 words could take more research and far longer to write than one of 1000.
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Thanks guys. Lot of good insights here.

    Especially these:

    It's the copywriter's job to keep people focused on the ROI.
    You are not selling copywriting...you are selling a result. You're fees should be in some way, indexed to that result.
    My problem is, I'm used to working in fields where clients need writing but don't track results.

    Lots of small businesses are like that too -- they'll need a brochure or web copy to promote their services, but never formally track results.

    For these kinds of businesses, you can't really justify your fee with a promised result. (Btw, even if you keep clients focused on ROI, what if your approach bombs? After all, there's much more that goes into success than the copy: lists, timing, product, etc.)

    Not only that, but I offer services in combo. I write copy, but for clients who need a brochure for example, I also throw in graphic design. Need an email? I also throw in layout and distribution. In other words, I want to say that I'm saving clients $$ (and time and consternation) by throwing in these services -- so I'm thinking I need to quote a rate so they can see what they're saving.

    On the other hand, after reading the advice here, I'm now considering "fudging it" by saying something like "all this for less than most pros charge for just writing alone"...

    Then there's the fact that I offer press release writing. (Yes I know, that's not copywriting...) I think for something like press releases, it's smart to quote a price, because results are really far from guaranteed. Many moving parts there. Clients who know this will just look at the quality of your samples, then decide if they want to pay the rate you quote...

    All in all, maybe quoting or not depends on the clientelle and the services you offer. Thoughts?
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  • Profile picture of the author rawandrew
    I would never quote my prices on the website. They might turn people away from you. But if they have to call you to get a quote you have a great opportunity to sell them on what you have to offer. And even if they don't buy you can add them in your database for relationship building. Who know, maybe at a later time he will be more than inclined to work with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author DTGeorge
    Going to go against the grain here.

    I'm not a copywriter (just an ordinary writer) but I DO quote prices on my website. Here's why:

    1. Answers a basic question that most persons looking to hire a writer has
    2. Keeps away the cheap ass clients looking for $1 per 100 words writers

    For those who say that they don't quote their rates:

    1. Of course all projects aren't the same. However, that does not mean that I can't give a GENERAL ESTIMATE of prices, one which is intended to give potential clients a ballpark figure rather than have them in the dark.

    2. I do not care about "undercutting" anyone. If price is the client's primary concern, then I simply am NOT the writer for them.

    3. I HATE shopping for something, whether it be online or offline, and I can't find a price. Even worse when I may have to wait several hours for someone else to (hopefully) read the email and reply. As a result, I make my rates easy to find.
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