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This month I’m trying something new.

Something that scares me.

Something risky.

No, I’m not taking nude trapeze lessons.

I am, in fact, putting my prices up on my website.

Displaying your prices isn’t a decision to make likely, and there is a stack of arguments on both side.

So how do you decide if public pricing is for you?

The pros of displaying your prices

By stating your price upfront you’re eliminating obstacles – not only for your customer (they won’t have to call or email to find out what you charge), but also for yourself.

Liaising, negotiating and quoting for jobs can chew up a huge amount of time, and at some point the prices have to be stated anyway.

So isn’t it better to just deal with the money issue head on?

“Published prices should start, not replace, a one-to-one conversation.”

Most clients hit your site with a budget in mind, even if they’re not 100 per cent sure about it.

And if they can’t afford you, they should probably move on.

The cons of displaying your prices

Of course, there are potential negatives to publishing prices.

One of them is the fear of cheapening your brand.

When your site is ‘priceless’ it can retain a sense of mystery and seem more high-end.

By giving dollar values to everything you do, there’s a risk you could make yourself seem bog standard.

And what about your competitors?

If people compare on price alone without taking into account your experience, previous clients, testimonials and specialist services, you could end up looking expensive.

Finally, unless your product offering is very clear-cut, most people will still want to call.

It’s far easier to make a sale from a conversation than from a website – no matter how well designed and written it is.

Published prices should start, not replace, a one-to-one conversation.

How to make publishing your prices work for you

If you opt to display your prices it’s vital you go about it the right way.

Here are my tips to make the transition to price transparency stress-free and positive:

  • Do your research: Review your competitors, look back at past jobs, consider a survey and test the waters before taking the plunge.
  • State your point of difference: If others are offering similar services make it clear why yours is better in clear, positive language.
  • Set boundaries: Identify what the price includes, and consider offering self-contained packages, price ranges or just ballpark figures.
  • Give yourself room to move: Limit the number of products or services available at a given price so you can push back if you become inundated.
  • Experiment: Trial different price strategies on your site, or consider creating sales landing pages and promoting them with a Google Adwords campaign or similar.
  • Include extras: Add additional elements that can boost the value of your services at little cost to you, such as eBooks or downloads.
  • Revisit your prices frequently: Revisit your published price at least every three months. Compare them to competitors, and review market trends.
  • Be strong: Stand by your prices. It may be hard at first, but most customers will respect you for it.
  • Keep your options open: Consider offering fixed price points for some of your products and services (but not all of them).
  • Reward loyalty: While you might increase your prices for new customers, consider sticking with existing prices for loyal customers or giving them a special discount.

I have yet to see if displaying my prices will fulfil my goal of generating more customers with less faff.

But I will certainly enjoy the experience.

And isn’t trying new things one of the advantages of owning your own business?

Do you display your prices?

What do you think are the pros and cons?

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This post originally appeared on The Flying Solo website.

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