It might just be the most stressful decision you ever have to make: how to set your rates.
You’ve got the competition to consider, your own skill set, what you perceive to be your skills (yes, this is different from the former for most of us), what your market will pay, your location, and a host of other variables. Working it out can feel like a hurdle you can’t quite get past.
Of course, there are some strategies you can employ. You can just pick a random price that you like. You could also decide what you want to make per month and then figure out how much you need to charge per piece to get to that number. I have a calculator that can help with this on my site at www.writerresourcesite.com.
But what about all those other questions? Creating a solid pricing structure requires you to do a little more digging. So with your starting number in line, take a look at:
This might take a little detective work since a lot of writers don’t publish rates. But if you pay attention to their websites and social media, ask a few discreet questions, and get on their mailing list, you can figure it out.
Be realistic about who, exactly, your competition is, though. Don’t undervalue or over-sell yourself. In other words, make sure you’re comparing yourself to another provider who shares the same skills, market, and track record, rather than simply looking at who you strive to become.
In some fields, this is easy. There are certifications and educational programs that allow you—by virtue of having achieved them—to charge a certain rate. If you’ve followed this path, then pricing will be easy for you. If not, take a solid look at what you can legitimately claim as a skill.
Look, too, at your track record. Have you proven yourself by helping former clients (and do you have the testimonials and case studies to show for it)? Have your former clients achieved their business goals because of the content you created? Have your sales pages consistently brought in big ticket sales? These are all reasons to maybe consider a higher price range than you might have first thought.
In the game of setting rates for your writing, it’s your market that has the final say. As any first-year economy student can tell you, the price of anything lies where what the buyer is willing to pay meets what the seller is willing to accept.
If your goal is to give newbies a helping hand and lead them down the path to success, that unfortunately means you can look forward to low paying gigs. That’s not a bad thing—everyone has to begin somewhere—but it does need to be acknowledged. If on the other hand, your target market is more established and economically stable, then a higher fee isn’t just warranted—it’s a must. They will expect a higher price, and will not find value in the lowest-cost provider of anything, whether it’s writing or editing.
Finally, don’t forget that pricing is never set in stone. It’s flexible. If you find you’re attracting the wrong market (or no market at all) you can always change your rates. Working too hard for not enough return? Raise your rates.
It’s your business. You get to call the shots.
For more information about running a successful writing business, join my membership site at http://www.writerresourcesite.com