When you start offering writing services, pricing is often the hardest decision you have to make.
Many clients struggle to see the value in content creation and are eager to pay as little as possible, while at the same time expecting a high standard of output.
Meanwhile, many members of the writing community find it difficult to offer the high-quality content expected of them for the rock-bottom prices they’re offered.
At UK Linkology, we offer a content creation service and have worked hard to price it fairly, so customers get the best deal and the exceptional service they expect. Read on to find my tips on how to price your writing services so you earn enough to provide your clients with quality content.
Calculate Your Costs
Before you price any service or product, you need to work out how much money it will cost to produce. Once you know how much money it will cost, you can create a fee that will ensure you make a profit on your writing.
Take into account your time, as well as all of the associated business costs that come from creating a piece of content. Research time needs to be factored into your costings, as even though you’re not actually writing your content, you’re still working on behalf of your client and moving towards making them a better piece of content.
Don’t forget to include your overhead, or non-direct, time costs as well: marketing yourself, bookkeeping time, etc.
Profile Your Customer
Knowing what your customer wants will help you to create a service that they need, at a price they’ll be willing to pay. For example, if you’re targeting a broad range of customers, including business owners who can have their pick of content writers, then you will need to make sure your prices are in line with the market average.
Alternatively, if you want to price yourself higher and prove that you offer a higher-quality service, then you need to make sure you are showing how you add value to justify that slightly higher price.
If you’re offering your services to a wide range of businesses, then you could consider offering several levels of service so you can adjust your pricing depending on what specific clients require.
However, if you’re focusing on a niche market and using your specialist knowledge to create content that very few others can emulate, then you will be able to price your services higher and market them as more specific.
The important thing is that you know who your customer is and what they want before you start pricing up your writing services.
Try to understand what your potential clients will be looking for, so you can try to provide valuable content services that will meet their needs and exceed their expectations.
Be Prepared to Give Discounts
When you’ve worked out your costs and considered the customer you’re targeting, you might have a rough idea of what sort of prices you’re going to charge. Now you need to consider the very big possibility that customers are going to ask for discounts. The corporate market has taken a battering recently thanks to the coronavirus, and even businesses that have done well despite the crisis will be eager to keep costs as low as possible for the foreseeable future.
So, you’ll need to factor these discounts into your pricing; if your price only just makes a profit, then you might find yourself unable to break even when you give a discount. Discounts aren’t compulsory, but in today’s corporate market, they are an ideal way to earn and retain customers, so you should try to factor them into your pricing model. Many customers, even those who understand the value of copywriting, might want a discount, so you’ve got to be flexible.
Try Offering Packages
If you believe that many of your clients will expect a discount on bulk orders or on content that requires multiple services, then consider offering them a package with the discount built-in.
By taking this approach, you can still control the mark-up and make sure you earn enough to have the time to offer the expertise and support they expect. At the same time, they’ll feel like they’re getting a great deal. You can also show them you’re giving added value by highlighting exactly what service they’ll get in your package description.
Highlight Your Expertise
As well as deciding upon a price for your services, you also need to work out how you’re going to justify it to your potential clients. The best way to do this is to share your portfolio online and offer examples to everyone who takes an interest in working with you.
You should also try to get your portfolio and evidence of your expertise in the content creation market noticed. You can do this by sharing regular updates on social media, publishing a business blog, and guest posting on other websites. If potential customers type your name into Google, they want to be confronted with evidence of an industry expert. As such, if you can achieve a broad online presence, then you’ll be able to show you are a writing specialist with the knowledge to achieve their business goals.
Proof that you’ve done this before isn’t going to be enough to show potential clients they should work with you and pay the prices you set. As such, you need to find ways to add value to your service offering and constantly adapt to the changing needs of your clients.
Using tools such as Grammarly to proofread your work, as well as SEMrush and Ahrefs to find keywords and optimize it for SEO, can help you to add value and encourage your clients to pay more for a high-quality service.
SEO experience is particularly important in today’s market, as most of the content you create will be hosted online. Therefore, if you can offer them the combined benefit of your writing skills and SEO knowledge, then you will set yourself apart from the rest.
Many SEO agencies outsource their content, so if you can combine that insight with writing experience, then you’ll be able to command a higher price and offer services that benefit a wide range of clients.
Overall, the reason why customers are often unwilling to pay more money for written content is a combination of not understanding the hard work and effort that goes into producing it as well as the value they’ll receive from it.
By showing them how you can create better quality content that portrays them in the best possible light and enhances their brand, you’ll be able to get them to pay the appropriate fee.
The tips listed above are just a rough guide; if you have any tactics you’ve tried and succeeded with, I’d love to hear about them in the comments section.
Hannah Stevenson is the Content Marketing Manager at UK Linkology, the UK’s highest-ranking link building agency. A former journalist and experienced blogger, she has written a wide range of articles and helped manage many writing services, so she understands what customers are expecting and how writers can give it to them.