I’ve been reading about pricing lately. I’m accustomed to project based pricing, and seen some downsides from it. I’ve thought many times that perhaps it would be beneficial to utilize blocks of time and price the time. But a couple of blog posts I’ve read recently have helped me shape in my mind what makes a successfully priced project.
From A List Apart, an excellent article by Jason Blumer:
Inject value into your client’s experience with your service. You simply have to charge more. That is a totally strategic move, and one you can’t do unless you have the guts to do it. But you can’t charge more for crap.
Of course, before even this, we must clearly understand the needs and goals of the client:
Slow down how, when, and who you take on as clients. You need time to determine a client’s needs before you price their projects. You must know what outcomes they desire.
I do believe that if we hold to some core foundations, project pricing can be quite successful. But if you abandon a focused process, it can also be disastrous, and cost your firm thousands of dollars. But I absolutely agree with Blumer’s summary:
[W]e should strategically charge clients for what we do by pricing our services (not our hours). Take new clients slowly, show them your intent to take care of them and give them a wonderful experience. Deeply consider where you have developed your thinking on the creative profession and its worth, and then step out with some guts to charge your clients for your true value.
I also recommend reading Chris Lema’s post on why he never charges hourly. He too focuses on valuing your own value as a creative professional.