The question of whether to list your prices on your website is one of the hardest questions for freelancers and business owners to answer. Mostly, because it’s damn scary to put out into the world what you’re charging — unless you know deep in your belly you’re 100% worth it — and even then it’s still hard.
In general, I’m a fan of including prices on your website because you can attract more of the right client, and often more high-paying clients. That said, it’s not ideal for every business or every freelancer personality.
Who shouldn’t include prices on their website
Highly Customized product or Service
If you have an extremely customized product or service that means your customers pay different prices for something uniquely created for them, then you probably shouldn’t include prices on your website.
This is really common for those who have long-term contracts or multi-milestone projects. If you do want to take advantage of some of the benefits of including prices on your website (that I talk about below), you can do so by incorporating a “starting from” range into your services page.
Prices Varies based on external factors
If you have a product or service that is time- or seasonally-based, or otherwise based on external factors, it would be extremely tedious for you to constantly be updating your website to reflect the most recent prices. In this case, you have two options.
One: don’t list prices, but instead encourage website visitors to contact you for current pricing, or two: group your products or services into categories, so you can list the category prices on your website.
Probably the most common reason you wouldn’t include prices on your website is because you craft proposals based on the unique needs of each client.
This is a bit different from highly customized services, because your price will likely take into account the specific quirks or needs of that potential client. Will they want in-person meetings, do they want weekly calls at 7am, do they send you 17 emails a day, etc.
In order to account for your time, you’ll need to build these time- and energy-consuming activities into your proposal, so even including base prices on your website might leave some clients wondering how their bill ended up so high.
Super ELITE TARGET MARKET
There’s a microscopic subset of an already small class of consumers who might be turned off by seeing pricing on your website. This class of consumer never looks a price tags for anything because they don’t need to.
If you’re selling B2B, this will never happen. If you’re selling products to a highly sophisticated, incredibly wealthy customer base B2C, you might be able to skip the pricing on your website — but you should do a whole lotta market research to make sure this is indeed your target audience.
When to include prices on your website
I’d wager that the majority of entrepreneurs, startups, small companies, and growing businesses would benefit from listing their prices on their website. Why?
Oh, so many reasons! In short, because it’s good for you and your customers.
Do YOu sell a product or service?
If you sell a product online, you probably already have your prices listed for each individual offer. If you display products online that can only be purchased through the mail, in-person, over the phone, or via carrier pigeon, you should still include your prices on your website, for the same reasons I explain for service-based businesses.
Service-based business owners are often the least comfortable with including their prices on their websites. It usually comes down to one of two reasons:
They don’t feel confident in what they’re charging
They believe they need to sell directly to one person
If either of these are the case for you, I want you to know that you can achieve both (being confident and selling directly) with great copy on your website with your prices listed.
The bottom line is both of these answers are based in fear, not strategy. If you’re afraid to charge what you’re worth or ask it of someone else, there’s a fear blocking you. If you’re afraid you can’t close a deal unless you’re in person or on the phone, there’s a fear blocking you.
But rarely do we express these fears in this way, instead business owners say:
I don’t want the competition scoping out my prices
If I list my prices it will deter clients from hiring me
Afraid of the competition?
Your direct competition probably already knows what you charge. Or at the very least, they know what people in your niche of the industry tend to charge, and therefore a general range of what you’re charging.
And they’re already working with that knowledge.
Your competition is already using that information to determine their own pricing. But you shouldn’t let that deter you from listing your prices on your website, because your focus is on delivering great value to your clients, not on beating out the competition.
If they undercut you, that leaves more high-paying clients for you.
Afraid prices will deter clients?
Listing your prices on your website will 100% send some of your website visitors right back to Google to find somebody else who can do it cheaper.
But you don’t want to work with them. If you did, you’d be charging less.
So, yes, listing prices will absolutely deter some of your target audience, but they probably aren’t in your ideal client segment, and that’s a good thing.
Why you should include your prices on your website
If you’re running a business, there’s always two things you need more of: time and money. Listing your prices on your website can help you bring in both. Here is what listing your prices on your website can do for you.
Customers can self-identify
Listing your prices on your website is one of the fastest ways to enable your visitors to self-identify as your ideal client (or not). This is a huge time-saver, because you’re allowing your website to attract the right kind of client.
If you’re charging 4-figures for a service, you probably don’t want to spend 20-60 minutes on a “free discovery call” with someone who’s only able to spend double digits. And they probably don’t want to get excited about hiring you only to find out it’s well out of their budget.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll save yourself time, and your website visitors, too.
Build trust with authenticity
Including “insider information” like your process, your pricing, and some of the behind-the-scenes details that only customers usually have access to can help you bond with your website visitors.
If potential customers explore your website learning about the work you do, how you do it, and what you charge for, they walk away feeling positive they have the information the need to know about you. This is a good thing!
Leaving someone with a cliff hanger to provoke intrigue and mystery rarely conjures up a lot of new client inquiries.
Being transparent about your pricing, who you work with, and any policies you practice will serve to highlight how honest and direct you are. Brand authenticity is a huge driver in today’s culture, so not only will it help build your awareness, but it can also round out your bottom line.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll come across as transparent and professional.
Weed out bad clients
You know the ones. The “bad clients” are the ones who haggle over price, question your work, give confusing feedback, and take forever to pay invoices. In other words, “bad clients” are the ones you want to avoid like the plague.
Your website is a great way to show off your portfolio and help you establish yourself in your niche, but it’s also a fantastic way to weed out some of those bad clients. They are less likely to contact you in the first place when your pricing is published on the internet, because it’s harder for them to haggle with.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll save yourself a whole lot of headaches that bad clients would bring you otherwise.
Feel confident in your prices
There’s nothing that says “I am worth this much” quite like publishing your prices on the internet.
If you’re a service-based business, this is a hard thing to do, because you are your brand. I avoided it for years because it felt too bold. I told myself I didn’t want to scare people away and that I needed to educate people about my value before putting a price tag on it.
The problem with this mindset is one I experienced over and over again. You get stuck in a gulley of low-paying clients, and it feels like you can’t get out of it. You spend all of your time educating others on your value, so you miss out on the potential clients who already get it.
But the real problem is that you don’t value what you’re offering more than the clients who are low prices for it. At least not yet.
If you want to attract higher paying clients, you need to make the first step. That starts with reevaluating your pricing and then announcing it to the world. What better way to do that than smack on your website?
Put your prices on your website. You’ll build confidence in your prices and hold your ground when you need to most.
If you feel slimy during sales calls or uncomfortable talking about money, listing your prices on your website helps to shorten those conversations, if not eliminate them altogether.
Basically, putting prices on your website is an introvert’s dream!
You don’t need to worry about pitching someone over the phone or walking through a pricing sheet, because it’s all on your website.
That also means if you get any flack about your prices, you can just refer someone back to your website to view your prices… then your kickass testimonial page.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll never have to have the dreaded “money talk” ever again — or at least not very often.
sell directly to one person
If you’re the opposite, and you love the high you get from a one-to-one sales chat, then you should know listing your prices on your website doesn’t diminish that.
If anything, it will help you raise your game.
Good website copy (including talking about your prices) is a direct conversation with one other person: your ideal client. Including your prices on your website gives you yet another opportunity to have that direct conversation and attract the high-paying clients you love working with.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll create transform your 1:1 magic into a 1:many opportunity.
attract higher paying clients
Your entire website is a sales opportunity. If you position it just right, with clear messaging and great design, it can genuinely bring in more leads for you. This is especially true for your landing pages, services page, and pricing page.
Let’s say you want to double your rates within a year. This is completely possible (obviously you’re that good) to do and publishing your prices on your website can help you make it happen.
Essentially, you’re creating another sales environment where you explain how you help people solve their problem with your product or service.
When you show how the value of you solving their problem is equal to (or less than) the rates you are charging for that product or service, that’s when you’ll start converting higher-paying clients.
Put your prices on your website. You’ll attract higher-paying clients and often convert them before you speak directly to them.
How to include your prices on your website
You’ve decided to add a pricing section to your website. Yay! Now, you just need to figure out the best way to do it. The answer is two-fold:
A pricing page is a sales conversation, so write it like one.
Websites are digital and therefore dynamic; keep testing and changing your pricing page over time.
1. The pricing table
For businesses with a several different packages, product tiers, or membership levels, pricing tables are a really visually appealing way to show the different options. Keep in mind, this is a comparison tool, so if you only have one main service or a la carte offers, the pricing table isn’t for you.
Most importantly, when using a pricing table, you’ll want to highlight one of the options, ideally the middle-of-the-road option. You can highlight the one with the best value or that’s most popular, whatever works best for your business. The psychology of how it is presented is what matters most.
This highlighting technique can increase the number of conversions at a higher rate plan. Think of it like the story of Goldilocks. In each scene, Goldilocks has three options and every time she chooses the middle option because “it’s just right” for her.
The reason the middle option is just right is because the first option doesn’t have everything that she needs; it’s too small or soft. The last option is too much for what she needs; it’s too big or hard. The middle-of-the-road is a moderate choice that feels perfect relative to the inadequate options next to it. Therefore, it’s just right.
You want to lay out your pricing table exactly the same way. Your ideal client is Goldilocks and you are helping her find the price that is just right, so put it in the middle and highlight it to make it easy for her.
Google has a great pricing table for their G Suite pricing page. It has a simple layout, following the Goldilocks pricing method. Each option is titled for the audience they hope to target with that plan.
The screenshot below is all above the fold content, allowing visitors to quickly glean the options and how they’re different; as you scroll down the page you can compare the features available in each plan.
To top it all off, Google has highlighted the “best value” aka the middle-of-the-road option for their Goldilocks customers, encouraging visitors to get started on the middle tier plan with a free trial.
2. The Sales page
Creating an in-depth landing page for one specific product or service is a great way to dive into all the value that is rolled up into that single offer.
This kind of pricing page should mirror the type of conversation you would have one-on-one with prospective buyer, and then go above and beyond. You’ll need to preempt some of the questions that a reader might think to herself, so you can answer them in the page. Every piece of information a customer could possibly want to know will be on this sales page.
Most importantly, when using a sales page, you’ll want to walk the reader through the buyer journey. By the time they reach the end, if they’re your ideal client, they should be ready to buy because you’ve addressed every benefit and every pain point.
Apple has a great example of a long-form sales page. This screenshot shows less than 10% of their sales page’s content, which meticulously and thoroughly describes each and every benefit you get when dropping nearly a thousand dollars on their product.
The call to action sends readers to learn even more about specific features or else to another descriptive sales page to compare the different models.
3. The Services Page
If you already have a services page, this is going to be the easiest way to get started. With a little bit of rewriting of your services summary, you can tack on your prices and create a new call to action.
Updating your services page to include your prices will mostly be based on how you you are pricing your work. Hourly rate freelancers can include their hourly rate for the various services they offer, while project-based businesses can include their flat rate.
If you price your work on a scale (determined by scope or complexity), you can include your base rate prefixed with “starting at”.
Lauren Hooker of Elle and Company Design has a beautiful example of this. One by one, the content sections address what the package is, why it’s needed, what the process looks like, a gallery of past projects for credibility, and who the package is for.
You’ll notice that she speaks directly to her audience as if it’s a one-on-one conversation, hitting on some of their biggest pain points, like wanting to “draw in potential clients” and have a brand that is “different and one-of-a-kind.” This page is clearly vetting clients for her, since the final section reiterates that those who are “ready to invest” time and money into their business.
What to include alongside your prices
The one mistake you can make when including your prices on your website is to just leave them up all by their lonesome. You don’t want to throw your prices up on a services page and walk away.
Instead, you need to provide some context for your website visitors to show the value of your work and why they should pay what you’re asking for it.
If you have testimonials on their own page, awesome! You can leave those as-is, but you’ll want to bring a few — read: your best — over to sit right by your prices. This is one of the fastest ways to combat sticker shock and fear of the unknown.
New clients don’t know you, so provide them with social proof that other’s think you’re as great as you say you are. Because people are more likely to buy something that someone else has already purchased, especially if that person had a great experience!
This is another way to provide evidence that your work’s value is equal to price tag you’re putting on it. Include a gallery of your portfolio or link to recent works if you have a visual representation of your product or services.
But don’t just leave it at images. Continue to provide context for your website visitors with captions, descriptions, and links to relevant content. Your portfolio is one of the best ways to visually articulate why you should be paid the price listed on your website.
If your portfolio and testimonials had a baby, it would be a case study. Case studies aren’t as formal as they used to be, and you can use it as a fun storytelling medium. Your case study should show a great project, the story of your process, and how it resulted in success for your client.
Case studies are great evidence to place next to your prices because it gives your website visitors a chance to see what it would be like to work with you.
They’ll read the problems your client was facing and it will resonate with them. They’ll read about your process and how easy and effective it was, and it will interest them. They’ll read about the results and how enthusiastically your client recommends you, and it will excite them. These emotions are baby steps in the conversion process.
Pain points are a core component of copywriting and an absolute must for your pricing and services pages. Don’t get caught up in what it is that you’re selling or even how it works.
Instead, focus on what struggles or challenges your ideal client is currently facing, because that’s what they are experiencing when they land on your website. Those problems will resonate with them, so you want to zero in on them in your copy.
REALIZING THE IDEAL
Right after you share the pain points your product or service addresses, you want to dive into the benefits of what your solution provides from the perspective of your customer’s driving motivation.
What drives your customer? Does he want to save time? make money? be well-liked? feel secure?
Likely, there is a combination of motivations and you need to address all of them, and then express how your product or service helps achieve them. Slap that summary right next to your price.
Including your pricing on your website is beneficial about 99% of the time. It takes a strong belief in your service, product, or brand, but it can help you attract more of the clients you want to work with.
If you’re on the fence about listing prices on your website, here is a snapshot of what it can do for your business:
Save you time vetting prospects
Save you headaches that come from working with bad clients
Attract awesome clients who can and want to pay your prices
Establish your brand as authentic and transparent
Give your business a professional, polished look
Cut down on all those awkward money conversations
Give you credibility as a business charging what you’re worth
Help you build confidence in your pricing and sales
Strategically structure your differently priced offers to increase sales
Increase revenue when you’ve written pricing copy well
That’s a lot of a good stuff. And just like anything else in your business, this is something you can test out for a period of time to see how it performs. See how it changes who sends website inquiries, who gets referred to you, and who converts into a client. Then keep testing and tweaking!
What did I miss? Any other pros or cons to listing prices on your website?