Why I Share Pricing on My Website

Melissa Yeager - Why I Share Pricing on My Website

Let's be honest. For designers, it's always been really hard to figure out what to charge for our work. When I first started out, I had no idea how to price my work and was basically willing to take whatever early clients were willing to pay me. Which wasn't much.

To make matters worse, pricing is a huge taboo in the creative industry. I'm not sure why, but somewhere along the way we got caught in this scarcity mindset that if our peers knows what we charge then it will mean our demise. And god forbid we ask each other. That's just unheard of.

Just as it's an unspoken industry standard that designers present multiple options, it's also pretty much a given that no one shares their pricing. Ever. Which also means we're all constantly creeping, trying to figure out what our work is actually worth.

We're Failing Ourselves

Let's break this down. Designers and creatives constantly complain that most clients don't know the value of our work and aren't willing to pay for it. But let me ask you this. How can we expect clients to know what good design costs when our pricing is this big secret?

How can we expect clients to know what good design costs when our pricing is this big secret?

Tweet this.

Unless these clients are part of the creative industry or they've worked with a professional designer in the past (who's already done the educating for you), they'll most likely have no idea. In which case I don't think we should be so surprised when client inquiries most often lead to sticker shock and the need to teach potential clients about the value of our work.

I've also seen plenty of seasoned designers complain when less experienced designers charge too little, but honestly how are they supposed to know better? The way I see it, by being all hush hush about our pricing we're setting ourselves and the whole industry up for failure.

Why I Share

When I launched my new website, I decided to share all the details of my Signature Brand Identity package for everyone to see—including the price tag.

I'm not afraid to break the industry convention. I do that when I present one concept instead of options, so why not do so with my pricing too? But this isn't just about breaking the mold. There are a few reasons why I decided to share my pricing on my new website.

1. Saving Time

Running a small business is a lot of work, especially when you're doing it all on your own. Since my business is a one-woman show, I try to automate and simplify wherever possible to save myself time.

When I share my pricing publicly on my website, this tells potential clients exactly what it costs to work with me. There's nothing vague about it, so either they're willing to invest in their brand with me or they're not.

If not, they're free to walk away without the awkward crickets of an unexpected price tag and I just saved myself a ton of time. But if they are, all the details they need are right there on my website, so the onboarding process is that much easier for both of us.

2. Weeding Out

As I already hinted at, sharing my pricing and brand package details publicly weeds out lots of would-be ill-fitting inquiries. This means that, yes, I receive fewer inquires but it also means that the ones I do receive are much more likely to be legit.

I'm one person with a whole business to run. My time is one of my most valuable assets, and I'm not willing to spend it on just anyone. So I feel a whole lot better knowing the potential clients I hear from know what I'm about and value the investment of working with me specifically.

3. Honestly

My brand is built on being very open and transparent. It's really important to me that I run my business in an authentic way, and that means openly sharing brand + business insights and even teaching other designers to do what I do. To be perfectly honest, when I considered posting my pricing for the world to see it just felt right.

4. A Rising Tide

Finally, I don't care if other designers know what I charge. Quite the opposite, I actually hope they do see it. If my transparent pricing helps convince even one other designer to value their skills more and raise their pricing, I consider that a win.

I'm a huge believer in community over competition, and I hope sharing my pricing can help us all in some small way. Maybe my transparent approach will convince other designers to share their pricing too, becoming more open about the value of our work and hence setting more realistic expectations for our future clients.

I'm sure you've heard the saying “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Well that's my hope with this small act of pricing openness. I hope we can start a wave of encouraging transparency in what we do, standing strong in the value of our creative work, and raising that accepted value together.

Note: This post was originally sent to my newsletter subscribers a few weeks ago. They receive all my content first, along with other exclusive goodies. If my insights resonate with you, subscribe and I'll happily pop in your inbox with posts like this one. Cheers!