How To Price Your Services

What is your price point?

We used to have very few options: work a job, start a company, be unemployed. Now there are a million options in between, especially on the web. Choosing where to price yourself will show people what you’re worth.

I just bought Ev Bogue‘s The Art of Being Minimalist for $17. By choosing that price, he shows me his work has value, but he could’ve priced it at twice that and I probably would’ve still bought it with no regrets. But would he sell as many copies? Would he have to work harder? Everyone needs to decide this for themselves.

I think of all of these value points as being a kind of filter. If you want to reach more people, you may want to bring the price down, but that will impact how seriously they treat your work. The barrier to entry (including price) impacts the value of your platform and show people how to treat you.

I learned this important lesson from a friend of mine a long time ago: You show people how to treat you by where you draw the line. If you let people walk all over you, they start to believe it’s ok to do that. If you show people high value and demand a high price, people will believe in that, too.

You decide what you’re worth. Once you believe it, others will too. It’s circular.

Anyway, this blog is free. That might give people the impression that it’s just like any other blog, and that it’s replaceable. That’s one reason to write a NYT bestselling book– to show your value.

But I suspect that many of you actually like this blog a lot. I feel this because I see your comments, but also because I’m really picky, and I’m very proud of the work that I do here. This thing holds some of my best work, stuff I’m very proud of.

So if you like what I do, please tweet it out, link to me, spread the word, or invite me out to speak.  I enjoy communicating my ideas and improving someone’s life a little every day. It’s a lot of fun, and I think I’m pretty good at it.

My price is low but the value, for me at least, is immeasurable. Let’s keep at this. We’re going to a good place.



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13 responses to “How To Price Your Services”

  1. Judy Helfand Avatar

    Well, it is Saturday evening, the sun has just gone down over the mountains on the western side of Tucson. The saguaro cactus are now silhouettes, that is the view from my office. I agree with your words: “You show people how to treat you by where you draw the line. If you let people walk all over you, they start to believe it’s ok to do that.” The type of business you run or own will usually dictate how much wiggle room you have for pricing. For example we owned a country inn for 11 years, complete with employees, a mortgage, property tax, etc. We knew what our monthly nut was and we also had to be somewhat prepared for the unforeseen. I remember one summer day a couple drove in without a reservation. The gentleman asked if we had any vacancy and I said we had one room left (a very small room, shared bath), to which he said: “Are you kidding me, I have driven through this town and everyone has vacancy…what is so special about you that you only have one room left?” So I said: “why not rent the room and find out?” He tried to bargain on the price, but I indicated to him that everyone else sitting by the pool was paying that price, how could I suddenly drop the price? He and his wife checked in, paying full price. The next morning at breakfact, he asked if they could extend, to which I replied: “Sure, but I need to move you to another room, as the room you are in is already reserved for tonight!” In the end, they stayed five nights…in five different rooms. We stayed in touch over the years and they referred many guests to us. We had many ways of building business, three nights for the price of two, holiday packages, but we always knew we provided good value.
    I like your blog, I am reading “Trust Agents” and I look forward to meeting you along the way. I know it will be worth it.

    1. Julien Avatar

      Judy! Great story. I love that. Hope we meet too!

  2. Whitney Avatar

    The best thing about that story, Judy, is not feeling like you needed to back down, but were willing to stick to your value proposition, and how well it worked out for you. It’s like calling a bluff. You have to be willing to set your price and stick to it, and the customers you get (or don’t get) as a result. If you are unhappy with what the exchange is, by all means, change it- but by and large, people respect you more when you have a standard and stick by it, especially when it’s questioned, rather than backing down at the first sign of challenge.
    Congratulations! And I hope I get a chance to experience your hospitality some day as well. 🙂

  3. Larry Avatar

    Hey Julien,

    I don’t tweet and I can’t invite you to speak anywhere (at least not now), but I do want to let you know that I subscribe to your blog and look forward to reading it whenever a post lands in my InBox.

    Thanks for doing what you do.

    1. Julien Avatar

      Thanks Larry, that’s awesome. 🙂

  4. Zane Aveton Avatar
    Zane Aveton

    I think you are amazing Julien and you made a lot of people feel good about themselves today – by reminding/telling them that they ARE what they “eat, create and charge.”

    p.s. I recommended you highly to my friend Tamsen @speakology. She books speakers. I hope you two have connected :).

    1. Julien Avatar

      Huh, thanks Zane, I really appreciate that. 🙂

  5. James D Avatar

    I’ve certainly lived this out in my business. For the last 6 years I’ve had a specialized contracting business.

    Creating a perceived value above the market has proven, for me anyway, impossible in the last three years. From ’04 through ’06 it wasn’t quite as tough but now, with the construction market the way it is, it’s impossible to make yourself a premium service.

    The invitations to bid that I get now say right up front, “We are going to pick the cheapest bid’. They don’t even mince words.

    The best that a contractor can do right now is get a pricing system that is accurate beyond imagination so that he can be as competitive as possible.

  6. Gio Avatar

    Hey Julien, Great post! There is no doubt that your posts are of tremendous value to me and all other readers. Thanks for the value you put out for free.


  7. Christa Avampato Avatar

    Hi Julien,
    Boundaries and where we draw them are so important. I’m working on this in a few different areas of my life.

    Your post is also timely because I just finished my yoga teacher training and am in the beginning stages of setting up my yoga business. This matter of price is a tricky one that demands thoughtfulness. It’s much more than just a price tag, it’s a measure of value both tangible and intangible.

  8. Eric Avatar

    Re: “You show people how to treat you by where you draw the line. If you let people walk all over you, they start to believe it’s ok to do that.”

    Hey, you’re welcome! 😉

  9. Mike T Avatar

    “You show people how to treat you by where you draw the line. If you let people walk all over you, they start to believe it’s ok to do that. If you show people high value and demand a high price, people will believe in that, too.”

    This is a tremendous concept.
    I’ve noticed that my beleifs/image about myself are directly echoe’d by the outside world.
    People are like tuning forks, they pick up on the vibrations you give out.

    thumbs up dudeski!

  10. Jack Vaughn Avatar
    Jack Vaughn

    Bad investment, if you ask me. With Bogue currently begging for money on Google+ and elsewhere, doesn’t seem like he knows the first thing about running a business.

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