I'm starting my first-ever website for clients who specialize in video editing, graphic design and music composition. How much should I charge them?
I'm thinking of charging my clients on a monthly basis, like $10 a month to stay on my website, and a $5 start up fee for signing up. However, since I'm going to start completely fresh with this business, I've been thinking of recruit some people who specialize in these fields - should I charge them, initially? My website is new, and I don't know if they would trust me. Should I offer them a 30-day free service and see how it goes? I just don't know where to begin.
Firstly, might I be as bold to say, you're getting ahead of yourself. You're going to charge $10 per month for what exactly? Is it some kind of directory where they pay to be listed? Do you have traffic data to prove to the client that x amount of people will see it in month one, then projections for the length of the contract based on your own growth projections.
In all honesty, it doesn't sound like you've thought much about anything other than "Hey, people can pay me for a listing and I won't have to do a thing!" without considering the value of the service you're providing.
Directories have been around since the start of the internet so you're definitely not entering an emerging market and you're not entering it at the right time either, Google is not a fan of directories so SEO is pretty much out of the equation when it comes to getting visitors.
First of all, I would suggest that your website absolutely needs to be self-promoting, in that social media is fully integrated, this is difficult with an autonomous directory strategy, though not insurmountable. This is how you will be driving your traffic going forward and it's your engaged traffic levels that are going to define how much you charge, not just plucking a number from thin air. Or to put it another way, the price of something is defined by the seller, the value of it is defined only by the buyer.
I completely agree with Dave...it sounds like you haven't thought this idea through very well. From your question and description, I have no idea what this website is about. I am all of the things you listed as your target market, and I'm honestly not intrigued by anything you said. I belong to several services that have been around for a long time, have credibility, and a track record....and cost the same or less than you're proposing...and they bring me traffic and work.
I would suggest examining the market need. If you feel there's a need for your service, whatever it is, you should definitely do pre-launch webinars explaining the product/service, offering lifetime discounts for early adopters, and giving something away at each webinar (simply to drive traffic to the webinar). That's pretty standard in launching a membership based site.
In my opinion, you have to prove efficacy before you charge what proven companies are charging. I won't pay money to join anything until I believe it will improve my bottom line.
I hope you find great success if you choose to pursue this.
You have to figure out what value your website will bring to your clients. Will it work for them and do you have metrics to show them? Having a website is the easy part. Promoting the site and marketing is not so easy. User onboarding is more difficult and finally User retention is the most difficult.
Since you do not know any of these, i suggest while you do not have anything to show your new clients, offer your clients free everything until you can prove to them that they need to pay for it for the value it brings to them.
First of all you need to create good services, get to know your costumers and what they need, second of all, you need that your costumers will get to know you and start to trust you, like first one your for free. If you will charge for everything they will run, but if you attract with some free services costumer also will take and pay for other services if they will like how you are working.
I know a lot of virtual assistant services, I am also own one of them. And they co-operate between, you can start also like this. If you will need other information feel free to contact me in any time
First word of advice, never give away anything that would cost you time to produce. If you were working at this full time without a traditional job then would you give it away for nothing? To me, doing that won't give you credibility. It will make you look like someone who is desperate to get the work and I speak from experience on this one. Lesson learned.. We all are somewhat desperate when we start out or get our first client but never sell yourself short. It's exciting to know that someone has put good faith in us to provide them with a website or service.
Credibility cannot be bought but comes with time and making sure that every client, including this one as your first is given everything you promise them for the price you quoted. For me, I worked out an hourly rate based on what I would have to charge per hour if I was working at the project as a full time job. If you are currently employed and get paid say, $15 per hour and the project will take you 10 hours per month then a reasonable fee is $150. It's easy to think we will scare customers away but in all honesty and from my own experience I have found those that want the project to cost $20 bring with them a whole heap of grief.
This is business. It has be treated as so. I agree with Dave that you maybe have not thought about this much other than the excitement and chance of making some extra cash. People use their hard earned money to pay you for a service. What are you going to give them back for your fee?
Good luck with it all! It can be very rewarding!
I would check your competitors fees and in so doing you may also find some recruits.
Starting any business requires testing and re-testing. Regarding your charges for your services, check industry standards and come in under the standard. Potentially way under. The reason is to capture those who will provide you testimonials for your site. Today most buyers look for testimonials before they buy. So getting a few clients with strong support is critical.
i would advice that you start with researching on how much traffic a site like your's generates, who your competitors are, what they charge and how they operate their website. once you find this information, it will give you an idea of how you can differentiate your site from others and get traffic on your site. it will take a little time for trust to be built. i think your idea of 30 days free trail is not a bad. but you would have to make sure you have a way of retaining the people you get to try out your site.
You have a basic Sales 101 issue. Price is the result of value but here's an only semi-facetious guide...and if it doesn't make sense to you I'd suggest you learn how to sell with a process so this is not an issue.
Rules for how to price New Product/Service:
1) Fake it until you make it
2) What the customer is willing to pay
3) As much as you can
My suggestions / tips would be as below:
1. Keep it FREE for a year.
2. You will anyway have some Marketing / advertisement budget. Don't spend to much on Marketing now. Get the clients attracted through free offer fora year. Lost income ( due to free offer) can be offset by the unspent marketing budget. But you got a lots of clients visiting / registering your website.
3. Earn the money, to maintain your website ( server / hosting fee, salary for the recruits etc ), through letting your home page for advertisements at competitive rates to local restaurants, film schools, concert halls etc.
Local vendors pay for the ads mainly for the clients you got through your FREE offer. A win-win-win proposal for you - your clients - vendors.
4.After a year, you will have lots of clients and paid ads as well. Now, make the membership chargeable. They won't and can't go away.
5. Have a plan to Continuously Improve your website offerings / features/ services.
Happy to help you. Enjoy your new business.
P.S: I won't advice any new recruits / techie now..Keep your overheads as low as possible. OPO is the best for virtual / website businesses. If at all tech. help is required, have them hired on assignment basis / hours-basis initially.
The think you need to consider is one, how much your competitors charge and what they provide versus what you provide. Second, you have to charge what they will be willing to pay.
What value are you bringing to your target audience? What are they charging their clients? Show your target audience the value you bring and if you can deliver they will pay whatever your charge.
First of all you have to learn that it is very important to do research.then make the contact keep it brief and don't try to promote them let them do the talking, then tell them that you have other appointments and you will get back.I take it a step further I can get people free leads, free hardware, and a lot more.
You have asked an excellent question and I can surely help. First, you have to remember in any business is that you must make enough money to offset the costs you will incur. So whether free now or free later - it does not matter as long as total, in a definite period, normally in one financial year - you can show that you have made some profit in any assignment.
So where do you start. Fortunately, I think it is quiet simple.
1. First assess ALL costs that you will incur. Normally you will pay people you recruit and depending on your life-style, you need to know how much you need to make a living. This is your baseline costs to charge your clients. Anything less then this will not help.
2. Do effort estimation. Start from requirements to design to development and testing. Identify effort in days. It is easiest denomination to calculate the cost of services.
3. Identify all other direct costs. Licenses. Graphics. Third party services. Include them.
4. Identify all indirect costs. Your premises. Your phone. Your bills. Consider them.
5. Then do some research. What your competition is charging and whether you are less or more. This can be tricky but spend some good time ton google and you will begin to appreciate the price range.
Since you are a startup, you can compromise on amount of money you can make initially but you have to make some to sustain. I leave the decision to you.
Now, whether to charge upfront or subscription - this is again a simple math. Ultimately, you have to make what you need to make to make your business successful. If you go subscription route, please ensure you consider the event if your client cancels the contract and then how will you recover your costs.
Happy to discuss. You can mail me.
I, like many of the other people here, are having difficulty with understanding what your site or service does for people like me. I think you need to figure out what you're doing for such creative service providers. Are you going to hunt for new clients? Are you providing us with a portfolio site or "space"? It's hard for us to help you when you haven't really gone into detail about what your site does or the services you provide. Is the site up for us to see?
It's important to consider your brand acquisition (what makes your brand unique) before going into any sort of venture such as this. You want to make sure that your services will, in fact, solve a problem for your target audience. From there, you can assess how you'll begin to capitalize on it. It's all about the business plan before the actual business itself!
I would agree with Dave in that there are are so many directories and "liaison" type sites (you're on one right now!) that it's hard to really come in as a new competitor. These sorts of companies take an absolutely substantial amount of planning and trial and error. I'd highly suggest looking at your current brand from an outsider's point of view and see what you can tweak and change about it. Best of luck!
Hi Armin, Without knowing your business this is a hard question to answer. Pricing is very important and paramount to a successful business. Contact me for advice on this subject. Regards Nigel
If you're interested in charging for creative services, I would recommend this book - The Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines. I purchased it not too long ago, and it has been extremely informative - hope this helps!
I would suggest having a marketable product that the consumer wants and possibly needs. You should not put the cart before the horse.