One Unbelievably Simple Trick for Getting Paid More
Have you heard of Swan Vesta? The matchbox manufacturer saved thousands upon thousands of dollars simply by embracing a clever idea that came from one frontline employee: putting the strip to strike the matches on only one side of the matchbox instead of two.
What's the point of this little anecdote if you're not in the fire-starting business? Simply to illustrate that money-saving innovations don't have to be big or hard or complicated to come up with. Telling you this is simply preparing the ground, so you'll be more receptive to an incredibly simply revenue-boosting idea recently proposed by the Freelancers Union. Ready to believe that you can save big with head-slappingly simple ideas? Then here it goes:
Cut the zeroes.
Yup, that's it. The simple suggestion from the organization's blog is just to revamp your pricing, so that instead of, say, $500, you charge clients something like $542. The second price is obviously higher than the first, hence the boost in revenue, but why does ditching round numbers actually pass muster with clients?
Writer Lindsay Van Thoen explains: "A specific number has greater meaning because it looks like you calculated your cost exactly. You took the time to break down all the custom component costs, and come up with a number for their needs--not just the number you normally quote. $5,180 looks like an unrounded number with no padding." Therefore, she insists customers will be less inclined to try and haggle you down.
"Clients don't like zeros," she insists. "It wakes up their never-far-away suspicion that freelancers pad their quotes and are trying to milk them dry. It's a law of non-even price numbers that marketers have employed for centuries."
Think she might be on to something? Test out the idea and report back on how it works in the comments. Or, if you're struggling with pricing on a more fundamental level, you can find plenty of helpful resources out there, including an ebook from FreshBooks on moving away from pricing by the hour and blogs chock-full of tips.
Do your prices always include a zero or two or three?
JESSICA STILLMAN | Columnist
Jessica Stillman is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist.