Designing packages and services (and pricing them)
elcome to The Digital Brew, a podcast about making your business more awesome online.
Your hosts are Angela (a copywriter) and Stew (a web designer). Pour yourself a cuppa and let’s get started with today’s episode…
In this episode, we talk about designing packages and services and then pricing them.
This one’ll be useful for you if you’re looking at starting a service-based business, or if you’ve already got an existing business and you’d like to start offering some set packages and productise your services.
We’ve recently been through this process at The Digital Brew, so we figured it’s the perfect time to share our own experiences, thought processes, and what’s worked for us.
One of the first steps we had to do was decide what we were going to sell.
We knew we wanted to do websites and copywriting – it’s what we do! And here’s the key (which we’ve already discussed in episode 1: choosing a business model and name)… it’s all about bringing value. So if you’re still figuring out what you’re going to offer, bring it back to value. What are you good at that brings the most value to your audience or niche?
We knew it made sense to create a package that combined these two things. And we wanted to keep it simple so we could systemise it.
So, we decided on one key website package, and 3 tiers for our website hosting and maintenance packages.
Once you know roughly what you want to offer, the next step is to clearly outline inclusions and extras. You’ll need this info so you can write up your landing page, proposal, brochures, info packs, or whatever other collateral you’re using to sell your services.
To come up with your inclusions, ask yourself:
- What do people expect to come with your service?
- What do competitors offer that you need to include as well?
- What else can you offer that’ll help you stand out?
With extras (otherwise known as upsells or suggested add-ons), remember that these are not just for making extra profit (upselling can make you feel a bit icky if it feels like it’s all about the money). It’s showing that your set packages are customisable to a variety of situations, without having to create 50 million packages to cover every possible scenario.
Our extras include adding extra web pages, longer form copy, extra features, and custom functions.
Once we had our standard package and all the inclusions figured out, we could plan out a process around it.
When you’re planning the steps for a project, the biggest thing to consider is dependencies. That’s because some steps lay the groundwork for other steps.
With a website package, the first step is planning, which leads onto content, which the design is structured around, and then you can launch.
Obviously, this will depend on what you’re offering. But I think it’s important to know how you plan to deliver on your package before you start promoting it.
Plus, it’s great if you can be transparent around your process and include a “how it works” or “steps” infographic in your marketing, as it helps clients understand the value they’re getting and feel confident that you will get everything done.
Okay, so let’s talk about pricing. That’s a huge topic in itself, but we’ll just briefly touch on it today.
So, how do you price a package?
There are lots of ways to do it. Usually it comes down to either value pricing or hourly pricing.
To be honest, we didn’t do the maths with our pricing. We have a pretty good idea about how long things take us and how much we aim to earn per hour, but it wasn’t a huge focus.
What we did was look at a few different things that relate more closely to value.
We considered what prices we were charging already as freelancers for existing projects, because our prices needed to make sense in this context. Otherwise, we’d inadvertently prioritise working on projects/brands that paid more!
We also considered the type of clients we’d attract. Certainly in my (Angela’s) case, I expect to get somewhat less complex work via The Digital Brew than the types of clients I usually write content for under my own name, where I do a lot of tech writing. That means I anticipate that the copy will be quicker to research and write, which means I may be able to charge a little less per page.
A huge factor in pricing is the fact that we’re a new brand, too. Our goal is to get a few early runs on the board, add some new portfolio pieces, and then increase our pricing from there to a point where it’s more profitable. But at the same time, we really wanted a price that we felt good about to kick things off. We definitely didn’t want to feel cheap, undervalued, or like we were wasting our time.
We’re always careful to make sure we offer clients good value for money. And that we come across as a low-risk option – the level of risk needs to fit with our pricing. That means that in future, we need to justify any price increases with either a better offer:
- New or improved skills
- Extra inclusions
- Added value
- Faster delivery
Or more proof:
- Case studies
- Portfolio pieces
- Being really in demand
Another thing to consider is competitiveness or how you’re positioned in the marketplace. We’re in a lot of business communities, which helps us stay aware of what other businesses and packages are priced at. And at the moment, we’re nowhere near the top or bottom end for what we offer.
But again, I think it really comes back to feeling good about what you’re charging. Because if you feel good, you want to get the work done. If you feel like you’ve overcharged, you might feel under too much pressure to perform and too scared to start. You might feel a bit of imposter syndrome (which is normal, but obviously if you can minimise it, that’s ideal!).
On the other hand, if you feel like you’ve undercharged, you might resent the work or client. After all, it takes you away from family, passion projects, and other work that you could earn more on. (Or even just working in your own business to help bring in more, better paying jobs.)
So, we’re really happy with our launch pricing. I feel like we could comfortably double our package price in a short amount of time, but I don’t want to do it yet. So we’re in a good place… there’s room to grow!
Plus, we get to offer amazing value to the first batch of clients who come through and trust us to take care of them, even though we’re a new brand.
Okay, let’s wrap things up.
When designing and pricing your packages, you’ll have to start by getting a general idea around what service you want to offer and what value you can create. You’ll need to list out the inclusions based on expectations, competitiveness, and the things you can uniquely do.
Then figure out the steps and process around your package so you know how you’ll deliver it.
Finally, think carefully about how you want to price it. The most important thing is that you feel good about the price. And give yourself a pay rise when you start to feel like you’re priced too cheaply for the value and proof you can offer!
That’s it for today. We’ll catch you in the next episode, which is all about figuring out your target audience.
Thanks for tuning in to The Digital Brew with Ange and Stew. Make sure you head over to thedigitalbrew.com for more episodes, detailed show notes, resources, and our newsletter. And if you feel like this episode has helped make your business more awesome, pop us a review. We’ll catch you next time!