Every industry has this problem. Customers always want something for free (or close to free as possible). This is nothing new, but the internet has elevated this desire. I remember there was a time when I was asked to design a poster. And the requester thought that if they offered me $25 that I would jump at the chance to do their work. Of course that didn't happen.
But every now and then you get a legitimate project offer. And the client asks you for an estimate, which they balk at. What's a good strategy to help them accept and respect your price point?
Negotiate services, not prices
The last impression you want to give is that your pricing is obituary. You want to have good reasons to price yourself the way you do, and stick with it. Of course, it's good to be competitive in your market. But what's most important is that you are pricing yourself in a manner that keeps you in business and provides a decent profit.
So a better strategy is to negotiate what you are willing to do for the price point that is being requested. You can negotiate the timeline, services you offer, or features you include in the final product. Get it down to where you and the client are both comfortable with the scope and costs.
If negotiating services doesn't seem to work, or the client is not into negotiating, you can always offer services in packages. For instance, instead of designing a logo, offer to design the logo, accompanying stationery, and create a style guide for one price. The client can see the savings and you get extra work that needs to be done anyway.
Let them go
There's nothing as liberating as letting a bad client just go. I don't mean chase them away. What I mean is that you refuse to lower your price for clients who don't really value you anyway. Think about providing special discounts for repeat customers, fast payments, or dream clients. Then you will be making more of an investment.
Photo courtesy sideshowmom of morgueFile.com