When figuring how much you should charge for your freelance services, you probably use practical strategies and tools to come up with a rate. Author and coach Mark McGuinness suggests linking your price to feelings.
He describes the approach on Lateral Action:
I start deliberately low. For example, if I’m working with an artist:
Me: Just imagine you’ve sold this painting for $US50. How do you feel?
Client: Like I want to vomit.
Me: OK, so $US50 equals vomiting. Now imagine you’ve sold it for $US250. How does that feel?
Client: Well, a bit better I suppose.
Me: Right. $US250 equals ‘a bit better I suppose.’ Now imagine you’ve sold it for $US500.
Client: OK I could be happy with that…
We keep going up the scale, raising the price and checking in with their feelings (and ignoring doubts) — from feeling terrible, to feeling OK, to happy, to excited, to excited-and-a-bit-scared, to feeling really scared. This gives us a beautifully calibrated emotional pricing scale, with prices linked to feelings.
Then I ask how they want to feel after the sale. They nearly always pick “excited-and-a-bit-scared.” Which gives them a price — which is nearly always higher than the one they usually charge.
This approach is best when you know your market and you’re already somewhat accomplished. It’s particularly appropriate for people who sell original creations or creative services because an emotional pricing scale helps you overcome the fear of charging too much for something you create.
Take a look at the post for how to use emotional pricing to get to the right price and ask for what you’re actually worth.
The Art of Emotional Pricing [Lateral Action]