The unexpected pricing mistake that turns clients away.

What signal does your rate card send?.

I got an interesting email the other day, from a member of my Confident Copywriting group.

She shared a conversation that took place between her and other CC members, discussing one of my offers. You don’t get many chances to hear insights like this without being nefarious so it felt lusciously illicit being looped in.

Alexa puts her hands under her chin, looking intensely interested.

They were talking about my new copywriting quote calculator.

You plug in your hourly rate and out plops a project total. It even has pre-filled templates for website copywriting, blogging, blog bundles, and email sequences 

But it’s more than just a quote calculator. It also helps you track your real versus estimated hourly rate (how much you actually earn) and helps you plan your capacity each month using the projects you’ve quoted on. 

It’s pretty epic. And one of the most popular resources in Confident Copywriting.

It felt kinda mean to keep it locked away. I ran a workshop that explained a systemised approach to quoting so your quotes actually reflect your time and your value. I created a workbook and a calculator to help copywriters figure out the key variables (like billable time and hourly rates) and added an international rate cheat sheet.

And I bundled it all up with the quote calculator for US$37.

Now, here’s where it gets interesting.

This is a section of the email I got.

It reads…

“…and then we all went ‘I can’t believe Bill sells this 2-hour workshop and two amazing templates for just $37!’. We all agreed this isn’t just a steal, it’s almost criminally low. Offering it at $97 would still be a steal – actually, $197 seemed more appropriate. Figuring out our expenses, our rates, how many hours we want and need to work, and then quoting accurately for our projects… Your workshop and templates are foundational for any copywriter. Participants will use these tools for as long as they’re in business. Time to up your rates?!”

* Bill is my nickname by the way.

That low price is intentional. I want the material to be useful but also accessible, especially to new copywriters. Because the start of your copy career is precisely when you need help figuring out how to price your service.

But it got me thinking.

Maybe the price is too low. Maybe it’s actually repelling copywriters worried it will be light on value.

It’s funny how we use price to determine value.

The more expensive something is, the more valuable it seems

The cheaper it is, the less valuable it seems.

When the value seems to outweigh the price, we get suspicious

And that’s entirely normal. In fact, it’s how we’re wired.

When something looks too good to be true, our brain’s decision-making centre (the prefrontal cortex) and error-detecting centre (the anterior cingulate cortex) kick into action to figure out if there’s anything fishy going on.

Sometimes, the emotional centre of the brain (the amygdala) joins the party, making us feel anxious or untrusting. And then the insula, which makes us aware of our bodily sensations, gatecrashes, leaving us feeling uneasy or uncomfortable.

A brain science rave that leads us to say HELL NO. 

If clients turn down your proposals and your pricing isn’t premium level (yet), it might not be because your services cost too much. 

It might just be that they don’t cost enough. 

A man looks surprised and says Wait Wait What?

It’s an idea worth noodling over.

What signals does your pricing send to clients?

Are you a high value copywriter? Or a Dollar Tree look-alike? 

In my own experience, every time I put my prices up as a copywriter, I get more clients. And I know it seems counterintuitive, but I challenge you to try it. Up your rates.

And if you need help figuring out your copy quotes, grab my copy quote calculator before I think too hard about the price. $37 is crazy low.

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