Don’t sell services. Sell packages

Steve Slaunwhite's Marketing Memo
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I was chatting with a colleague yesterday. He called to ask me how much I charge for a particular type of copywriting project and, in return, offered to share his prices with me. (A great arrangement to have, by the way. You should try it!)

I said, “I typically charge $1,500-$2,000.”

His reply didn’t surprise me. But it did remind me that I could be doing a better job of pricing in some key areas. He said, “I don’t quote a fee for my services, per se. Instead, I quote the price of my service package.”

Of course he does. So do I for most of the projects I handle these days. And so do many of the top-earning creative freelancers I know.

By “service package” what he means is that he has created a specific service with a specific deliverable and has assigned a price tag to it. In a way, he has taken a traditional service and turned it into a product.

Here’s an example:

Say you’re a copywriter specializing in case studies (aka success stories.) If a client enquires into your services, you could say, “My fee for writing a typical case study typically runs $750-$1,000, depending on how long you need it to be and how complex the topic is.”

Nothing wrong with that approach.

But if you had a case study service package you could say, “My ‘Case Study Development Package’ includes interviewing your customer, creating a two-page success story, also providing a one-page summary for your sales people to use, and getting all approvals. My fee for that package is $1,500.”

Even though that service package is more expensive, it sounds more enticing, doesn’t it?

And it is. A service package helps make your service more tangible to the client and, therefore, easier to say yes to. Like a product on a store shelf, the client can — in a way — put it in his shopping cart and buy it.

A service package also focuses the client’s attention to the value of what you deliver rather than the price of your services. You’re not just writing a case study. You’re delivering a solution.

I was working with a coaching client a few months ago who turned her traditional freelance newsletter writing services into a series of specific service packages. As she puts it, “I found almost immediately that potential clients “got” what I offered more clearly, and were much more interested in working with me. To them, I was no longer simply a writer-for-hire, I was a professional offering specific solutions to their problems.”

Of course, not all creative services can be neatly packaged. But some can. So take a look at the types of projects you handle and explore how to create specific service packages out of them.

Not only is a service package generally easier to sell, you can charge more for it, too.

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