On pricing

How to price a program can seem like a bit of a dark art. My favourite thought on this comes from Domonique Bertolucci.  She says she wants to run programs where her clients would have been happy to pay double and she would have been happy to do it for free. Amen.

And yet that’s not that helpful when you’re trying to figure out how much to actually charge. I think there are three factors that go into the mix:

  • Day rate - You should have a target day rate, say $5k - $10k, as a starting point. (And while the day rate is a factor in pricing, sell the outcome of the program, not your time.)

  • Market - What are they used to paying for this kind of thing? If you’re way above or way below what they are expecting, it makes you hard to buy.

  • Value - How much difference will your program make? What’s the impact of not doing it, not buying it? The value has to be a significant multiple of the price.

Then it comes down to testing. First test yourself. Stretch your own beliefs about what you can charge, and what people will pay for your expertise. And test the market.

One hack that can be useful if you don’t think you’re charging enough is to make sure you get knocked back on price at least 20% of the time. Make that the game.