oConomy
July 9, 2009 by James Waters

Last week I began my series on pricing with some heavyweight current theory. I believe it's almost always worth the time to become a better pricing and negotiation expert as the actions taken in the few hours of settling on terms can affect the output of countless hours working under those terms. A big part of negotiation is confidence and mental conditioning--how you react and respond will signal how ready you are to do business. People found ZOPA a valuable topic and I'll find a way to drill deeper into it in future posts - the gist to keep in mind with ZOPA is all about knowing your customer intimately.

This is a topic many bloggers cover and, in that spirit, this week's post is about exercise for the pricing mind. I've collected some of my favorite blogs on the topic of pricing programming and freelance services and extracted the quotes I found most useful.

A web design service's blog tips on pricing:
"Some potential clients will think your prices are high no matter what you charge. Some clients will understand what’s involved with designing and developing a website and others will not. Because there are people out there willing to design a website for next to nothing, some clients will think that you should be willing to do the same, even if your service is completely different. Try not to worry about turning clients off, and focus more on proving a service that’s worth the price (and being able to explain why it’s worth the price)."

A web design blogger's top pricing tips:
"Some jobs will present challenges and opportunities for you to improve your skills and your experience. If you are interested in learning a new aspect of design, you may want to seek out projects that will provide those opportunities and price your services to be very competitive. Of course, if the job is a learning experience for you, you should communicate this with the client so they understand the situation and so they do not assume that you are an expert in this area."

Price your skills wellAn MBA's guide to consulting service pricing:
"One reason for so many different rates charged by consultants is that we operate in a world of imperfect knowledge. The first step in achieving better fees is to understand the difference between working as a temp and running a business. When consultants realize that their positions are as valid as those of the clients they serve, they will be able to set fees and estimate time for projects that let both of them achieve your goals."

Competition: GigaOm on pay trends in the US, the pressure is on:
"Six months ago, more than half of U.S. employees couldn’t fathom taking a pay cut, but now 42 percent are willing receive a lower paycheck if it increases the likelihood that they’ll keep their jobs. Employees are also willing to do more than just take a pay decrease — nearly three-quarters are willing to take on more responsibilities at work and 64 percent would work longer hours to increase their job security."

Nine freelance pricing factors:
"Signs that demand is high include too much work coming in, other freelancers being overloaded and people telling you they’ve been struggling to find someone to do the job. Signs that demand is low include finding yourself competing to win jobs, a shortage of work and fellow freelancers reentering the workforce."

How to be a highly paid freelance programmer:
"Contribute to open source projects."

Think from the buyer's perspective
"Ask the developer some probing questions about the most important parts of the project. You will likely discover some assumptions that you or the developer are making."

I'm curious to see what people's favorite quotes from these selections are. Post your favorite quotes into the comments!