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How to price your services as a virtual assistant or social media manager

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This startup life, right?

The one where you can barely make ends meet.

In crushing debt.

You worry about why you left the security of your full-time job.

But *scratch record* Why is this our vision of entrepreneurship?

Why do we constantly have to hustle in DMs, working to the bone virtually for free, just to make ends meet, because that’s what the first few months of entrepreneurship must be like?

So how do you get there from the start? The truth is that it may never exist. But in today’s article, I give my top tips on how to price your online service and share a free pricing guide to get you started.

How to set your price for online services

Pricing is a fundamental aspect of your profitability, success and prosperity in business. Sure, you can’t expect to make five figures in your first month, but neither can you expect people to take you seriously if you charge less than a cup of coffee for value-added services!

When I started on my own, I struggled with that too. From what to charge to how I was going to get out of debt while scraping to deliver value to customers with fewer hours in the day. Even writing that exhausts me, so I know the fight.

But nailing my prices was the best thing I’ve ever done to save more time and money in my business, and I hope by sharing my tips today you can skip this stuff and start some good foot today!

Related: 3 Marketing Pricing Strategies That Will Win You More Customers

Why pricing is so important in business, especially online

Time is your most valuable asset in business. Even more than money. But the fact is that time and money are inextricably linked. And nailing down your pricing strategy is crucial to ensuring plenty of time and money as you scale.

And oh my, pricing has so much power, you guys. It can increase your value and degrade it. Let’s do a little exercise to show what I mean:

Let’s say you’re considering a $7 bottle of wine versus a $70 bottle of wine. Which, without reading the label, would you say tastes better?

Chances are you automatically associate taste quality with the most expensive, right?

You can visualize your expertise and the client’s subsequent trust in you in the same way.

And at the same time, as consumers, we often need to touch and feel value before investing heavily in it. And this is even more difficult as a supplier of immaterial services!

Overall, everything comes after pricing your service. Optimal pricing has a direct impact on your profitability and scalability, your prospect’s view of the quality of your service, and your business goals. And that also makes it extremely difficult to nail.

Related: Mastering the Art of Pricing: What Textbooks Can’t Teach You

Why pricing online services is so difficult

I just mentioned that as a service provider you are already at a disadvantage since your prospects cannot touch and feel what you provide – they can only experience it. Of course, if you’re a Pinterest manager, SMM, or VA superstar, they see that in increased clicks, sales, leads, and time. But communicating this upfront is difficult – but more on how to tackle it later.

There are so many factors that make it difficult to price your services. Things like:

There is also science behind it.

Business pricing psychology

Pricing is more than pulling a number out of nowhere and inserting a dollar sign in front of it.

Incorporating psychology into your pricing decisions is essential for a scalable business that appeals to your dream customer. And you don’t need a degree to do it! Just think about emotional language and visual cues. For example:

You’re looking at $3.99 and it looks way cheaper than $4.00, even though it’s just 1 cent less. This is psychological pricing.

It’s things like:

  • Charm Award – anything ending in a ‘9’.

  • Capitalize on innumeracy – like how “Buy one, get one free” sounds better than “50% off two”.

  • How “$9.00” seems more expensive than “$9”.

  • And the way we are primed for loss aversion, rather than gain – always prioritizing what we stand to lose (like money or time) over what we stand to lose. receive.

So how can you incorporate these simple tips into your pricing?

Related: 5 “Psychological Pricing” Strategies

Strategies for pricing an online service

There are so many directions you can take when pricing your offers! Everything from premium pricing to skimming strategies. But for the sake of you as the boss of an online service provider, let’s keep it simple with three:

1. Value-Based Pricing

It’s about pricing your online services based on their perceived value, focusing on the value you deliver and return on investment, taking into account things like time savings, expertise and financial performance. This requires a solid understanding of the intangible and tangible value of your services, and an ability to communicate that value to every prospect that comes your way.

2. Pricing based on competition

This strategy requires market-based pricing and detective mode to determine what your competitors are charging. While this is great for securing a potentially easy sale if you’re the cheapest, it can cause prospects to make explicit comparisons between you and your competition, viewing your unique expertise as an expense to be negotiated, rather than a solution.

3. Cost plus pricing

This is probably the easiest way to evaluate yourself as an online service provider. But it’s not always the most effective. Essentially, it’s taking the cost of your services and adding a markup. This could be pricing a service based on the number of hours it takes you to complete it, multiplying that by your hourly rate and adding up.

So, with all these options, what is the best way to price YOUR services?

The best starting rate for a new online service provider

Before you jump into the numbers, remember to consider what contributes to your rates and prices, especially when first starting out. Things like your:

An ideal starting price for a new online service provider like a Pinterest Manager SMM or VA is around $30 per hour.

This takes into account the value you bring (while recognizing that you have more to build on) and also your need to, you know, earn a living! While providing an affordable entry point for your customers. This rate is the ideal starting point because it guarantees that you have a minimum in terms of the money you earn, a result that you will accept to keep your customers (and you) happy. It also takes into account the effort and dedication required to have a lead in someone else’s business – because it takes a lot of rent!

Free pricing guide for new online service providers

Although every VA or SMM is different, I know how handy a good guide can be (because I would have loved one when I was just starting out!). So, to help you get started, here’s a price guide.

Level of experience: 6 months, 1-2 years, 3+ years

Monthly Pinterest management: $450/month, $650/month, $850+/month

General SMM: $600/month, $800/month, $1,000+/month

Virtual assistance: $25/hour, $35/hour, $50/hour

Pricing can be tricky, but with this guide it can be a whole lot easier. If you need help or want a helping hand, make sure we’re connected on Instagram, Tiktok, and online.

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