It’s the season of sales and discounts: but does that mean that you should be offering discounts on your copywriting services? Let’s dig into exactly what discounting your copywriting means for building your business. Read on…
Today’s question comes from Ayse B., who asks, “I see all these ‘Black Friday’ emails and deals. Is that something I should be doing with my business?”
It’s true that many (if not most) businesses run some kind of sale on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the weekend.
They’re hoping that the volume of increased sales will help offset the discounts they offer. It’s pretty well understood that there’s a margin of markup on all physical products, and they’re playing with that margin.
But when it comes to services, there really isn’t a margin of markup. The rate you charge is the rate you charge.
From time to time, you may decide to negotiate that rate with a particular client for some reason, but by and large, your rate doesn’t exactly have a lot of wiggle room.
The problem with offering a Black Friday or Cyber Monday discount (or any other discount, for that matter), is that it implies that there isn’t a solid value behind your regular rates.
Offering a discount devalues the services you offer.
After all, if you can discount it one day, you can discount it any day, right? And if you can offer a discount, then why should clients ever pay your full rate?
Put another way, if you’ll do a project for them for $25 an hour instead of $50 an hour once, why would they ever pay $50 an hour?
When it comes to discounts on services, clients don’t think of the discounted rate as a discount—they think of it as a low and reasonable rate. If you’re willing to work for $25, why would they ever pay you more?
Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t get creative with promotions. Maybe you could offer a free 45-minute consultation or a free email audit to let them know what should be improved in their email program.
Both of these are one-time services that are needed once only, and they also open the door for more work.
You can find other ways to offer “specials,” but I’d very strongly advise you never to offer sales on your rates. Your rates—and the work they represent—are important and deserve respect.
Your turn! Has a client ever asked for a special discount? How did you deal with it? Let us know in the comments below!