Are You a Price Maker or a Price Taker?

Angela Booth

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"How much do you charge?"

The sweetest words to anyone who provides a service. You love to hear them, right?

Unfortunately, if you're not convinced of the value of your services, they might dismay you, and if you're confused about the prices you charge you'll never make the money you could be making.

Twenty-some years ago, my then-husband and I strolled through the glittering expanse of a new shopping mall doing some late-night shopping. Suddenly he grabbed his chest and collapsed.

The ambulance arrived. They loaded him; I scrambled in behind.

As the ambulance pulled away, a paramedic asked: “What happened?"

When I told him he said dryly: “It's the prices they charge. It's the prices they charge. . . "

Most of the Australian creatives I know charge what the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance ( au ) recommend. The Alliance's members are freelance journalists, artists, designers, photographers, PR consultants, and book editors and proofreaders.

The Alliance's recommended rates are low. However, many freelancers charge even less than the Alliance's rates. Why?

Fact: creative freelancers lack confidence. They're price takers par excellence, and *reluctant* price takers at that. And in case you think I'm too down on my colleagues, I include myself in the reluctant price takers. Or I did. I'm striving to do better and get more of a grip on pricing.

=> Become a price maker by adding value to your services

Some years ago I watched an interview on Landline (an Australian ABC rural affairs TV show) about the owner of a banana plantation who was developing a banana wine.

She said she was tired of being a price taker, she was value-adding to her product because she intended to be a price maker: finding new uses for her banana crop enabled her to do that.

So that's the big clue. If you want to be a price maker, you need to add value to your services.

Author of many books, including Making the Internet Work for Your Business, copywriter and journalist Angela Booth also writes copy for businesses large and small, and consults on search engine marketing. Angela has written copy for companies in many industries, ranging from technology and real estate to the jewellery trade. Her clients include major corporations like hp (Hewlett Packard), WestPac Bank, and Acer Computer. For copywriting services and marketing advice contact Angela at


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