I am lowering my prices in hopes of making more money.

I have been freelancing for a long time, and I have had all sorts of prices across my career. Usually over the course of it my prices have increased very nicely. I would charge per hour, and every time I took a new project I simply tried to get a higher hourly rate. Aside from occasional projects for friends this was basically my pricing philosophy.

Some time last year I decided to try and stop charging directly based on hours (since that encourages slow work) and the format I landed on was subscription based similar to how Design Joy works.

Old pricing and motivations, and their issues.

I started with 3 tiers, one was $2,500 but was honestly a bad offer, I didn’t really want people to pick that one. The other tiers where $8,000 and $10,000 and my thoughts where one client would be able to support me, and two would be great money. Someone booked the $10,000 tier and it ended up taking way more of my time than I anticipated and I learned some things from this. I didn’t know how to solve them immediately so I just raised the $10,000 tier to $14,000.

Since then no one has taken me up on my subscription offer, and all my clients have been previous clients who still work with me on an hourly basis. At one point I had the $10,000 client and a client I billed hourly for and I made a lot of money those months. It was really awesome, but also way too much work. It was also hard to be able to onboard anyone onto these projects to help because they would have to learn the clients tech stack (something I also had to do) and it just wasn’t worth doing.

The subscription client had a tech stack I was not super familiar with, and working around that was eating up time I could have spent on other clients had I simply been able to complete the tasks as fast as I could when I was working in a tech stack I controlled. This is when I realized that was the answer.

If I want the subscription model to work for custom JavaScript apps, I have to control the entire tech stack. This is hard to do though, what if the client has an existing backend I don’t have experience with? This question had me stuck for a while, but eventually I came up with offers that make sense for both me, and a variety of the types of clients I have worked with in the past.

New pricing and ideas.

My three new offers are broken up by whether you need a website, a front-end, or an entire app. If you pick a website you will get a blazing fast and ready to index Astro site. On the front-end you can pick the component library you want, but I will control the other decisions involving it. If you want me to do front and back end you will get a frontend of your choice paired with supabase. All these offers might evolve over time as technologies evolve.

The prices for each will start at $1,950(starting price) for websites with choices for hosting and forms. $3,450/mo for a well tested and documented component library. $4,950/mo if you want me to build your entire app from scratch, you can pick your frontend, but you should probably let me pick based on your needs.

With this setup I know I can deliver a fair amount of value at those prices for multiple clients at once. I am much stronger on the front end, so I can offer structured flexibility there. While clients can pick between React, Svelte, and Vue I will either be making these components within a storybook for the front-end tier or pairing it with the rest of a stack of my choosing. This currently means either Next, Nuxt, or Sveltekit with supabase.

My thoughts are with this setup it would take 4 customers at the highest tier to feel as busy as I felt with my $10,000 client, but it would result in slightly more money, more delivered to my clients, and strengthened job security in numbers. If I get to the point where I feel fully booked, I will simply raise prices for new customers and support the current ones for the length of the project.

Expect an update on some point about how this all went.