Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A new reason to raise your rates

Listening to NPR this morning, I heard a short spot about a new study regarding wine and pricing. Essentially, a bunch of people tasted a bunch of different wines, for which they knew (or thought they knew) the prices. The study found that the price was linked to people's enjoyment of the wines.

Here's the trick: Some of the wines were the same, just with different prices on them. Even so, people enjoyed the wines more if they thought they were more expensive.

I find this interesting on so many levels. One, it demonstrates the power of the mind. It's obviously related to the placebo effect, where people report feeling better just from taking a sugar pill or getting some other phony treatment that they believe is going to cure them.

In this case, they believe the wine is going to be exceptional, and as a result their brains show more enjoyment of the wine.

Two, it demonstrates the importance of pricing your product appropriately. (Which is why I'm blogging about it on my freelance writing blog.) Think about it. When you buy something for a very cheap price, you expect the quality to be cheap — perhaps it's subconscious, but you do. When you pay good money for something, on the other hand, you are more likely to be satisfied with the product.

By spending a lot of money, you have essentially committed yourself to being happy with the results.

This is a good lesson for freelancers, particularly those who waffle on raising their rates. When you write articles at bargain-basement rates, you are essentially ensuring that your clients will perceive your work as lesser quality. However, if you charge more along the lines of the standard industry rates, your clients will see your work as at least as good quality as the established professionals in your industry.

As I'm sure my husband and sister would point out, this proves that there are all kinds of things you can learn from wine!

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