THE Creativity Chronicles
Here’s my problem with packages: firstly they assume everyone wants something that is pre-created for them (not true), secondly, they don’t take into account the complexity of a project – for me, I need to know what a project is about before I have any idea how long it will take – I’m telling you, a homepage on a florist is very different to a homepage on an astrophysicist.
Thirdly, a package doesn’t cover what you offer – I would end up with a package on blogging, one on web copy, one combining the two, one just for straplines, one for company naming, the list is endless. It certainly doesn’t make for the ease that a package offering promises. After all, if I have to look through 30 packages to find what I want, well… quite frankly, that’s twenty minutes of my life I’m never getting back.
Another problem with packages, I’ve yet to see one with a good name. There’s the ever popular Standard/Classic/Deluxe and of course, the good old Gold/Silver/Bronze with the modern addition of “Platinum” and then there are just silly names that are created to sound catchy but actually sound rather naff. I have never seen a well named package, including by fellow copywriters.
Another of my issues (I’m so far from finished) is that “package” is often implied as there being some kind of discount (which, to be fair, there usually is) e.g. buy this and get a free xyz or buying these individually is £300 but if you buy them both together it’s….. £270! Well, if I want you, I want you. The moment there’s a free something-or-other thrown in you’ve just said to me “you don’t know me and you’re not even a regular client but I will totally discount my prices for you because I value your money more than I value my worth.” In fact, even having packages means that nobody is probably ever paying your rack rates anyway. Where there’s a package, there’s a deal to be had.
And as for pricing packages, I see so many people asking others what packages they offer and where they should pitch their pricing. Many people are offering packages simply because they feel they should (after all, that’s what their competitor is doing, right?) I understand with wedding photography packages – after all you get an all-the-bells-and-whistles two photographers and an album type package ££££, an all-day-but-only-one-of-us-working package £££, ceremony-only-type of package ££ etc. However, a wedding photographer friend of mine and similar soul who inspired this post following our chat about it, said to me that he isn’t doing packages any longer either. I asked him why not and this was his response:
“I like the idea that if I’m in, I’m in. All or nothing”
I LOVE this! As for me, it’s bespoke. Genuinely bespoke. Not just using the word bespoke to sound arty and on trend. There is no one size fits all answer to what I charge – it depends on the industry, the complexity, the scope of the project, the timescales. And you know what? Sometimes people aren’t in a position to invest in me but they want to work with me. There’s always options – some pay me in instalments or pay for a few pages each month so that they can manage it accordingly, there is always a way to work with the person you want to work with the most.
Because if it comes down to budget, someone will always do it cheaper. So I don’t do packages – I do great content that doesn’t need an incentive to get you to choose me. There are ways of working that can be flexible, sensitive to client needs and without a package in sight.
And can we just say the word ‘package’ out loud for a second? Such a horrid sounding word. And don’t even get me started on the word ‘services’