4 Ultimate Tips for Pricing Your Services in Dubai

When you start out as a web design and marketing agencyin Dubai or even as a freelancer, you’ll likely begin with small projects and price them almost arbitrarily. You might see the time it takes to complete it and calculate fees based on the salary paid to your employees or just pick a ballpark value. Eventually, though, you’ll have to figure out a tangible pricing scheme if you want clients to take you or your Dubai agency seriously.There are several ways to go about pricing your services, and they depend on a multitude of factors. These include market rates, your skill level, your costs, and market demand. We will discuss how you should use these different factors to remain fair to yourself as well as to your customers.

The hourly vs fixed rate tradeoff
It makes sense for clients to prefer a fixed rate. This way they know what they’re paying and they don’t have to worry about any nasty surprises regarding the work. But this becomes more complex when you consider the designer’s or the developer’s motivation with regards to the work. If something is priced at a fixed rate, they might feel like they’re working for free when the project goes over schedule and they’re forced to work longer. This is why sometimes, and hourly rate is preferable, even if it means that the budget becomes more volatile, the quality remains top notch. Clients in Dubai tend to prefer fixed rates since they like to have a definite value, so making payment plans such as 50% before the start and 50% after completion could be a boon to your business.

What is the market rate in your field?
Determining the market rate for your web design or marketing services in Dubai might be a little tricky. Checking competitors’ websites and any marketing collateral they have might prove useful in establishing what an appropriate rate is for your services. Keep in mind that the size of an agency, its reputation, its reach in terms of international customers, and even the targeted customer all influence your pricing. Companies might be less willing to work with freelancers but if you manage to establish a strong personal brand and an impeccable reputation, they might see you as a cheaper but effective alternative to a full-blown agency. Decide what you want but keep your options open and be creative.

What are your qualifications and credentials?
Do you have a reputation and some formal degree to show for yourself or are you just starting out? Do you have a strong portfolio to back you up on your word? All these factors work to make your services more valuable as well as trustworthy. It’s important to establish a client portfolio and build a personal brand in order to price your services as you would like to. This means maybe taking some early projects that are cheaper but are good potential references for any future clients. As long as you do the work that you promise and deliver it within scope, your brand will flourish and your pricing will fall into place. However, once you have determined what you are worth, do not budge on this value. Discounts just make you seem unsure and might show you in a negative light. Business can be cruel and why would someone pay more when you’ll settle for less? In the UAE, gifts and gestures will work much better, and will help with building relationships with your customer. It might be better to offer them a small token service as a bonus rather than to drop your prices after making a proposal.

How is the demand for your services?
This might just be the single biggest deciding factor in how you can price your services. Imagine one agency that has interested customers calling around the clock trying to get their projects completed and another that needs to make cold calls in order to offer their services to consumers. It’s easy to tell which can charge more. When the customer comes to you with the intent to buy, you get an instant advantage in negotiating the terms of your project. In the UAE, this works similarly, and customers that find you on search engines are those that will be the best. Referrals, as seen in our post about the power of social proof, are even more powerful and will bring you the most amazing clients who will almost beg for your amazing product. Make sure to deliver the perfect service to all your clients and feel free to prod and nudge them to refer you to their friends, maybe even give them incentives, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can develop a strong customer base. Pricing is a result of a combination of factors and is not something that is always easy to determine. It is important to know what tier your product falls in – are you a value for money or a premium type of agency – and are your customers the big corporate kind or the small business kind. But if you stay on top of things and try to keep your pricing as fair as possible based on your expertise, reputation, and costs, you’re sure to have success.

Luka Stanojevic
Digital Marketing Manager

Luka Stanojevic is a digital marketing manager at Emirates Graphic, a Dubai-based digital marketing and web design agency. He has helped companies of all sizes and from all parts of the world grow and succeed on the web.