Deciding what to charge for your time is probably one of the most emotionally-charged decisions an entrepreneur in a service-based business can make. I have firsthand experience with this dilemma. As an immigrant from post-Communist Ukraine, I started my coaching business on my bathroom floor (my apartment was that tiny!) selling coaching sessions for $27 even though I had earned a Ph.D. at age 25. I was even thinking of selling my engagement ring to finance the growth of my business! Fast forward close to three years; I now sell those same services for up to $120,000 and I’ve built a seven-figure business.
Looking back, I think I was probably my own worst enemy. There are many solid strategies to determine pricing, but here’s the thing: None of them work unless you have the right mindset. Here are a few tips to get yourself on the right track:
1. Work on your success mindset. The more elevated your mindset, the more you believe in yourself and the value of your offers, the more you will be able to charge. In life and in business you get what you're the right match for. To charge X, you need to be X first. Who is the person charging that price? What needs to change in your life, in how you position yourself online, in your brand, to charge that price? If you're constantly doubting yourself, lowering your self-worth and accepting negativity, you will not be able to convince others of your worth. Sometimes you see someone very talented charging very little while someone with much less talent or expertise charges 10 times more. The difference is that one person believes they are worthy of more while the other doesn't.
2. Walk your talk. Price doesn't mean anything until you put energy behind it. Are you sold on your own price? Do you embody the person who can charge at that level? Ask yourself “Who do I need to be to charge that price?" Be the woman you want to become first. Then charge what your future self would charge by stepping into that that future every single day with simple steps: wake up earlier, work out, take care of yourself first, do something positive, help someone who needs helps, grow yourself, make healthier food choices, take time to dress up, and make time to do what you love. All those little things matter because they make you the person you want to be -- the person who charges what she knows she’s worth.
3. Change the way you think about price. People will buy the same product for $100 and $1,000. Remember, they’re often not paying for the offer/product; they are paying for the expectation that their life and their career will be transformed. They’re paying for anticipated results. So the focus should be on those things -- whether it’s income, the ability to travel, a higher caliber of client, etc.-- rather than price. Detach from the price, because the price is NOT about you, it's about them. The price is about their transformation, not how much money you make. People first need to have confidence that you can deliver what you promise, and then you can shift the conversation to price specifics.
4. Know that your pricing empowers your clients. Ask yourself: "If the transformation of my client equals the price, would I charge more or less?" You see, the more you charge, the more you believe in your client. By charging more, you are sending the message that you believe they are worth it, they can do it, and that you see that bigger version of them. Look at the price as a motivator for your client to actually do the work and use what they've paid for. Free doesn't work because when people are not invested, they don’t do the work. The higher the price people pay, the more skin in the game they have, the more interested they are in the ROI. Charging more = believing more in your client. By charging a higher price, you're saying to your client: "That's how much I believe in you.”
5. Set standards. Decide what kind of work you are and are not available for and try not to compromise. Make a written agreement with yourself that you will not go lower than X price. Make sure the price expands your vision of yourself rather than contracting it. You can't cheat on yourself. Lock the price in. Print the agreement out, laminate it, frame it and put it on a wall where you will see it every day. Remember, price is not just a number; it's energy
By charging what you're worth, you increase the self-worth of your clients. That's why you need to focus on raising your self-worth first.
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