Pricing, it’s one of those eternal conversations we have in our minds, in our businesses and we go round and round. Let’s talk about pricing your services, let’s break up with pricing imposter syndrome so you can confidently show you’re worth what you want to charge.
When you're an introvert, naturally a giver, someone who wants to show up to help people charging your worth and pricing can be a really tricky path to navigate. If that's resonating with you right now, I've got two little nuggets to share before we get into pricing and 101 of it all.
Valuing your worth starts with you. If you don't value your work, services or products how do you expect anyone else to?
Your perception of price is NOT your client's perception of value.
When you contribute, solve problems and add value and then money is an exchange for that energy. That's all it is yet we have such a stigma and blocker when it comes to talking about money in our society, families, communities. But one of the reasons I do what I do is because I believe that business owners and especially women business owners should experience financial prosperity.
Pricing imposter syndrome
You might ask why I'm calling out women business owners here. Well I'll never ever forget sitting in a mortgage advisor’s office with a substantial deposit for an investment property and I was asked "does your husband know you're applying for this mortgage?” I can still feel my teeth clinch together as I heard those words and the shame when I complicity and sheepishly said “yes, yes he does.”
There are so many people, so many women, who have been told that we're not worth it, we can't have our own bank account, own our own properties. There's no surprise then that we have this pricing imposter syndrome running riot like a silent assassin among business owners. When you work so hard as a business owner you deserve financial prosperity. With my business coaching we start with planning your dream life. How does that look, how much does it cost and have you planned sufficiently for a future that looks bright? Your business must be aligned with your vision and that’s where you start goal setting from. Pricing is one of the ways to get you there.
Separate yourself from your work.
Here’s a trick, you have to separate yourself from your work. Your work is worth something, it's valuable. Don't let your past fears, your conceptions bleed over that line. I speak like I'm an expert in this but I'm a work in progress myself. I have a business coach and often have to be reminded too.
Ok, let’s get back on course and talk about pricing. If you're a service based business or you create digital products pricing your services and products can feel completely abstract. There are a few strategies that might help you out here and support your overall brand strategy.
Factors that affect pricing
In Offer Fix I talk a lot about creating irresistible offers. But you can't really call your offer irresistible until a client has actually been unable to resist and hand over their cash money for your thing. A big part (I'm not saying it's the bee all and end all) of whether or not they do is price. You'll know better than me the kind of prices your services and products can command but when setting a price, here are some things to think about.
How big is your niche?
It's inversely proportional to the the price tag. If you're swimming in a great big red ocean then there's going to be a lot of competition and lower prices. If you're in a small, exclusive niche then rise your prices!
What about whether you're selling your services to businesses or consumers.
It's a pretty bold statement but business owners know it takes money to make money so depending on your line of work, they've probably got budgets set aside for what you do.
Pricing is part of brand strategy
You don't want to be in the race to the bottom, it's no fun place to be and your goal is to find clients who want your brand not the cheapest deal going. Can you thin of any brands off the top of your head where premium pricing is part of their strategy? Tiffany. Starbucks. Five Guys.
It feels a little understated to give so little time to this statement but your brand story will play a big role in how you price and charge your worth. When you share your story, educate your audience (when you educate you build rapport, when you sell you break it) so make sure your brand story is sewn up. People engage and buy into you, your story, your why. Make that front and centre and the pricing of your services becomes a secondary conversation, not a deal breaker.
Would you pay your prices?
That's an odd question I know but an important one to ask. I've said it before that you need to believe in what you do, believe in your product or service and how you add value.
Let me tell you from position of deep rooted experience that if you undercharge, you don't get paid enough your enthusiasm would fizzle out quickly. When I ran a digital agency, I had a no discount rule, as an agency you're selling your time so how do you discount time. But as all good buyers do they will ask for a discount and I eventually had to stay firm and say with calm, respectful assertiveness that if I give a client a discount how am I supposed to manage the schedules and prioritising work when some clients aren't paying the full rate.
Here's a little gem for you when someone asks for a discount, you can politely say that you work up to a quality and not down to a price.
Work up to a quality not down to a price.
Ways to ethically influence the perception of value
Remember at the beginning I mentioned that price and value are not the same thing. In fact let me say it again here, your perception of price is not client's perception of value. In order words, we get paid what people think we are worth so making sure that you're showing off that worth. With women especially we downplay things all the time, even the things we've achieved and accomplished.
Start by asking yourself what the problem is that you solve for your clients and how much it's worth for that problem to be solved. As a coach I've spent the last 12 years running a business with all the battle scars to show for it, I've done my Law Degree, Business Degree, MBA, I've followed Tony Robbins around the word. I'm not reading my resume but when I tally it up I've spent over £100k on my education. It's cost me that much to enable me to gain the knowledge to help business owners crack the growth code. What is your story that backs up charging what you want to charge and being confident in that?
Next you've got to become an expert at communication the value. What's your unique mechanism of delivery to solve your client's problems, how do you show the value?
Whilst I'm not a big fan of doing loads and loads of competitor research, it's nice to know where you fall in the price range. It'll give you a yard stick to show you how much you have to play with to increase your prices!
Would you like my free pricing cheat sheet with my four strategies for pricing and a pricing calculator to help you figure out the pricing that's right for you and your dream life?
Get the pricing calculator here.