When I first went into business for myself six years ago as a marketing and public relations consultant, I struggled with setting my fees. Even though I had been making a good salary working for someone else in this capacity, at first I found it difficult to set my fees at what they truly were worth (plus the added 20%-30% for overhead for being an sole proprietor!).
Then I learned about "dollarizing" (a topic for another article) and about looking at the results that I was creating for my clients. I also had to build my confidence and comfortability in telling prospective clients what my fees were without stammering… 🙂
I don’t struggle with this anymore, for a few reasons. One reason is because I KNOW what a difference I can and do make in my client’s business. And another reason is that I have loads of clients, past and present, who continue to tell me what a difference I’ve made for them in their business. Both of these have helped to build my confidence and comfortability factors in setting my rates.
Now it’s easy for me to say that my coaching rates are $350 an hour, or that a private mentorship with me starts at $5000. Obviously that means I have fewer clients than I did when I was charging $350 a month (as opposed to an hour), but it also means I work one-on-one a lot less, which frees up an incredible amount of time to put towards other profit-producing activities.
And, by packaging my knowledge into information products, I actually help MORE people now than ever before, and I love that!
Now, my business has gone through more than one iteration over the last six years, so I don’t want to give the impression that this happened quickly for me, because it didn’t. But it could happen for you a lot faster if you implement some of the tips I’ve given you here:
1. Consider yourself the expert.
Why wait for someone else to crown you something? Seriously, if you didn’t think you knew what you were doing, you wouldn’t have taken the leap into entrepreneurship. So make yourself the expert and put yourself out there as such.
Why? Because you’ll build credibility faster, your name will be the one that comes to mind when people are in need of what you offer, and because it will allow you to command higher fees that people are willing to pay.
People want to hire someone who is an expert in solving their problem. For example, I started out as a generalist in marketing and public relations (and web development), and I did ok money-wise as such. Then I started focusing on working with entrepreneurs in marketing their business, and financially I did better. Now I focus on online marketing for a specific niche (solo service professionals) using the multiple streams marketing and product funnel model, and my client base and in^come has increased exponentially! My business is also a lot easier and much more fun!
2. Increase your in^come by increasing your fees.
Like I did, most of my clients struggle with this issue at first. It’s normal. They’re afraid of losing clients (they will), and of charging themselves out of their market (they won’t). But, among other things, I encourage them to remember that if they charge more, they don’t need as many clients, and by having less clients, they will have more time and freedom to do the things they enjoy (and even more so if they create products to offer to their niche – see #3).
If there’s still resistance, I suggest that any new clients they accept, they do so at their new higher rate, and keep their current clients at their old rate.
3. Package what you know.
Stop trading time for money and start packaging what you know. By this I mean creating information products that you can sell to your niche that helps them solve their problem at a much lower rate than working with you one-on-one.
This has made a huge difference for me, particularly once my daughter was born. Creating products for my niche helped me to continue to bring in the revenue I "lost" by not taking on any new one-on-one clients while I raised her.
There are many ways to leverage your time and talent, but these three will get you started in the right direction to building a more satisfying business for you ~ one that gives you the freedom to enjoy both your work and your life.
© 2007 Alicia M Forest and ClientAbundance.com
Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach, founder of ClientAbundance.com and creator of 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System, teaches professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com.