Do I offer free consultations? Do I charge clients by the hour or by the project? How do I price my programs and packages? As entrepreneurs, these are vital questions and the answers are often complicated.
As you know, I’m all about living life BIG and embracing your amazingness.
So for Mo’ Money March, I offer you these tips to help you
charge what you’re worth.
1. Stop consulting with people for free.
Stop letting people pick your brain. If you keep getting the same question over and over again (“Hey, can I ask you about this real quick??”), make it into a recording or webinar and CHARGE for it. Even if it’s only $5, they’ll get more value than if you answer off the cuff, and there’s a chance they’ll buy more and/or want to work with you in the future.
What I’ve noticed is that one “quick question” often turns into five emails or a thirty-minute phone call. My rule is, if your question truly takes TWO minutes or less to answer (my mom couldn’t figure out how to delete her Instagram post yesterday), I can answer for free. If you need ideas, feedback or follow-up, you need to schedule a session with me.
The caveat: If you’re just starting out–or launching a new program or service–you can offer free sessions for a limited time IF you have clear expectations for it.
Also, if someone is hesitant to schedule with you, you can offer a quick 15-minute phone call as sort of a “meet and greet” to reassure them that you’ll click.
2. Give SOMETHING away for free.
If you’re a giver like me, your #1 goal is to help people so you don’t want to turn people away empty handed.
So what do you do? Offer something of value for free, like the 101 version of your favorite workshop or class, then charge for the next level up.
I’m planning to offer Pinterest 101 as a free webinar that will have oodles of value and amazing tips and tricks. Then of course if they want a personalized tutorial or a Pinterest content strategy, they pay for a session with me. I’ll feel good about helping people while also gaining new clients.
3. Adjust your prices.
Here’s the thing: your prices SHOULD deter some people.
Yes, some people should not be able to afford you.
But, if no one is buying, it’s time to bulk up the VALUE of the product or service, or bring your prices down.
I’ll never forget quitting a group coaching program because the value simply was not there. I am convinced that the coach priced the program on what she wanted to make, not on the value we would receive, or on what the program was actually worth to us. I resolved then that I would never do that to my clients.
Also check out this excellent article about pricing from Tara Gentile.
4. Offer bonuses, not discounts.
Keep your two-hour consultation price the same but offer a bonus session or free ebook as an incentive. I often offer a free thirty-minute social media tutorial when they purchase a strategy session. It’s easy to just tag onto their appointment and by then, I already know them and their business so it’s easy.
Discounting your products and services just makes it look like your prices are inflated, or it trains people to wait until you have a sale.
5. Remember that time is money.
You know that your one-hour consultation really takes three hours by the time you book the appointment, receive your preliminary information from your client, hold the meeting then follow up with them afterward. Keep that in mind when you set your price.
6. Price by the project, not by the hour.
I use to charge clients by the hour but that got complicated because people don’t know what I can do in an hour (“How many blog posts can she write in three hours? And how do I know she’s not charging me while she’s eating lunch or walking her dog, too?”) and I didn’t always know how long a project would take so I wasn’t sure how to bid it. Even that sentence sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
Now I price by the project. I take a look at the client, what they want, how much research and leg work it will require and I give them a project price. Whether it takes me five hours or 15, I know they’re getting what they need. I just price it so that it’s worth my time and energy.
If they’re super-picky, write long-winded emails, never answer their phone or are slow to give me what I’ve requested….well…that’s going to cost them. If they’re easy-going and fun to work with, I charge less.
I put a price tag on my sanity.
The main thing to remember is that your expertise and talent are worth A LOT. Don’t sell yourself short.
You’ve invested in yourself and your business and now you’re asking people to invest in you.
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