Dear WiRE ladies,
Help for women in business..
It’s the start of the term, for many, and often the renewal of a business idea , and indeed start of a business for others in the lead up to Christmas. For me, I am about to launch the Blonde Marketing Goddess fully, and I must confess that I have been struggling rather a lot on what to charge.
I happened to chat to Donna recently about this and she came up with the following helpful tools below which I trust will help you ladies as much as it has helped me! I am sure there are some of you out there who are starting out and are having problems setting your rates and also some of you out there who are already established but have been considering raising your rates in line with your experience, if so here are a couple of marvelous tools to help to to gain crystal clarity on your fees, honouring your skill set and your clients and potential clients
First over to Donna who is going to tell you her story about charging, so that you can understand where she is coming from. Over to you Donna…
I have felt the same way – I really struggled with charging for my services when I first started. In my case there were 3 things going on: my confidence in myself, my confidence in my service, and my belief that taking money for services was somehow wrong or slimy. As my confidence in me and what I did grew (partly from doing a great job for low/no cost) it got easier…but there was still that belief that taking money for services was a bit dirty. But when I pay for a coach, or a CD, or some clothes, I don’t feel that it’s dirty at all. I love spending money! I don’t expect other people to work for free. When they do I am so grateful…and then there comes a point where I feel uncomfortable not paying, so why wouldn’t they feel the same?
Unsurprisingly, when I was uncomfortable charging, I attracted people who were uncomfortable paying me! Lol. Now I rarely come across these people – and when I do, I don’t take it to mean I am not worth paying for, I give them what feels comfortable to me and I am clear that if they want more, they will have to pay for it. My experience has also been that when people don’t pay or underpay, they don’t get the same from it than if they make the financial commitment.
So, that’s my story! My first suggestion is to figure out what’s going on underneath – the whys behind the discomfort about charging. Then work on moving those whys forwards so you can feel great about charging for your service.
Pick a number, any number
Putting an actual figure on your services or products can be tough – there’s all the advice out there about “charging what you’re worth”, “Sell low, sell lots”, “Price it right”, “imagine the VALUE of what you are selling if they use it to it’s full advantage”…and as usual, all the advice is conflicting and ends up confusing us more! Lol. Don’t get me wrong, all these pieces of advice ARE useful to consider in your decision making BUT they are not critical. What is critical is what you KNOW inside. You know what price feels right for you. The only piece of advice I think is absolutely correct is “be able to stand behind your prices”. This does not mean charging a ridiculously low price and undervaluing your product or service. It means getting really comfortable with what you charge. And one last thing to consider: clients will pay more than you think when they really want something. Don’t fall into the trap women often fall into of patronising your client – if we women can pay £100 for a pair of shoes, we can pay for other products and services. This is not to fleece your customers dry, but to trust in their ability to pay for the things they want – a very empowering viewpoint. I once did a ‘pay what you want’ promotion for my coaching services – MOST people paid ‘just’ under my normal fees – no one really took advantage of the offer to pay a ridiculously low price!
Here’s a couple of exercises to try:
To find the “right price” for you. What is the maximum price you think you could charge for your product/service? What is the minimum price? Double your maximum and start playing with the figures. Try £1, £200, £46, £73, £102.50 – just play around with what you could charge. What figures are jumping out at you? (this is an intuitive ‘jump out’, not a logical one!) Take the 3 figures that are ‘jumping out’ and write them down on a piece of paper. Leave the piece of paper overnight, then look at it again in the morning. One of the figures will jump out at you as ‘the right price’ for YOU. (If it feels a little high, don’t worry, the next exercise will sort that out!) If no figure ‘jumps out’, play again with the figures and repeat the exercise. Let it be easy, let it be fun. You can always change the price later if it’s not working. Be willing to make a mistake…and be willing to trust your intuitive knowing!!!
Getting comfortable with your price. This is great fun! Take the price you have decided to charge and multiply it by 10. Now practice saying “My product/service costs £x10”. For example, if your product/service is £100, you would say “My product/service is £1000”. If you can get a friend to play along with you, get them to ask “How much?” and you reply “£1000”. When you are next talking to a “real” client, you will feel that your £100 product or service is fantastic value and this will come across!!! If you cannot stand behind your pricing, your customers will sense that and will assume it’s not worth what you’re charging. Many of my female clients undercharge outrageously and STILL feel they’re charging too much!
You can always change your pricing, so for me the most important piece of advice I can give anyone worrying about setting a price is: RELAX! Pick a number and run with it. If it doesn’t work, change it! Most of the time, your price revisions will be upwards which gives you a great marketing opportunity: “My prices are going up in January 2011 by 300% – get it now or pay more later!” (by the way, be authentic with this – do put your prices up!). If you feel the need to revise your prices down, have a ‘sale’! Again, a great marketing opportunity. Who doesn’t love a bargain?! Trust yourself. You know what price to charge. Get comfortable with it, and get that amazing product/service of yours out there for the people who need you to buy!
Ladies I trust that you found value in this post by Donna ( www.donnaonthebeach.co.uk) who I met in person again yesterday, such a lovely lady who was every bit as inspiring and lovely in person as when I spoke to her last week, which is always reassuring isn’t it!
Do let me know if you have any questions or any issues you would like me to look at here on this blog regarding marketing to women and chocolate addiction – email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishing you every success with whatever you set your heart on in your business and life, you can do whatever it is you desire, you really can!
Namaste, giggles & light,