Today's guest post is by Meredith Eisenberg. Meredith has a passion for helping coaches and other solopreneurs sort through the myriad of online tools and choose what’s right for them. Over the past 7 years, she has used all the tools and products and knows the advantages and disadvantages of each. She is an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant and is certified in 1ShoppingCart. She has even created her own platform – Magic Marketing Machine – an integrated tool that deals with nearly everything you could need to integrate, automate and track your business and marketing systems all in one place.
The moment of truth. You are on a strategy call with an ideal client… and *the* question comes up… “This sounds amazing, how much do you charge?” Then, the butterflies take off and start swirling around in your stomach… There is a pause (which seems like it lasts forever, but in reality lasts about 3 seconds) and then it happens. That little “not good enough” voice in your head starts talking to you… your resolve weakens… and then poof – you've quoted that ridiculously low rate again. And, then the client doesn't hire you? You wonder what happened. Are your rates too high?
Did you ever consider that, in fact, your rates are too low? Yeah. I know. Really. Here are excerpts from two conversations I've had with people recently. (If you are a virtual assistant for other service providers – I want you to read this very carefully…)
The first conversation was with someone who wanted to hire an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant to help her create systems in her business. I told her my rate and the services I could provide to her. This is what she said to me,
“I am so glad that you are honest about what you do and what you don't do. I've talked to dozens of virtual assistants over the past few weeks who tell me they can do *everything* for $25 an hour. I know that they can't be professional if they charge that little.”
And, even if your clients aren't saying that to you, they are thinking it. Another example of this came up last week. I was talking to the CFO of a web technology company. We sell a version of his all-in-one marketing automation software. He was talking about the new service they offer which includes three hour long sessions with the President or CFO of the company for $199. It was all I could do not to burst out laughing. I told him he would get more takers if the price were higher. People know that an offering must not be very good if it is priced way below market value (which for executive coaching is closer to $500 an hour not $199 for 3 hours).
So, how do you give yourself confidence to price your services in a way that respects your expertise and provides value to clients? Here are three quick tips.
1. Do your research. You want to make sure that you are at least competitive with the middle range of people offering your product or service (and really most people undercharge – so you should be at the high end). As a small business owner, you cannot ever compete on price – especially when you are selling yourself and your unique knowledge.
2. Get coaching. One of the very best ways to get a reality check on your pricing is to hire a great business coach (like Michele). Your coach can help you strategize how to position yourself as an expert so you can make more money.
3. Leverage technology to provide a premium experience for your clients. Clients are eager to be treated as VIPs and willing to pay for premium service. Using marketing automation and technology to keep in touch with clients during the entire customer lifecycle allows you to wow your customers with personalized attention automatically (so you can spend your time on personal interaction instead of sending e-mails).
Have you raised your prices recently? What tips do you have to share?
If you are a coach, speaker or author who has ever wished they could wave a magic wand and all your marketing would just happen you may want to talk to Meredith to see if Coaching Magic by The Magic Marketing Machine is right for you. Especially now, because we have a special offer on our middle tier subscription for the first 50 people to sign up – to find out more register your interest at magicmarketingmachine.com – Meredith always consults before signing someone into the platform as she wants to ensure each person has the right tool for the job. If it is not right for you she will recommend something that is.