Do you cringe at even the thought of raising your rates? And yet, do you secretly want to do it? But then feel like you can’t possibly do it? Or shouldn’t for some reason? And so you give up on it? Or keep postponing it ’til “later?”
You are not alone. So let’s talk about it.
Pricing is a complex topic, and one that we could tackle from many angles, but today I’ll focus on how to feel confident raising your rates by building and communicating the true value of your work.
This is one of the best ways I know to raise your rates and feel GOOD about it.
But before I dive in, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
There’s a good chance that you at least sometimes doubt the value of your work. You may even feel like an imposter:
“Who am I to charge this kind of money?! There are so many people who are better than me at this.”
You may find reasons even after you’re already earning good money, for why you’re work still isn’t that valuable:
“Oh, they would have done that on their own, they’re so awesome, it wasn’t me, I just encouraged them a bit.”
I’m calling bull*%#@.
Now let’s be clear . . . I am NOT a fan of that whole “charge what you’re worth” thing. I don’t think we should even joke about putting a dollar amount on our self-worth (ugh, how damaging).
But, we do need to charge people for what our services are worth, and more specifically, we need to charge for the results we provide to our clients.
And I have a feeling you are providing some amazing results. Yes?
Now, if you are just starting out, and you truly don’t have a lot of experience, I am NOT saying to start charging “premium prices” right off the bat. You need to do this with integrity, and charging less when you’re just starting out in order to gain experience and testimonials is the strategic and honest way to go.
But let’s say you’ve been at this for a while, and frankly, the clients you have LOVE the results they’re getting.
But you’re not charging enough, and you know it. Maybe people have even told you you’re not charging enough, but you’re still scared to pull the trigger.
Ok, so here are two ways to raise your prices. The first one is easier, and the second one requires more work.
#1: Talk About Their Results, not Your Modalities
In your marketing copy and in your sales conversations, speak FIRST about your work in terms of the transformations, results, or benefits that people get from your work. Talk less (and later) about how you do things (your 10 different modalities), or how many minutes you do them for. Address their problems, and speak to how you will help solve them.
You’re helping your clients create change through your work. But the thing is, it’s not actually about how much time they spend with you, it’s about the results that happen through your work together, whether it’s over one hour or one year.
I heard somebody say once that she was charging by the “a-ha,” not by the hour. I love that.
Everyone comes to you with a desire to change something, right?
You help them change it in the process of working with them. THAT is what they’re paying you for.
For example, you don’t go to a career coach to be deeply heard and held in a mindful, loving space for 50 minutes (although that is lovely), you go there to figure out what you want to do with your life.
And, I don’t go to acupuncture to get needles and moxa for 75 minutes, I go there to heal my shoulder pain – it honestly doesn’t matter to me whether he uses moxa or not (what the heck is moxa anyways?). And frankly, I’d be psyched if it took less than 75 minutes!
So especially if your current marketing copy is oriented around your modalities or HOW you deliver your work (“I offer 60 and 90 minute sessions of coaching or consulting”), when you start to orient around results and transformation (“I help you find a new career you love!”), people can finally see what your work is really worth to them . . . they can see the VALUE (finally!). And they will pay for it if it’s what they need.
Now, what about raising your rates?
You are going to feel much more confident raising your rates after you write marketing copy that truly shows the value of your work. You’re going be like, DAMN woman, you’re amazing!! You should be charging WAY more!
#2: Package Up Your Work into a Long-term Program, and Take Them on a Journey of Change
There are many reasons to shift your business model from one-off sessions to programs, or to take your existing programs, make them more robust and effective, raise the fee, and then communicate the value to your potential clients.
(And to be clear, when I say “program,” I’m talking about an offer that includes a set amount of sessions over a set amount of time, perhaps including an extended/in-depth introductory session, your availability in between via email or text, additional guides, trainings, or resources to help them on their journey, and any number of extras that will help them achieve the result they came to you for. It has a set fee and costs more than the individual sessions added together because it provides bigger results).
Ok, so why do it?
First, and most importantly: It’s hard to get big results (like, a new career!) in one session.
Big changes happen over the course of some time, often with consistency and/or accountability built in. Right?
Imagine having three or six months to work your magic. You think you would feel more confident about getting results for people? You think you would get more done with them? I’m guessing the answer is yes for most of you.
Plus, programs support you to offer your best work because you can relax into your craft, instead of worrying that each session be a total revolution for your client and that they sign up for another one (so much pressure!).
You also get to really hone in on a problem your target audience has and design a very effective way to help solve it. And get really good at it.
You have to do less marketing because you need way fewer clients to make a good living.
You get to weave all your gifts together to help your clients make big changes (and that’s fulfilling!).
And, you won’t exhaust yourself shoving more sessions in every week so you can earn more money (there are only so many hours in a day and only so much you can charge per hour, right?).
Now, like I said, the KEY to all this is that now that you have BUILT the value of your offering, you have to communicate it to potential clients. Again, this means you very clearly understand their problem, and you are talking a lot about the benefits, results and transformation that can happen because of this program, both in your marketing copy and on your sales/consultation calls.
When you are able to do this effectively, potential clients will be way more likely to dive in and say yes to a multi-month program — and pay a premium to get the results they really want.
Stay tuned, next week I’ll share with you my “Pricing Game” to help you raise your prices in a way that feels good to you.
Want support designing your new program and raising your rates? I’d love to help you. You can apply for a free consultation here.