Raising your prices can be scary. (We determined that in the last article.)
So, here are three of my time-tested strategies for when you decide you’re ready to stop simply getting by each month in your business…
Strategy #1 – Christine’s Law of “Stretch, Don’t Splatter.”
When I first begin coaching a business owner, she will fight me tooth and nail about raising her prices.
She will invariably list her reasons:
- Her prospects will run away screaming.
- Her clients will set her office on fire.
- Her dad never liked her.
- Her business is different.
- She’s a unique snowflake and no one understands how hard it is to be her.
- Her industry will shun her.
- Her friends will talk about her behind her back.
As you can see, we have some mindset issues to contend with.
I never ignore mindset issues.
In fact, running a business is more about mindset than anything else – so it’s important to give yourself a break when the monsters go on a rampage.
“Stretch, Don’t Splatter” means that when you raise your prices, make sure that the price you choose is scary – but doesn’t completely splatter your brain.
One of my students in my Uplevel Your Business program offered her first group program on-line. Before this, she had worked solely with private clients.
She could not grasp charging more than $197 for her program. I encouraged her to go higher – (her program is amazing!) – but she couldn’t do it. $197 scared her and stretched her.
So, that’s where we started.
It sold out. (She followed the steps in my Soft Launch Formula to the letter.)
Once she experienced the success of her stretch, she more than tripled her pricing. In her words: “I get it now! I just had to see how this works!”
If I had pushed her too hard, she would’ve splattered. She would not have been congruent and her program wouldn’t sell.
And I know what you’re thinking…
But Christine! This advice directly contradicts all the marketing gurus out there!
Yes, it does. Many of these experts will add zeros to your pricing without batting an eye and tell you to suck it up and “play big.”
Sadly, I’ve witnessed firsthand the wreckage that lies in the wake of such hasty advice. Too many business owners are left disillusioned when they crank their prices beyond their own ability to handle it.
“Stretch, Don’t Splatter” means make it uncomfortable – but do not push yourself into losing your ability to sell.
It’s a fine line.
And it sure helps to have someone like me there to hold your hand when you first do it.
(In the meantime, I can promise that your clients will not set your office on fire.)
Strategy #2 – Educate Your Prospect with a Strong Clear Message
In other words…
…if someone doesn’t see the value of what you can do for them, then the burden is on YOU to educate that person.
This is called marketing.
Plain and simple.
As a business owner, this is your job.
Your job is to educate.
Educating does not mean convincing them to buy from you.
Educating means providing value in high content blog posts.
It means sharing the story of your client who got her dream job because you helped her Uplevel her resume and caught some major mistakes she was making in her interviews.
It means writing articles or giving a seminar.
It means you are always marketing by giving away content.
In other words, marketing means teaching people all the things you assume they should just freakin’ know already!
Strategy #3 – Learn some good old-fashioned pricing strategy.
Let’s say you work 40 billable hours per week.
(Yes, you still spend another 20 or so on the administrative stuff you shouldn’t be doing. But that’s another post for another day.)
Let’s say you raise your prices to $250/hour.
“Awesome!” you think. “That’s $10K per week! I’ll take it!” (After all, if you take 2 weeks of vacation, that’s $500K per year!)
Not trying to rain on your little money parade – but you’ve got some big problems here…
For one thing, you’ve reached your ceiling.
Unless you keep charging more and more per hour, your ceiling is limited by the amount of hours you’re willing to work.
Slowly, but surely, that happy little $500K per year will lead to burn out. Your operating expenses (as well as your ever-growing need for medication) will begin to suck you dry.
So, take this advice and run with it:
From now on, dollars per hour is your least favorite way to charge. It has way too many limits.
And this is where pricing strategy gets fun.
Pricing strategy means that you ditch the hours-for-dollars treadmill, you think in terms of value and results and you creatively put together more strategic programs, packages and products. (And you work A LOT less.)
Apply great pricing strategies to your work and watch your whole world open up.
And that brings me to the good news…
It’s a great time to Uplevel your offers and your strategies. (And raise your prices!)
The bad news is this:
If you still insist on remaining in the fetal position and letting your fear dictate your pricing and your business, then you’ll miss out big time.
And I know some of you will stop reading now.
You’ll nod your head and say what you always say when you come across something that could radically change your whole life…
…“I should think about this some more.”
You will then crawl back into the haze of Facebook, knowing in your heart that this article was the closest you’ll get to the door marked “Exit” in your comfort zone for all of 2016.
Fear takes on many different forms, including distraction. I’ve been there too.
So, I’m talking to those of you who are still reading, and who are saying, “I’m all ears.”
You know the opportunities are out there for the taking. (We’ve all got some of those.)
And you know there are some demons and hurdles as well. (We’ve all got those too.)
And you know that getting some solid marketing and business strategy would rock your world.
Well, you’ll get all of that and LOTS more.