It seems logical to think LOW these days.
After all, the economic roller coaster ride we’ve been on has left some business owners a wee bit nauseous.
Add to that the 24/7 media fear parade, and you end up with a hostile environment for the average solopreneur.
So, if business is down or if you’re just not bringing in enough cash…
…then yes, it would seem logical to respond to that outward assault by joining in the collective cowering, playing a little smaller, and keeping your prices way down.
Hey, you have to compete, right?
What better way to compete than by lowering your prices, right?
Well, actually, NOT right.
Wrong, in fact.
For at least three reasons…
(And as it turns out, there’s LOTS of better ways to compete. But we’ll get to that.)
Reason Number One…
(and here, I am stating the obvious, yet it’s amazing to me how many people forget this one)
… your business is SUPPOSED to make money.
Many solopreneurs got into business because they love what they do. They’d do it for free they love it so much.
And when the talk turns to money, all their “stuff” comes up.
So, pricing themselves low turns out not to be a competitive strategy at all.
Turns out their low prices are merely a convenient way for them to avoid their fear of charging what they’re worth.
If that rings true, here’s a reminder:
Regardless of your LIFE purpose (or passion) — the purpose of YOUR BUSINESS is to make money.
And unless there’s a very good strategy behind being the cheapest “X” in your industry, there’s NO good reason to be a commodity and go for cheap. You are not a tube of toothpaste or a pack of batteries or a box of tampons.
In most cases, bargain hunters make terrible clients.
Do you really want a client who went on a long search for the cheapest life coach she could possibly find? How invested do you think this client will be in her own long-term results?
Here’s what I mean…
Many years ago, I offered three-day personal growth retreats for women. (Yes, I was still doing my rock star thing – but even back then, my passion was helping people Uplevel their lives.)
At first, I didn’t know what to charge so I went for “cheap.” I looked around at what other people charged for retreats, and I went lower.
Slight problem, though…
At each retreat, there were always several women who – in the middle of the activities on the second day – would leave to go shopping downtown.
They completely abandoned the group and had no interest in doing any of the work I was teaching.
They just wanted new shoes.
While there’s nothing wrong with that – it certainly wasn’t the kind of person I wanted at my retreats.
When I raised the prices of the retreats (significantly), I no longer attracted the day-shopper ladies. I only attracted the people who truly wanted to get results.
And I learned a huge truth about money…
Money is a channel for the most powerful energy on the planet:
If someone is not committed enough to her own growth, passion, fun, health, wealth or business to INVEST in it through working with you…
…then most likely, she will check out to go shoe shopping halfway through your work with her.
The third reason that cheap is wrong is that it’s just plain lazy thinking.
You are SO much smarter than that tired old solution of pricing yourself low.
Being the cheapest or having the very best deal?
That’s like your lizard brain just took over your marketing department.
Don’t let your lizard brain take over your marketing department.
So then, let’s revisit our original question…
Should you raise your prices?
Yes, you should.
You absolutely should.
I’ll bet you a thousand bucks you don’t charge enough for what you do.
(And keep reading because I WILL follow through on this bet at the bottom of this post.)
Will it be scary?
But let’s at least get you started, okay?
Here are three strategies to help you when it comes to raising your prices…
Strategy #1 – Christine’s Law of “Stretch, Don’t Splatter.”
When I first begin working with a client, she will often 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 is 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 a few mindset issues to contend with.
I never blow off 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 fear 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 Platinum mastermind clients 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.
Once she experienced the success of her stretch, she more than tripled her pricing. She told me, “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’ve been incongruent and wouldn’t sell anyone into her program.
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 have 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 – If someone doesn’t see the value in what you do, 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 think 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…
The economy is picking back up.
Things are getting rolling again.
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’re nodding your head and saying 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 post was the closest you’ll get to the door marked “Exit” in your comfort zone for all of 2012.
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.
And so would a little bit of hand-holding.
Not to mention some bad-ass field-tested demon-busting, hurdle-eradicating tactics!
Well, you’ll get all of that and LOTS more.
I’ve got this new DVD. It’s called “5 Fast Ways to Make Money Now.”
In it, I walk you step-by-step through 5 different pricing strategies — all very do-able and easy.
In it, I show you how to make more money, how to do it authentically, and how to apply it to your business. (Yes, even if you’re a unique snowflake!)
I also share how to blast through the mindset crap that comes up with each strategy.
And I want to send this DVD to you totally free, no strings attached.
Why am I giving this away?
Well, I have this little thing called a mission…
I love to get people truly fired up about what they do. I like to show them what’s possible. It’s my WHY.
So, here’s the link:
And with that, here’s this:
Raise your prices.
Jump at your opportunities.
And, yes, UPLEVEL your Business!
Leave your comments or questions if you have ’em…