How do you set your fees?
How do you even begin to know what to charge your clients for the work you do?
Be honest here, do you see what others around you are charging and set your fees to fit in with them?
Do you feel you can’t charge too much as people won’t pay that?
Perhaps you undercharge because you think that will get more clients as they’ll think you offer the best value for money.
STOP RIGHT NOW!
I used to be just like you….I worked out what others locally were charging and set my fees to fit in with that and I used to worry that people wouldn’t pay what I charged because other’s charged less and money is tight for a lot of people – especially those who aren’t doing so well and needed my services’ ….blah blah blah ….etc etc ….
Do you charge what you’re worth?
This was just a story I was running in my head….
And I engaged the services of a business coach/mentor years ago who really challenged this story and indeed my whole belief system and I raised my fees a ‘little’….and guess what….
Clients still kept coming in the door.
And then I raised my fees a little more and still the clients kept coming….
And then she really challenged me about setting my fees up where they really should have been….and I recall feeling so uncomfortable, however I took her input and put it into action and my fees increased more and I was definitely charging higher fees than anyone else around me….and still the clients came….but then some started to baulk at the rates….
And instead of standing firm and holding my boundaries, I caved in….or I allowed my receptionist to take the calls and cave in on my behalf….
And before I knew it I had a sliding scale and if the client asked for a discount and gave a reason that they couldn’t pay that amount they were charged a lesser rate….
AND THEN I NOTICED….
I started to feel worse, I began to get frustrated, and I wasn’t working with people who wanted to get better, who wanted to reach their full potential….my client base had changed and so had my mood along with my self-esteem and self-worth.
So again I did some soul searching and re-engaged my business coach who CHALLENGED ME AGAIN….
But this time….I listened….I truly LISTENED….
I met with my receptionist and explained my rate and told her the sliding scale was NO MORE. It was ME who needed to hold my boundaries and she followed my lead….
I then got challenged one more time by my mentor as I attempted to give that final resistance and discount one “poor lady on a disability pension who really wanted to engage my services because she’d heard I was really good and would be the best one for her”.’ She didn’t ask for a discount, I volunteered it.
My mentor’s words still ring in my head now and that was the pivotal moment for me….
She said “Natalie, what right do you have to decide how your client wants to spend her money ?”….if she has made a decision that she wants to see you at your rate and she believes you are the best for her, and she wants to save her money and invest in herself then you don’t have the right to devalue her and her decision.
It hit me like a slap in the face….I had NEVER looked at it like this before – and indeed my client insisted she pay the full fee – and she underwent amazing improvement and transformation because I allowed her the choice to invest in herself….
• My fees stayed where they were set and have continued to increase as I see fit
• The clients made significant improvements
• Indeed MORE clients came
• I was working with high quality clients who got great results and valued both the service and themselves
• I felt better
• My business grew
• And most of all I valued myself and my work.
7 Tips for SETTING YOUR FEES:
1. Charge what you believe you are really worth
2. Consider what you have paid for your qualifications
3. Also consider what you have invested in yourself over the years (both money and time)
4. Hold your boundaries FIRM
5. Value yourself and your client’s choices
6. You are in charge of choosing your rates
7. Money is a metaphor for Self-Worth
Here’s to Your Success
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