Attracting higher paying clients or jobs is one of those issues that is taboo to openly discuss, but pricing is an area that I think should be discussed more openly – especially among women.
When a lot of women start working with me a common theme is that they aren’t making the amount of money that they would like to. At some point I always have to ask this question – How much are you charging for your time?
Eight times out of ten, women are charging relatively modest prices or are bartering their time in exchange for something else and they see the solution to their problem as being that they either need to find more clients or work longer hours to get promoted to make more money.
But here’s the thing most women don’t pay attention to – your time is an investment and time really is money!
Here are 4 tips to help you change your thinking and start drawing in higher paying clients.
1) Figure out How Much You Want to Sell Your Time for
One of the secrets to enjoying your work and earning a higher income is to get clear about how much you are willing to sell your time for. You have to get very clear on how much you want to make – break it down by the hour so you have a concrete understanding of what you are selling each hour in your day for.
If you work for an organization your salary is considered your price tag and if you are self-employed your fee is your price tag. Divide your monthly salary/fee by the number of hours you work and that gives you the hourly rate you sell your time for. Then ask yourself do I feel good with that number? If you don’t, decide on a number that you feel good about and hold to that number.
2) Figure out who can pay you that fee
Once you’ve got your number then ask yourself what type of client/job environment would be best suited to pay that rate.
A lot of times people will start off by saying I want to work with _______ (insert general target group here – i.e. children, women, entrepreneurs, tech companies, Hispanics, African Americans etc. etc) and that’s a great starting point – but it’s not where you end.
Once you have a general target group ask yourself who within that ideal target group/client base can afford the hourly price you want to make. That’s the missing question that needs to be answered. Once you know who within your ideal target group can pay the price you want to charge, that group is your true target group and that’s who you cater your marketing towards.
3) Never EVER Compete on price
Understand one thing – Money is simply an exchange of value and if you are charging what everyone else charges or accepting what you think the going rate is for your service, you are putting yourself at a HUGE disadvantage.
When you diminish your value to one of purely a monetary exchange, you miss out on the opportunity to sell yourself on other qualities.
Yes, price is a factor that is considered but purchasing/hiring decisions relay on several other qualities as well. Reliability, trust and good service are often valued higher than something that is merely cheap and if you get a reputation for being cheap, even if you are also reliable and trustworthy, your other attributes may go unnoticed and undervalued.
Rather than competing on price, a better approach to take is to show value for your knowledge or services.
Even if you are priced higher than your competitors, if you can demonstrate to your customers/boss that you’ll give them better value you stand a better chance of getting the amount you want.
Competing on price alone is never a good idea, even when you’re getting started.
4) Showcase your value and Package Yourself Accordingly
As a general rule, your work won’t speak for itself -you must speak for you. And this is the piece that many people, women in particular, would like to avoid doing because they think it may appear as arrogant or boastful and could turn people off.
But as uncomfortable as it may feel to put yourself out there you have to let people hear and see you if you want to raise your value in their eyes.
Promote what you are doing and what you can do to help others and this will go a long way in helping others to grasp the value working with you brings.
If you miss this piece, you will be giving others permission to define your value and determine your price tag.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this post, so do leave me a comment below!
Have you ever walked into a room and found it filled with 10 to 15 people with the same job title as you and they are all at the event vying for the 3 or 4 potential clients in attendance?
Knowing that those other people have the same objective as you, what do you?
Here’s what I tell my clients – stop relying on just your job title or the name of your firm or business to distinguish you.
Don’t get me wrong, working at well recognized companies and having certain titles at these companies definitely adds a level of prestige and may make someone consider you as an option to work with, but do you really just want to be an option?
If you want to increase your odds that the person or client you want to work with, also wants to work with you- it’s time to start putting work into developing your personal brand.
No one else can claim the exact same brand as you. It is as unique as you are.
Let me explain,
No matter what field you work in, having a personal brand is your GREAT DIFFERENTIATOR.
When you have a personal brand you stand apart and above others because you showcase your attributes – your vitality, your personality, your passions about your work – and this generates genuine interest in you the person and creates chemistry with other people and can pre-qualify you as a viable candidate that others want to work with and be around.
You are the only thing that is unique about what you do – the rest of it is just frosting on the cake. Frosting is great but when you go into a bakery do you go in planning to buy just the frosting or do you look at the cake?
I’m sure you’ve invested time in your education, invested time in certifications but if you have a CPA designation and the other person also has a CPA designation what’s the difference? I hope you can see my point here.
A strong personal brand will distinguish you from being just another person on the market to actually being someone that people know and that people want to work with.
Listen, I’ve invested over $100,000 to get two university degrees, I’ve invested in being a member of professional organizations for my field, I’ve spent years thinking I needed to work at high level corporate firms to make it and in short that thinking has cost me a ton of money, time that I can never get back and very little real substance.
The #1 thing that has made a difference in my career (and subsequently my life) is investing time in putting myself out there and distinguishing myself through my personal brand.
So if you’re ready to do things differently so you can finally find that missing puzzle piece in the masterpiece of your profession, then let’s talk.
Click here to request a free Branding Breakthrough session.
|I want to tell you a story.
When I was 8 years old I developed a brain tumor.
At the time the doctors on Grand Cayman (the island where I’m from) weren’t able to diagnose me properly.
They kept saying I had a virus, so my tumor continued to grow and by the time that it was finally discovered, the tumor had grown to the size of an oversized lemon.
The doctors predicted that I had an estimate of around 2 weeks left before it completely squeezed my brain out and killed me.
Can you imagine being my mother and getting that news?
But the story has a happy ending because today I am SO THANKFUL that I was only 8 years old at the time.
The beautiful thing about being a child is you aren’t worried about anything except for what you want and what you need in that moment (a trait that the doctors said helped my recovery because there is no added stress inflicted on the body).
Looking back, one of the most vivid memories that I recall about that experience is when I was being wheeled into the operating room to have one of my removal surgeries (I had to have a few because the tumor was too big to be removed in one surgery) and I remember clear as day, laying on a gurney being wheeled into the operating room relentlessly demanding that someone go and get me a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.
The drugs kicked in mid-way through my outlandish demand session but when I woke up there was a doctor standing bed side with a fresh bowl of Lucky Charms cereal.
Looking back I applaud the younger me for exhibiting what would at this age now be considered obnoxious behavior.
The younger me knew what she wanted and spoke it when she wanted it – regardless of what was appropriate in the situation.
The lesson is this:
Life is incredibly short and to acknowledge and honor what we want for ourselves and then be bold enough to ask for it is a trait that we should never lose.
And this is a trait that I feel many females lose over time, when we get to be teenagers society gets its hands on us and it starts telling us who we should be and who we shouldn’t be.
So I want to ask you something that may sound really straight-forward-and -in-your-face:
Is there something that you are wanting for yourself that you are too afraid to ask for?
What makes you think you have TIME to keep pretending that you don’t want it?
My tumor experience cemented in me to always ask for what I want – even if society thought it was radical or outside the norm. It is thinking like this that drove me to:
- Start my own business at age 26
- Grow that business on my own and go after and win major clients
- Learn to maneuver in the world of business and gender politics
- Hire and manage a team of individuals
- Travel the world on a whim – I’ve ended up in Dubai, Amsterdam and London just to name a few.
- Soak in as many sunrises and sunsets as I can
My mother still says that she doesn’t know where I got this gumption from.
But the truth is, I just learned early on to ask for what I wanted and that tomorrow isn’t promised so you might as well go for it today.
I am so grateful that my ability to ask for what I want was cemented through the experience of having a brain tumor at such an early age. Before society and expectations started to influence thinking and you start to feel bad for wanting what you want.
I truly believe that life reflects back to you what you have the courage to ask for – it’s really that simple.
You just need to acknowledge what you want for yourself (no matter how obnoxious you think it may sound to others) take action to get it and that will put you on a whole new course.
So what do you secretly want right now?
Ask for it.
Believe you’ll get it.
And then Receive it!
Let’s start here – You know that you are good at your job. You know the value you bring to your clients. You know what the going rate for similar services in your area is. You know that your prices and your expertise are better than your competitors and the clients that work with you will get value for their money and amazing results.
And even though you know this, prospective clients/customers that you speak to just don’t seem to get it!
How many times have you had to push your services, discount your rates or bend over backwards to convince a client that they should work with you over someone else?
As unfortunate as it is, if you don’t stand out from the sea of competitors you will constantly have to prove your value to clients. And you will also have to compete against everyone else on price, or other variables that put you at a disadvantage.
A lot of times I see entrepreneurs and professionals leading with their job titles or qualifications in the hopes that these factors will make new clients/customers want to work with them.
Talent and ability are great but talent and ability won’t answer the questions running through potential client’s heads and make them want to work with you – but distinguishing yourself and developing a personal brand will!
One of the most underutilized tools that can have a huge impact on your business is developing a personal brand.
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. It is the way you package yourself and tie your experience and vision to the needs of your target clients.
Three Reasons Why You Should Invest Time in Developing Your Personal Brand
1) Prospects will have an easier time determining if they want to work with you.
The #1 rule in business is that people like to do business with people that they know or people who are known. So you want and need to instill a sense of familiarity and trust in potential customers. By developing your personal brand and communicating your viewpoint, potential clients who check out your website, view your social media pages or spot your company’s advertisement can connect the two together and decide if they can envision themselves working with you or not. This helps to bridge the gap and bring clarity to the potential client enabling them to make faster decisions about working with you.
2) Prospects will have an easier time differentiating you from competitors.
If you’ve taken the time to define and reinforce your personal brand, your business will stand-out to persons in need of your service.
For example if there are two Internet Marketing Consultant’s and one refers to himself as an “Internet Marketing Consultant” and the other describes himself as “I am a Marketing Trainer for professionals who want enhanced Linkedin pages. I help clients find more Business to Business opportunities and show them how to develop qualified leads through the largest online business social network.” Who do you think a customer will remember first when they want to explore using Linkedin to find business leads?
3) You’ll sell more.
Customers/clients know they have options and can get a similar product or service from other businesses. What they can’t get from other businesses is the experience of working with you. Therefore, by creating a distinct personal brand, you’ll connect with prospects who want to specifically work with you and this will make it easier for more customers to choose to work with you and your company over other businesses.
If you would like a step-by-step guide to help you get started with creating an online Personal Brand you can sign up for my FREE E-Course – A 5 Day Roadmap to Establishing your Personal Brand online
So you are just starting out and you don’t know where to begin to build up your credibility and attract clients who are 100% confident that you can deliver on what you say you can.
One of the secrets to gaining that trust and proficiency is simply by starting to promote yourself.
Below are five ways that you can immediately position yourself and your business as a competent and trusted resource no matter where you may be in your journey.
#1 – Define and Claim Your Expertise
Be bold and clear about what you do and what you offer. Think about it, when you are deciding whether to work with someone would you rather trust the person that says “Yeah ….um…. I guess I can help you make some money” or the person who says “I’m an Investment Expert.”
State what you do boldly it makes you appear credible.
# 2 – Press Relations
It is one thing if I tell you that I’m an expert at what I do, it is quite another if someone else does – especially the press! When you are just starting out and you can’t figure out what could be newsworthy about your business right away, a great first step is to become a resource for reporters – find out who your local reporters are, build relationships with them and let them know that if they ever need background information or comments for a story relating to your area of expertise, that you would be happy to help them out.
#3 – Articles
Drafting articles is an easy way to position yourself. You can start out by writing a simple ‘How To’ article on your subject matter and leverage it everywhere – post it on your blog site, post it on Facebook, post it on Linkedin, post the link in the comments section on conversation threads you’re engaged in. You can even submit your article to dozens of targeted article directories on the internet as well as send to prospective clients as a means to keep in touch and add value.
This is a very powerful strategy for driving traffic both off and online.
# 4 – Get Testimonials/Endorsements
One of the best ways to raise others confidence in your skill set is to use testimonials or endorsements from existing clients or people who have worked with you. If you are just starting out in your business and you don’t have a client roster as yet, start by looking closer to home. Look at what your old boss or perhaps someone you worked alongside in the past has said about you, or look through your social media pages and look for comments where someone posted about your performance in this particular area and post these testimonials on your website/blog/profile page.
#5 – When you do Begin to Get Results Talk about Them in Percentages
People like statistics and the great thing about statistics is that they also give you results that you can claim and use to give your business more credibility. A great way to do this is to express your results in percentages. What sounds better “I had 3 people turn up for my opening event” or “This year’s event attracted a great crowd and we had a 50% increase in attendance numbers indicating a growing interest in the company.”
You can also create percentages using numbers from your website’s analytics site like Google Analytics or Social Media following on pages like Twitter and Instagram.
Presenting percentages gives your business perceived credibility and this builds trust within your audience.
Remember, just because you are starting out it doesn’t mean that you are at a disadvantage. Everything is attainable when you take steps in the right direction.
Please take a moment to share this blog post and leave me a comment.
Or if you have a burning desire to become the “Go-To-Person” in your industry – click here to set a time to have a Free 20 minute Discovery Call With me.
I was tempted to start this blog post off with talking about how to make your audience focus on your brand like how they focus on celebrities walking on the red carpet. But as I began writing I changed course slightly and this post became more about how to get people to focus on you instead of just your company or brand.
Audiences don’t fall in love with companies; they fall in love with or are attracted by the people who represent those companies. Doubt me? Think Oprah, think Richard Branson, think Nike deciding to reach out to Michael Jordan to put his name on a shoe – need I say more!
There are specific skills and techniques one has to embrace if they want to become not just good but AMAZING at having people gravitate towards them and one of those skills is learning how to become a magnet for attention and making yourself hard to forget.
To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, take a second and watch this scene from Will Smith’s 2005 movie, Hitch.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can make yourself hard to forget:
– Grab Your Audiences Attention
The essence of any coveted brand is the story it conveys, so you should always start with a bang and not a whimper.
If you are issuing an announcement use an attention-getting heading by using words that are saucy, funny, heartfelt or motivational to ignite emotion and connect you to your audience.
If you are giving a speech or promoting your company at a trade event deliver a performance, not a presentation. Make an entrance, start by having an appearance that people take note of – look polished and smile (nothing makes you blend into the masses more than a bland expression on your face) and then incorporate something unexpected into your delivery.
– Tell Your Story
Regardless of the communication mechanism, be it advertising, press releases, social media, SMS texts or web-app push notifications, messaging should be intriguing.
Tell a powerful story with emotional content about how you got into the business that you are in and that brings the audience into your world and grabs them.
When you share with an audience what attracts you to your topic, you invisibly connect to people who share the same value for what you’re talking about.
If you can master telling your story powerfully and emotionally, then others will start to talk about you to others, and this is where interest and attention really begin, because people you may not even know start to pay attention to you.
– Be Willing to Accept Criticism
I recently read an article and for the life of me I cannot remember which magazine it was, but there was a line that stuck out to me so much that it felt fitting to include it in this section (my apologies for being unable to cite the source). The line was “When you know you’re alienating some people, you are probably doing it right” and the truth is, that writer was smack on point when it comes to seducing audiences. The image, messages and overall presentation you put forward should be tailored to attract your target audience and not every audience.
You’re going to receive criticism from thousands of people in your lifetime. It’s important to remember that not all criticism is created equal. Determining the source of the criticism and the motivations behind it will help you know how to handle it. Fight the urge to argue or justify yourself and just listen to your critic. You’d be surprised what you can learn and how you can make improvements that move you towards your ultimate goal if you simply soak it in.
In conclusion, to seduce your audience, you will need to put yourself out there, then learn from experience and improve as you go along.