A couple of years ago I received an email from a freelancer that posed a great question. In fact, I thought it would make a great blog post because charging what you’re worth has come up quite a bit in my coaching sessions with freelancers. I asked for permission to share this and have left out the writer’s information to protect their privacy.
I just watched your video, How to Make Six Figures in Web Design, and I feel pretty inspired to go on and charge what I am worth. I understand the concept of charging for the value that I bring to a client, but constantly find them not wanting to pay that value for my work. I get plenty of leads but as soon as I start talking money with clients they usually go and find someone else to do it for half the cost. I’m stuck with the small ‘put the food on the table’ type of work and feel like it’s too difficult to jump up to the next level to charge what I’m really worth.Is there any advice you can give me on this???
Charging What You’re Worth.
If you want to charge what you’re worth, then you’ve got to change your mindset about you’re freelancing business. Overcoming pricing challenges is something most freelancers face in their journey and getting way from the “any work is good work” belief must be killed off if you ever want to be successful. You must always remember that you’re never stuck with having to do work for free or cheap. You control your destiny and what you get paid.
While making the transition from low pricing to higher pricing can be difficult, it can be done. Here are some tips that will help you cross that threshold.
There will be potential clients that no matter what song and dance you do, they’ll never invest their money with you. They might act interested in your services, but they’ve usually made up their mind that cheaper is better. Don’t waste your time with these leeches.
Some people will disagree with this advice, believing these people could become potential clients in the future. Great, let them be someone else’s client! You don’t have time to spend with tire kickers who are out for free advice or cheap services. You want clients who understand and appreciate the value you bring to them and who are willing to invest in that value. Separate the wheat from the chaff.
Begin with asking questions about their needs, their desires, and their budget. You can do this by email, phone, or through a questionnaire on your website. Whatever method you choose, the goal is to discover potential clients who are looking to invest in a great solution and not a cheap fix. Get your process down and eventually you will know within 10 minutes if a person is the right client for you.
Clients don’t know what they don’t know. Educating them on the true value of your services will benefit them as well as your freelancing business — and will increase your chances to charge what you’re worth. There are plenty of ways to educate potential clients or customers; blogging, case studies, white papers, podcasting, videos, and webinars are all valuable tools you should be investing in to build a profitable business.
This will be the most difficult piece of advice to put into practice. If a potential client is not willing to pay you what you are worth, you need to say no and walk away. I understand this is scary when you’re trying to make a living, but the reality is you reap what you sow. The more you lower your standards to get work, the more train yourself that you’re only worth bottom dollar pricing. Eventually you end up at the bottom and completely broke.
If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will either. All the skills and talent in the world mean nothing if you don’t have any confidence in them. Potential clients need to know you have what it takes to get the job done right. They are willing to pay for people they believe in. Don’t be cocky or egotistical, just be confident.
Find the Perfect Clients
The most valuable advice I can give is this … find the perfect clients. Perfect clients are out there and they are waiting for you. When you make the decision to only start working with people who value what you do and are willing to invest in the products or services that meet their needs, your business dynamic will change.
Stop Making Excuses. Do It!
If you want to charge what you’re worth, you gotta have the guts to do it. I can give you all the business advice in the world, but unless you’re willing act upon your decision to make more money, you’re never going to do it. And while it seems like making a jump from the low baller to the high roller is impossible, it’s certainly not! Now get out there and do what needs to be done.