Pimp Your Pricing Or Be Prepared To Eat Crumbs

birds eating crumbsOwning your worth and “Earning your worth” are close cousins.

But if you don’t first “own” your worth as a small business owner and entrepreneur, gear up to settle for the [teensy weensy] crumbs that will be thrown your way.

A diet of crumbs isn’t very filling … or fulfilling.

They’re not appetizing and they won’t pay the bills, either.

Selling yourself short, as the saying goes, leaves a bad taste in your mouth. 

Discounting your true worth is detrimental to your well being and the well being of your business.

Getting at the heart of understanding and embracing the value you provide to your target market and, hence, the fees you charge isn’t always easy.  However, it’s crucial to your success.

Trust me.  I know.

True confessions …

I’m the guiltiest party of all.

I tend to give away the farm – free business building advice, free tips, free resources, free online marketing consultations, free webinars, free interviews. free social media strategies, free website critiques, free guest posts, free marketing plans, free reports … you name it.

Hell, I may as well throw in a free lunch!

(Ameena Gorton would pop out of her skin if she read this.  Let’s hope she doesn’t. Could be messy.)

Not owning my worth is getting pretty expensive.

Can you relate?  Ringing any bells for you??

The thing is …

You might assume people love you when you hand them everything free of charge on a silver platter.  Fact is, they may be smiling and sending flowery thank-you notes your way BUT …

They actually don’t respect you. 

And the dial on your self-respect meter drops a little lower every time you don’t charge what you’re worth … and especially when you charge nothing at all.

Here’s what I can tell you …

The days of giving away the farm are coming to a screeching halt for me.  I’ve been doing myself and the world a big disservice by not owning my worth. 

It’s perfectly okay to toot your own horn, learn to become an expert at bragging – the right way, and charge what your years of experience, skills, strengths, and talents are worth.

Mission:  Pimp your pricing! 

The fees you attach to your products, programs, or services should be impressive — just like you.

You can either start owning your worth or settle for crumbs.   Personally, I’ve had my fill of crumbs.

This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival series of posts. This month our carnies take on the challenge of knowing your value and conveying it to clients so that you can charge what you’re worth – and get it! Read the rest of the Word Carnival posts here for more great advice from some of the smartest business owners and entrepreneurs you’ll meet.

 

 

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  • Pricing is such a difficult thing to master, especially for women entrepreneurs, I’ve found. A lot of it comes down to setting boundaries with the people you interact with in your business – boundaries that make it clear what your time is worth, and still respect the people who want to access your time.

    I used to underprice. My services are probably still lower than most of my competition, but I’m at a point where my rates are profitable and I have the luxury of being able to overdeliver and still make money. It’s a blissful place to be! Interestingly though, I still have that tendency to try to offer something at the lowest possible price. I am about to introduce a new 12-week “write your own business plan” program and mastermind for new entrepreneurs, and my mentor quite blatantly showed me that I was planning to price it $200 below what it was clearly worth. Glad we sorted that out before the launch!

    • Really great points, Jessica, and many thanks for your expert input.

      Best of success with your brand new program! Sounds like your coach was very instrumental in helping you to price it right. 🙂

      I understand the importance of not undervaluing yourself. But what about price points the market will bear? Do you give consideration to those? In other words … regardless of what a product or program is truly worth … is it fair to say you need to stick with pricing that’s realistic in any given marketplace?

      • Well you have a few choices here. Definitely go about and see what your competitors price their programs at, but don’t undercut them unless it really makes sense to do so. Buyers will see you as the “cheap” option and they’ll completely miss the value you’re offering.

        Make the results and the benefits as clear as possible in your marketing so buyers can visualize their return on investment. That’s what the program is truly worth, no matter what you believe intrinsically!

        In my case I know that our $697 program will help new entrepreneurs plan and launch their businesses faster, saving them time at the pre-launch stage and money later on when they’re starting to do marketing. Plus they’ll save thousands on consulting fees at a time when they don’t have a lot of cash. All of that will be in my sales materials and will demonstrate that it’s well worth the investment.

        • Wonderful insights, Jessica, and thanks a heap for dropping in a second time. You rock! 🙂

          Pricing programs, products, and services is always challenging. And I love your perspective on not going “cheap”. When you go that route, prospective customers or clients tend to view you as “bargain basement” which can cause your credibility to go down the crapper. 🙁

  • Hi Melanie,

    I think most entrepreneurs start on the path of not charging what we’re worth. The trick is knowing when to move from friendly conversation to a complimentary session to a billable hour. That takes practice, increased self confidence and learning from one another as we’re doing here.

    Thanks.for steering us away from crumbs.

    • Hi Flora

      Sounds like you’ve got this “pricing” thing wired. 😉 Love how you describe the flow from friendly conversation to billable hours. Perfect!

      Thanks a million for the visit!

      • Hi Melanie,

        I don’t have it perfectly wired, but am closer than I once was.

  • LOVE this Melanie! YES! Pimp your pricing!!!!! There’s no such thing as a free lunch ever!!!

    • I figured you’d back me up on this, Ameena. LOL!!

      Thanks SO much for swinging by today. I think of you often and I hope your ship is sailing smoothly these days. 🙂 xoxo

  • This self-respect-o-meter is a basic tool — well said, Mel!

    • Beautifully stated, Helene, and OH, so TRUE!!

      Ties right in with that fantastic post you crafted about “cheap” writers. 😉

      Keep beating that drum! I love the sound and rhythm.

  • Sorry Melanie – had just emailed a customer called Michelle and went on auto pilot!

  • Hi Melanie

    I agree in principal that you should charge what you’re worth.

    However, charging less than you’re worth (like I do) can attract more customers and help your business to grow quicker.

    It’s a fine line – as long as you are seeing the rewards from charging less than you should then I think it’s ok.

    • I hear ya, Mark, and it’s definitely “a fine line”.

      Especially when a new biz is just getting off the ground, it might work out great to undercut the competition at first and then raise prices as the business gets better established.

      In other words, get your sea legs first and then sail on! 🙂

      Thanks for joining the conversation — nice to see you here today!

  • You know, it’s actually doing the world a disservice if you DON’T share what you’ve got to offer. People need the special sauce that is you, and me, and toothless Harry slinging hotdogs in the park. It’s the worst kind of selfish not to own it, love it, and share it.

    Salute to your baguette Melanie; I’m happy to hear you’re leaving the crumbs for the birds.

    • I SO appreciate your comment, Ashley, and your spot-on insights — thank you! 🙂

      Let’s salute that baguette together!

  • Who knew pimping could be made so attractive? 😉 I love this series of posts. I grew tired of feeling I had to apologize for 30+ years of experience in my niche. A lot of blood, sweat & tears went into that experience so why not reap the well-earned rewards?

    Thank you for telling it like it is, Melanie.

    • Cathy! Really wonderful to see you here — thanks for joining the conversation! 🙂

      Like you, I also have three decades of experience in my field. Your point is well taken. “Blood, sweat, and tears” should be enough to warrant enough in financial compensation!!

      As far as “telling it like it is” …
      The older I get, the less I hold back. LOL! 😉

  • I’m giving the title another big thumbs up. Even before I read the post I had a compelling image in my head.

    I appreciate your openness as you discuss this topic. Dealing with people and money daily I see a lot of shame and blame. To me the past is simply another fact in my dataset. Like my bank balance is $1,000 or I drive an SUV. By bringing your past into the open and sharing it without shame you are a beacon to others. In fact I would say it makes your self-respect meter go up. And I LOVE that analogy. Like a gas tank, if the meter is on empty your business isn’t going anywhere.

    • Ooh! You are SO spot on, Nicole.

      The name of the game has been “shame and blame”. I say Pffffftt! to that!

      Your words are priceless …
      “Like a gas tank, if the meter is on empty your business isn’t going anywhere.”
      Also, it’s one thing to be generous … and quite another to be reckless.

      Thanks for the big thumbs up on my title and it warms my heart to be referred to as a “beacon”. 🙂

  • Ah Melanie, you are so prepared to be vulnerable to teach us lessons, we should salute you honestly. I am SO glad that you have made the decision to dial up the respect meter and charge what you are worth. Although I think there is a place for gifts to build trust, past that appropriate charges must be made. No crumbs for you my friend.

    • And NO crumbs for you, Sandy!!

      After reading your post, “The Coach and the Consultant”, I gleaned a much clearer picture of raising the self-respect meter. Congrats on your book and for making the appropriate “shift” in your business. You shine!

      A big bouquet of thanks for your kind words. 🙂

  • Can I add another voice to the title love-fest, Melanie? It’s just so true. Sadly, I know from experience how horrible it feels when that self-respect meter is turned down low. Like you, I don’t ever plan to be in that position again. Thanks for these wonderful words of inspiration!

    • By all means, Sharon, join the title love fest and thank you! 🙂

      You write for a living. And I happen to know you’re not a novice. I bet you had some times, early on, where you weren’t getting paid NEARLY what you’re worth! Doesn’t exactly make you want to wake up the nest day and do it all over again, does it? 🙁

      Glad to know my post was inspiring and I appreciate the visit, Sharon!

  • Eating crumbs is very humbling. I like Carol, love the title! The fees you attach to your products, programs, or services should be impressive — just like you – we ARE awesome right! We do have to learn to not give away the farm, but share enough for them to value us and come back for more willingly to pay for it! Especially because we have some great things to offer! Love this very much and you too!

    • Happy to hear my title caught your eye, Michelle (And Carol’s eye) 🙂

      I believe certain personality types (like myself) are confident in their knowledge, skills, and expertise … and more than aware we bring tons of value to the table. However, we seem to constantly come to a paralyzing fork in the road in the matter of money. So far, I’ve been choosing the “gratis” path. High time for me to choose the other route!

      Love you, too, Michelle, and thanks for the reminder “we ARE awesome” 🙂

  • Hi Melanie,

    Well it certainly puts things into perspective. I think it’s better to offer something free without expecting anything in return rather than underestimated ourselves in terms of pricing.

    Another great and straight to the point post!

    Thanks for sharing.

    ~Dragan

    • Good point, Dragan, and thanks for dropping in!

      “Give and ye shall receive” is something that sticks with me from my days of attending Sunday School as a child. And it’s true. When you give without the expectation of receiving, your rewards will be great.

      However, when you’re building a business …
      Giving away too much may cause you to go out of business … quickly.

  • First of all Melanie, you know I LOVE this title! It puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

    Secondly, you hit the nail on the head… when you keep giving stuff away, people LOVE IT. But they don’t respect you. And why should they, if you don’t respect yourself enough to charge what you’ re worth? …Not YOU you… US you… in general 🙂 Because I do the same thing. I am always in a hurry to give stuff to people. My poor husband is always in the position of reminding me honey, we run a business you know.

    It’s just easier to do stuff for free and call it kindness than to wear our worth and charge it. I think that if you charge your worth and THEN you give away stuff for free, then you are building respect because people KNOW the value of what you’ve so generously offered. It’s rare and it’s not expected. Words of wisdom here, Melanie. I got me some pimpin’ to do.

    • Pimp away, Carol Lynn!! 😉

      Looks like I’m not alone here. Keith Davis is giving away the farm, too. And he’s a guy whose skills are priceless!

      What I’m learning about earning is a warm generous heart isn’t going to bring in the bacon!

      LOVE your notion of charging first — then giving clients something complimentary. Great tip, Carol Lynn! Thank you and thanks for the visit today. 🙂

  • Hi Mel
    This is “guilty as charged” speaking and this is my story:

    With me clients become friends and then… I find it difficult to charge them for all those extras that add up to so much time.
    In fact the nicer the client, the more I hate charging them!

    Can you help?

    This is “guilty as charged” (Mr) signing off.

    • Hi Keith

      Yes! I can help.

      Memorize this line …

      “Nice guys finish last.”

      Just as guilty as you,
      Mel
      xoxo

      • That should do it Mel.
        That’s me away to do a little pimping.

        BTW Good to see you posting.

        • One more line for you to memorize, Keith …

          “Clients are not your friends.” LOL!

          Have fun pimping and I’m so elated you stopped by.

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