“How much should I charge?” Is one of the questions I frequently hear from those that are just starting out or have hit a plateau in their business. It is as if that one question in and of itself can hold you back from taking the next step. I have seen close friends and colleagues struggle over coming up with the “right answer” and as a result they decide on a number that is unsatisfying or just enough.
There are countless examples of talented creatives, coaches, service providers, and emerging thought leaders like 16-year-old Madison McGregor who is launching a movement to unite Generation Z, that deliver great value yet, at the end of each month, the dollar amount they take home doesn’t reflect the value they put out. According to Next Web, “66% of founders pay themselves less than $50,000 per year” of the 11,160 startups surveyed worldwide.
Figuring out what you are worth and how much value the services or products you have to offer can be difficult. It is a challenge of not wanting to charge too much for fear of facing rejection, yet not wanting to charge too little and be in a constant state of survival.
Lynan Saperstein, the founder of Experience Experts, a boutique company that helps clients in the tourism industry create more reach and profit, encounters this question of quantifying value daily.
Saperstein shares on this week’s podcast episode her process for determining what you are worth.
As Saperstein sees it, worth “has to do with how you value yourself, your personal growth, your spirituality journey, and your willingness to continue to learn and understand yourself.” She believes investing in yourself is like investing in your business. Being willing to spend the money upfront to develop the relationship with yourself, your interpersonal skills, and your mindset play essential roles in your business.
For Saperstein, it was jumping to take a Reiki training, with the last few dollars she had in her savings account, several years ago when she was transitioning out of a period of healing from a car accident and losing her job. She knew she just had to do it, even if it was scary and exciting.
“I just kept following my highest excitement. Whatever inspired me that got me lit up and turned on, I did. I did a coaching training, then a marketing training, then I got to see what I was really good at. When I started business coaching I was just a magnet, clients started flying at me and I got to choose who I wanted to work with”, according to Saperstein.
Once you realize that every aspect of your life is connected; the component parts function harmoniously rather than independently of one another. When you take a composite perspective of your life, the lines between work, recreation, relationships, health, spirituality and leisure begin to fade. You relationship to value then begins to change and you can thus have greater confidence to charge more for the services you provide.
As you expand your skillset, keep in mind that skills that might not seem directly applicable to the type of service you provide or the industry you work in can actually work in your favor and help you to stand out. Oftentimes, unexpected skills fulfill an unmet need and cause others to choose you above the competition. In turn, your business becomes more attractive and you can raise your price.
According to Saperstein, “By bringing marketing or some skill set that is desperately needed in an industry or marketplace you can charge a lot, they are so grateful for you, and you can get extremely ridiculous results with them and a massive return on their investment. Ultimately, that is all they want.”
When you have done the work on yourself upfront, the process for putting a price tag on your worth can actually be quite simple. If you find yourself stuck, consider these three things:
How much you should charge starts with how much you value yourself. By transforming the relationship you have to yourself you will find more confidence in communicating your value to someone else.
You are the only one that can offer what you do. There are no real competitors because you are going to do it your own way and certain clients are going to respond to you instead of someone else.
You can always ask.“What is this worth to you? How much is a client or sale worth to them. Would you be willing to make the investment of 1 person or 10 people with me?” Once you get one yes, it opens up a gateway for another.
This article was originally published on Forbes