I used to freelance as a copywriter, someone who writes the marketing copy for e-mails, sales letters, brochures, etc. In order to get jobs, I bid very low prices for different projects. Unfortunately, I found myself actually working for less than minimum wage when I divided what I’d charged for the project by how many hours it was taking me to research and write the copy.
For several different reasons (my income being only one of them), I decided not to pursue that business and quickly ditched it.
When you’re a service provider, you quickly learn that your income is capped out at whatever you charge per hour multiplied by the number of hours you work. (And that doesn’t count all of the unpaid hours of preparation, administration, etc.) It can be an uncomfortable and discouraging realization, especially if you’re charging on the low end for your services.
We often feel compelled to charge modest or low prices. Logic, the economy, and prospects all tell us that in order to get (or keep) clients, we must charge modestly. However, raising your rates can actually help you make MORE money while serving fewer clients, giving you more freedom while increasing your income. There are all kinds of different reasons for this, but for now, just know that it’s really very logical.
This doesn’t usually happen overnight, but here are five things you can do NOW to move in that direction:
1. Be an Expert in Something.
Experts are respected, quoted, get media attention, get paid more and get less price resistance. Experts are sought out by clients, the media and partners and sponsors.
I started out as a copywriter writing almost any kind of marketing copy for almost anyone. Quite by accident, I ended up getting mostly health and wellness professionals as clients and saw how much more help they really needed – more help than I could possibly give them just as a copywriter. Some time later, I ended up writing my book Boost Business Online and founding GIWE.
There are always experts commanding – and getting – top dollar while professionals charging modest or very low fees struggle to get clients.
2. Raise Your Rates.
This may seem counter intuitive, but raising your rates can really boost your income while freeing up your time. Unfortunately, most professionals resist this advice, afraid they’ll lose business because of it. These same professionals are often working long hours, taking time away from their families and personal interests. To make a living, they have to keep a jam-packed schedule they can barely keep up with.
Charging low fees can even plant seeds of doubt in your prospect’s mind, causing them to wonder if you’re any good, if you really know your stuff!
“But… if I raise my rates, not as many people will want to work with me!” you cry.
Of course! That’s the point! Even if half of your current clients quit because you’ve doubled your rates, you’re still making the same amount of money in half the time. Who wouldn’t want to work half the time for the same amount of money? This also frees up more time for you to work on special projects, like creating lucrative new information products and programs.
Hint: If you’re afraid to or having trouble raising your rates with your current and past clients, start by quoting your new rates to new clients only. Maintain your old clients at the current rate, but make it clear that if they drop off and come back later, they’ll be paying the new rates.
3. Restructure How You Work With Clients
Instead of offering one-time-only sessions, offer a package of sessions or group programs for a flat fee. There are any number of ways to do this, so let your creative side run wild here. Offer more personalized one-on-one sessions at a much higher rate.
While massage therapists and chiropractors can’t really offer group programs, health coaches and personal trainers can. If you’re a personal trainer charging $60 an hour, would you rather earn just $60 an hour for one client or $600 an hour for a group training session serving 10 clients?
If you’re small or new and just getting started, you may not have enough clients yet to put in a group program. Instead, you can offer packages of sessions designed to serve your clients’ needs best. You already know that to get real results, your client needs more than just a one-time session with you. So plan out packages of sessions based on the results your client wants to achieve. Maybe you’ll have 3-month, 6-month and 12-month programs. Then charge accordingly.
4. “Clone” Yourself.
Have you ever wished you had someone to delegate your work to? Or an entire team to do your work? Well, now’s your chance! If you have a specific system or process you use, you can easily teach others to do what you do when you work with clients. Then you can either hire them on a freelance basis or license them to offer your teaching and methods.
Smart coaches, consultants and professionals of all stripes do this on a regular basis: You can work with one of their associates who’s trained in their methods for one fee, or work directly with the expert for another, higher, fee.
Because people will often want to work directly with the expert, they’re more than willing to pay the higher fee. Even if they choose to work directly with one of the associates and the associate does all of the work, the expert’s company still collects a hefty portion of the fee. (Very smart!)
5. Create and Sell Information Products
One of the smartest ways you can leverage your time and expertise is by creating and selling information products. The ugly truth is that you’ll never build real wealth by trading time for money. However, you can escape the time-for-money trap by creating and selling information products.
Information products are books, e-books, manuals, courses, audio programs, video programs, membership programs – even live events. One expert QUADRUPLED her income in just three years by creating and selling information products.
When you provide services, you work and then are paid one time for that work. When you create an information product, you do the work once and then get paid, paid, paid, paid, paid! It may take you a good chunk of time to create an information product, but once it’s done you can sell it forever.
There are many other ways to restructure your fees and leverage your knowledge, but these are some easy, great ways to get started now.
I hope you find this helpful. Please let us know what you think by commenting on the end of this article!
Supporting you for your success,
Founder & CEO