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I thought today I’d talk about pricing - because it’s such a massive stumbling block for lots of entrepreneurs and business owners and we tend to get so in our own heads about it!
I am convinced that most of us give it way more thought and get way more hung up on it than our clients ever do. And maybe that’s because a lot of us have been brought up to be very price conscious, look after the pennies and feel like investing in anything other than the bare essentials is a bit of a luxury.
So, if you’re in a business where you’re providing a service that you see as a bit of a ‘nice to have’, it can feel scary charging money that feels like a really significant amount. The main message I want to share with you today is that pricing is just about frames of reference. That’s all it is!
We are massively biased when it comes to pricing our own services. We can’t help it - we’ve grown up with a certain experience around money, a specific reference point for what things ‘should’ be worth and what people are willing to pay for them.
I remember the very first time I made what felt like a ‘nice to have’ investment in my business - nice to have because it wasn’t what I then considered to be a basic necessary cost, like advertising, my website hosting or room hire. It was a membership that cost £25 per month. Now, to me that felt like a HUGE financial commitment back then - absolutely huge. I procrastinated over the decision to join for ages before I finally took the plunge. And charging by the session then also felt massive - I started my practice charging something like £65 for an hour’s session and I would almost break into a sweat when I had to break the news of the price to my clients! But that was all my frame of reference and my perception of the value of my service. It was all my stuff. Because what we forget is that there are billions of people in the world and every single person has a different experience around money and value.
One thing I see all the time with therapists and coaches - they’re terrified of edging up in the smallest increments and are often firmly set in the frame of mind that you have to be cheap to compete and win clients.
That’s just not true. In fact, there’s a real danger that if you’re too cheap, people will be suspicious of your service because they expect to pay a decent rate for a qualified professional.
There is this firmly ingrained mindset that everyone is hunting for the biggest bargain so we have to price ourselves to be the cheapest.
Yes, we do bargain hunt when we’re doing things like the food shopping. 2 for the price of 1 - brilliant, I’ll buy 4. We seek out the best deals. Why? Because the supermarkets have TRAINED us to do that, by constantly undercutting each other and making their margins, the money they make on each customer, wafer thin. Their focus is on price - that’s how they win more of their market share.
And yes that appeals to us as customers. But we’re only SOME customers. And that is only ONE way to compete and make your business desirable. Realistically it’s just not practical for small businesses - if you do end up swamped with clients at those low prices, you’ll be working all the hours for very little reward, burning out and hating your business.
Price is only one way to differentiate.
You know another way to become really attractive to clients? Doing an EXCELLENT job. Providing such a mind-blowingly good service that they can’t help but want to invest in working with you, whatever the cost. That’s where you need to focus if you want a business that doesn’t drain the life out of you! I only work with 5 1:1 clients max now at any one time. But I know I give those 5 clients SUCH an incredible experience that it’s worth a heck of a lot more than those £65 sessions!
And there are plenty of people in the world who actively seek to invest in more expensive services because they like to invest in great quality. Think of the opposite experience to your supermarket - the smart high street butcher, or deli. All organic, handmade, 4,5,6 times the price you’d pay in Tesco… but with a queue of people outside who can’t wait to get their hands on some good quality produce.
Be more posh deli! I guess what I’m saying is that the opportunities are there - there is a market for every price point. And why shouldn’t you be marketing yourself as the quality option? All you have to do is to be bold enough to stick your mark in the sand and say “I’m here and I have a service that is WORTH investing in”.
I know - that sounds like the easiest thing in the world to do - but I’d like to bet that sounds absolutely terrifying to plenty of people listening to this podcast! In practice it’s not so easy. Why is that? When you look at it through the lens of everything I’ve talked about here today, there is NOTHING holding you back. All that pricing your services differently means for your business is that you’re focusing on a different section of the market - a different ideal client. One who is ready and willing to pay what you’re asking, whatever that is. And believe me, there is an ideal client for EVERY price point you can imagine. I know coaches who charge £30 an hour and I know others who charge £30k for just a few hours of their time.
So why is it so hard to feel like you could do that too?
Because rather than just valuing our services financially - where we fall down is that we start to bring our self-worth into the equation too.
“I wouldn’t be good enough”
“Why would people pay ME that much?”
“What would everyone think of me?”
And we also bring in a big dose of fear, too - because that new, scary price point is way outside of our perception of normal ‘reality’. And all sorts of mental blocks spring up, all sorts of reasons why we couldn’t possibly charge more.
“People like me don’t charge prices like that”
“Surely there wouldn’t be anyone out there who would want my service”
“But I know that the people in my audience or location can’t afford that much” - that’s my favourite old classic
Really, none of those things are true. They’re all just the way we perceive ourselves and our services.
So my challenge for you today is to think about this - if you could charge absolutely anything for your service, and see ANY number of clients - what would that look like?
Now I’m not going to say you have to go out there and start charging 10 times your price right now. Though do, if you want to - and let me know about it because I would LOVE to know that this podcast has inspired you to take that leap!
But if you do want to be able to charge more than you are at the moment and you’re feeling completely paralysed with fear and ‘what if’s about doing that, then maybe we need to talk because I would love to help you seriously uplevel those prices and feel great about doing it! And we can absolutely do that through shifting those subconscious blocks, those old money beliefs, and changing your perception of yourself and your worth for the better. Right now, though, if you’re just thinking of tweaking things a little and you’re not sure where to get started - I have a very simple formula for setting your perfect price right now.
When I say perfect price right now - this is a price that maybe pushes your comfort zone a bit, but feels manageable and doable even without working on your subconscious money blocks.
What we want to avoid for you right now is:
Undercharging so you end up feeling burnt out and resentful - think about whether this could be you right now?
Charging so much that you freak yourself out and can’t actually sell your service because it triggers all sorts of doubts for you
So, think of a price you’re feeling ok about charging - maybe it’s not great, it’s ok but you’d love to charge a bit more. Then - I’d love you to multiply it by 10. Don’t panic, that’s not your final result! But what will happen is you’ll feel all sorts of panic - I couldn’t charge that!!! That is waaaaay out of your current comfort zone. So what you need to do now is just dial it back, count back down until you find a point where you feel ok. A little bit new and daunting maybe - but you could imagine trying quoting this price to your next client and seeing what happens. It feels a bit out there but not so out there you would panic and freeze. Now - go out there and try it! And LET ME KNOW what happens. I’ll drop my email address in the shownotes, or you can join us on Facebook in my free group Build a Thriving Wellbeing Business - Soul Aligned Strategy. And of course if you’d like to find out more about my 1:1 or mastermind programmes, just take a look at the show notes for details of how to get in touch.
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