When you venture into the world of small business, it can be freakin’ hard to know what to charge. A lot of service based businesses don’t advertise their fees on their websites and, if you came from a ‘normal job’ like me, it’s difficult to get your head around the fact that you can charge more than $35 an hour to share your epic skills with the world.
I was recently privy to the behind-the-scenes of a fellow Copywriter. Although I don’t think we should ever compare ourselves to other people in our industry (because we all come to the party with such different skills, strengths and experiences!) the information I was gifted about her fees made me stop in my tracks and think, ‘Holy sh!t, I am well undercharging!’ I have complete faith in my skills as a Copywriter and what I would have charged to create the same offering as her was less than half. LESS THAN HALF! WTAF!
I want to stop here and make an observation … at no point in time did I ever think, ‘She’s overcharging!’ No, it was the complete opposite! I thought, ‘Sh!t, I didn’t realise my skills were worth more. I didn’t think that was even a possibility for me. Good on her for standing in her worth and charging what she does’.
My mind was subsequently blown soon after when I listened to a podcast episode done by a Business Coach who charges $500 per 60 minute session (acknowledging of course that she also spends a lot of time planning before and following up after each session and that her clients are paying for her contacts/wisdom/experience, not just her time). I also had a friend go on a date with a guy who charges $900 an hour to offer his magic to the world. $900!
Although I don’t ever want to charge that amount (because my ideal clients wouldn’t have the capacity to work with me if I did, and they’re exactly who I want to be sharing my gifts with), it did get me thinking a lot about what I charge.
I’ve noticed that we tend to undercharge when:
Something comes naturally to us
We’re unaware of the industry norms
We spend time with people who are earning the same amount of money as us and are not challenged to see/think/dream bigger
We’ve unconsciously adopted the money beliefs that are fed to us and modelled by mainstream society
We’re told by the spiritual community that charging more is greedy and not heart centered.
For me, it’s not actually about earning more money overall. No, for me it’s about charging my worth so I can work less. I got out of the corporate world so that I could 1. do what I love and 2. enjoy living and not be a slave to my work.
Can you imagine being able to work a few hours less a week OR being able to recruit support in your business (like a Copywriter - hello!) simply by slightly upping your prices?!
I invite you to let this be an invitation to start getting curious about your rates …
Why do you charge what you charge?
What do other people in your industry charge? This exercise shouldn’t be used as a comparison, but it will give you some direction about what your earning potential is.
Do you want to earn more? If so, is your intention for wanting to do so heart centred (as opposed to ego driven)?
Does your ideal client have the capacity to pay more? If not, then there’s no point in charging more, unless you shift the focus of your business, honey!