Maybe you’re just starting out on your journey as an entrepreneur and building an agency and you don’t really know your value. So you charge less than you’re worth because you think that’s the only way you’ll get clients.
When I first started my agency, my strategy was to charge as little as I could. For so many reasons. But eventually, I realized that all of those reasons were rooted in fear. And I was afraid to ask for more money because I thought that my client leads would just up and take their business elsewhere. I feared that I didn't really have the experience or the knowledge to merit the rates or retainers that I really wanted to earn.
I also feared that in a world of experts and authorities, maybe I didn't stack up.
But what happened with me over time was that I realized I wasn't charging what I was worth. And I needed to be charging more in order to truly scale and grow my agency.
Here are 4 strategies you can use to know your value and charge higher rates and overcome your fears.
If you suffer from imposter syndrome you may be struggling to really know your value. Even though you bring results for clients you have a persistent fear of being exposed as a fraud.
Or you think you’re not doing things right. But one of the simplest ways to overcome imposter syndrome is to understand why you’re feeling it in the first place.
If you’re working on something you’ve never done before for your clients, this may show up as imposter syndrome. But it doesn’t mean you’re an imposter. It means you’re taking on more responsibility and you’ve elevated your role.
Also, you want to know the facts about what other people are doing and how much they’re getting paid. Because facts can kill fear!
Get your facts by researching your competition as much as possible. Find out how you measure up. See if your outcomes are as good as theirs. And find out how you can get results that other people are getting. Ask yourself if you have what it takes or do you need more training to get the best results for your clients. Notice if you’re as visible as your peers.
If you find in your research that there are areas for growth, then invest in yourself with courses and or coaches. Work on skills if you have to. But sometimes you may find in your research that you already have the right skills and that will build your confidence so that you’ll know your value.
If you don’t ask you’re never going to get it!
If you’re on a sales call and you’ve provided value to someone before they hired you, then they will be more open to paying you higher rates. Especially because you stepped into your role as an expert and authority and showed them how you’re going to bring them results.
When my agency started working with larger clients, we tripled our rates. And they never questioned it. When you work with higher-paying clients, they don’t negotiate. If you charge higher rates, you will attract a higher caliber client.
They also trust you as the expert and let you do your job.
If your rates are too low you attract lower-paying clients. You end up always having to bend over backward to make them happy. Higher paying clients believe you must be worth it because of your rates and that you’ll provide them with an excellent service. They let you do your job without ever questioning your process or what you’re doing.
You are in charge of your business and how you run it. So it’s really important to set clear boundaries before you start working with clients.
Don’t give in to your clients’ demands only because you’re afraid of losing them. If you do you’ll be doing it at the expense of your family and your own well-being. That arrangement will not last very long. You’ll become too exhausted and frustrated.
The answer is to write out your boundaries in your proposal. Set out the time of day you will communicate with clients, how you’ll communicate, which days you’ll not be working, the exact services you’ll be providing and any resources you might share.
If you’re working on a retainer, but the client wants you to track your hours, you just say no, that’s not how you do business. What you charge is not based on how much time you spend, it’s based on the fact that you’re an expert and you bring results.
Stick to the boundaries you set. Don’t let any client take advantage of you. You have to show them that you respect your time and then they will too.
Related: Why You Should Say No More Often
Start making waves and declaring yourself as an expert. People will pay more when they see you as an expert and thought leader in their industry.
Start by studying the subject matter for the niche you’re in. Once you know everything about the niche and the trends that are taking place in that niche, you can put yourself out there. Start talking about what you know on social media or write articles or quotes to show that you’re an expert.
Maybe you’ll find something out that your ideal clients would be interested in knowing. Talk about what you’ve learned so that businesses will begin to see you are an expert in their niche. Insert yourself into conversations around topics that are relevant to your niche and that will attract your ideal clients.
You have to convey yourself as someone who is informed and smart enough to have a voice in that industry.
If you’ve been featured in a specific industry, always include that in your proposals. It helps build authority and shows that you know what you’re talking about.
These 4 tips can give you the confidence you need to charge higher rates because you know your value. This is the only way to scale your business. If you find yourself charging low rates because you’re afraid to lose clients, just remember that the more you charge the more you attract higher-paying clients.