When I was in high school I got a very important lesson on pricing that would stay with me forever.
At the time, I was playing in a brass quintet (yes, I was a band geek) and we were getting hired for weddings and funerals at $150 a gig.
A family friend—who happened to be a Harvard MBA grad—asked me about this endeavor of mine and inquired about the price. As a very successful businessman and way more business savvy and smarter than I was, I took his advice to heart.
He said to me, “If I had the option to hire a band for $300 or $150, who do you think I would pick?”
I replied, “The $300 one.”
He nodded in agreement.
That was my first lesson in perceived value.
At $150 we were pricing ourselves as the “inexpensive option.” But at $300, there was a perception that the $300 band would be more experienced, more qualified, and, simply put—better.
The first lesson in pricing is you don’t want to be the cheapest one on the market.
Because then you’re:
1. Attracting clients who are typically looking to save a buck.
2. Building an unsustainable business model.
3. Setting yourself up for burnout.
So in 2018, when I decided to literally double the price of my coaching package overnight (without doubling the work), I sold out my one-to-one spots within 2 months.
“But how?” you might be asking.
Myths and Money Blocks
There are some sneaky money blocks that start to rear their ugly heads when it comes to raising your prices (if that’s the case, you can fast-track this by getting some of my coaching help).
So I started by addressing these money blocks head-on:
- If I raise my rates, my workload has to increase proportionately.
You don’t have to have flying unicorns show up on your client’s doorstep just because you now charge more.
Charging more doesn’t mean more work.
You can charge more for the same, if not less work. (Yep, read that again.)
An outdated and unhelpful mindset is to believe that people are paying for your time—but that’s not the only purchasing consideration. Broaden your scope of why people buy from you.
It might be…
- Your experience and the results you’ve gotten that they now want
- Your expertise
- Saving them time
- Saving them money
- Access to exclusive things not available to the general public
- Status (think: going to the “it” restaurant they will pay twice as much to be seen at)
When you can broaden your view of why people pay, it removes the limiting belief of trading time for money.
- “Won’t I lose all my clients?”
Deep breath in—yes. Some of them will leave. But think of it as a natural deselection process. Some clients will leave, but only to make room for new clients that will happily pay your new price.
Try out this affirmation to help: “It’s safe for me to increase my prices.”
- I want to be affordable to my clients.
It’s okay to not be for everyone. No matter what your price point is, there will always be someone that “can’t afford it.” If you let yourself get consumed by what people can and can’t afford, you’re setting yourself up to eventually get disgruntled and perhaps even resentful.
Keep your head out of their wallets and honor first what feels good to you and your energy.
As Brene Brown said in Atlas of the Heart, “…we have to reevaluate everything, especially how to choose loving ourselves over making other people comfortable.”
And this applies to pricing. You have to choose loving yourself, honoring your gifts, your skills, your time, and your dreams over making sure everyone else is comfortable.
It’s not easy, but it’s worth it—every time.
I addressed all the money blocks mentioned above, and not only that, but I doubled down on the value I offered clients.
I knew in my heart of hearts that doubling my rate was what felt SO good—scary, but good.
It felt like I was finally answering the call to what my intuition had been nudging me to do for so long.
And what I’ve come to learn after building a million-dollar business is that listening to your intuition is always a good idea, even if the head disagrees.
I had to rip off the pricing bandaid and just do it.
Hell YES Energy
After I decided to raise my rate, I can still remember that first sales call like it was yesterday. “YOU ARE GOING TO CHARGE HER WHAT?!” was on replay in my head.
But I did it, and guess what? She said yes. Then the next client said yes, and the next, and the rest is history.
My energy was a hell YES for it, and energetically that became a magnet for incredible clients who were ready to invest in themselves.
Similarly to the pricing lesson I got in high school, I went from trying to be “affordable” to everyone to pricing myself as a premium coaching service that attracted premium clients.
So what does this boil down to for you? If you’re waiting to feel “comfortable” to raise your prices, you’ll be waiting a very long time.
You might have doubts, fears, and noise in your head telling you that you’re not ready to raise your rates, and that’s OKAY.
In fact, that’s quite normal. But do it anyway. When you get that first “yes” at your new price you’ll be so thankful you did it, and trust me, it will feel so much easier after that.
Editor’s Note: Want to read more by Emily? Check out her article 5 Affirmations That Will Support Your Growth Journey.
Emily King is a Money Mindset Mentor & TEDx speaker who’s been helping women entrepreneurs since 2015 create financial freedom. With an MBA, an NLP coaching certification, and a hint of “woo”, Emily has coached clients from basement start-ups to multi-millions. Get in the *know* of how her clients have done it at www.emilyking.ca