Find the price for your offer that makes you feel good and communicate about it
Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Ok fellow entrepreneurs, business owners, or you who have another full-time job but also a passion and are starting to sell your stuff on the side.
Yes, I'm talking to you, too! 😍
Do you struggle with the question: "how much should I charge for my service/product?
I bet you do. 😅 Isn't that one of the hardest questions when we start (and keep growing) our business?
I was talking to a friend this week. She has a full-time job but she also makes beautiful jewelry, paintings, clothing (and probably other stuff she hasn't even thought of selling but she very much could!). Anyway. She doesn't have an online shop. She isn't technically trying to sell her stuff but now more and more people are asking her "hey, this is so cool, could I buy it from you?"
Here is the funny thing: When the question comes "how much would you charge for this?" then panic starts rising.
Shouldn't that be the moment when we are the most stoked? "Wow someone wants to buy what I made, HOW COOL! Heck yeah!"
But actually, this is the moment where all the doubts and fears start showing up. All of a sudden it's almost as if we wished no one would want to buy it so we wouldn't have to give a number to our precious offer.
Same for entrepreneurs and business owners (and I include myself in this category) who work so hard to get potential clients interested in their offer (products or services) and then comes the amazing moment where we are asked to give a proposal and pricing estimate... and BLANK. Our brain goes quiet (or really loud with dumb statements such as 'you're not good enough anyway', 'they would never pay this', blah blah blah the list goes on)
Ok so first, let's get something clear: we are probably our worst cheerleaders. Right? We see the work of our friends and we cheer them up, telling them they should raise their prices because they spend so much time and energy on it and it's so damn good. Yet here we are making sure to ask for as little as possible when it comes to us.
Being aware of it is the first important step. Slowly we can start changing that behavior and becoming kinder to ourselves. But hey, we didn't really grow up in a society that promoted that so it's ok it takes time to deconstruct these thoughts. In the meantime, make sure to add some extra self-love. It will come!
Back to setting the right pricing though. How do we do it?
Find the price that makes you FEEL good
Unfortunately, I do not have a pretty chart with clear numbers to share with you. I'm not going to tell you how much you should charge per hour of work. Thinking about the number of hours you spend (or will spend) on that actual project is interesting but it's not the end goal! Too often we forget about all the investment we put into it beforehand. All the hours of training, the learnings, the experience. This all comes into place now!
So before you decide on a price, make sure that you are in the right state of mind. Don't decide on a number when you are feeling low or stressed. Instead, I invite you to center yourself, do a ritual that makes you feel good and connected to yourself (dance, sing, meditate, go on a walk... whatever it might be). When you feel your spirit and mood high, remember what it took for you to produce that result. Make a list (again this could be the number of hours spent in college, the online training, the hours you shadow a professional, an internship, books you've read... this list is going to be very unique to you as your journey is unique to you as well!). Look at this list and celebrate yourself.
Remember when you could barely dream about that day someone would want to buy from you? Well, here you are! YOU DID IT!
Now that you're feeling good and proud, play with numbers. How do they make you feel? Inside you, you know! You know what price FEELS GOOD. The one that is just high enough to scare you a little but you're also proud of saying. The price you can fully embrace as well (if you can't even dare to say that price out loud and it makes you feel nauseous then it might not be the right price yet)
That's where you find the perfect balance. When you step a little outside of your comfort zone (cause we have a tendency to lower our pricing) without asking for a price that scares us to death that when we do say it we are shaking and unconfident (because your client will feel that, too).
If a total stranger, who you are not afraid to be judged by nor be rejected by, asked you how much would it be ... what would be that price? The price that would make your work feel seen and respected.
Prices can change
No pressure! You can change your pricing at any time. You don't need to wait until the beginning of the year, the start of a new project. You don't have to find the PERFECT price and stick to it for years. It can change in one or six months, in a year or five. The price you are setting now is not set in stone, so let go of the pressure of having to find the perfect price now and instead test it out.
If you decide on a price and when you say it to a couple of people it doesn't make you feel good, then change it.
That's the beauty of having your own business. You make the rules.
Be kind to yourself. It is an uncomfortable topic that we have been taught to ignore. If you feel like this exercise is really tough for you, I recommend you to read books on the topic of money.
These two books have helped me a lot: "Overcoming Underearning" by Barbara Stanny and "You are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero. You will be surprised by all the fears and false believes we give to money.
Friends & Family Prices
Now it's about to get uncomfortable.
...But wait it doesn't have to be!
What if a close friend or family member wants to buy your product/offer/service and ask for your prices? Giving a price to friends can be really tricky. Some friends would want to pay more to support you. And some other friends would have the expectation to pay less. So what to do?
If you do wish to offer them a discount (which by the way you don't have to!) make sure to first really know that actual price you would give to a stranger.
Then from that price, offer them a friend & family discount. 10-15-20% off (really whatever FEELS GOOD again).
Remember, even if they are your friends you want to feel good about giving the discount. If you bargain your prices and then feel resentment then the whole point of them buying from you and supporting your work is lost.
Having a clear discount code makes things so much easier! That way you won't have some friends upset because you offered a bigger discount to other people and you won't have to think about it and do the math every time a friend asks your prices.
It's important to know the actual value of the offer before any special deal. And most importantly, communicate that actual price to them.
Let them know "usually the price for this is XX but for you, I'll give you a 20% friends & family discount".
Why do you need to share the price before the discount?
First of all, it shows respect to your work and helps your customers (friends or strangers) understand what they are getting and its value.
Imagine if you buy clothes on sales: you will feel more excited if you buy a pair of jeans at $25 that used to be $100 versus if you buy a pair at $25 that was $25, right? You will feel that you got a better deal. It's the same for your products. Showing the actual price will make your customers appreciate the value of the products AND appreciate the discount even more. It's a WIN-WIN.
They will feel more special and grateful that you gave them a discount.
Money has energy & meaning
Money carries a lot of meaning. Do you treat the scarf that costs you $100 the same way as the one you got for $5? Do you taste the $50 bottle of wine the same way as the one that costs $10? Probably not. You will probably even wear/drink them less often and keep them for bigger occasions. Why? Because the price carries an additional value.
That's why you want to make sure the price you are giving also shares the value of what you are making.
What if they think it's too expensive?
If you feel good about the price you gave yet your customers (or friends) still think it's too expensive it might be because of a lack of understanding of what you do. Do not underestimate the power of awareness and education.
We spend $7 on coffee in a trendy coffee shop but we expect t-shirts to cost $5.... When we put it this way it's silly right? Yet, it happens all the time. We have been educated to pay for clothes for as little as a few dollars. and we desperately need to change that.
Education and awareness is the way to do it.
As a business owner, someone who sells products and services, you also step into the shoes of an educator. Your social media, your blog, your podcast, your webinar, etc... They become YOUR TOOLS!
Most of the time we expect to pay very little for things because we do not understand what it takes to produce them. We don't know the techniques, the efforts, the knowledge, the amount of work that is behind a single piece of clothing or jewelry or behind the service that is being offered.
Let's look at a service-based company. Let's say you are a coach and you charge people by the hour or session. If they don't know better, your clients will think: wow, this person just made $150 in 1-hour. That's a lot. But what they do not see is that you had to prepare yourself before the coaching, you are going to release the energy after so 1-hour of coaching is never 1 hour.
The more you will share about your process, the more connected your audience will feel to you and the more respect and acknowledgment you will receive.
How can you share more about what you do? Social media is a great way to start but you can also have a blog, a podcast, etc.
Share behind the scenes. Take your audience with you on a regular workday for you. It helps them better understand your processes, how you organize your days, etc. Explain also the moments in between when you have ideas for clients even if you are not "working" for example.
Show the different steps to create the end results. Show what it means to create what you are creating. Let's say you are making a piece of jewelry: where do you go buy the beads, how do you select them, how do you put them together, what does the reflection phase looks like, etc.
Talk about the raw material you need, the additional costs (tools, etc.)
Share your experiences: what brought you where you are. School? Self-learning? Books? What did you do in the past and what are you doing on a regular basis to keep growing.
Share testimonials of other clients to see what your offer brought them, how it made them feel.
Knowing all of that will not only make people respect your work more and want to pay you a better price, but it will also help them enjoy it more once they acquire it. They will take more care of it, it will have a more special meaning to them.
If people expect to pay a ridiculous amount for something, trust me, most of the time is because they do not know what it represents to produce it. If after learning about it, they still think it is too expansive then they might just not be your audience. And that's ok, too.
Setting our prices can be tricky but I invite you to switch the energy around it and make it a celebratory joyful moment:
Do a ritual to switch the energy and feel good about yourself
Make a list of everything it took you to get where you are today
Celebrate the fact someone wants to buy from you
Play with numbers - go with what feels good
Don't feel stuck with one price, test it out and change it if you feel like it
Set a discount for friends & family
Communicate about your offers and the behind-the-scenes
You will see the reactions of people will drastically change once you open the door to your office and let them in.
If it's a subject you are interested in or curious about, come chat with me. I love exchanging ideas and tips. Follow me on Instagram at @ShareYourBrightSide
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