All business owners and entrepreneurs struggle at some point with what to charge for their services. Often we want to raise our prices and charge what we feel we’re worth, but we don’t know how to go about doing that — or we try it and people don’t pay our new rates, which leads to frustration and more struggle.
So how do you raise your rates, charge your worth, and GET IT?
The answer is in your ability to successfully differentiate yourself from the other people who do the same thing that you do.
Most of us, when we started our business, put up our first website because we knew we needed one. We weren’t quite sure what to say, so we looked at the websites of all of our competitors and other people in our industry and we did something similar. We used the same terminology and industry-speak, we made sure our websites looked similar, and we definitely made sure that we sounded just like they did.
But the problem is, when you’re just like everyone else, it is hard for your prospects and potential clients to see why you’re the better choice.
When you’re no different than everyone else, the only differentiator your prospects have to go on is price — and when you compete on price, everyone loses.
Instead of trying to be and sound like everyone else, you need to stand out from the crowd and be different.
When you can successfully differentiate yourself from others who do what you do, when you can make the transition from being another choice, to being the ONLY choice, is when you can raise your rates, charge your worth, and get it.
Why? Because you are now no longer competing on price, your competing on what makes you different, unique, special, valuable, and smart. When you can differentiate yourself, your rates are longer determined by what others charge, your rates are determined by the value that you bring to the table.
In the book Think And Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill shares a story about Henry Ford charging a company a huge amount of money (in their time) to solve a problem they had been struggling with for a long time. He received his check and then proceeded to solve the problem in five minutes. At first the company was mad and upset, but Henry replied, “Whether it took me 5 minutes or five months, you got the result you were looking for when you hired me. You didn’t hire me for how long it would take. You hired me for the expertise and value I bring to the table, and that has taken me my entire life to accumulate.”
You see Mr. Henry Ford knew that his rate wasn’t just reflective of the single task he was going to complete. His rate was reflective of the value he brought to the table. The value of years of experience and knowledge, that the business owners didn’t have.
Struggling To Differentiate Yourself?
It’s okay. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, has struggled with the same thing at one point. Here are some things to think about while defining your point of differentiation:
- Qualifications and Credentials: Do you have a degree, certification, or a special qualification? Have you graduated from a program, been certified or approved in a certain method?
- Experience: Have you overcome something, achieved something, or experienced something that has made you an expert?
- Credibility Builders: Have you been featured in a book, newspaper, or magazine? Have you won any awards? Have you worked with any celebrities or well known people or businesses? Have you written or co-written a book? Were you the first to do something?
- How You Work: How is working with you different from working with someone else? Do you have a proprietary system? Are you faster or more comprehensive? Do you save people time, effort, or money? Are you more streamlined or easier? Do people get more? If so what do they get?
- Your Results: What kind of results do you get for people? What benefits do they receive from working with you? How will it help them, change their lives, or change their business?
I one read a quote, and I can’t remember who said it, but they said: “The fastest way to success is to be first. But if you can’t be first in your category, create a new category.” So, don’t worry if there are already a lot of people who do what you do and you’re joining an already full market of service providers — There is more than enough business for everyone to be busy all of the time.
Just remember, that you don’t want to focus your effort on fitting into their category, you want to focus your effort on defining your own unique category, standing out from the crowd, and being different. When you can do that, the right clients, the clients who are the perfect fit for you will be attracted to you. They will find you, they will resonate with your message, and they will choose you — without you having to chase them.
When you successfully differentiate yourself, you position yourself as the ONLY choice in your ideal clients’ eyes, instead of just another choice.