If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price." -Jean Sibelius
Last week, we talked about premium pricing and high-end clients.
(Missed it? You can catch up here.)
Specifically, we uncovered the truth no one wants to talk about: the money and ‘high-end’ clients aren’t in your pricing, they’re in what’s underneath the pricing.
Pricing isn’t a scapegoat, and I find many people want to use it as one. This goes for high and low pricing!
The price is just the price. It’s all about the value, service, experience, and confidence we bring to the table. The price is the lipstick that dresses up the offer and sets the tone.
This week, we’re talking about the opposite end of the spectrum, undercharging and undervaluing our work.
For as much as I see people jumping into premium pricing because they think it’s the magic bullet to booking high-end clients, I see many of my heart-centered, passion-driven clients leaning waaaay too far to the other side.
Across the board, there’s an epidemic of undercharging for our work and not valuing our time and what we offer.
There’s nothing wrong with lower priced items and services. You can make an incredible living selling products and services at lower prices. There’s even a time and place for free. It’s all good when it’s aligned, intentional, and strategic.
The reasons we undercharge and undervalue our work are similar to the reasons we overcharge our work…fears, limiting beliefs, comparisonitis, feeling not good enough, and various misguided tips and tricks we’ve heard.
Starting to wonder if you’ve been undercharging?
Here are ten tell-tale signs it’s time for a raise:
1. Your top-level, ‘VIP’ service, costs about the same as everything else you offer.
We always want to be clear on where our offer lives in our suite of offers and price accordingly.
Pricing is all relative, but instead of comparing our prices to what other people are charging, we can use our own business and offers as the comparison point.
Your micro-commitments, tripwires, and entry-level offers shouldn’t be priced the same as your exclusive, high-end offers.
An easy way to see where you might be undercharging is to map out your business model and business ‘flow’ to see where each offer sits. Price accordingly!
2. You’ve comparison-shopped to nail your price.
If you’re pricing based on comparison to others and using that as a barometer to set your prices, there’s a good chance your prices are out of alignment. You’re probably undercharging if you’ve scoped the internet and your ‘competition’ out and adjusted your price to be just a little less.
This isn’t even about undercharging, this is about using comparison for the basis of our business strategy. Um, how does looking at the glossy exterior of someone else’s business give us ANY insight into what we should or shouldn’t be doing and how to position our businesses?! I’ll tell you, it doesn’t.
This is a rant for another blog post, but suffice to say, if someone else’s pricing is the basis for your pricing, it's probably off.
3. You think you’re not good enough.
If you’re secretly thinking you’re not good enough, I'd bet you’re undercharging. This is it’s entire own can of worms, but pricing isn’t where our value comes from.
This one is a big one and something I help my client with because it affects every part of our business and the money we make.
How we feel about ourselves, our confidence, self-worth, and how much we believe in the value of what we’re offering has everything to do with our pricing and the amount of money we’re able to receive.
This one isn’t about simply adding a zero to the end of our price tag, it’s about digging deep and adding a whole lot of self-love.
I promise, doubling down on your self-love and worth, more than anything else, will help you make more money at ANY price point.
4. You’re convinced people won’t pay what you want to charge.
Here’s an annoying truth: people aren’t buying your products or services based on the price. They’re buying based on the value they think they will receive and how what you have to offer makes them feel. Then, they’re using logic to fill in the gaps and justify what they’re buying.
I have a client who recently experienced this. She sells a high-end service that’s around the $6k mark and was speaking to potential clients who had previously spoken to someone who offered the same service she does at $700.
If we use the logic that people buy based on price and that the lowest price wins, we’d assume that these people would, of course, go for the $700 option. And if our self-worth and confidence isn’t in check, it would be very easy to start doubting ourselves and slash our prices by a third to ‘compete’.
Guess who got the sale? My client, of course 😉 This couple went with the $6k option because the price isn’t the deciding factor!!
This isn’t carte blanche to just raise your prices (see last week’s blog post) but this DOES speak to the power of intentionally raising your prices to reflect the value you deliver and confidently holding your boundaries.
5. If you make a physical product and are only charging based on the materials and a small markup.
I’d also guess you’re near burn out if your pricing reflects your cost plus a small bump.
I see this with a lot of my clients who are artists or creatives and sell their artwork. They often find it hard to put a dollar amount around their time - the time it took to create the piece they’re selling as well as the time it took to master their craft. And this doesn’t even take into account the lifetime of pleasure or joy someone buying their art receives.
6. Your work is ‘easy’ or ‘fun’ for you.
For a lot of my clients who run passion-based businesses where their work is ‘easy’ or ‘fun’, there’s also a tendency to undercharge.
There’s some fucked up story being proliferated that it's supposed to be hard to earn money and unless we’re seeing the blood, sweat, and tears, there isn’t any value in what we do. As a result, we undercharge or make it ‘harder’ on ourselves by undervaluing our work.
7. You feel burnt out or resentment.
If you aren’t being compensated in a way that values your times or what you’re selling, you’re bound to feel some resentment creeping in. And you want to know a good way to repel sales? Feeling resentment!!
8. You’re at capacity.
Being at capacity doesn’t always mean we’re undercharging. Sometimes it means we’re charging just right.
However, if you’re finding you always have a waiting list, are eating lunch standing up between client sessions, and somehow still not making enough for it to feel worth it…you’re probably undercharging and can hike up your rates.
9. You get client results faster than the average bear.
If you offer a service or a product and help your people get results in less time than average and are charging by the hour, you might be undercharging and due for a raise.
One of my clients helps people heal emotional trauma permanently in a relatively quick time period. Many of her clients come to her after years of therapy where they haven’t seen much of a shift and are able to move emotional blocks in a single session or within months of working with her. Good stuff, eh?
When we started working together, though, she was charging on an hourly basis even though the results her clients receive go far beyond the hourly session.
When your work helps people get desired results faster, you’re saving them time AND money.
It’s easy to think if it takes us less or less work we can therefore charge LESS when really this is exactly the situation we want to lean into and charge more.
Same thing goes for work that gives on-going benefits. If your work continues to give people results long after you’ve delivered and you’re charging hourly, there’s a very good chance you are due for a price increase.
10. Your pricing just doesn’t feel good.
Last but not least, if your prices just don’t feel good, it’s probably a sign that you’re undercharging.
At the end of the day there is no ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ price, but there is a wrong or right price for you and your business. Pricing is personal and money is energetic and represents and an energy exchange. When it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn't right. Just like there are people in your life that feel right and others who don’t, money and pricing are the same.
It’s not strategic, it’s a little woo, but I’m a big believer in setting our prices to what feels right and good for us. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot easier to sell at any price point when the number feels aligned.
So if your prices just aren’t jiving, permission to lean in and raise them. Just make sure your mindset and the value you deliver match.
Now go out there and sell your stuff, so you can make more money doing what you love!
Wishing you your version of success!
P.S. Want some help getting clear on your pricing, strategy, and connecting with your dream clients, so you can turn them into paying clients? I'd love to help you do just that, so you can build a business you're wildly in love with that also gets you paid!