Offering an online product or service puts you on the front lines of an all-out price war… and if you’ve put in your time, you’re probably BEYOND ready to climb the ranks (and make more money). I hear ya. Increasing your pricing is an anxiety-inducing process.
“Will people be willing to pay what I’m asking for?”
“Will I lose my repeat clients to the increase in fees?”
“How will I prove my worth to both new and existing clients?”
These are likely among the thousands of questions and doubts that keep you up at night. The bad news is, no amount of counting sheep will keep these doubts at bay. But, who the heck needs sheep when you’ve got a master plan and the skills to back it up? So without further ado, I’m going to share with you 5 steps for leveraging your brand’s value to make more money!
Outline and brand your signature service.
Before you start adding zeros to your pricing page, it’s important to really hone in on your most valuable service. What is it that you want to be known for? If you’re a bit of a “Jack of all trades,” it may be a combination of skills that sets you apart. For example, I specialize in branding – which is really the culmination of strategy, design, and copywriting.
Give your service a memorable name. Get creative! If you’re a copywriter who specializes in email campaigns, don’t just sell single emails a la carte; build packages that highlight your knack for creating killer sales funnels and automation sequences, and brand it with a compelling, click-worthy name. It’s important to map out your strategy from A to Z, so that you find a go-to procedure that works for you and brings great results to your clients.
Once your offering is all dressed up and ready to go, do some beta testing to test out your process and collect client testimonials. This will help you to work out the kinks and streamline your methods, while also providing some killer social proof to help sell your services in the future.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Proving your worth is a crucial part of acquiring a new client or customer – especially in the world of online services. You’ll need to offer real evidence that your signature service is a worthy investment.
Testimonials are a great way to demonstrate value. When you’re sharing the kind words of your previous clients or beta testers, remember to highlight testimonials that feature quantifiable results. This will look different from business to business. Maybe for you it’s a measured result, like a 22% increase in website click through rates or a 15% increase in a client’s gross margin. For less structured professions (like artists, for example), a quantifiable result could be as simple as a rave review about the compliments a buyer receives every time a friend visits their home.
If you have a special degree or certification in your field, use it! It comforts customers and clients to know that they’re working with an expert… and I’m guessing you didn’t rack up $90K in student loans to hang your diploma on the wall and forget about it. Use your accolades to your advantage!
Speaking of accolades, if you’ve been endorsed by a well-known influencer in your field, don’t be shy! Word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool and if you have a high-profile figure in your corner who is willing to vouch for you, take them up on it. Don’t worry – it won’t make you look like a bragger. There’s a difference between sharing an influencer’s recommendation of you and being that guy at the party who won’t shut up about the time he met Justin Timberlake in line at Starbucks.
Gear your services toward your ideal audience.
Since I’m a brand strategist, you might be thinking, “Duh! You should work with startups.” And while I *LOVE* working with startups (and they could certainly use the guidance), most of them can’t afford a big investment in the beginning stages of their business. That’s why I cater my services toward people who have been in business for 5+ years and are already making $20K per month. When they get to the point where they need to evolve their brands and and scale their business – I’m their girl.
It’s all about positioning yourself. They say, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Well, this is kinda like that. If you market yourself as a virtual assistant, you’ll make virtual assistant wages. But if you position yourself as a startup consultant, you could potentially be paid a percentage of the net profit of the company.
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Show AND tell your value.
People buy with emotion. It’s not an anomaly that we make the biggest decisions with our gut – luxury goods, what car to drive, which house to buy, etc. Rather than solely relying on logical justifications for why your product or service is worth it, you’ve got to appeal to your audience’s emotional needs as well.
Part of this process is discovering how to solve a problem, both logistically and emotionally. Let’s say the buyer is looking for a piece of art. If their only goal is to fill up the white space on their dorm room wall, they’ll probably spend about $20 bucks on Posters.com. But if their ultimate goal is to impress their friends with their great taste (and to invest in an independent artist on a piece of commissioned work), they’ll probably be willing to spend at least $600 to make an impression. (Or maybe $200,000, if their dorm room is some kind of Yale University penthouse.) The point is, it isn’t just about what you’re selling; it’s about what it’s worth to people. Better pay will come from more closely aligned clients.
More than just talking the talk, you’ve gotta walk the walk. You might be a total expert in your field, but nobody is going to want to buy your eBook if it looks like it was designed by a 4th grader in MS Paint. You have to look the part, too. It’s a good idea to make sure that all of your products are branded and look high-quality. If you’re charging a premium price, customers want to feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
Give ‘em a taste.
For those clients who aren’t ready to pull the trigger on your 1-on-1 services, creating downloadable paid content is a PERFECT way to prove your value at a lower price point and introduce them to your capabilities. You can set up a program to work with approved associates and contractors, or even create your own online course so that they can get their feet wet.
Plus, by giving potential clients a teaser at your full range of services, you’re simultaneously driving sales of your 1-on-1 services while providing some DIY first steps at an affordable rate!
When it comes to hiring top-tier help, entrepreneurs need to feel that they’re making a sound investment. So, the better you can demonstrate value and align your brand with their future success, the higher your conversion rates will be. After all, you’re a pro – you know your worth. Now it’s time to show your skills off and convince potential clients that YOU are the right fit for their next project.