7 Key Ways To Stop Under-Charging, Raise Your Prices & Own Your Worth
As I was lying on the beach this week, I realised something. I now earn the same amount when working one day a week, as I used to when working a full-time job and overtime!
When I look back on where I once was, I'm seriously astonished. And I honestly once didn’t believe that was possible.
I remember telling my coach about 18 months ago that I wanted to work three days a week earning the same amount as my corporate job, and even then I heard a laugh in my head. Let alone working one day for the same amount, I probably would have peed my pants at the sound of it. It felt like a million miles away. It didn’t actually feel possible. It felt greedy, actually. And I felt ‘lazy’ for not wanting to be working with my nose to the grind every single day.
And most of all: I believed work had to be hard. I believed it had to be hard to earn money full stop.
So what changed?
Here are some of the things I altered:
1. I stopped trading time for money
There’s nothing quite like clock-watching how much time you’re spending on a project to sap you of all creativity. Trading time for money really became detrimental to me and my work, and therefore to my clients, too. I couldn’t give them half of the energy and expertise they deserved, because I wasn’t asking them to show up financially in that way.
Setting up clear packages and focusing on what I provide and how this can support a business was the key in stopping this hourly rate. When I focused on the results I provided to my clients, instead of the time it took for me to provide the work, everything changed. After all, results are what your clients really want. And they’re never just paying for your time, but for all the training, education and learning you’ve done to get to this point.
A story to illustrate this:
A woman once saw Picasso doodle on a napkin in a restaurant and she went over to his table and asked him how much she’d have to pay to have that napkin.
He said “$20,000.”
She said “What?! I watched you and it only took you five minutes to do it!”
He replied: “No madam, it took me my whole life.”
2. I worked on my money mindset over and over again
While this is a working progress and I believe always will be, the work I’ve done on getting my mind to where it is now is incredible. Some of my favourite resources include: Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp, Jen Sincero’s: You’re a badass at making money, Ash Ambirdge’s blog, and actually, a couple of men I worked with when I was just starting out who said ‘don’t undersell yourself, how about X amount’ which really helped me to step up and own higher prices.
What you fundamentally believe about money is going to have a huge effect on the patterns that show up in your life and the relationship you have with money. A core belief I'm consistently unpicking and rewiring is 'It has to be hard to earn money'. This belief has been running the show since I was little because a lot of what I saw of money was: stress, exhaustion, long days and late nights. So naturally, for a long time, I was working all hours of the day because I thought I 'had to' in order to 'deserve' it. Yikes! Once I began to change this belief, so then did my patterns and behaviours, and I began to work less while earning more.
Your beliefs are seriously powerful little buggers.
Awareness here is key - so, what's a core belief you have around money? Maybe it's that 'rich people are mean.' Or that 'you'd lose friends if you earned more money.' Or 'money is the root of all evil.' Or 'you can only have money or love, not both.'
Get really clear about the first memories you have around money - this will lead you closely to the beliefs you still hold, and take a look at how these beliefs are showing up in your life and business today.
3. I got visible so that I had an influx of enquiries and could afford to say ‘no’ to those who couldn’t afford me
In the early days, I wanted to take every job that came my way. In fact, I had to take every job that came my way to earn enough to live. This was A) because I was charging such painfully low prices, and B) because I didn’t have tons of work and so wanted whatever I could get and C) I had a scarcity mindset and thought that I had to take anything I could get.
Once I started showing up online and in-person at networking, and sharing what I do, and raising my prices too, I began receiving an influx of enquiries - this really helped to ease the ‘pain’ I felt when someone said they couldn’t afford it. I trusted in the fact there was someone on their way that could. And it delivered every time.
4. I did really, really good work so that I was referred by others
Referrals are very powerful ways of doing business, because everyone loves to work with someone who has been recommended by someone they know. When you give your clients a rave-worthy experience, they can’t help but share it.
I also asked for referrals too - an email here and there to let my previous clients know I had slots open and asking them to refer me was really helpful. People are busy - so make it easy for them with a reminder and details - and you can always let them know something is in it for them too, like a monetary value, gift voucher or a lovely Christmas present at the end of the year!
5. I invested in myself, and know from that first-hand experience the importance of investing - so I can easily ask clients to do the same
The power in having someone by your side who can call you on your bullsh*t beliefs, who can see where you’re getting side-tracked / distracted, who is bold enough to say so, who keeps you accountable to what you’ll say you’ll do, and has been there before so can give you the advice you need - is really insanely powerful. I began investing in coaches and mentors once I had freelanced for about 8 months - I knew that if I wanted something to change and to learn quickly, I had to get support. I actually took out a credit card to hire my first coach, and while it felt scary at the time, it’s the best investment I’ve ever made. And it continues to be.
Where can you get support for your business? Where can you hire someone to show you the way?
And instead of instantly going to : “I can’t afford it” - instead ask the question: “How can I afford it?” You’re very resourceful when you want to be.
6. I raised my prices incrementally
I took my prices up a little more every quarter or so, so that it didn’t feel like a huge jump. I got comfortable with one price before moving up again. I had to ensure I felt aligned with it before moving up. Sometimes I made big pricing leaps, but that’s when I realised I was massively under-selling myself previously. Feel into it and see what works for you.
Think about it like this: if someone said ‘yes’ to the current price you’re offering - would you feel super excited, or a little resentful? It’s a really good indicator of whether you’re about right in your pricing, or underselling yourself. Your price should feel a little out of comfort, stretchy, and exciting.
7. I have been consistent in showing up online
We’re creatures of habit, us humans, and we love consistency. We love to know what’s coming, what to expect from a person, business, service. I’ve shown up a lot and kept going even when it felt like no-one was listening - I had to trust that they were. And that's when clients started showing up - when they could see I was serious and that I wasn't going anywhere. Keep going, keep going, keep going.
The biggest tool that helped me here is something super boring: scheduling! Because it’s fair to say that we’re not loving social media every single day, nor feeling creative all of the time, so creating my content in advance and scheduling it has been a huge time and energy saver.
So there they are - the 7 key changes I’ve made to my business over the last 12-18 months that truly allowed me to upgrade my mindset and my money. Where are you at with your money mindset right now? Do you know you’re under-selling yourself but don’t know how to change that? Are you still feeling like you should take every job that comes your way? Are you feeling a little resentful at your workload compared to your bank balance?
If any of the above ring true for you, let’s have a powerful conversation to help you get clear on what you’d really love to earn, and how to make it happen.
Book a complimentary coaching session with me here if you’d like to figure out your next steps and explore working together to master your mindset and take action to bring your dream life, to life.