Thursday, August 02, 2007

When should you raise your fee?

A few years ago I was hanging out at an art gallery in Portland.

I asked the owner, “How do you know how much to charge for your paintings?”

Without a blink she smiled, “Depends on my rent!”

Wow. I don’t think she was kidding!

Still, whether you're an artist, writer, entrepreneur or consultant, this is a tricky topic: When should you raise your fee?

Lots of potential answers…

You raise your fee when you raise your value.
You raise your fee when you do something HUGE.
You raise your fee when you increase your costs.
You raise your fee when you write your first book.
You raise your fee when you reduce your client base.
You raise your fee when you want to earn more money.
You raise your fee when you write a bestselling book.
You raise your fee when you want to grow your business.
You raise your fee when you think you deserve more money.
You raise your fee when you are quoted as an expert in the media.
You raise your fee when you have been featured in a major media outlet.
You raise your fee when you’re associated with the best, i.e., opening for U2.
You raise your fee when you want to cut out the bottom 15% of your client base.
You raise your fee when you want to work with fewer clients, fewer days of the year, but for the same or more total income.
You raise your fee when you’ve been getting paid your fee consistently with little or no resistance.
You raise your fee when it’s been at the same level for a long time and you think, “Well, it’s just time!”

It's different for everyone.

In Alan Weiss’s Million-Dollar Consulting, he states, “The #1 cause of entrepreneurial failure is not undercapitalization or major competition, but lack of self-esteem.”

So maybe that’s our biggest challenge: figuring out what we’re worth.

A few years ago I raised my fee. I was so scared that I actually spent a five minutes every morning staring into the mirror, stating my fee confidently to myself.

I felt like such a putz.

However, later that day when I’d get on the phone and a prospective client asked what my fee was, I would have no problem sharing it.

Confidently, too.

AND THAT'S THE KEY: state your fee confidently and SHUT UP.

Don't justify it.
Don't validate it.
Don't weaken it by saying, "Yeah, but, um, you know, I can always make it cheaper if your budget doesn't..."

No.

He who talks next, loses.

State your fee confidently and SHUT UP.

And ultimately, there’s probably no one reason to raise your fee.

What’s most important is that when you DO raise (and eventually state) your fee, do so with confidence. And if the prospect has a problem with it, maybe she's not the right customer in the first place.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How much is one hour of your time worth?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Make a list called "Top Three Reasons to Raise Your Fee." Post it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com

Are you the luckiest person you know?

Watch Scott's interview on 20/20!

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