Are you (always) “on sale?”

September 19, 2009

in Say What You Mean


Are you working for free?

Are you “on sale?” Can you think of one job or project that you are either not getting paid enough for or aren’t sure what to charge for?

Are you asking for it (money, that is)?

How much do you charge for your services? Does it vary—wildly? Do you find yourself lowering your prices?

What are you afraid of?

  1. Some of my clients worry about losing an opportunity. Others feel that they are not worth what the current market will bear.
  2. Do you worry that you will offend a potential client or get a reputation for gouging?
  3. Others may fear getting the job, because they will earn less money than it will take to actually perform the services.

Where do you go from here?

  1. If you are worried about losing a job, I wonder: what will you give up to invest in the project versus having the client invest in your skills and talents? Does it promote client retention? Is it a one-time discount to a very special, long-term client?
  2. Do you have a reputation for being a “Yes, of course I’ll do it,” person? If you think this client is calling you because you always drop your price for fear of looking like a Selly Tavales, PAUSE. Is this why you want clients to call? Imagine a neon sign above your head that says, “On Sale–Always .” Are you okay with that?
  3. Figure out if the gig is REALLY up your alley and worth your sale price. Does the project excite you? Would it help an amazing organization do something really wonderful? Does this particular job put you in the spotlight in a unique way? Are you chomping at the bit to strut your stuff, with these clients, at this time? How do you calculate your hourly rate? If you don’t know, check out this terrific interview with Ilise Benun–she’ll steer you right (full disclosure, I chime in on that radio show, too).

Now, think back to that client, job or project–are you gonna take the gig?
Will you reconsider putting yourself on sale?

Here are some incredible resources to support you as you wind your way through these challenges:
Ilise Benun and Peleg Top go deeper into this challenge and give fantastic strategies for creative freelancers in their newest offering: Pricing and Marketing Secrets.
If you are interested in a more spiritual approach to money in general and pricing your services from the heart, check out Mark Silver. Colleen Wainwright highly recommends him and I think she knows her stuff, so I’m passing along her recommendation.
For those of you building an online presence and may need interesting ways to monetize that work, check the how to make money from a blog post Chris Brogan’s community-minded, business-savvy site.

Your turn:
When do you struggle with money, setting fees or discussing money with clients?
Do you have any interesting strategies to share?

Photo by timparkinson, used under a Creative Commons license.

  • Colleen Wainwright

    I do heartily recommend Mark Silver’s Heart of Money course, especially for the more delicate, marketing-averse among us (I include myself here, so we’re clear.) And yeah, that’s an affiliate link—I very rarely agree to be an affiliate for anything, but when I do, I’m all about disclosure.

    Ilise and Peleg’s writing about pricing will create a paradigm shift for most indie biz folk. In addition to making your business stronger (b/c cash flow really is king when you’re in biz for yourself), they show you how it’s a great marketing tool, as well.

    Chris Brogan has so much great information about how to market your business, it’s difficult to know where to point people to first. I’d suggest his “best of” page. I would caution folks getting started against even thinking of blogging from a monetization standpoint, though. Not that your blog isn’t marketing, and that the marketing isn’t there to make you money, but people tend to skip important steps when they leap to the monetization idea.

    Far, far better to think about using the web to establish a presence, share your expertise and build relationships.

    My two cents (which buys you little these days, so there ya go!)
    .-= Colleen Wainwright´s last blog ..Referral Friday: 20×200 =-.

  • Dyana Valentine

    Colleen: you are, as always useful, supportive, nice (and funny and thorough). Way to continue to grow us as you grow you. Thanks for the contribution here.
    .-= Dyana Valentine´s last blog ..Are you (always) “on sale?” =-.

  • Kathie

    great article Dyana!

    Kathie Adams

  • dyanavalentine

    Thanks so much for being here, Kathie. What do you recommend for folks who are “on sale?”

  • Karen J

    Whole-heartedly seconding the Heart of Money, here!
    ~ All those little, tiny pieces of ‘opinion-as-fact’ that we took in as gospel years an’ years ago, and need to recognize as ‘not true’!

    Bright Blessings! K

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