Today’s post is a guest post by my own coach, Vanessa Ugatti, The True Worth Expert. Over to Vanessa:
No doubt, you’ve heard it before – focus on value, not on price. The question is are you doing that or not? I would hazard a guess that many businesses pay lip service to this, rather than really doing it. Fear dominates the world of commerce – there’s always someone willing to do it cheaper. So let’s get straight to the point – no procrastination or shilly-shallying; it’s time to make a decision and the sooner you make it the better. Neither path is easy; ultimately the choice is yours.
Ask yourself the following question:
Do I want to be the person doing it cheaper?
If the answer is yes, keep on doing the same thing and I can guarantee that you will get the same results. Don’t bother reading this article either, because you’ll be wasting your time. On the other hand, if the answer is no, take a deep breath and carry on reading.
So far, so good. If you’re still with me, you’ve successfully jumped over the first hurdle. Well done.
Ask yourself this: When was the last time I really looked at and understood my value?
For most people who have an expertise, it’s not easy to understand their value. The longer they have been doing it, and the easier it has become, the more they take it for granted. Consider the following:
- How long did it take you to become a professional translator?
- What did it cost you?
- What did you have to give up while training/learning?
- How long have you been a professional translator?
- If you were to rate yourself in terms of how good you were when you first trained on a scale of 1-10, what figure would you put on it?
- If you were to rate yourself in terms of how good you are now on a scale of 1-10, what figure would you put on it?
I will hazard a guess that it took years – longer than it took a chartered accountant to train, a doctor or even an architect. It’s no mean feat. Although I’m not a translator, I am a fluent French speaker and know how much time and effort was required to reach that stage. Remember you have gone beyond that level and are able to communicate a message effectively from one language into another. It’s an amazing skill and don’t you ever doubt it! Are you starting to see your value? If you don’t understand your own value, it will be unlikely that your clients will. Understanding your value is something which takes time and you also need to review it on a regular basis.
Ask yourself the following question:
Are the clients I’m working with in general the sort of clients who will pay me on value or are they looking for cheap and cheerful?
If it’s the latter, then clearly you’re working with the wrong clients! As previously mentioned, although I’m not a translator, I do know from coaching Karen that those of you who are working for agencies, for example, will definitely not be able to charge on value, as the agencies are dictating the prices and driving them down.
This situation means that you are not actually in control of your business; the agency acts as your employer, but without any of the benefits of actually being employed. This then erodes confidence, creates self-doubt and makes it harder to change. It’s a vicious circle which needs to be broken.
Either way, you must target those clients who will value your service and pay you accordingly. This may well mean making some radical changes in your business to be able to achieve this. I would also encourage you to decide on a specialism so that your marketing can be focussed on a particular industry or profession. As a generalist, you will be competing with all and sundry and therefore price will likely be the dictator. On the other hand, as a specialist, you elevate yourself from the masses and it’s then that you can charge a premium for your expertise.
Eliminating limiting beliefs
By now, I get the impression that you could be feeling a little overwhelmed. If that’s the case, I apologise. However, I’m not one of those fluffy people who say this is going to be easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Rome wasn’t built in a day; you’ll need focus, patience and determination to get where you want to. Moreover, it’s not just about marketing and what you do practically; it’s also vital to work on yourself. If you fail to do this, you’ll potentially limit your earnings and feel frustrated into the bargain.
What limiting beliefs do you have which are getting in the way of your success?
Karen is proof of what I’m saying. She recently told me that because of the work we’ve been doing together, that she is now charging top fees to her clients and getting them, whereas before, that wasn’t happening. Even though there are others in the marketplace willing to charge significantly less, (their competence level may or may not be as good as hers) because she now understands her value, both consciously and unconsciously, and has no qualms stating her fees, she is able to charge her true worth.
Get help! You can’t do it alone. Be willing to invest in yourself. Find the right people to support you on your journey.
Vanessa Ugatti, The True Worth Expert, coach, speaker and author of Amazon Bestseller, True Worth, dramatically shifts the thinking for people in professional services taking them from their own perceptions of not feeling they can really charge what they are worth, to doing just that – and more! This unique ability, to bring out the best in people, has evolved for her over many years of facing similar challenges both professionally and personally, even questioning her own value in business.
To access a complimentary copy of True Worth: How to Charge What You’re Worth and Get It, and to find out more, visit: www.thetrueworthexpert.com.
Title photo credit: Got Credit