Anyone else struggle with figuring out what your time is worth?
If you provide a service or business to people you’re probably familiar with calculating what you should charge. If it’s based on hours worked or projects completed your time and talents are valuable. How do you figure out what to charge for your most valuable asset that you will never get back?
Just because something is your passion doesn’t mean that you’re not allowed to profit from it. That’s how every successful person got where they are now.
Not a single person on this earth want to do something they dread day after day. We all want to be profitable, free to choose what we do and who we do it with.
If you provide your family or friends with a service it can be awkward to bring up the cost of their investment in you; especially if it’s something that isn’t tangible.
We tend to view people as we know them even if they’ve changed. If you grew up with someone you view them as a childhood friend and overcoming that can be difficult.
I have provided services to my family members and luckily we are able to balance expectations. There are times where I know I am doing something as a daughter, sister, niece or cousin then there are times when I am their marketing manager and we should act accordingly.
Seek out the benefits.
- I love that we have the chance to work together and there is a comfort zone of working with someone close to you.
- You’re able to call and text or communicate with more flexibility.
- There’s an opportunity to test-run products or systems.
When I am acting as their marketing manager, I don’t abuse that relationship. I always start my business conversations with the usual small talk and check-ins because...HOW awkward if not?
When you meet, arrive early, come prepared and treat it with the same professionalism that you would a new client. I still work on deadlines, I provide the same quality and I’m going to earn what you are paying me for.
You set up the expectations for how people treat you.
If someone knows that you’ll always throw in something extra or that you will settle for that lower cost why in the world would they ever pay more than that? This is one reason why I am a big fan of charging for a project as a whole vs. hourly rates. Estimate what you want your hourly rate to be x how long it should take and then account for edits or additional costs. Build your ideal situation and show people why that situation is way more beneficial for them as well.
If I say YES to working for someone for free then I am saying NO to someone who would pay me for that service. If you’re saying no to something you are saying it is not important to you.
Fill your time with things that are important to you and only those things.
Welcome back to that imposter syndrome we’ve talked about. There’s an equation between selfishness and money that people often combine. People want free things but there’s no value in 0. There is no accountability in 0. If you give away free, customers will get some value but will they respect your work as much? As soon as you put a price tag on something, there’s a worry they’ll think “Oh, she’s trying to make money off me.” or “She doesn’t care about being generous, she just wants to get rich.”
Hear me loud, hear me clear.
Your. Time. Is. The. Most. Valuable. Thing. You. Have.
They are paying for a product that you spent a lot of time and talent on. If they pay, they’ve got skin in the game. They’re compensating and thanking you. If you’re charging someone it does not mean that you don’t care about them or don’t have good intentions. You do.
What qualifies you to charge someone for the product or service you’re providing?
- What degree or certifications have you earned to establish yourself in that space?
- What past experience have you had that will help your working experience with this client?
- You have 24 hours every day. What are those hours worth to you?
If you’re not confident in what you are charging, something needs a little more work. You.
If you are newer to the game you might have to do a handful of jobs for free or at a very low cost. If you’re creating something and providing it as a gift you still used your time and products that you could have put toward a profit so it only adds to the value.
If you’re not confident in requesting payments because you are newer there is endless potential here!
- There is no stronger form of advertising than word of mouth. Work for free or a low rate in exchange for a review that will propel your business.
- Offer a discount for referrals. This will increase your business revenue, provide a chance for you to improve your craft and increase your audience.
- Exchanging services is also another plus. Can you build their website if they do your bookkeeping? Find something of equal value and partner up. If it’s something more than a one-time gig, write out an agreement you both agree on and have access to.
There is always something valuable that can be provided and it doesn’t always have to be money.
If you still feel bad for charging people for your time and service then you’re not confident in what you are providing. Go learn more, try more, under promise then over deliver. Completing a S.W.O.T analysis and branding strategy to portray exactly who you are, what you are offering and who you are offering it to will set you up for success with people who want to work with you.
I was recently talking to another entrepreneur (@Rachele_Does_Hair on Instagram. Check her out!) And LOVED the perspective she shared with me.
“It’s not your job to decide what is in other people’s budgets. You tell them your prices up front and let them decide if it’s something they think is important enough to invest their money on. It’s like if you were to walk into a store and they don’t show you something because they don’t think it’s in your budget.” Insulting, right? Like Pretty Woman!
Never undersell or underestimate what you are worth. Even if one person refuses to invest in you, I promise there are 10 more out there who will. People have a lot on their plates and what you’re providing should make their lives easier, happier or better.
If you decide to give an hour of your time to someone and they can’t reciprocate the same respect for you then it’s not the worth time. You and what you have to offer are not a waste of time. If you can’t clearly communicate or act on that why would you expect anyone to buy into that.
When working with businesses this is a recurring struggle I help entrepreneurs overcome. If you have more questions for me please reach out. I love talking to ya!
PS: Have we worked together? I would love a short and honest review on my business page if you haven’t shared already!