3 signs you need to work on your mindset around pricing
Pricing’s tricky right?
When you go into business for yourself it's like you have to put a value on yourself. Urgh!
You might have some mindset stuff around wanting to be accessible and affordable for everyone.
So, if you are struggling with prices right now, here are a couple of different ways it could be showing up for you.
#1. You hide. You don't tell people about what you do. You procrastinate posting, launching or publishing. It’s so normal to get into analysis paralysis.
#2. You think someone else must know better than you. You might canvas for prices on business forums or with your friends and family. Big mistake.
#3. You believe there's a critic-proof price. There’s no perfect price. There’s no price that will make everyone say yes.
In this episode, you'll learn:
- Being in business is NOT about getting everything right
- How to avoid other people’s money blocks when setting your price
- That you may lose some clients and that’s ok
- The EXACT thing that’s holding you back
- What happens energetically when you get paid well
Know this: you can't help people if you burn yourself out.
If you have to have a job that you hate to subsidize your business you’re not going to be able to bring your best self.
It's okay to charge for your work.
You serve, you deserve.
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Hey friend, it's Denise here and welcome to Chill and Prosper. Now I was looking at the podcast list recently and I realized we haven't talked about pricing for such a long time. Pricing is such an important part in business, it's something that I get questions on all of the time. So I think it's super important for us to talk about prices. Yay. And I have talked about this a lot in the past on my blog and everything like that, so what I did recently was I put everything together in a pricing ebook for you. So it's completely free, if you go to denisedt.com/pricing you can download that. It's got some scripts in it and things like that.
But I thought today, let's just talk about some of the mindset issues around pricing that you might be dealing with, because it's a tricky thing right? It's absolutely so tricky, and it feels a bit yuck. Okay, so today we're talking about the mindset of pricing. And if you've been in a corporate job or a retail or anything like that, you don't really have to think about pricing. Someone just tells you, this is what we charge and that's it. And you've never had to really justify it. You've never had to pick it yourself. And it's just fine.
And even when I was in consulting, I had a day rate that was set by my company. And they increased it every six months or so when they were like, well you've got another skill let's charge the client more. And I went, okay. It just never occurred to me that I had any, I don't know, that I could do anything about that.
And so then when you go into business for yourself, then you're like, oh I have to put a value on this. And suddenly it's not so black and white, it's not so easy. Because it's like you're putting a value on yourself and you might have some thoughts about that. It might feel like, oh my God is my price saying that I'm too big for my boots? That I think I'm really smart? That I think I'm too good for other people? Or you think, oh God I really want to be accessible and affordable for people. So what are people going to pay? And it is just such a mind beep, because it's got all this extra stuff around it.
So if you are struggling with prices right now, here are a couple of different ways it could be showing up for you. So one, is that you are just hiding in business completely. You don't even want to tell people about what you do. You're not sending out newsletters. You could be not launching something because you're just stuck on the price. And that could be from anything. You could be procrastinating hitting publish on your book because you don't know what to charge for it. You might be procrastinating on launching a product or program because you don't know what to charge for it. Or your one-on-one services, or your packages for building a website for people.
So you might be getting into complete analysis paralysis right now about your prices. And that is so normal. But I think there's an underlying thing here, is that one, we think there's a critic proof price. So we are like, there must be a perfect price out there and my quest is to find it. No, your quest is to help people and to make money in your business. That's not the point of being in business, is to get everything right.
You also think that when you set your prices that, that's it forever. That not only is there a critic proof price that nobody is going to be upset over, that you're going to find this perfect price that you'll only have to make the decision once. Ah what a fallacy, no. It's the right for now price, is what you're looking for. And that can be hard, right? It could be hard.
The other mindset issue is that someone else must know better than me. And this is where people come to me and they go, what should I charge for this? I'm delivering di di di, and I go, I don't know what do you want to charge? And they're like, no Denise just tell me the answer. And I go, I don't know.
Or you go onto business forums and go, Hey guys what should I charge for this? And everyone's going to have a different answer. Especially nowadays if you're in business forums, people are from all different cities, all different states, all different countries, all different levels of business, all different backgrounds around money. And everyone's going to have their own different opinion. And it's like you're taking on everyone else's money blocks with their opinion about your pricing. So we just think, oh, someone else must know better than me.
You might have even found this episode by Googling. What should I price? Oh mental note, SEO, do a lot of articles. Like how should I price my kids' photography services? How should I price my thing? And so if you are doing research right now on pricing, I'm going to stop you right there. It's so not useful. It's not useful. So if you are trying to do some market research and seeing what other people are charging, I'm going to tell you it's actually not useful.
One, because you don't know what's going on for them. Most entrepreneurs have money blocks. If your fellow competitors are women, a lot of women have money blocks. If you live in a place that has a low economic kind of population, then that's going to have an impact as well. So if you are going, oh just be the average what everyone else is charging. It's just not based on anything that's too useful.
The other thing is, there is a price point for every business, there really is. And I'll give you an example where everyone has this no matter where you live in the world, there's always a hair salon or a beauty salon. And there is a beauty salon for every price point. There's the little hole in the wall, ones at the mall like the Just Cutz, with a Zed, where they give you a cheap and cheerful haircut. You don't even get to choose. They just like put a bowl on your kids' head and cut it. Or they just buzz your kids' head. Anything from those up to super, super high end with champagne and chandeliers and beautiful music and things like that.
So there's a price point for everything that you do. And you might think, no Denise what I do is really specialized... No there really isn't, in most cases you can just charge what you like. As long as it's a right fit for you and a right fit for the clients that you want to work with, your ideal clients that you want to work with.
But the mindset is, there's a critic proof price. There is a price that I'll be able to have forever I'll only have to make this once. Everyone else knows better than me, including people who are not even my clients, as in your business friends and your partner and even your business coach might not be able to help you with your pricing. So there's a real perfectionism mindset issue that comes up for people because it feels vulnerable, it feels icky and it feels dangerous. Does that make sense? It feels dangerous because you're thinking someone's not going to like this. Someone's not going to like this. Someone's not going to be happy. What am I going to do if someone can't afford it? And it is what it is, right?
Another thing that has a vastly different price point by the way, and has a price point for every customer, is photography. I've paid anything for photography from free because people were like, oh I just want to just get some experience. To people who are low cost and they only have a couple of photographs, so it's appropriate. People who are low cost and over deliver like crazy. People who are medium costs and go either way. People who are high costs, some are worth it, some haven't been worth it.
And so again, there's a price point for everything that you do. It's just finding the right strategy and the right mix for you. Okay so stop thinking there's a critic proof price, stop thinking there's a perfect price. And if you get it, everyone will say yes and no one will be angry with you.
Okay so just one really quick one for me, I did the same thing, don't think that I'm lecturing you. When I first started out as a life coach, I just literally Googled what life coaches in my area were charging. Even though I wasn't even just looking for local clients. I just thought someone else knew better. And I thought, oh if I'm too expensive people will think that I'm too big for my boots. But if I'm too cheap, oh maybe I'll look like I'm inexperienced. Just someone tell me.
So it is just that Goldilocks pricing, right for now. Just, it feels okay. It's totally okay to not get it right. Sometimes you might go too high and it doesn't feel right. Sometimes it's too low and it doesn't feel right either. You won't get it right the first or the 100th time. And it's not like in a job where you can only probably ask for a pay increase once a year. You can change this anytime you like. So if you decide you sell something and you go, wow that was really undercharged, just change it the next time. Do you get that? You're allowed to change it.
And this is particularly important if you have been in my world for a long time too, and maybe you just haven't even looked at your prices for a while. And when I priced even my courses, I think I just copied what my business coach did, but that was like 10 years ago. It's totally okay to change it whenever, whenever you like.
Okay, so I'm going to take a quick break and when I come back, let's talk about some of the fears that you might have about increasing your prices. Because it's really normal, everyone has them, but by the end of this episode, you're going to feel a little bit braver and you'll feel better at increasing your prices. All right I'll see you in about a minute. Bye.
Cressida: Hi I'm Cressida from the UK and I'm a music agent. I've just been reading Chill and Prosper, and absolutely lost it. I just find it a really great way of looking at how to make my business work. Especially as I've got two young children and loads of other responsibilities and things that I have to be dealing with in life.
Love the whole non-traditional way of looking at it. So just challenging the whole narrative of you have to work really, really hard at the expense of everything else to make money. And just how that's not necessarily true, I think that's fab. And just the whole impact that mindset has on how your business works, and day to day how you turn up and work on it. Yeah just so many things I've got from it, just totally love it. Thanks Denise.
Denise Duffield...: Okay welcome back, today we are talking about the mindset of pricing. And I know people listening to this, you have so many different types of businesses, everyone in different industries. We have listeners from all over the world. So I always love hearing your ahas from these episodes. So shoot me something on social media. I'm @DeniseDT tweet me, I love getting tweets by the way, because no one really knows about my Twitter account, so I love when I get tweets. Instagram me, do a post about it and tag me. Message me on Facebook, whatever.
Because you are sitting there thinking you're alone with all these pricing dilemmas and you're really not. It's a really tricky thing for all of us, including me. Every time I put out something new, I do the same thing. If I put together my retreat, I go like, ah how am I going to charge for this? So everyone's got the same fear, so let's talk about those.
One fear is, will I lose all of my clients if I increase my prices? Do you want some real Denise talk? Yes, you will lose some clients when you increase your prices. Because every time you put something out, you'll attract people and it's a perfect match for them, for where they're at. So it might be a perfect match of energy or a need or price. And sometimes when you outgrow that part of your business, you outgrow that price point, you will outgrow some of those clients. And even the word outgrow feels exclusionary, it feels snobby, it feels yucky, so even that word might trigger you. It's not even about outgrowing, it's just, it's just not a match anymore. It's not a match.
And if you stay working with people that you are no longer a match with, it's not good for them either. It's not good for them either because you'll feel resentful. But it holds you back. You might really desire to do something else in your business or to move on or to work with a slightly different group of clients, because it would feel better to you. And sometimes that feels like we're not allowed for it to feel good to us. It's like, hang on no, the customer's always right, I've got to do it for them. But if you do it to fit everyone else, you might quit, you might resent it, you might not be able to show up the best.
So I'm always like, do the business for you and then find the people who would be served by you and your natural abilities. That's the Chill and Prosper way. That really is the Chill and Prosper way. And by the way, I talk about that in my book Chill and Prosper, is finding that right fit client for you.
And if you've done my Sacred Money Archetypes work, that's about finding some archetypes are a better match than others. By the way, if you haven't done the quiz for that, it's at denisedt.com/quiz Find out which money archetype you are. And then there's a whole course behind that too.
But everyone's got those same fears. Will I lose all of my clients? And yes you will lose some, because some will just find someone else. And you might think, oh no one will serve them if I don't serve them at that low price. And it's like, well there's always new people coming into every industry and they need to go through their apprenticeship. They need to go through that lesson of undercharging, or they might just be a perfect fit at that price point. So you don't have to work with everyone. You don't have to meet everyone's budget to do that.
And so what's the next fear from that, is that people are going to hate me or people are not going to like me. Now this could be multifaceted for you. It might be for you that your community won't like you if you charge, they will attack you. I've seen it. I know it's horrible to say, but I've seen people who go, oh they're used to getting all this stuff for free and now I'm charging $2 for an ebook and they're attacking me. And you just go, oh my God that's not the solution, is to then retreat and go, okay guys. You're not a hostage to your community. You're not a hostage to your clients. You're allowed to do what works for you. Because without you, without health and longevity of your energy and your business, there is no business.
You can't help people if you burn yourself out, if you have to have a job that you hate, to subsidize your business. It's okay for you to charge. So yes, you might be worried that your community won't like it. Your current clients won't like it. Your older clients, your most loyal clients, people who've been with you since the start.
Let me talk on that because someone said that to me recently. Have gone, "well I hope you remember the people who got you where you are." And I was just like, first of all I was like, oh you're right. And then I went, this is not a one sided relationship. Like we both give and take here. If I write a book and someone buys it, that's a closed loop, we both got something out of the situation. If I create something and someone consumes it, I don't owe them, they don't owe me, it's complete.
And so sometimes we feel this obligation of, I don't want to talk about this thing anymore, but people have supported me so I feel obligated to do it. And no. And anyone who tells you that is a dick honestly, is just not cool. It's not cool. If you think about it from the other side, it's not polite to attack someone over their pricing. It's not polite to attack someone over wanting to make a living. And so anyone who's doing that, they're a dick, like an absolute horrible, that's a shitty thing to do. So just have that wake up call and go, would I do this to someone else? No. Well then they're being rude. It's so impolite to do it.
You might think though, you worry about people in your industry not liking you. Because some industries have these unspoken agreements that we only charge this amount. And sometimes it's really explicit. Like you go to industry conferences and they say, this is the benchmark, this is what you should be charging, end of. Sometimes though, it's not explicitly said, but there's someone who's a gatekeeper in your industry who kind of sets the pace. Does that make sense? So they kind of say, this is what I charge.
And I noticed this in my town. I was getting lessons for something I won't say because it might... But I was getting lessons for something. And after a couple of weeks I had to say, look can I just, I don't normally do this, but can I just give you some feedback? I think your pricing is so cheap. I really think there's a little bit of wiggle room. And they said, yeah but there's this guy in town who've kind of trained us all and is our mentor. And that's what he charges and that's what he teaches people to do. And there's this unspoken thing that you can't charge more than him. And this is a guy who's been around forever. And I said to him, but yeah what if he's made his money? What if he doesn't need the money, and that's why he's doing it? But this is your livelihood, you're allowed to. And I felt rude because I wasn't giving him lessons on money mindset.
But I just know that sometimes there's someone in your industry who is either the mean girl, or they're the matriarch or the patriarch of your industry, and they're setting the pace, and it's just this unspoken agreement that you don't charge more than them, or you don't go outside of what everyone else is charging.
Sometimes there's a hierarchy involved, again unspoken, where it's like well I'm newer than them. But in some industries, like if you are a social media person... Say for example, you're a TikTok social media expert. This didn't exist a year ago, two years ago, right? And so you can charge what you like, finding the right customer for that, because longevity in that business doesn't exist. So someone who goes, well I've been in social media management for 20 years, back when it was... Whatever was around 20 years ago. It's irrelevant. You don't have to follow a hierarchy. You're allowed to leapfrog ahead because we're all different. You might have different customers. You might have people who have a bit more flexibility in their budget.
So there's just a big community scarcity sometimes around that, where you think, I don't want to be kicked out of my community. And it's that old feeling, it's primal for us, I'm going to get kicked out of the tribe, nobody will protect me and I'll starve and die. And so that's why you might be keeping your prices low because you're like, I will have no friends, my mentor will hate me, I won't be able to go to the conferences anymore, and everyone will hate me.
And I did hear this one time. There was a lady that I knew who was in the wedding industry. And she said that the people in the wedding industry started mean girling her because her prices were so much higher than everyone else's. Because she was working on her money mindset. Because she was being very deliberate about who she was targeting as clients. And they were mean girling her.
And I'm not telling you this to scare you and to stop you from increasing your prices. I'm telling you because it's normal. It's normal and you cannot live your life and set everything in your business for other people's comfort, including your clients. I'm really sorry, I know that sounds confronting. This is why you need to be around people who have got a good money mindset.
And if you do need help on this, make sure you come and join us in money bootcamp. All the details for that are at denisedt.com/bootcamp. Because that is one of those communities where we're all in different industries, but we know that the money mindset work is the same regardless. And we are there to cheer lead and not shame people for their pricing.
So it's not evil or manipulative to want to make a significant living from your business. It's not bad to want to receive money in return for the good that you're putting out in the world. It's not exclusionary to target your business to a particular type of customer. And there is definitely ways that you can still feel like you're serving the community. But if you are charging well for what you do, it will buy you back time and energy to write a book, write some social media content that people can have for free. Make opt-ins for your community that they can have for free. Have scholarships if you want to. Do group coaching programs so you can serve a lot more people. But even just so you can show up and have more energy to serve more people.
Okay, so I would love to hear from you of what you've gotten from this episode and what mindset issues are coming up for you, what fears are coming up from you. So make sure you reach out at @DeniseDT. But don't forget I have a free pricing ebook for you, has some scripts in it and things like that. And you can get that at denisedt.com/pricing.
Okay but don't go away, I've got one final thought for you after this last break. All right, I'll see you in a sec.
Sarah: My name is Sarah and I own the brand Conjured Cardea. And I specialize in creating spiritual items and services for the public. While my brand has been a six figure business for quite a few years now, I was having trouble managing my time, my stress and my anxieties. Denise's books have taught me how to outsource, how to build a team, to reach even bigger and better heights with my business.
It's okay that I don't do everything myself. And I've even learned that in fact, it's actually better that I've hired a team to do some things that they're simply better at than I am. I will continue to buy Denise's books, I love every single one of them. It's made a huge difference in the quality of my life, and actually being able to enjoy the benefits and reap the rewards from my business. Thanks Denise.
Denise Duffield...: Hey there, welcome back to my final thought for today. And this is an affirmation you've probably heard me say so many times, but it's so important. And it's the affirmation of, I serve I deserve. I serve, I deserve. You show up and serve your community, you freely give of your time, energy, information, tips, resources, solutions, knowledge, none of that came for free for you. It took time and energy and research and education and trial and error. And you deserve to make money from that. Even if it's easy for you. Even if it's something that's obvious to you. Even if it's something that's fun for you. You deserve to receive in return.
And when you get stuck and you're only just giving, giving, giving, you break that virtuous cycle. You have to breathe in and breathe out, otherwise it creates stagnation and it creates bad things. So if you need to hear that, I serve I deserve, write it down somewhere on a post it, put it somewhere where you can see it. So when you are having these conversations with your clients about money, when you're increasing your prices, you can look at that and remind yourself, I serve I deserve.
All right gorgeous, go forth and chill and prosper and I'll see you on next week's episode. Bye.
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About the Show
Chill and Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.
Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.
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