Many small business owners, internet marketers and editors make the same mistake when starting their business: thinking small and taking anyone they can just to make money. While they think that this is the right thing to do, they are setting themselves up for disaster.
If you want to be successful in your business, you have to know what you are worth in the industry you are in. This article will discuss how to charge fairly for your services without downgrading your skills and worth.
Take into account the experience you have in your field!
Just because you were an executive assistant with another company offline does not mean you aren’t experienced. In fact, congratulate yourself, because you’ve probably gotten mentoring, coaching and experience you couldn’t get anywhere else. Take the time you were with other companies into consideration when you list your rates.
Keep in mind that if you charge too high, some may think you’re ripping clients off. If you charge too low, you risk being seen as inexperienced–even if you have many years under your belt.
Talk to others in your industry.
This sounds scary. After all, you are told not to talk to your competition about your business. However, networking is essential when you’re working for yourself. Take the time to ask them questions about their job and their day to day tasks. Know what you are getting yourself into before you blindly post numbers.
Think about the time it takes to edit a piece, write an article, show people how to set up online businesses or making a product. Take those facts into consideration when pricing.
List your rates.
Some will tell you not to do this, but you will find better clients since they know what to expect. When they sign up for a consultation, they know what kind of services they want, how much they want them for and for how many hours a month they like. If you have your prices listed per project or product, clients will come to your meeting expecting to pay those prices without any surprises. Most, if not all, will be happy to sign a contract as long as you’re sincere.
If this sounds like a turn off, just remember that a few quality clients are better than 20-30 people paying you peanuts to do those same tasks. If you stick with a handful of people who will pay your rate, you will please your clients and not overwork yourself.
Stand firm on your rate!
Many new freelancers and business owners may feel trapped into lowering their rate because “someone cannot afford” their services. However, by doing that, you are downgrading the quality of your work. Pricing means a lot to someone who wants to hire a freelancer.
There is a firm belief in the virtual assistant industry that those who pay a freelancer low money recieve low quality and that is true. When you set yourself up for low prices, that belief stands strong with someone looking to contract. As soon as you have a price in single digits, some will find someone to contract with.
Let them go elsewhere and find business. Do not try convince them if price pushes them away.
It may hurt to know that people will do this, but people are always looking for quality and value. If you offer that, don’t be afraid to turn someone down who doesn’t fit your model of an idea client. As long as you post blogs, update your portfolio and maintain good business relationships, good paying clients will come to you.
But there is another important thing to cover, which is when to let a client go based on wanting more services than what they’re paying for, or want to pay you less than originally contracted. Take a breath, and repeat this phrase.
Don’t be afraid to let them go.
Clients who become wishy-washy about paying for extra services they ask for won’t make for good customers down the road. If they ask for extra services and are not willing to do a new contract with updated pricing (for example, they want you to post ads on an online store they have when you are only contracted to do blog posts or articles), it is time to cut ties with that client. If they are paying you less than what you agreed upon or just don’t pay you at all, it is also time to let them go.
At no point should you be unprofessional. Simply state that you feel that your working relationship may not suit your client’s needs and give them another person that may be better suited for them. This way, you are still creditable and you are looking out for you client’s best interest by providing them with someone who can work within their budget.
If they threaten you with bad feedback or trying to make it harder for you to gain customers, still send them on their way. If you have testimonials with clients you’ve worked with, this shouldn’t be an issue.
The same goes for people that have signed up with your team if you’re an internet marketer. While word of mouth may hit your business, those who have had success should help you bounce back from one bad experience. As you grow more successful, you will find that some just do not want to work the way you do and that’s fine.0