Service Providers Know Your Worth is the focus of this podcast episode. It’s for small business owners that operate service based businesses. It gives actionable tips and advice on service business marketing and helps them steer clear of the ‘worthless trap’.
This episode, Service Providers Know Your Worth, is especially for you if you’re a small business owner who provides a service to consumers or other businesses.
In recent episodes I’ve covered elements of the marketing mix over a series of three episodes. One of those was about pricing. However, for service providers, even after you’ve been through the suggested methods, that I’ve previously described to you, I know that many of you may still struggle with pricing.
This is largely because many service providers don’t know their true worth. For this reason, I’m going to give you some top tips on how to prevent yourself from falling into the pricing for your time trap. Plus, I’m going to give you some actionable advice on ramping up your marketing with confidence.
The Worthless Trap Number One
The Worthless Trap number one is what I refer to as the place a service provider goes to get new customers or clients.
This is the place where you put your packages or service offering together. Then, you think about the value you can bring and what you think your services are worth.
Now, you have an idea of price! Then, you fall into the worthless trap of thinking that you can’t possibly charge that price. People are never going to pay that.
You look at your competition and believe that the ones who are charging less have got it right, so surely you much drop your prices. Then you presume that those, that are charging a much higher rate are perfectly justified in doing so, because they’re more experienced than you. Perhaps they’re more qualified. Or, they have been in business much longer. Plus, they’re social media presence is huge, and you could never be an influencer like them!
If any of this is sounding familiar? Please let me stop you right there. As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s important to do a competitor analysis and be aware of what your competition is doing. However, when you’re a service provider, you are never providing like-for-like services.
Being aware of what your competitors are doing is not so that you can copy. It’s also important that you don’t negatively compare yourself to them. There are so many ways to differentiate yourself other than price. Your deliverables are what you need to focus on to add value. But never lose sight of your true worth as a service provider.
If you’re not operating at the higher end of the market or you’re not ready to charge a top price right now, make sure that you’re not underestimating the value that you bring to your clients.
If you’re uncertain about the value you bring, then ask your clients. They’re probably benefiting in more ways than you realised.
The Worthless Trap Number Two
Worthless Trap number two is believing you’re not quite good enough!
Believe it or not, one of my most popular podcast episodes was one about imposter syndrome and its impact on marketing. There is a little element of that here.
So, let me ask you – Not good enough for who specifically? Not good enough for your clients? I’ll bet that’s not true, because if this was true, they wouldn’t be your clients.
Perhaps, you feel like you’re not good enough to compete in your chosen industry? Let me tell you that every single one of your competitors is either feeling the same as you or they have done so at one time.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you may have a long way to go to be a key player in your industry. Or you could be closer than you think. Either way, it doesn’t matter!
I’m assuming that if you’re providing a service, then you know what you’re doing to provide your service. You know your industry! Now, please know your worth!
You may have spent a lot of time, possibly years, studying and getting qualified to do what you do. Or you’ve got lots of experience. You may be recently qualified and are building your experience. Perhaps, you’re highly experienced working for someone else and now you’re going it alone for the first time.
Whatever your circumstances. It doesn’t matter! You are more than worthy!
It’ doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, except you and your clients. How other people perceive your service, delivery and pricing is irrelevant. It only matters what you and your clients think and that’s it. So, believe me when I tell you that you don’t need the approval of others. If you’re clients think you’re good enough and they’re willing to pay your price, then that’s all that matters right now. You never know, they may even be willing to pay more! Now, there’s a thought!
It may be time to increase your price!
The Worthless Trap Number Three
The worthless trap number three is about doing consultations for free.
If you’re currently doing stuff for free, you may be justifying it with excuses like you’re building your reputation, getting feedback, creating word-of-mouth, growing your client bases, or something similar.
Forgive me for using the word excuses but that’s what they are. What if I told you that you’re probably doing your business and your self-esteem more harm than good?
Chances are that clients that you’re working with for free may never become paying customers. Plus, they’ll never feel the true value of your service. It’s of no value to them, because they haven’t paid for it.
If you’re giving away your time, skills, knowledge, and experience for free, then not only are you not recognising your self-worth as a professional in your field but you’re also wasting your precious time, because you could be doing paid work with new clients.
Let me take you on an imaginary journey. Imagine that you’re walking into your favourite clothes retailer because you want a new jacket. As you enter, you notice those familiar sounds and smells. As you browse the racks, you find a jacket that is perfect for you. So, you head to the dressing room to try it on. It’s a perfect fit and you want to buy it.
What do you do next? Do you ask the shop assistant to allow you to walk around wearing the jacket for a day before you buy it? Should you haggle over the price? Do you insist on trialling it for a couple of weeks before you make the purchase or hand it back?
I know the answer is no to all of these things because that would be totally unacceptable! You would either decide it’s not for you or purchase it immediately at the price that is on the label.
So, how about you do the same? Price your services to what is right for your business and stop providing free consultations. I get the temptation, and I’ll be totally honest, when I very first set up as a marketing consultant, back in 2003, I offered a free consultation. So, believe me when I tell you that it’s not always the best way.
By all means, arrange a twenty minute discovery call to make sure that you and your potential clients are a good fit.
Write blogs, do podcasts, post social media posts to add value, so that your potential clients know that you are an expert in your field. As for the free consultants, stop them now.
Even if you’re doing it to get testimonials and online reviews, stop! Look at some kind of promotional offers, but still at a cost. There’s lots of different promotions and referrals strategies you can use, but never for free.
- Don’t say your price like you’re asking a question or seeking approval
- State the price you charge with conviction and confidence
- If someone is willing to pay for an initial consultation, then they’re the customers who will be willing to use your services again and again
- Do your homework on your competition, but find other ways that price to differentiate your self
- As yourself when now is a good time to start believing in yourself
- Get more qualifications, attend more courses, maintain your lifelong learning, but no that regardless of the next certificate or letters after your name, you are good enough right now!
- Stop making excuses for providing free consultations and make a promise to yourself that you’ll never do another free consultation again. Unless, of course it’s as part of a promotion, it’s exchange for reviews or it’s a special thank you for a referral that led to business. Or something else along those lines. Even them, it it’s an offer, between 20 minutes and 40 minutes should be enough. Don’t make it part of your marketing and sales processes.
- Instead, look at ways that you can offer discounted discovery calls, introduce rewards for customer referrals and develop a referral scheme that brings in new paying customers.
- Remember that you are the value you bring to your clients.
- Know your value, understand all the benefits that your clients get from using your services and use their words in your promotional activities.
- Price with purpose and perhaps put different packages together.
- Finally, consider increasing your prices or put plans in place to steadily increase them in the future.
- After all, a customer that doesn’t pay, isn’t really a customer, they’re just passing through.
I hope you’ve found this episode useful. If I can be of assistance with your small business marketing, please do get in touch with me via my website www.tracyheatley.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’m Tracy Heatley and I thank you for listening to my Be Better With Tracy Heatley podcast.
Better Business, Better You!