I never have been focused on profit as my number one goal. I want to inspire people and help them move forward in their business, so much so I often forgot about monetizing this process. I recently started taking an E-Course with Emylee completely focused on Pricing for Profit. After spending some one-on-one time with Emylee things became extremely clear, extremely fast. Though I was valuing my design services, I wasn’t valuing the knowledge I give away in person or online.
It was a hard line for me for me to draw. How do you go from pouring your heart into every blog post and every online interaction to asking someone to pay for your input? I think I really just needed someone else to tell me what I was worth.
Often times if someone just wants to “pick your brain” or “grab coffee” they really are looking for more than just a brief chat. They see you have value; they see your success and would like advice to advance themselves. Not that they are wrong in asking or even that you are wrong in offering, but you have to draw that important line in the sand - carefully and with grace.
1. Recognize What They Are After
In general offers to “grab coffee” fall into three categories for me. My guess is you are running into a similar situation.
A ) They Need a Friend
Running a business, especially as a woman working from home, can feel like a lonely place. Sometimes a request to get together is purely about camaraderie, sharing stories or celebrating an important milestone. This would be no different than having drinks with a friend. And this is something I would never charge for.
B ) They Want Advice
This is where I previously tended to give away all my best secrets. Usually, these were requests from people I knew very little about, or had only briefly met once. I often would spend an hour or so preparing before getting together. Between 30-45 minutes driving to a location. Spend another hour to hour and a half chatting. And then a series of follow-up emails.
C ) They Expressed Interest in Being a Client
Whoop! Yay! That’s where I get really excited. Sure, I never charge for that first get to know you session, but hey, if they want to hire me for design, marketing or advertising services it only makes sense to invest my time to see how well we could work together.
2. Monetize Your Time
Depending on what bucket someone falls into, you should consider monetizing your time. As a single business owner, not only is your time limited, but it is also the most valuable.
Figure out what you want to charge. The actually number itself is pretty irrelevant, but I will let Emylee dive deeper into that tomorrow with her guest post “Pricing Has Nothing to Do with Numbers”.
I would recommend a set price based on a set amount of time. Know exactly what you are putting into every session and how much time you are willing to "give away." I personally decided to make the time more valuable and well spent by adding a pre-consultation to every strategy session. This not only let’s you map out what you want to talk about in advance, but analyze where you are at right now. This gives me better opportunity to prepare to cover the right things and bring any extra materials I need to the in person meeting or the Skype call.
After every session I follow up with an action plan, that walks step-by-step through your next 10 major areas of focus. I provide additional study materials and links to any other resource I think would be of benefit, that may or may not have been a part of the original discussion.
3. Create A Sales Page
I am a big BIG fan of pricing transparency. I personally believe it saves a lot of time for everyone involved. But don’t just make it a number dumping ground, your sales page needs to work for you.
Show people you understand their struggles. Reassure them you have an idea of the solution and want to be part of it. Share a brief description of your services and everything that it includes. List your pricing and a place to buy. Give some social proof and client testimonies. At the end of the page, call them to action one more time.
Take a look at my one-on-one strategy sessions.
4. Know When To Give Free Advice
So there is a fine line when deciding what you are willing to "give away." I struggle with this dilemma more often than I would like to admit. You have to set personal boundaries. Sure, I have certain friends that regardless if they just wanted a vent session or if they really want to talk business that I will never charge for. Why? Because I value my relationship with them more than I do getting paid.
Even though that may be true, there are times when it makes sense to go ahead and send over that sales page. Be professional. Explain the value and what they will get out of it. Don’t be surprised if some people never follow-up. It is not to say they didn’t want to spend time with you, just that they were hoping for the free all access pass. You have be willing to be honest and up front when a request crosses over the line of what you'll freely "give away."
As a Get out of Jail Free card, I do have an option for fence sitters. Generally, these are the type of clients that are somewhere between hiring me for full on creative services or just a one-on-one session.
I always offer a FREE 15-minute discovery call for anyone with questions. This is your opportunity to quiz me about what I can offer and also my chance to gauge your level of interest and where you are at in the process.
Interested in seeing how we could work together? Find out more on my branding and marketing services.
Ready to book a one-on-one? Find out more about your session and book today.