Undervaluing your value

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Experience and skills have  a value. People are prepared to pay for these things. When starting out in your own business, however, it is hard to know where to pitch what you are going to charge for what you have to offer. You are an unknown quantity in two ways. Your customers have yet to try you and so cannot judge your worth and, more importantly, you lack the confidence and knowledge to demand what you can really command.

In some ways you end up in an imposter like syndrome. If you are not careful you undervalue yourself and end up giving your services for less than the market will bear. You are alone and afraid that your customer will baulk at what you are charging and that you will end up with nothing and so the pressure is on to undercharge. This is inevitable at first as you try and build a reputation, yet as my friend Mike once told me, you have never been more experienced than you are now.

The truth is that you are not alone. There is ample opportunity in the market to test your pricing. You can look at your competitors, or people offering similar kinds of services or products to you. You can even ask them. I have found that most people are more than happy to give you advice, after all it is in their interest that they keep their rates in line with expectations.

Then of course you can ask the client themselves. I am in the lucky position that I can ask my customers what they would like to pay for what they are  wanting me to do. If it is too low I can say no and if its too high I may even suggest that they have a rethink. Every time I have used this approach we have come to an agreement without any argument.

People expect to pay and they expect to pay well for quality. After all, quality is remembered long after the thrill of cheap purchase is forgotten.

Be confident in your own experience, skills and value. Charge accordingly. You are no imposter.

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