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How to Charge What You’re Worth as a Small Business Owner

As a creative entrepreneur, you are the boss. You set the rules, the schedule, and the rates. But it’s not always easy, and it can be tricky to figure out how to charge what you’re truly worth. 

It can go one of two ways: either you charge a high price and not bring as many clients through the door, or end up charging too little, undervaluing yourself, and potentially burning out by working too much.

When you do the work on honing your offers, your values, and your message to meet the needs of your ideal clients, asking to get paid what you are worth is easy. But if you still need a little guidance, here are some things to keep in mind:

Check what other people in your industry are charging

Being aware of what your peers and competitors are charging for similar services is crucial for not underselling yourself. Take some time to do some research, not just once, but at least once a year. 

What are other people charging for similar skills and services? What’s the going rate for someone with your experience and qualifications? Having this knowledge will be extremely helpful in getting comfortable with what to charge.

Get clear on your ‘why’

When we talk about our ‘why’, we’re often referring to the purpose behind our business. In this case, we’re talking about why you’re charging the prices you are.

Once you’ve done your research and get clear on your rates, remind yourself what you’ve done to deserve this figure. Write down a list of all of your qualifications, achievements, and years of experience that got you to where you are today.

This is not only great to serve as a reminder of how far you come, but comes in handy in case anyone asks you for some information that demonstrates your abilities.

Gather some social proof

If you don’t collect testimonials or customer reviews already, start reaching out to people you’ve worked with to share feedback about your time together and how you’ve helped them. 

Having others validate the work you do will not only act as a great ego boost, but displaying them on your website and social media accounts also acts as evidence of your value to prospective customers.

Stick to your guns

One of the best things about having your own business is the power to say ‘no’. It puts you in control by avoiding people who don’t value your time, and gives you the ability to work on projects you’re truly passionate about (pay what you’re worth).

If a potential client tries to haggle, or tries to get more bang for their buck, you can firmly but politely tell them thanks, but no thanks. We promise there are tons of people out there who will happily pay what you’re worth, and saying no to those unaligned clients will make room for more of those dreamy ideal customers.

Invest in coaching or mentorship

It’s always great to have somebody in your corner who is rooting for you and cheering you on to succeed. Especially if it’s someone who has been where you are. A mentor or coach who has personal experience in your industry, or a similar business to yours, can help you learn to navigate the murky waters of entrepreneurship.

As well as practical things like business strategy, a coach can help you navigate any mindset hurdles around what you’re charging, and help you raise your prices in a way that feels comfortable for you.

Remember, you’re an expert in your field

If someone is reaching out for paid support, it’s because you’re able to do something they can’t. They’re investing in you and your craft – something you’ve likely spent years honing – and therefore you deserve to be paid accordingly. Own it! And remember that you’re not just charging for the amount of time a project takes, but also taking into account the years it took to get good at what you do.

If you’re looking for support from other creatives and small business owners on charging what you’re worth, or just feel like you could benefit from being in community with like-minded people, consider joining Magnetic Makers

This membership is perfect for anyone who needs to feel inspired, motivated, and excited to grow their small business. As well as regular gatherings and brainstorming sessions, we also offer workshops from top entrepreneurs in the industry to help you find clarity for your small business without paying through the nose. Join today for only $27 a month!

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