This is a Facebook post that was made by Tyler J. McCall, Instagram Marketing Strategist, which gives you the PERFECT insight into why it's so important for us, as business owners, to price our products and services properly. I hope that by reading his article below, you'll understand that you don't need to be afraid to price your work at what you deserve to be earning. We put in a lot of hard work as entrepreneurs, and getting paid less than what we deserve (because we're too scared to ask for what we want) certainly isn't helping our businesses be successful.
Why I Charge $500 an Hour
I had two Instagram coaching calls today and before I knew it, we were talking about pricing. It’s an important part of how you’re marketing your business AND it plays directly into your ability to spend time marketing and branding your business in the best way possible.
One of my clients is working on increasing her prices to match the all-inclusive offer she’s creating. She’s going to start charging more and build out a full-service offer for her clients instead of charging the bare minimum and being unable to deliver a completed product that she’s proud of. By charging more, she can have control over the results she delivers and can finally provide the full transformation her clients want and need.
Another one of my clients desperately needs to charge more. She’s working herself ragged and she’s not able to show up fully for her clients because she has to have so many clients coming through her doors to make ends meet. She hasn’t had time to really work ON her business in the nearly 10 years she’s been doing what she does because she’s too busy working IN her business. So she’s stuck, spinning her wheels, not seeing the success she deserves.
We HAD to talk about pricing today because it impacts the energy they have to do the homework I assign them. We HAD to talk about pricing because that impacts the sales funnel and sequence we create for their audiences. We HAD to talk about pricing because that impacts what tools or resources they can invest in to implement the lessons I teach them. We HAD to talk about pricing because trying to market your business while you’re on a bathroom break during a 14-hour day is only going to lead to burn out and poor results.
And when we talk about pricing, the fact of the matter is, most creatives need to be charging more.
Let me tell you why I charge what I do…
I’M WORTH IT
Yep, I believe I am worth $500 an hour. I used to say my rate sheepishly or make excuses after I told people how much I charge (especially my friends who work a 9-to-5 who don’t get the pricing structure of the freelance coaching that I do).
I’d say things like, “But, you know, it’s not like I’m taking home $500 for an hour of my time because of taxes and expenses and stuff…hardy har har” or, “But, it’s not like I’m booked out 40 hours a week…lolololol.” I wanted to make an excuse to make people more comfortable with my pricing or as some kind of justification for what I charge. OR as some mechanism to hold me back (hello limiting beliefs).
But, here’s the crazy cool thing, I don’t have to justify my price to ANYONE. I’m in business for myself and I get to decide how much I charge. Pretty cool, huh?
But, when I do think about my worth and how it’s attributed to dollars, I think $500 an hour is a steal.
I’ve been a student of social media marketing for nearly 10 years. I’ve used virtually every platform there is to build businesses and brands online. I’ve started and run non-profit organizations using social media. I’ve built brands using social media. I’ve managed Instagram accounts with hundreds of followers and tens of thousands of followers. I’ve researched marketing and social media trends and know what’s happening now and what’s on the horizon in the weeks and months ahead. I’ve helped clients land customers while they only had 150 followers and helped other clients show up in a more genuine way to book their dream clients on a regular basis. I’ve built an audience of over 25,000 people in less than a year. I’ve launched products and services and booked myself solid for months on end without a website - all while using Instagram. Yep, just Instagram.
So, it’s either hours of you trying to figure it out yourself, piecing together blog posts and podcasts and free challenges and copying what he’s doing or she’s doing or they’re doing to get mediocre results. OR, an investment with someone who’s been there, done that, and is ready to take you from point A to point Z in the quickest and simplest way possible.
That’s worth $500.
AN HOUR OF MY TIME IS MORE THAN AN HOUR
Here’s what an “hour” of coaching looks like for me.
15 minutes of emailing with a client to book.
15 minutes reading my client’s questionnaire to understand their goals and pain points.
1 hour of client research including reviewing their Instagram, Facebook, website, account insights, posting frequency, visual identity, brand voice, hashtag usage, Instagram Stories usage, engagement habits, industry, and overall brand presence.
30 minutes of session prep including a session outline, talking points, and key takeaways.
1 hour of coaching.
15 minutes of compiling call recording and notes and uploading to client portal.
30 minutes of writing action steps and pulling together resources including complimentary guides, workbooks, and worksheets (materials I’ve created over the past 2 years).
2-3 hours of virtual client support for one week after our session including answering questions via email, reviewing hashtag lists, reviewing target account lists, reviewing new content on Instagram, sending more resources to answer additional questions, and harassing clients when they don’t post after our session.
So, that one hour for $500 is actually 5 to 10 hours of actual WORK for that client. Because there ain’t no half-assin’ going on around here. I use my full ass when I’m working on things I love (and I got a whole lotta ass).
That’s not even accounting for the years of experience my clients get, the continuing education I do to stay on top of the industry and trends, the thousands of hours I’ve spent managing dozens of social media accounts over the past 8 years to figure out what works best, AND the ideas and lessons I share that save my clients time and money in the long run. And it’s definitely not accounting for the months or years I’ve spent nurturing my relationship with my audience to get them to the point of booking.
I NEED TO GET PAID FOR EVERY PART OF MY BUSINESS
Okay, here’s a BIGGIE. This is what my girl Oprah would call a “tweet tweet” (and yeah, I know, I can’t call her “my girl Oprah” because I don’t know her…but, I’ve watched enough Super Soul Sunday to FEEL like I know her and she knows me and we’re actually best friends in my head…).
There are 10,000 things that I do in my business that are not directly revenue generating. HOWEVER, I still need to be compensated for those tasks.
Checking emails? Not directly revenue generating.
Organizing my office? Not directly revenue generating.
Cataloging my receipts? Not directly revenue generating.
Weekly check-ins with my community manager? Not directly revenue generating.
Mastermind calls? Not directly revenue generating.
Creating free content? Not directly revenue generating.
Doing Facebook and Instagram Live streams? Not directly revenue generating.
Doing podcast interviews? Not directly revenue generating.
Writing guest blog posts? Not directly revenue generating.
Listening to podcasts? Not directly revenue generating.
Reading business books? Not directly revenue generating.
Attending conferences and summits? Not directly revenue generating.
Taking online courses? Not directly revenue generating.
Digging into the latest social media reports? Not directly revenue generating.
Watching Facebook or Instagram keynotes and product releases? Not directly revenue generating.
I don’t get paid by anyone to do any of those things.
But all of those things are tied to the experience I provide for my clients. They all ensure that I am able to show up fully for my clients and give them the BEST experience when we work together. They ensure my business is running smoothly so I can take on clients and provide coaching.
Who’s paying you when you’re away at that fancy schmancy conference learning the latest industry trends?
Who’s paying you when you’re writing blog posts or scheduling your Instagram posts?
Who’s paying you when you’re revamping your website or updating your bio?
If you’re not paying yourself for alllll of the tasks that go into running your business, you’re not charging enough!
IT’S NOT FAIR TO MY CLIENTS TO CHARGE LESS
This was one of my biggest ah-ha’s in 2017. At one point this year, I had 17 clients on my coaching roster. With meetings schedule once a week or once every other week, I had days upon days filled with coaching calls.
Do you know how hard it is for a human person to talk to 4 or 5 different people a day about 4 or 5 different businesses and be able to show up for each one in a genuine, honest, caring, and creative way?
Yeah, that shit ain’t happenin’.
I realized it was unfair to my clients for me to charge less and work with more people. How were they going to have a transformational experience when I wasn’t showing up fully for each and every one of them? How could they expect me to coach them to the best of my ability when I was cranking through coaching calls like a fat kid eating a pack of Oreos (which is very fast, without breathing, and with no care or concern for my physical appearance…also, I am a fat kid, so don’t @ me).
Now, I work with 2 or 3 coaching clients at a time and those folks get ALL OF ME! They get my attention and my focus. They get my best ideas. They get my mind focused on their business. They get my time. I show up fully for each of them - energized and ready to tackle their problems and help them take their business to the next level. I actually have the time and ability to fully support them between sessions (hello harassing messages about where your Instagram posts have been this week). And, they get notes in the mail because it’s cute and fun and I love stationery, okay?!
THOSE WHO PAY, PAY ATTENTION
If you’ve been in the coaching industry for more time than it’s taking you to read this post, you’ve probably heard this saying. But, this year has proven to me how true the phrase really is. The more people pay, the more they pay attention to what you say, implement what you teach, and value what you sell.
It’s why a $50 plate from a local potter means more to you than a $1 plat from the Dollar Tree.
It’s why you don’t allow food on that new sofa that was just delivered.
It’s why you take so much care in washing your beautiful cashmere sweater.
They have value to you, they cost more money, they are worth something.
I’ve charged $47 an hour and $497 an hour and I promise you that my $497 an hour clients get 100x more from our experience together because they actually do the work. You wouldn’t believe the number of clients I’ve had who have paid hundreds of dollars for 6, 8, even 12 coaching sessions who are in the exact same place today as they were when we started because they didn’t follow through. And, as a coach, there’s only so much I can do on the follow through side of things.
I always tell my clients, I’m here to walk you through it; but, you have to DO it.
So now, I charge more. Because if you’re going to part with $500 for an hour with me, you’re going to get your money’s worth. And that means you’re going to implement what I tell you to do, you’re going to follow the action plan I give you, you’re going to do your damn homework, and you’re going to email me your questions.
Oh, the questions that have gone unanswered because my clients never emailed me or responded to my check-in emails.
That doesn’t happen anymore!
IT DAMAGES OUR ENTIRE INDUSTRY WHEN WE DON’T CHARGE WHAT WE’RE WORTH
And last, but definitely not least, is the realization that not charging what we’re worth damages our entire creative industry.
When I don’t charge what I’m worth, I can’t pay others what they’re worth. When I don’t charge enough, I can’t pay my community manager enough. Which means she can’t invest in education to grow her business. Which means a course creator out there isn’t getting her money for their latest product. So they can’t afford a designer. Who isn’t charging what she’s worth so she can’t afford to hire me to coach her on how to better market her business.
You see how it’s a big ol’ circle and by not charging what we need to charge, we make it harder and harder for us to support one another?
We truly rise together and the longer we wait to charge what we should truly charge, the longer it takes for us all to move to the next level of success in our business.
Not charging what you’re worth means others can’t make ends meet through pursuing their creative passion.
And, as creatives, if we fail to support one another, we’ve lost.
Because artists need to support artists and creatives need to support creatives.
At the end of the day, you’re doing ME a disservice when YOU don’t charge what you’re worth.