Don’t Sell Yourself Short

We all do it. I’ve certainly done it. At some point in our personal or professional lives, we’ve sold ourselves short.

Whether it be in talent, abilities, or even financials. Don’t sell yourself short, you are worth it!

Over the years, I’ve caught myself automatically giving a discount when someone asks what my prices are. “Oh, usually it’s $X, but for you I have a special friends and family discount.”

No! Just No! Friends are friends, and business is business. And I’m going to guess they’re not even family. Think about it, when was the last time you heard from them? Would they give you the same discount if you asked them? Chances are the answer is no!

You obviously have a talent or people wouldn’t be asking to hire you. Personally, I feel it’s a self-esteem issue. We think we’re asking too much for our services. In our minds we think there is no way they will pay what the service you can provide is worth.

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Other times, we might think that this is such an easy task there is no way anyone would pay that much for what I’m offering. Truth is, they will pay what you’re asking. Think of it this way—a cardiovascular surgeon has performed hundreds of heart surgeries. To that person it’s an easy procedure. I’m going to guess that neither you nor I would even know where to start other than to ask for the scalpel.

We wouldn’t know where to even begin. The same is true for either of my and your profession. They may know the “how to” but to actually do it, they would rather pay a professional.

With business owners I’ve coached, they say, “But what if I tell them my rates, and they refuse to pay and walk away? I say, “Good, you don’t want their business they’re not for you. If they’re going to squawk at your $50-100 per hour rates, think about how much they’re going to question along the way.”

Remember this—the customers that pay the least want the most.

Could it Be Your Marketing?

Here’s something to consider. Maybe it’s just perceived value that’s holding them up. Possibly they’ve only heard about the services you offer from an acquaintance or stumbled across your online business. They have no clue about who you are, what you do, or the credentials you have to do it.

Too many times we unintentionally sell ourselves short on the sales page for our services. There’s a very good chance it’s not about how much you’re charging but what they are getting for what you are charging and maybe it’s not what they need at that moment. If I were to guess, I would say it is more than 50% chance or better that is sim- ply perceived value as to why potential customers aren’t paying the prices you are asking for.

There is No Comparison

You are unique and so is the service or product you offer. There must be something you do differently to make yourself stand out. Maybe you go above and beyond customer expectation. It could be that you do many things that the customer would normally have to go to multiple places to get the all the services you offer.

For example, in my area of expertise people “think” they’re looking for a webmaster when they’re actually looking for a website designer. There is a difference between the two—a webmaster handles the technical side of things whereas a website designer is involved in the creative side of things. Some also confuse the term web developer with the afore- mentioned categories. A web developer works on the functionality of a website and not so much the design, SEO, and marketing.

I’ve been creating websites for 20+ years, and I’m able to satisfy the needs of all the titles mentioned. When I started, we did it from scratch and there weren’t the divisions that exist today. If a graphic was needed, I created it. There wasn’t a lot in the way of stock photos for web graphics. That’s what makes the services I offer unique. While it may be difficult to spell that on a sales letter or in pitching a client online, that’s what I need to do to explain what they’re getting and why they should choose me.

Something I’ve seen on sales letters and even television commercials is comparing yourself to your customer. Think back to the Coke versus Pepsi advertisements or the McDonalds versus Burger King commercials. They were constantly comparing themselves to each other. WHY? By trying to make themselves look better to the consumer, they were actually reminding the consumer that they had a competitor.

Do not mention the other companies. Remember there is NO comparison! You are different so focus on that.

Where to Go from Here?

First, determine what you are really worth. Think about the service or product you are offering. If it’s a service, how many hours does it take you to actually do that service? Does it take you 10 hours and you’ve discounted your price down to $100 just so that you can be sure to get the customer. You’ve just set your hourly wage at $10 per hour. Are you okay with that? Does that even cover your expenses to stay in business?

Also, if you’re offering a product instead of a service you have to consider all factors—not only materials but the time used to assemble them. You need to time yourself assembling. Don’t guess five minutes when it actually took 30 minutes. You’re going to short yourself every single time!

Recently, I started making a physical product for fun. I considered the materials, I thought about how long it would take me to assemble. I even factored in some marketing dollars. But I neglected to figure out the packaging costs. You can’t just assume you’ll have boxes laying around to fit your product for shipping, not to mention the box materials inside the box such as bubble wrap, packing slip, maybe a flyer to promote your other products. Also, you need to properly weigh and measure your package, or you will be eating some of the shipping cost that the customer normally pays.

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All of these things factor into how much you’re going to make and if you are selling yourself short or not. Once you’ve determined your hard costs you then need to update your marketing efforts including your website.

Knowing your costs can help you work backwards from what you want to charge and improve the on-page benefits to prove to the buy- er that it’s worth more than you are asking so they are certain they’re getting a great deal. Your customer will be happier, and so will your bank account.

One Final Tip

Depending on what level of Marketing University Member you are, you have a resource that so many miss out on—Armand’s monthly website critiques. Many think it is just Armand looking over the site and pointing out design flaws or technical challenges. While that does happen, Armand will also look at the processes and the market- ing functionality.

I would strongly suggest knowing your numbers such as how many leads/opt-ins you are getting and how many sales you’ve had over the past 30, 60, or 90 days. If you can give that information to Armand, he will be able to help you increase your numbers. I’ve listened to almost every website critique Armand has done for Marketing University members over the years.

I’ve seen where he’s suggested copy edits in different areas, or he’s told the person they have the right information just in the wrong order on the page, or that the website owner is asking for the sale way too soon without explaining the product or service benefits well enough.

So, if you’re a Marketing University member and you’re doing the things mentioned in this article or not taking advantage of the web- site critiques (either watching or having your own site critiqued, de- pending on your level of membership) you are definitely selling your- self short. If you want to make improvements in your business be sure to start by making changes that are within your grasp!

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Frank Deardurff

An early love for graphics brought me online over 20 years ago which lead me to consume a vast knowledge in marketing, conversion, design and various types of web technologies. That information led to becoming a web master, serial entrepreneur, author, coach, trainer and That One Web Guy!

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