Why you aren’t worth what you charge

There was a very controversial conversation that brewed nationally regarding McDonald’s employees protesting for their minimum wage to be $15 per hour.

While I am not the expert of McDonald’s business plan, I will tell you that if the employee can’t follow the directions to leave the pickles off my husband’s sandwich, that’s not a $15/hr position.

I have also seen multiple conversations recently online among solopreneurs surrounding “What should I charge?” “This is why I charge so much….”

One conversation was spawned from an article someone shared in a Facebook group where the author said something something to the effect of “I charge [so much] because my work takes my time away from my family.”

Honey, let me kindly tell you—your clients don’t care about your family.

[don’t start hollering, y’all. chill. and keep reading.]

Here’s what I mean—if you have 1 kid or 5 kids; if you are married, going through a nasty divorce or are happily single traveling the world [cheers to ya’], your clients don’t care.

What they care about—your quality of work.

What they care about—the results you are getting for them.

What they care about —their bottom line.

What should determine your rate

First and foremost…

What will the market pay?

So you think you’re worth $500/hour? Honey, you may be. But if you’re just starting out, I can almost promise you you’re not.

It’s business 101, y’all. Supply and demand. Yes, there will always be someone whose rates are higher than your and someone whose rates are lower than yours. It’s business.

What matters for you is that your rates are inline with what the market will pay for your product/service. And that you are worth that rate.

Do your homework.

Which leads to #2…..

Are you worth it?

The market average may be $80K a year for [pretend position]. But are you worth it? Are you qualified? Do you get results? Your methods don’t have to be conventional —you’re a contractor. But do you get results? That is what companies want to see.

Let’s chat using pretend numbers:

If you are charging $10 to run FB ads that get a ROAS of 1. Someone else in your niche charges $20 to run FB ads. Does that mean you should raise your rate?

Ummm…. Not when the $20 person is getting a ROAS of 5 or greater.

And if you are managing Facebook ads and don’t understand what ROAS is, let’s get you some Facebook ad training.

So where do you start?

Everyone has to start somewhere. If you’ve been in business for a while, have built a result-driven portfolio, you may need to revisit your rates if you haven’t in a while.

If you are just getting started, do just that—get started.

You may also hear the suggestion of “figure out what you want to make a year (or a month), divide the number of hours you have available, and that should be your hourly rate.”

Y’all it doesn’t work like that either.

I have always told my kids, “I don’t care if you are a floor sweeper. You be the best floor sweeper there is.”

Same goes for anyone in any field—take pride in your work.

You may have to start with charging a lower rate, but that doesn’t mean you should do a lower-quality job.

Just the opposite—it means you work like you’re making your one-day-i-will-charge-rate and prove yourself.

Build your portfolio.

Get the results.

And then and only then—charge what (you think) you’re worth.

Why you shouldn't charge what (you think) you're worth.


Clean your house before you consider hosting guests

There are companies who contact me to help them expand their reach and their impact using social media

And there are some companies I decline.

Why?

Because not all companies are ready for social media.

Yep. I said it.

Not all companies should be on social media.

Here’s why: THEIR HOUSE IS NOT CLEAN.

Holy monkey. If y’all could see my real house some days. It’s a zoo. Literally.

But in regards to your business, I’m talking your virtual home. Your homebase. Your website.

Just as you would clean up your physical home before inviting company, your virtual home should be just as tidy.

What do you have to offer your guests on your website? Do you have captivating content to keep them engaged? Or are your products clearly displayed and screaming to (easily) be purchased? Is your messaging clear? Do you have a direct call to action?

If not, let’s do that stuff first.

Social media is a fantastic tool for (publicly) connecting and engaging with followers–old and new. But who wants to always hang out at a public place? Public places can go out of business, ya’ know?

If you are going to truly be friends, you may want to invite them over from time to time, right?

So, clean up your house. Your homebase.

Considering starting with an audit of your current assets

And you keep being awesome.

If this isn't done first and well, social media isn't going to convert like you want it to.

Why numbers don’t matter

Here’s the deal:

A lot of ‘experts’ out there will tell you that in order to be successful online, you need to build your following. That numbers matter.

I am here to tell you they don’t.

The number of Instagram followers you have won’t make you a dime. If they aren’t your target market. And if they aren’t engaged.

The number of Facebook likes you have won’t bring you any new business—if they aren’t your target market (nor will they easily make you any money, given Zuckerberg claims only 1-3% of your followers will even see your organic posts.)

Facebook likes are a kiss in the wind.

Just as the Pinterest monthly viewers are.

Engagement rate matters. Count those. Not followers. Click To Tweet

I run a 6-figure+ successful business. I have all of 1500ish followers on Instagram. Including my kids. What does that tell you?

You can have a successful business without big numbers.

When clients ask me if they should ‘Should I buy a sponsored email with xxx company? Their list is 85K!’

Ok?? What is their average open rate? What is their average click-through rate? What type of conversions have other companies seen by investing in their list?

Another client asks, “I found xxx on YouTube. She has over 200K followers! I think we should reach out to her with an ambassador opportunity!”

Ok?? Ummmm….. does she even remotely match your customer avatar? Are other brands seeing results by working with her or is she just another pretty face on the interwebs with big numbers?

Numbers don’t matter, y’all.

Engagement matters. Results matter more.

The smallest list with the highest engagement rate can give you the biggest results. Remember that.

Before you invest in another sponsored email, consider the potential reach you can get with social ads for the same—and probably less—amount of money.

Instead of paying one-time fee for a one-time email, consider investing in social ads where you get to target the specific audience and where you have control over tweaking your efforts and directly impacting your results. Rather than a one-time show to someone else’s email list.

I’m not all anti-sponsored-emails. Here’s one example where I think you should spend the money. [link to article about Why you should spend all of your money with a convention or event]

Where you should invest in your business

  • Start where you are. Where do the majority of your sales come from currently? Where have the last handful of sales you’ve made originated? Invest more there first. You know it’s working. Grow it.
  • Facebook ads. I can’t put into words the success rates I have had—and seen—with Facebook ads. Pinterest ads, a close 2nd. But Facebook ads are where it’s at. But it’s not all easy as a Sunday morning, y’all. There is strategy. There are techniques. It’s a game, just like the organic Facebook algorithm itself. Learn to play it. Or [let us play it for you.]
  • Email marketing. If you aren’t engaging with your list, you will lose them. They will have already purchased elsewhere, or decided they really didn’t want/need what you were offering to begin with. They will forget who you are and where you came from—and worse yet—will mark your email as spam. Ya’ don’t want that. Neither does your domain. [email marketing tips]
  • Pinterest. There isn’t a client I work with that doesn’t get results on Pinterest. (See all those double negatives? My momma is cringing.) Let me rephrase that—all of my clients see results from Pinterest. Pinterest isn’t just for craft ideas and recipes. It’s where people are searching home remodel ideas (hello, realtors!). It’s where the homeschool mom is searching curriculum for next year or even an activity for today (hello, publishing companies!). It’s where women and men are searching for new haircuts or ways to tame the heat-caused-frizz (hello, stylists!). Playing the Pinterest game can easily change the trajectory of your business. Play it.

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