Aka the Cult of Charging High Fees Just Because Others Do
I have lost count of the number of times someone has told me my fees are too low.
Just this week I was told by two different people – who don’t know each other – that I needed to raise my fees.
The first guy said I should charge a minimum of CAD$1,000 per client per month.
The second guy said I should charge a minimum of US$2,000-$4,000 per person so that they could participate in a course with other people!!! (This course would only be two months.)
They both said the same thing: people look at my fees and think I’m cheap, that there’s no value.
They’re not the first people to say and they won’t be the last.
But they’re wrong.
I am good at what I do. I sometimes have a hard time saying that, but it’s true. I don’t know everything about digital marketing but I know a lot and, importantly, I know I don’t know everything. I will gladly recommend an expert in a specific area to a client because I shouldn’t be the person to handle it. (Example: PPC ads.)
I charge what I think are reasonable fees. My fees are slightly higher than they used to be because too many people told me they were too low. But they’re reasonable (to me) and they’re accessible to my typical client, even in a pandemic.
I don’t make guarantees. I don’t promise ridiculous things. I do what I do because I don’t like the over-promise and under-deliver mentality of my industry. I like to think I have principles.
Funnily enough, the only people who tell me I charge too little are people who are not prospective clients, but rather colleagues and competitors. A prospective, current or former client has never told me I charge too little. Quite the opposite: many prospective clients have told me I charge too much.
There are reasons for that, of course.
Because I don’t make guarantees and because I don’t make over-the-top claims about “results” I can’t charge more. People need ridiculous expectations in order to justify ridiculous fees.
The guy who wanted me to charge thousands per month per student told me something about an “80/20” rule.
No, it’s not the usual “80/20” business cliche. This is different. (I swear.)
He says that the expensive consultants he has paid too much money too for help he can get for less tell him that it’s “80% mentality, 20% work”.
Now, this works because it’s (mostly) true: we’re all our own worst enemies. I have trouble getting more clients because I get in my own way.
- I give people free information because I want to help them when I should be closing the sale
- I don’t like putting pressure on people.
(There’s lots more, but those examples should suffice.)
But the real reason why super expensive consultants tell you it’s “80% mentality, 20% work” is because it’s how they rip you off.
If they sold you a course that was 100% strategies and tactics, or 80%, or whatever, and then you didn’t get the Guaranteed Results, you would be unhappy and feel like you didn’t get your money’s worth.
But when it’s 80% on your mentality, they are not responsible for all the people who don’t have “7 figure success!” with their program. These losers just don’t have the right mentality.
So you can charge US$9,000 for a few months of coaching with a few practical tips because the buyers learn it’s on them whether or not they succeed.
The material isn’t new – all of it can be found in books or articles and webinars online, though it might not be taught by such a charismatic guy. But it’s the package you’re paying for: the clothing, the slickness, the appearance of success.
Now, I could buy a fancy suit, claim I make 7 figures and tell you I will turn your business into a profit machine. But it would make me feel awful.
I don’t want to contribute to our growing inequality, any more than I already do. If I charge you a ridiculous fee in order to tell you it’s 80% mentality and 20% tactics and then I use the excess to pay my own consultants’ ridiculous fees, so he can tell me the same thing, I’m only contributing to the massive wealth transfer that’s been going on since before I was born. Neither of us get the strategic and tactical help we need.
Also, I don’t want to teach empowerment. You can hire a coach for that. (They will charge you lots of money, I promise!)
I teach people how to market their professional practices and I help them make decisions about specific marketing strategies and tactics. These strategies and tactics work, but they take time if you’re running your own business without any staff.
One reason they take time is THAT I don’t expect my clients to overcharge their clients. I don’t expect my clients to pretend their fabulously wealthy to sell their services. I don’t like those people. I don’t want to work with them and I don’t want to be one of them.
When you hire me you get an expert, not a rich person who has read some self-help books and has figured out how to monetize the American Dream.
“You too could be just like me if only you pay thousands of dollars for a 2-3 month course on how to become rich.” It’s just The Secret all over again.
The value I offer comes from my expertise. I can show you strategies and tactics which get you more clients and save you time and money. But I can’t get you to change your life. You don’t pay me for that. That’s why I’m cheap. (I mean “affordable”.)