Whatever your industry or job title — coach, consultant, or employee — earning $1,000 per hour might seem like a dream that’s totally beyond your reach. Well, it doesn’t have to be.
In the early days of my coaching and consulting business, I charged as little as I could — for all kinds of reasons — but eventually I realized they were all rooted in fear.
I was afraid if I asked for more money, people would take their business elsewhere; that I didn’t really have the experience or the knowledge to merit the paycheck I wanted to earn; and that in a world full of “experts” and “authorities,” I didn’t stack up. But I was wrong!
The steps laid out here have enabled me to confidently ask for (and get) over 1,000 percent more cash for my time, as well as increasing my visibility in my industry and my confidence.
Here are the keys to pulling in more dollah bills:
1. Know your value
When I started working as a coach, like many others, I suffered from imposter syndrome — the inability to internalize accomplishments and the persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.”
Sound familiar? Here’s how to beat it.
Know the facts, because facts kill fear. The simplest way to undermine the fear that you’re not good enough is to get a clear understanding of what other people get paid. Seriously. That’s how I started making $500,000 a year by the age of 30 with no college degree.
I researched my competition as often as possible.
I asked myself objectively, “How do I measure up? Are my outcomes as good as theirs? Am I as visible in the industry as they are?”
I did my homework!
Once you do yours, you might just realize you’re at the top of the class. If you’re not, seeing where you fall short will equip you to make the changes you need to make to get there.
2. Ask and you shall receive
On a wrap-up call after a successful three-month consulting gig, my client said, “Susie, you’ve saved me a year of procrastinating and probably a ton of money.”
In the past, I might have just told him how much that meant to me. But this time, I said, “Don’t keep me to yourself, Sean! Does anyone else you know need some sales strategy help?” Turns out a former colleague of his needed exactly that. Those two sentences landed me my next three-month contract.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
You’ve seen it yourself: People are never more amenable to giving you what you want than after you’ve just made their life a whole lot easier. If you do a brilliant job for a few people, you’ll end up with more opportunities than you know what to do with.
3. Set clear boundaries from the get-go
Listen to me on this one, because it’s really important: Yielding to your clients’ demands at the expense of your own wellbeing never works (for long).
The secret to healthy boundaries is clear communication from day one.
At the beginning of a new project, I get a contract signed.
I’ve come up with a simple set of packages for my services that lay out what I’ll give (in terms of time, access, and resources) for what amount of money. Doing this not only makes boundary-setting simple and straightforward; it also makes you look like you have your s— together.
Emphasis on “simple” here. Too many business owners try to be everything to everyone by offering an extensive list of elaborate packages that only confuse their prospects and kill their sales.
On top of that, something I refer to as the “over-delivery fallacy” holds many business owners back from their true earning potential. “I’m available by text and email in the evenings and on weekends,” is simply code for, “I don’t respect my time and abilities enough, and neither should you.”
A lack of boundaries will eventually make you resent your work.
4. If you want influence, seize it
This was the game changer for me.
Essentially, people will pay more to work with someone who they deem to be a thought leader.
If you don’t believe you’re good enough or smart enough or informed enough to have a voice in the conversation, you never will. This is another way imposter syndrome can hold you back. You might eventually gain success and respect in your field without having a prominent voice in your industry, but it’ll be a hell of a lot harder. And it doesn’t have to be.
You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be “out there.”
You don’t have to be everybody’s expert to be an expert, you just need to remember that what you know and believe is valuable. This not only attracts droves of the (right!) people to you, it earns you more inbound leads and an expectation that your services come at a premium.
I started writing guest articles for websites like Business Insider, MindBodyGreen, Greatist, and Marie Claire while I was still employed, and it gave me more leverage than I could have imagined.
Whether your goal is to start or grow your own business, move up the ladder within a corporation, or to make a salary or title leap with a different company, positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert is crazy valuable.
Because perception is reality.
Susie Moore is a high-performance coach, consultant, and author in New York City. She’s been featured on the Today show, Forbes, Oprah.com and more!If you’re ready to skyrocket your reputation, grow your client base exponentially, or become a thought-leader in your space,sign up for her free workshop here.