To work less, and earn more. That’s something we all dream about.
But how many of us can actually claim that as our reality?
Regardless of what you sell – whether you’re a freelancer like me, a startup, or a business that’s been in the game for a while now – if you find yourself struggling to make ends meet, even though you’re working 60 hours a week, this article is for you.
Because I’ve been there. And here’s three ways I managed to dig myself out.
1) Realize You’re Worth It
Not too long ago, I dragged myself into the dirt in the name of the freelancing dream – spending all my days slaving away for clients who didn’t appreciate my work and paid a meager $2/per 100 words.
I got so caught up in the “beginner’s market” – never feeling ready to “go professional” – until I actually started to believe I was only ever worth that $2.
It took depression, a random Facebook ad, becoming the poorest I’ve ever been, and a “just do it” moment before I finally had the guts to change things.
The result was freedom. More time. Money. Feeling accomplished.
Sure, some days it’s still a work in progress. I know I’m going to make mistakes now and then. But, for once in my life, I’m finally at a point where both free time and financial stability is mine for the taking.
I started by realizing that I’m worth more. That my work is worth more.
I know for a fact you’re worth more too.
How much more? Well, start by envisioning your dream life – not a life filled with mansions and Lamborghinis, but rather a life where you never have to worry about your bills, you live in a comfortable house, and you have the freedom to splurge on the occasional vacation while still adding money to your savings.
How much of a monthly income would that life require? How much money would you need to earn a week?
Now divide that number by how many hours you can realistically work without encroaching too much on your free time, family life, and sanity. Got a number? Great, that’s your new ideal wage.
Looks like too much to you? I promise you it’s not. Because that is what you’re worth. That is what your ideal life is worth.
All you have to do is have the courage to ask for it.
2) Rethink Your Pricing Strategy
There’s this idea that we’ve been taught since we first began to grasp the concept of business, and that’s that “more clients = more money”. Unfortunately, in today’s market, this thought often translates to “a cheap product = more clients”, which can lead to an equation looking something like this…
The Cheaper My Product = The More Clients I Get.
The More Clients I Get = The Higher My Income Rises.
The Higher My Income Rises = The Happier I Will Be.
The result looks rather like an equation that I would come up with: so badly wanting it to be right, but just generally sucking at math.
The truth is, no matter which way you look at it, if you start with a cheaper product, the end result will not equal happiness or financial stability. Because the cheaper your product is, the more you’ll have to work in order to earn a sustainable income, the more you work, the likelier you are to experience burnout and have the quality of your work suffer.
And we all know that when the quality sucks, very few people will be willing to buy it. What’s the saying? “You get what you paid for”?
Well, here’s a not-so-shocking secret: high-paying clients are scared of cheap offers.
Yup, you read that right. When you low-ball your product price, the clients that you so desperately want (you know, the ones who can actually afford and appreciate you), will be repelled by your offer.
In other words, “a cheap price = a cheap client”.
Stop commoditizing your business with cheap prices, and start attracting high-paying clients with bold offers that reflect your service as unique and vital!
After all, I’m no math whiz , but if you’re making just as much money with 5 good clients, as you would with 15 cheap clients, it. just. makes. sense.
3) Learn to Attract the Right Kind of Client
Unfortunately, the right kind of client (AKA the high-paying ones) needs a little bit more than just a higher price to convince them that you’re the right choice.
Your price may stand out, but does your business stand out? Is your product unique? Are you more service-minded? Will you solve their problem better than any other on the market?
Finding the answer to these questions can take some serious contemplation – but often the trick lies in what makes you unique.
What are your skills? What do you strive to achieve as a business? What is your “why”, and how can you show that you care about your clients? (For example, I have a passion for connecting with people, which is why I use that passion to help other businesses connect with their audience as well, via Emotional Engagement.)
Furthermore, you need details.
As your client doesn’t have time to pour through your entire website to see what it is you sell, spelling it all out for them in a short, precise paragraph – detailing what you offer, how it’s going to change their world, what it costs, and what happens when they buy it – is the most effective method for reeling in clients fast.
Because it shows them who you are as a business. It shows them you take things seriously. It shows them you’re a professional.
And a business that’s both professional and genuinely caring? That’s a rare thing worth paying for.