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Are your undercharging for your services? Part 2: How to stop that madness right now.

 

You are too brilliant to be broke

I got a LOT of feedback from my last article which asked the question: Are you under-charging for your services?  Several people honestly admitted that at one time they were “chronic under-chargers,” but thankfully, they are now on the road to recovery. 

For the entrepreneurs who still struggle with this problem, keep reading.

So how do you stop under-charging?  Here are just a few suggestions:

1.) Pinpoint a niche.  This takes a ton of courage. Low-earning entrepreneurs tend to think that focusing on a niche will cause them to lose a larger share of the market. In fact I had a conversation with an entrepreneur just the other day who said, “If I only focus on women over 40 with xyz problem, then I’ll be excluding all the men!”   She was deeply concerned about this.  

I settled her fears when I said this:  ”By focusing on women over 40 with xyz problem, you become more appealing to that specific group.  You’ll speak their specific language, share solutions to their specific problems and then you will become a magnet for that group.  They’ll begin to recommend their girlfriends, relatives and colleagues because you’re positioning yourself as the expert who has the solution to their unique problems…”

I went on to say, “as they experience your awesome results, guess what…they’ll begin to bring their hubbies in too!”  Immediately she saw the light.

Pinpointing a niche is like courting.  When your man takes you out on a date, there are tons of other women at the restaurant, many of them  drop-dead gorgeous.  However, his attention is focused only on YOU.  He’s admiring YOU.  He’s listening to YOU.  He’s talking to YOU.  This makes you want to invest more time with HIM, right???  

Contrarily, if his eyes are roaming all over the place and he’s winking at other chicks, you quickly decide he’s not the right one.  On to the next…

It’s the same with choosing a niche. The biggest brands in the world became successful because they new exactly who they wanted to reach and they courted that group.  Sure, others can come along and enjoy the benefits of working with you but you gotta always know who your target is.  Let your marketing be a love song to them.

2.) Focus on outcomes.  Under-earning entrepreneurs like to explain the details of how they’ll get you results.  That’s a waste of time.  Simply highlight the outcome or the result you provide and that’s how you get people to say yes.  

For example, if you’re a massage therapist, don’t go on about what kind of hot stones and how much pressure you’re gonna put on my back, legs, arms and shoulders, just tell me which massage is best suited for my particular problem (’cause you’re the expert) and assure me that by the time you’re done I’ll be completely relaxed, my headache will be gone and I’ll sleep like a baby.  With that, I’m like “where do I sign up?”

3.) Collect testimonials.  This is one of the easiest marketing tactics to employ but it is often overlooked by under-earning entrepreneurs.  Testimonials give you instant credibility.  They can be the key to helping a prospective client make a decision to work with you.  They’re like free commercials, selling your services even when you’re not around.  Always invite happy clients to share feedback about what you did for them.  With good testimonials, you’ll have an easier time raising your fees.

4.) Offer packages at premium rates (to attract high-paying clients).  I hereby declare that the days of charging by the hour for your brilliance are officially over.  If you want to start earning what you’re worth, start creating premium packages that bring value to your client and allow them to work with you over a longer period of time.  Let them experience your magic as you build a loyal partnership.  The more results they get from working with you, the more likely they are to continue working with you…and soon they won’t be able to live without you.

I’m willing to guarantee that if you implement these 4 strategies today, you can start raising your fees within the next 30 days.  Are you ready to take this challenge?  If yes, check in below.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality and a certified Income and Influence Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her OverFlow Women’s Business Retreat is being held in San Juan Puerto Rico June 9-12, 2015.

Master this secret ingredient to business success and you will become unstoppable

Whenever our Cousin Chris comes in town, we talk and laugh for hours.  Right now he and his wife Pam are visiting from Atlanta and last night, he said something to me that made me beam.  With his cool southern accent, he said:

“I’m always checking you out online.  You tryna show them women how to ‘get that paper’…”  (<–slang for “make money.”) 

Training starts soon.

Yep.  Cousin Chris summed it up pretty well.  LOL!  I wouldn’t have put it quite that way exactly but in a nutshell, that’s what I do.

I love that Chris was able to see my mission so clearly and unwrapped the goal of my brand so succinctly.  He was able to do this just by checking me out online.  He also said he has a female co-worker who is a budding entrepreneur that he wants to introduce to me.

Nice.

That tells me that my brand is clear and my reach is expanding even when I’m not around.  That tells me that I’ve finally begun to master certain elements of my branding, which I believe is the secret to success in business.  

DON’T BE ONE OF THE GENERICS IN YOUR INDUSTRY

Whether you know it or not, right now, you are a walking, breathing, living brand.  Even if you’re not trying to be, you are.

If you’re an entrepreneur your personal brand intersects with your business brand and vice versa.  So what does your brand say about you as a person? 

How well-shaped is your business brand?  

Do you truly understand what branding is and how it drives your success or lack thereof?  

Are you intentionally growing the kind of brand that magnetically and magically attracts your most ideal clients to you? 

These are questions that many entrepreneurs don’t explore enough.  I know this because I still hear people introducing themselves with such generic terms as esthetician, massage therapist, life coach and marketing consultant.  In today’s world, what the hell do those terms mean anyway?

As an entrepreneur, you’ve gotta spend some time developing a brand so that you don’t get lumped in with the generics in your industry.  You’ve gotta establish a unique presence in the market so that you can attract and retain loyal customers.  Branding with clarity is one way to do this.

It took me years to figure this out for myself.  About 5 years ago it all finally clicked for me and I created a system that has literally helped me and some of my clients completely transform our profit potential. Once clients get a hold of this system it’s like the gates of heaven swing open.  Suddenly they feel totally unstoppable!

SO, WHAT DO YOU DO?

People had all kinds of titles for me when I was just starting out in coaching.  Now they know that I am not just a coach.  I’ve built a brand that boasts the results that I get for my ideal clients. 

For example.  When someone asks me “so, what do you do?”  I don’t say, “I’m a certified business coach.”  I say something like this:

I am a money and marketing mentor for women entrepreneurs. I have signature systems that help them earn more money, gain more influence and have more freedom  in their business within 1 year or less. 

Whenever I say this, people always want to know more.  True to my brand, I generously give them more and I have a system for turning them into paying clients as well.

Being able to give an answer to the age old question, “so, what do you do?” is just ONE key to branding yourself with clarity and for profits.  

You are not just an esthetician, you’re an anti-aging expert who helps women over 40 look closer to 30.

You’re not just a massage therapist, you’re an optimal health professional who uses massage to help athletes, executives or entertainers (whoever your ideal client is) achieve peaceful, balanced, stress-free lifestyles and total body wellness.

Get the gist of it?  Good.  Now it’s your turn.  Using the examples I gave, craft your answer to the question, “So, what do you do?”  Leave your answer below.  If you feel totally stumped, I invite you to sign up for my upcoming training called Brand Clarity = Prosperity.  Go get details for that right here.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

Media insider secret: Use the cold weather to get some publicity. Here’s how.

Brrrrr! Cold weather shouldn't stop your business or visibility!

The brutally cold weather in the midwest and east is showing no signs of letting up.  So why not leverage the windchill factor to get publicity for your business or brand?

Use a strategy I teach my clients all the time.  It’s called the “tie-in factor.”

If you notice that a trend, event, news story, theme, holiday or observance is being talked about in the media a lot, ask yourself, “how can I tie that into my brand or expertise?”

Right now, everybody’s talking about the frigid temps so here are some topics/segment ideas you can pitch to the media by tying-in to the cold weather. Can you make any of these work for you?  Does this list spark any ideas for your particular brand or business?

For fitness professionals: weather’s no excuse not to stick to your weight-loss resolution: 5 indoor exercises that will help you burn fat and stay warm.

Lifestyle gurus (I have several):

  • 5 things you MUST have in your car/house/basement during the winter season.
  • 5 things you should NEVER do when the weather goes below freezing.
  • How to winter-proof your home/car.

Parenting experts: how to keep your kids from getting bored during the deep-freeze.

Small biz experts: 5 ways to stay productive when working from home.

Food/Healthy eating experts: Simple, yummy cold weather recipes using what’s already in the frig.

Medical/Wellness experts: How to avoid cold, flu, hypothermia and other cold weather-related illnesses.

Send your idea to a program on your local TV or radio station and you could get featured this week.

What’s the advantage:  Publicity positions you as an expert, increases your credibility and could instantly lead to new customers for you.

In what ways can your brand, message or expertise tie-in to the bitterly cold temps?  Are you bold enough to pitch the media? Let me know if any of these work for you.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

6-figure formula Part 3 – Are you committing brand infidelity?

Just to bring you up to speed, my signature 6-figure formula is the blueprint that has set me on the path to creating multiple 6-figures this year.

So far I’ve given you 2 steps in the formula along with some valuable insights that will help you overcome the obstacles many women entrepreneurs face.  If you haven’t seen the previous posts, get caught up by reading them here:

6-figure formula – Part 1

6-figure formula – Part 2

Today, I have one more juicy nugget to help you create $100,000 or more in your business this year:

Are you cheating on your brand?

Commit to your brand and be loyal to your message.

I know, it sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised how many women in business commit what I call “brand infidelity.”

Brand infidelity is similar to cheating in a relationship. 

It’s what happens when your brand offers the promise of a particular solution or experience to a specific market, then a “bright shiny object” comes along and takes you in a completely different direction.  Suddenly, you’re off trying to create a whole other solution and experience for a completely different market.

Here’s an example.

I once worked with a brilliant woman who was a youth counselor.  She wanted to position herself as the “go-to” person for troubled teens.  We worked together to get her visibility in the media and speaking opportunities.  Her star was rising fast.

Then all of a sudden, she went off  strategy and started promoting and hosting workshops focused on her raw food lifestyle and how to “go green.” 

WTH?!

Was it possible to marry her passions and make them work together under one brand?  Possibly.  Did she try to create a strategy for doing that?  No.

I suspect she had some fear around fully committing to her youth advocacy brand.  Perhaps there was some fear (or doubt) of massive success if she would have stayed true to her original message.  Either way, the glare of the bright shiny object was too hard for her to resist and the damage caused by brand infidelity (i.e. mediocre clients, high and low profit swings, inconsistent visibility, lack of focus, etc.) now has a stronghold in her business. 

The woman entrepreneur who succumbs to this temptation thinks she’s offering greater value and serving more people.  What she’s really doing is cheating on her core market and creating confusion among the people she initially committed to serving.

Really bad move.

Yes, it takes time for your brand to build traction.

Of course it takes time to create the loyalty and visibility you want as an expert in your industry.

Can it take time to cultivate a loyal niche? Absolutely.

But until you find your groove and own your space in the marketplace, you cannot be tempted to commit brand infidelity.  Unlike real life relationships, the market that you cheat on may not be so quick to give you another chance.  You’ll have to work extra hard to win their hearts over again.

Patience is paramount when building a brand.  Fortunately, with a solid strategy and by leveraging social-media, it can happen fairly quickly.   In the meantime, you MUST be willing to be loyal to your brand, your message and your market.

When you have the courage to embrace this step in the 6-figure formula, you will feel a powerful shift in your business and your ideal clients will love you and be loyal to you and your profits, visibility and influence will come with ease.

Have you ever committed brand infidelity?  Are you committing it now?  What tips or insights can you share on having the courage to commit to YOUR brand?

HEADS UP: Later this month, I’ll be offering a virtual event called Brand Clarity = Prosperity.  Just join my list if you want me to send you details.  Scroll back to the top of this page and you’ll see the spot to add your info.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS!  JUST BE SURE TO ADD THIS BLURB: Monique is an award-winning TV & Radio personality, Media Visibility & Influence Expert and Money Breakthrough Coach for emerging women in business. Using her nearly two decades as a producer and on-air personality and 10 years as an entrepreneur, she helps women in business drop fear and excuses to become highly visible high-earners.  Her book BOLD Money will be published in 2014.

 

 
 
 
 
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