“Why would they spend their money on me?”
There is a block that is really surprisingly common amongst the types of heart-centered business owners that I tend to work with and it shows up as one of the following. They’re all slightly different, but related:
- Doubting the value that you can bring your clients
- Doubting your own value
- Doubting the value of the work that you do
Watch the video or scroll down to read the blog.
If this is you, you might find yourself saying something like, “I’m not sure if I’m really good enough to take their money.” Or, “I lack confidence that my work is actually valuable.” Or, just like somebody wrote in response to a survey earlier this year:
“Why should a school spend their money on me, instead of spending the money on the kids?”
These sorts of worries are so common that I want to address them. You see it’s very common that we have issues with our self-worth as small business owners. Particularly those of us who have gone into business because we are motivated to help others. There is often a tendency towards a lack of personal self-worth.
And there are 2 parts to the message I want to share today…
1. You don’t necessarily need a strong sense of your own “Personal Self-Worth” to get clients
Now of course you can go off and do the internal work to address this – maybe work with a hypnotherapist, or an EFT or EAM practitioner or energy healer. However, my take on this is that we don’t necessarily need to do the work on our own personal self-worth before we can get clients. Because if, instead of focusing on our own sense of worth, we can tap into the value and difference we can bring to the client, it doesn’t really matter if we are not connected to our own sense of self-worth. What matters is that we believe we can help the client. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the internal work isn’t valuable, but it certainly isn’t essential in order to get your business moving forward and working successfully.
2. But you DO need a strong sense that you are able to solve the client’s Problem
When you know that you can solve the client’s problem, you develop confidence in the work that you do that is almost independent of the way you feel about yourself. So, the key thing that I encourage you to do is to find ways to come to believe in the value of the work that you do and in your ability to solve the problem that your clients are bringing to you.
You are not alone!
The other thing I want you to know is that if you doubt whether you are really good enough and lack confidence in your ability to help people, not only are you not alone, but how you’re feeling is completely normal. You are going through a normal rite of passage of starting out in business and I think we all go through it.
I remember when I was first qualifying as a coach and had my first practice client. I was absolutely terrified because I had no idea if I would be any good. I was scared I was wasting her time and that she would think I was rubbish – and she wasn’t even paying me! Similarly, when I started this business, I had 17 years plus of sales experience and I knew how to sell, but I had no idea whether I had the ability to teach this stuff, and whether I was actually able to add value to other people and their businesses.
So know that it’s totally normal to feel the way you do and what’s important is that you recognise that this is a natural part of your business journey and that you are willing to take action to work through it.
It’s simply a gap that we all need to bridge – I had to bridge this gap, my clients always have to bridge this gap, and you’re going to need to bridge this gap. But that’s all it is.
How to Bridge the Value Gap
1. Get some experience
The first thing I’d encourage you to do is to get experience so that you recognise that your work is valuable. This may be a little bit controversial compared to what other people might tell you, but I don’t think it matters hugely how you get that experience, as long as you get it. So if that means working with your first couple of clients for free then do that, if it’s what will build your confidence and get you going. In fact, that’s how I started out.
Now of course if you can get paid to work with your first couple of clients, then that’s even better – and you’ll be a step ahead of where I was when I started!
Also know that when you work with your first couple of clients, whether they are paying you or not, what you gain has a value that goes beyond a monetary reward. Because when you start to see that yes, you absolutely can get results for people and that you really can make a huge difference and have a huge impact, your confidence in the value you offer is going to massively increase.
Also, when you work with your first couple of clients you are going to get testimonials which will help you to demonstrate to future clients that you can help them get results and those testimonials also help to grow your confidence. And when your confidence grows you become more confident in the way you talk about what you do and the “promises” you feel able to make about your programme, which in turn, gives confidence to your potential clients who will respond more positively as a result of that. So you get on that magical upward spiral!
So don’t be too proud. If you can get your first couple of clients to pay you a few thousand pounds each then absolutely go for it! But we don’t all start out there – I know I didn’t. In fact my first ever coaching client paid me £60 for 6 sessions!!
When I started out I wasn’t confident enough to charge anything.
Even with my 17 years of sales experience, the very first time I ran a VIP day with a client and the very first 121 sales mentoring client I worked with, I did it free of charge. What I gained was a huge sense of my own value, and an inner dialogue that went something like this: “Oh my gosh, look at the difference I made. Look at how much better I am at this than I thought I was.”
I also gained those testimonials I talked about which I used on my first website. Those testimonials and my increased sense of confidence and very quickly helped me to get more clients – and my business very quickly grew from there.
2. Set your Pricing at the right level
My example of working with people for free is one extreme. The other end of that scale is to go out and set really healthy pricing right from the beginning.
But be careful because if you set your price too high too early it can be counter-productive.
As an example, a couple of years ago I met a relationship coach who was charging £4,000 for a six month package. She’d been running her business for about 6 months and during that time she’d done a great job of attracting people into her sales conversations. The problem was that not a single one of them had become a paying client.
I strongly suspected that the problem was that she didn’t yet fully believe in the value of her work at that £4,000 price point. She told me that she’d done a course where she’d been taught to set “high-ticket” prices which probably worked brilliantly for some people, but in her case she would have done better to set her pricing at a level she truly believed was good value, that she could feel really excited about and feel so totally congruent selling it. This way, by the end of that six month period, she would have worked with a few clients, seen some results, built her confidence, and would have very quickly felt confident charging that £4,000.
So make sure your pricing is set at a level where YOU believe the client is getting great value – this will also help you sell your service with confidence. And as your confidence grows so will your price!
They are not spending their money on YOU
Going back to my survey respondent who said:
“Why should a school spend their money on me instead of on the kids?”
I’m sure you can see by now that, when she truly comes to believe in the value of her work and understands the difference that she can make, she’ll know that when the school invests in her, they are spending the money on the kids. Likewise, when somebody decides to invest money in working with you, they are not actually spending the money on you, they are investing that money into solving their problem. In other words, they are spending it on themselves…. you just happen to be the means – the vehicle – by which they do that.
It’s important to be able to make that distinction because if you believe that the client is spending their money on you, that’s going to bring up issues of self-worth. But if you can see that they’re investing the money in resolving their problem and that you’re just the conduit or catalyst for that transformation, it’s a lot easier for you to see that value.
So if having read this you recognise that deep down you don’t believe in the value of the work you do then it’s essential you find a way to build that sense of value. To do whatever you need to do to really get it ingrained and embodied that “Yes, what I do is truly valuable”.
So my question for you: what can you do immediately to start to increase your sense of value? Do let me know in the comments below – I always love to hear from you.
And if you know someone who is struggling with issues of self-worth, value, and questions like “Am I good enough to charge what I charge?” please share this with them.
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With Love & Gratitude,
Catherine, this really speaks to me today. I just this morning wrote about this very issue in my morning practice. I’ve been going through my own online course to improve it for my students and today identified my most basic block as this: my failure to monetize my work to a higher level is due to undervaluing myself and my work. Imagine my pleasure when I saw your email. You have such a compassionate and gentle approach to this… just what I needed today. ???
Thanks for your comment! I’m so glad that this was just what you needed, and hopefully you’ve made the first step to better valuing your work – and when you value it more highly so will your students – they will respond to that confidence and self-belief that you put out.