Without the Baggage | Pricing Your Services the Right Way
Hi, and welcome to a new episode of the Mom Bosses Abroad podcast. We are here today with Jen Patterson, who was also our featured guest on episode 11 about making money management fun so we can actually keep more of what we earn. So go and check it out at the end of this episode. and today we’re diving deep into the second part of that previous conversation and is all to do with how to price your services. Jen, it’s always fun to have you in our podcast.Welcome!
Thank you for having me back. I'm so excited to chat with you ladies again.
Welcome back for sure! Because Jen has such a unique take on money management. We just couldn't get enough of her on the last episode. And we said ‘we need to have her back on, we need to bring her back on because we scratched on the surface’ or we just touched on a topic we're like ‘wait a second, we are not ready to open this can of worms just yet.’ We need to have a separate show on this. And that is all about how to price your products, right? So we're gonna dive deep into this topic today so that we can all build a solid financial foundation in order to have a thriving profitable business that pays. Jen, where do we start? I don't know where to start!
Oh my Goodness. Okay, so pricing is a really big topic and there's a lot of psychology around pricing. Both on the side of your buyer, but also on the side of your service provider, particularly on product businesses_ they're a little easier when it comes to pricing because you've got the materials and profit margins that you can very easily calculate. But when it comes to service providers, it can be a lot more complex and there's a lot more baggage attached. There's all this stuff on self-worth and that gets wrapped up into it because we feel like we're giving ourselves when we're service providers, and it's like well, how much am I worth? And that is not a talk- that is not a question that a lot of people want to ask themselves. So, you know, first and foremost I want to say to anyone out there who's struggling with pricing, give yourself a break, give yourself a little bit of a pass on this because it is a really challenging thing to nail down. So that's the first thing on it is you know, don't feel bad if you're struggling with this because you're not alone. Like there's a reason that this is such a juicy topic because there are so many people out there having the exact same thoughts you are, having the exact same struggles and banging your head against the exact same wall so you know don't feel bad
And to get started on that, Jen, because you touched on two things that I feel are quiet powerful topics in and of themselves. As you said, the first one is that whole aspect of self-worth tied to the price right, like in a way you are putting a price on yourself or putting a price on your soul so to speak. And yeah, there's a lot of resistance, mostly because you feel that anyone objecting to the price or refusing to pay it, is a direct rejection of you as a person as well, right? So subconsciously there is that aspect, but also, I think that there might be another layer at play. And I wanted to ask your opinion on that, which is a little bit on the permanence aspect of it_ like once you set a price, how easy it is to change it when you realize_ because of course, we are all on our learning curve and there are a lot of switches and modifications that happen along the way. So, when you feel that you're putting the price, it's like this sticker that you're gluing with super glue and that you won't be able to get rid off because then people might hold you to it. I don't know if that makes any sense, but that people not only at one point you said it was this price and all of a sudden, it's more or whatever that comment might eat so those were the two the two things that stood up for me, right now as you were as you were going into this psychological mindset aspect of pricing.
Yeah. Oh my gosh, I was just actually listening to a podcast this morning on the psychology of raising your prices and how hard that is, because you're right! I love the Super Glue metaphor, like you do feel like you super glued this price tag to this offering that you have and when it comes down to raising your prices, it can be really hard because you feel like, you know, you kind of have to go cap in hand to your clients and say ‘can I have more money, please.’ When realistically, that’s not what you're doing. You're just saying ‘look, the service I provide is more costly.’ So one of the great, great things I sort of think about when that comes into play is, I don't know if you guys are big Disney fans. But I am the biggest Disney dork on the face of the planet to love them. And it just came out of the news this past week that Disneyland is raising the prices again. And this a few people that are a little upset but at the end of the day, people are still gonna go, people are still gonna buy their products and it's not like Disney is losing sleep over the fact that someone's upset. Like they're just going to go about their merry way and make billions of dollars and move on. I'm not I'm not saying you shouldn't care about your clients guys. That's not what I'm saying at all. But when it comes to raising your prices, that's kind of the mindset and energy you have to take on is: this service nows cost more. And that's it, you know, and yeah, life increases in price all the time. There's this thing called inflation that goes up, you know, 3 to 3.5% percent every year, which means that the price of things goes up every single year and if you're not raising your rates on a steady regular basis, you are in fact, losing money as a business owner. You are making less and less money every single year in terms of your purchasing power with that money if you're not raising your rates. So, get on board guys, you got to raise your rates at that point what's true.
And with that raise, Jen, would you say that it has to have_ it doesn't necessarily have has to have a big justification, meaning: ‘oh, there's an extra module’ or ‘I am adding something on top of that. So that is why it's increased’? It can be as easy as you say, ‘I'm raising it,’ and then just charge more?
You’re charging more. So you know, what you're bringing to the table in terms of like your own experience levels, more experience under your belt, you've worked with more clients, you've seen more situations. You are now, you know, your service just cost more now.
Okay, so I want to set the scene a little bit so we can really start to really, first of all, determine our starting price at the beginning. And then, I do want to circle back later on the whole justification part because there's a big, like, question on that for me as well. But okay, so we have a digital course. We're creating it, like, pretty much done with it, and we poured our heart, our soul, our sweat and our tears in it. But at the same time, it comes out of a place of passion to help others. That's sort of like personally the business we're in as well like, like helping others and I know a lot of people are. So how do we possibly know what to charge? Like, is there a certain formula that we can follow to figure that out?
So there's two answers to that question. Yes and no. They're both the right answers. So when it comes to pricing, particularly, if you're just like getting started as a brand new product, you've never sold it before, you can follow a formula. Absolutely follow a formula and I have one that I use and it's quite effective and I love it. But I find with most service providers and course creators, they have a gut instinct on what they think they should be charging for their course. And whether that's $10 or $10,000, it doesn't matter. They have a gut and I always say ‘go with your gut.’. Because at least as a place to start off from, when you go to sell the product, if you're not behind the price point that you've chosen, you're not going to sell any and then the price is completely irrelevant.
Because if you're thinking ‘well, you know, this this formula is telling me that I should be charging $5,000 for this course, but I'm not feeling that it's worth $5,000, then guess who else is not going to be feeling that it's worth 5000? Right? That's your buyers. So then all that work you put into you know, creating that course and you know all that stress you put on racing it, it's all for naught, because you're not going to sell it anyway. So, you know, if you have like a real gut like, I think this course should be priced at $500, then price it at $500 and go out and sell a whole bunch and see how that feels. See how that sells and comes back once again to it. You have not put superglue on that price. You can change it and sometimes it's just a matter of, you know, going in and literally changing the $500 to $700 on your sales page. Like it can be that simple. And so, you know go with your gut first. That always a good place to start particularly again when your service providers and all this other psychologies involved, because if you don't feel like you're really behind your price point, nobody's gonna buy. That's all right.
It's an aspect of being in alignment, right? In alignment with the price and as you say that energy there is going to come across when you are having those sales calls, Discovery calls and conversations with potential clients that are wanting to come on board that you have to say it out loud, you have to say this is what it is right, and not flinch and not cringe not say frightened or insecure. And so, there's another thing that I read somewhere as well in line with what you just mentioned, that was like a nifty hack for that. That if you go with your gut and you and your leaning towards a number and to use your example, it’s $500, right? And you still feel a little bit uncomfortable with that, they were suggesting for you to go around for a week, doubling or tripling the price. So that, so that you say $1500, $1500, $1500… And then when you go back to saying $500, it doesn't feel crazy because you are trying now like the bigger number for such a long time and then you go back and you're like actually $500 sounds like a steal and then you go with more reassurance into the conversation with the $500 as the number
That can work. I think that in all honesty, if you're doing that, and you're really insecure, like if somebody was really, truly insecure about themselves, they're brand new to business, all that's going to do is in the back of their head, they’re going to be: ‘this is BS’ and then it's still gonna come through. So, you know, one of the things that I like to do is if you're feeling insecure about your price point, charge the one that you're like confident in, you know, this is $500 and then the next time you go say, this is $550 and you slowly, incrementally work towards that ideal price point that you're working towards. And it helps you along the way, because okay, that first person, you know, $500 sounded really easy for me. Okay, great. So sell it for $500 bucks. Next time, next sales call, sell it for $550. So after that, sell it for $600 and slowly build up to the point where you're confident all the way through rather than trying to trick yourself because there's always gonna be that little voice in the back of your head that's like, ‘nah, you're full of it.’ Yeah, that's in my head.
It is definitely tricky, especially if you're out there and you genuinely want to like help and provide something to them and often the first batch of people that come to you as well, as the people that you know or your inner circle or the community that you've built, right? And then it's like overcoming like you said, but I think it's a lot of the mindset even just what's my worth, how much time do I have available? How much time is that going to cost me? And that is time that is that has to be charged in some way, right? Even if it is a digital course and it turns into an evergreen course or something, but it's still something you've invested a lot of your time and
Yeah, and then you know, taking it from the complete opposite sort of end of the spectrum, you know, moving away from sort of the alignment and more into the mathematical, you can do the math and figure out like, ‘Okay, what do I need to charge to make this a viable product?’ Like, what do I need to charge to actually make a profit or, you know, do the math and figure out like, if I'm charging, you know, again, we're gonna use $500 as nice round number. I'm charging $500 each for this course. How many do I need to sell in order to make the income that I want? You know, it might take into account my taxes, my expenses, do I have any contractors that I need to pay? Are there processing fees on that money? You can go at it from that sort of other side of the spectrum and see, okay, like, where do I land? What price point do I need to price it at in order to make the income that I'm shooting for? And, you know, for somebody who's very, you know, analytical type-A, that's a great way to go about it because the numbers are right there on the page. So usually that helps them sort of justify and say, ‘Okay, well, this is, this is how much it costs because this is how much I need to make.’
It's true because we have these running costs of like, the hosting platform that we have monthly fees for, right the email providers, the design tools that we may be using to create this course. It's all the things we're actually paying for that need to come back through those courses, and then some because we're not doing it just to break even right, we are doing to make some money. That is true.
Yeah. I think that is something that you do want to calculate out. You know, as you're going through this. You know, there may be a point where if you're really feeling insecure that you do just need to break even for a few months and that's totally fine to just, you know, get your feet wet that way, particularly if this is a side hustle, or you know, it's not your main source of income. But just try not to stay in that place for too long, because then you get stuck in that rut, right? And so you always want to be thinking about okay, yes, this is breakeven now, but like, what am I shooting for? Or even just starting at that place and saying, ‘Okay, well, I know that I'm worth this amount, and this is what I need to go out and sell in order to bring in the dollars to pay my [inaudible]
So it circles back to that whole confidence aspect of what you’re doing. And that inner self esteem of saying like, ‘Yes, this is, this is the value that I bring in; people are really improving their lives because of taking this course with me or this journey that that I am helping them and to get to the to their dream result. And yes, it is needed, it brings value into the world.’
And I think also as you progress through your own journey, as a service provider, or course creator, you can see the value as you have people going through your program, getting the results, having those transformations and then that's just going to bring back your own confidence in your products. Because you can be like, ‘well, here's, you know, Suzy and Jim and Bob and they've had all of this amazing stuff happen because of the work that we've done together.’ And then you see the value in what you do, and that just reinforces your confidence and then will, hopefully, give you the motivation and the drive to raise those rates and say, ‘Well, you know, there's a reason for this because I'm effective and I’m worth this much.
Yeah, and that's why it's so important to always lay out these transformations and best even through testimonials and everything but really to say ‘okay, this is what I can help you achieve in this amount of time. Gonna hold your hand through this process and what is that worth to you even, you know, to have that sort of transformation whether it is like a financial difference you will make to them because if you're successful, the course has paid for itself, you know, or whatever you're helping them. What, what are they willing to pay for the difference that's gonna make in their lives, whatever the course content is.
And you touched on something that is quite interesting too, which is sometimes just because your course or service or membership has a certain amount of length in terms of time_ if it's three weeks, or six weeks or whatever it is. We sometimes have this idea that the longer, the better, right? Like the longer the need deserves to be priced higher because it takes longer, but not necessarily because as you said, people also pay for speed in certain cases, and people want immediate or fast results or they just want a quick resolution to their pain points. And just because you're able to deliver that faster, doesn't make it less valuable. So, it's not necessarily correlated, but the longer the program is, the higher the price needs to be, right, Jen?
Absolutely. You know, like, I think about gosh, I mean anything, you know, my house getting clean like, I want I don't want them here for six hours. I want them in and out and it get clean and get it done. And, you know, speeding things up is quite often very, very valuable. And I think one of the other things that I know a lot of particularly women really butt up against it_ you know, there is a struggle for them when it comes to their pricing and sort of their value is that they think because something is easy for them, that it's not valuable. So, I remember talking to this one time, and she was pricing out a yoga program. I can't quite remember the specifics of it. But she was like ‘this is so easy for me’ and I was like ‘well, yeah, because you're you. But there are thousands and hundreds of thousands of people who, something that is so easy for you, is exceptionally difficult for them. And so, the value of having you handhold through figuring this out is huge because they can't do it on their own. You know, like I always liked the fact that I love numbers math and spreadsheets. To me those are very, very easy. But there is a very large percentage of the population who do not feel the same way.
Yes. You actually pay to get that off your plate and you're like, ‘please, take it away from me.’
Yes, I love them. I can't get enough of that stuff. But I know that I'm very unique in that sense. So there's a lot of value in my knowledge and expertise, because everybody doesn't feel that way.
And another layer, Jen, to what you just mentioned, is also that idea that ‘oh, but this all of this is available on a Google search, you know, people can actually find this online, and they can easily you know, get the same type of information from what I'm offering.’ So why should I charge this amount or why should I even charge at all? And it goes right to your point that you are really helping your client go through a journey, you're holding their hand, you're really guiding them through the different markers and through the different stages that they're going to go through to get to the end result, which is not going to come through just by a Google search, so to speak. So that there's also that value to that aspect of what you're bringing to the table.
Absolutely. And I sort of think of Google, like I don't know if you guys have been where you are, but here in North America we have seems like Winners or TJ Maxx or things like that, where they're like these massive epic warehouses full of clothes that have all been pulled in from a million different places and you have to hunt through the racks. That's kind of what Google is when it comes to information is_ you have to sort through a lot of garbage, to find those diamonds and like those really amazing pieces. And I hate those stores because I do not have time to hunt through seven racks to find one pair of pants that fits me and looks great. I want to go to one store where they're gonna be like ‘here, these are the pants for you. See you later.’ I would pay extra to have somebody find me an amazing pair of pants. You know, like that's the way that I Google? Yes, the information is out there but I don't have time to sort through the gobs of garbage to find that what you know really useful information and I would happily pay for somebody who has already done that
Or give it to me all layered down, you know, straightaway in a sequence. It's a journey, plus, I really think that unique factor of like it's you. Like nothing we ever teach is ever unique, right? I'm also reading the book right now Steal like and Artist. It's true because everything that everyone does now nowadays has somehow someway has been done by others. What's unique is you teaching it. You will have a different viewpoint or angle, you will have a unique approach or certain type of personality that people resonate with or vibe with that will make their journey much easier than someone maybe that's teaching the same thing but it's just you're on different levels, just doesn't resonate. So I think there's also that aspect right of it's you coming together easily in one space being taught a certain way.
Nobody can do you.
You know, it's interesting that you say that because I've I know I've run into that more than once in my business. I remember a couple of years ago when I was just kind of starting out in the coaching arena and was teaching entrepreneurs sort of my signature strategy. I was having a conversation with another coach on a coffee chat and saying, ‘Well, this is what I teach. This is the kind of strategy that I use’ and she was like, ‘oh, Profit First!’ and I had no idea what she was talking about. Turns out, it's a book written by a dude. And I was like, hey, as I'm reading this look, I'm like: “dude stole my method!” And then it was like, ‘Well, okay. There's no new ideas in the world. And yet I still have a practice, even though people could go read his book and implement his strategy.’ There's a lot of people do and that's great for them. I still have a practice because not everybody can a) read his book, understand his book and appreciates the way that he puts himself out in the world. He's a dude and he writes for dudes and I work with a lot of women and they don't generally want to vibe with that kind of a message. They want a more personal touch, they want someone who can specifically look at their business and say, ‘Yes, you know, there's this strategy over here, but you need to do this, this, this, this and this, you know, specifically for your business’ because it might even be you're so overwhelmed that even reading a book is too much.
So, going a little bit back to how we started off today, you touched on the ideas that the sticker price is not permanent, as we said, like it's not it's not glued on with super glue. And it's a good process and exercise to practice as you say, those little increments with the next person that comes along to see how you actually feel until you actually get to the price that you feel really reflects what you want and what you need, out of the whole journey of putting out a course or service or a membership or product that you're working on. But then you also said it is to always important to be revising at least once a year, the price because of what we mentioned before with inflation but also things cost more and so we also need to be always updating that. The one once a year is the minimum, right? But you would suggest the optimal would be two or three times per year is that…?
I would say no more than quarterly and no less than once a year. Finding somewhere in there. That's the sweet spot for you.
I feel it reminds me right now of like a toddler trying to push his boundaries, you know, it's like, how far can I go until mom says ‘no, stop it. Put that down, you know?’ So, maybe, yeah, but that's interesting just to always tap into the people where are serving, right? That tap into to them and how they feel about it. I think it's also important to kind of like treat it a bit like a dance, like a bit like a balance of, yes, this is sort of the minimum that I want to charge but how much can I go until like it's a clear cap on what I charge, and I guess I'm going
See, I’m gonna challenge you there. Challenge you on that the cap.
Actually, as I said that ‘as a cap’, I didn't like the sound of that either.
There's no cap on what you charge. So, here's the way that I look at it: there's nothing wrong with being inexpensive and sort of having low prices, particularly for those, you know, people that you're serving who may not have a lot of money or are just getting started in business or you know, whatever sort of walk of life they're in. There are lots of people who need those services. And there's nothing wrong with serving that audience and you know, they're a great audience to serve. But there's also something to be said about not staying low for the sake of low. And feeling like that you have to stay there. You know, one of the things I see a lot of business owners do, is they'll start out you know, with a lower price point with our signature program, the price will increase and then they'll take that signature program and carve it out to it's sort of like a skeleton, that just in the framework, and they'll sell that as a low cost, you know, introductory product for people who are just getting started and maybe don't have a lot of capital. They'll hone it down and, you know, create an ebook from it, and they'll sell that as a low cost option. So, you know, just because you know, raising your rates doesn't mean you can't serve that audience as well. The sky’s the limit.
But also, Jen, to your point that there's no cap, we also should be aware that and that it might happen that some people that are working with us at some point are going to say ‘I'm sorry, but it's just not affordable for me anymore, or I cannot continue on this journey with you at this price.’ And so you have to come to terms first that it's not personal, and second that in a way, you're also upgrading to a different type of client and different type of audience, because now you're tapping into a different type of energy. I would call it that way of somebody that's in a completely different mindset that is now willing to be more receptive to this new iteration, of what you're putting out there. So it's not coming from mentality of “I’m losing people because all of a sudden I decided to raise my prices’ but it's more shifting it around and saying like, ‘well, yes, I'm going to raise them; some people are not going to continue with me, but the ones that do come in, are comfortable with that price and so we can do more damage in a good way with them moving forward.
Yeah. And it opens up more of you to give. Because the one thing there is a cap on, is us and our time. Like we only have so much time, like that is something that is absolutely 100% capped- is the amount of time we have to give. So, when you sort of level up like that, it opens up that door again and it frees up some time so that you can maybe it's not an up level client, maybe it's enough of a program that instead of serving one person you're serving 10 people so it really frees you up in a way so you can have more impact.
That's a beautiful way to see your own thing evolve as well over time and with the people you're working together serving, I think that's beautiful. So, you also have a freebie that you offered. I've already got that and I love it. Do you want to tell people a little bit about it? Because you have some really interesting option in there as well then people first click on that link.
So the 30 Day Money Makeover is it's a really great tool for somebody who is just diving into their money journey. You know, I always say like money is such a big topic and there is a lot of baggage around money for every human being walking the face of the earth. I don't care if you have never thought about money or if you have somebody who obsesses about money. Everyone's got money baggage, and for somebody who's just getting started on their sort of money journey, The Money Makeover is a great place to start because it literally handhold you through 30 days of very actionable steps that you can take to kickstart your financial journey. Whether you're an entrepreneur or not. It really handholds you through that whole process of starting out by just looking at your accounts and thinking about what you want to have for your money moving forward and you know what you really want to accomplish, with your finances, because it can be kind of overwhelming. So really breaking it down into those little daily bite-sized pieces that things you can usually accomplish in like five to 10 minutes, you know, is most of the steps on that list. So really just breaking it down into something that you can do every day that will move you towards a much more positive financial picture.
I was trying to sign up for that as well. You had a really cool option in there as well to have this net worth calculator, I think you named it
Yes, The Net Worth Calculator. Oh, I am a big fan of net worth because a lot of people_ everybody has a net worth. Again, everybody on planet Earth over the age of 18. You know we keep the kids out of this, but everyone over the age of 18 has a net worth whether they know it or not. And all that is a fancy way of saying: everything you own subtracted everything you owe. So some people's net worth might be negative. But that doesn't mean that their self-worth doesn't need to be wrapped up in their net worth. But it's a great way to see how you're doing from a big picture standpoint. You know it really takes into account how you're doing, financially speaking, from a bird's eye view, because when we're in the day to day work, you know, thinking about ‘oh, I shouldn't buy that coffee’ or, ‘Oh, I probably should deal with that subscription.’ It can be hard to know like how you're actually doing financially speaking, whereas the net worth looks at this one number and you track it over time and you can say ‘Well, is it going up? Or is it going down?’ And that's a really simple way to see how you're doing financially if the number is heading in the right direction, great-don't change anything you're good to go. If it's going down then okay, maybe you need to go back to the drawing board and figure some things out- come see me.
Going back to your pricing strategy for your what you're offering, right?
Jen, you also offer your signature program The Dollar Divas Money Club and for anyone listening. We like to keep to a quick summary of what it is and how they can really take advantage of this opportunity to work with you and dive deeper into the subjects that we talked about today.
Yeah, absolutely. So The Dollar Divas Money Club was born out of me seeing entrepreneurs who really understood their businesses and loved what they did, but somehow still were living pay check to pay check and not thriving financially, when they should have been. So I developed The Dollar Divas Money Club as a way for particularly female business owners to learn about money in a way that's simple and easy and straightforward without all the junk in the judgments. So you know, we talk about you know, bank account structure, we talk about what to do with your money, and how to keep it once you've made it. A lot of people really focus in on the revenue generating thing which okay, you do not have a business if you don't have revenue. But you also don't have a business if you don't keep some of that revenue. Yes. Right. So that's what we really work on and how to hang on to the revenue that you worked so hard to make.
Thank you so much, Jen, for chatting with us today. And if you want to connect with Jen you can find her on Instagram @patterson.biz and you also have your Facebook page, your website and your own podcast. So we are going to put all the updated up to the minute links, in our show notes and Jen, once again, it's always so much fun to have these conversations with you because we always get so much insight from them. And it really makes us approach things from this new mindset that really helps us to make this much, much lighter, and funnier as a process and not a frustrating one.
Yeah, so happy to hear that.
And if you want to hear more of what Jen shares and teaches, don't forget to check out episode number 11 as well.
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What a journey this podcasting journey has been! We taught ourselves, but definitely had some help along the way! Now, we are ready to level up for Season 2, thanks to the amazing Pineapple Podcasting Academy! A 6 week course, that was game changing on every level!
Jen Paterson is a Money Coach for Entrepreneurs, the in-house money coach for Iron & Pearl Financial and the creator of the Dollar Divas Money Club. Jen has helped hundreds of women gain financial independence and create lasting wealth with her unique take on money management. As a former financial advisor, she saw business owners who were rock stars and yet struggled financially. It usually had nothing to do with their ability to deliver amazing results! It was because they didn't understand how to manage the money side of their business. Now Jen helps female business owners build a solid financial foundation so they have a thriving, profitable business that pays!!
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