Get what you deserve by charging what your services are really worth — their value — to your clients.

Is “FREE” killing your business?

Giving away free information and content can be a great way to gain trust and establish yourself as an expert but many businesses are doing it wrong says experienced internet marketing veteran Maria Marsala from CoachMaria.com. Maria has been in the internet marketing arena and coached business owners for over 10 after spending 20 years as an executive on Wall Street. She thinks small business owners, especially women, are notorious for giving away too much for free.

Speaking to the online resource center for women in business, GetYourSuccessNow, Maria notes that the natural tendency for women is to give, give and give freely because of their desire to nurture and help others. That can be a great strength when used in a business to build relationships with customers however; most women get it wrong by giving away all their valuable services for free and then wondering why they don’t make money.

One of the reasons small business owners do not make the amount of money they want to make from their businesses is because their pricing structure is flawed. Business owners can work hard to gain new customers and market their products but unless that process is making them money, their business is going on a downward spiral. That is a bitter truth to swallow but ultimately, an entrepreneur’s ability to price their services and products correctly is one of the main keys in determining their success.

One key components to keep in mind while pricing your products or services is the fact that once a price is set, it is much easier to lower it than to raise it. Internet Marketing coach Maria Marsala encourages women to therefore balance the urge to give away freely with the need to run and maintain a successful business.

In a recent interview with GetYourSuccessNow, Maria shares the pricing mistakes she has seen business owners make over the past 20 years as a business coach and mentions flawed pricing structure as one of the biggest culprits leading to failed businesses.

Listen now to the interview at Get Your Success Now.

What’s holding you back from earning what you really deserve?

Today I was spammed by a fellow business owner trying to sell me copywriting services.  Unsolicited emails from someone you don’t know, is spam.  Plus I have a copywriter, as listed on the employment page on my website.  

The business owner wanted to write stuff for my blog.  I’m not sure she had been to this blog, but if she looked at the dates I post articles and such, she’s have noticed that I don’t have a big problem posting to my blog!   In fact, I enjoy coming here to write.  Although I admit loud and clear — I am the worst proofreader of my own work known to women-kind.   Writing isn’t the problem.

The second thing she did wrong was email me using a yahoo email address.  I see this problem all the time — on business cards, websites, you name it.  HELLO— its tacky and unprofessional.  It shows that you’re either a new or very inexperienced business owner.  Neither maybe true, but the perception of new or very inexperienced is there.  

Ya, you’ll get spammed if you put your business email address on your website, but that’s what happens.  I use a contact me box to help with that, and it does cut spam down to just a few times a week.  Or use a throw away website email address.  Make one up, use it and when you get spammed, change it.

Curious, I went to visit her website.  No graphics.  It is black, white, with some red all over.

When I saw her bio, I was in shock — I mean this women has major journalism skills; and so does her business partner! 

She also had her pricing listed on her website.   She charges $25 for a project that is worth many, many, many times that price.   She does want credit placed on all the posts she writes for you, but I wonder.

a) Is having a credit on a blog worth the BIG decrease in pay.

b) Wouldn’t a recommendation from a happy client who could show what their work was worth be worth something?

c) Did her company do some research?  I’m sure that business owners who hire copywriters prefer that they be hired as “ghostwriters” since they also want ownership of their posts.

I’m not sure what’s holding these business owners back form earning what they deserve.  I’m sure that she could buy a template or theme for her website.  Something that would attract great clients.  Write about the benefits of writing; write about the different social networking sites, etc.  But first she has to plug up the leaks in her profits.

I see it all the time.  Someone leaves a job to start a business.  They determine their hourly rate by what they had been paid. They don’t take into account that for that $20 they were paid, the company was charging or earning WAY more than that!

They also don’t take into account the 25-40% in benefits that their former employeer was paying them, too.  Of course, if you add that onto their hourly rates, that sure does bring them up a bit!

Today, take our quiz and learn how you are leaking profits and throwing money down the drain. Go to www.CoachMaria.com and download the Business Checkup Assessment.  You’ll be glad you did!

Is it time to charge what your time is really worth?

It’s Time to Charge What Your Time Is Really Worth!
Catherine (name changed to protect client identity) wanted to earn more, yet she also craved a greater balance between her work and free time. She decided to take our Business Checkup Quiz, which showed her that she was leaking profits. During a pre-client conversation in 2008, I told her two things:

a) She was being underpaid by at least $100 per hour, possibly $200 per hour
– Regardless of the sluggish economy.
b) Yes, she was leaking profits in a number of ways.

Now I know this may sound a bit funny, but the truth is that not everyone should be able to afford you! If you find yourself getting a lot of “yes’s” and not too many “no’s” from prospects, chances are that you’re fees are set too low. And that means that you’re under earning.

The same is true if you find yourself with clients who want more work and more changes, but don’t want to pay for them. You may not have even realized that you are under earning, and in fact, attracting these “low hanging fruit” clients.

Before Catherine came to me, she had raised her rates from $25 to $75 per hour. Shortly after we began working together, and she created her first Ideal Client Profile (target audience profile). It wasn’t long before we “got down to business”, and reevaluated her pricing systematically.

After our research, we learned that her hourly rate should be somewhere between $175 and $375 per
hour! In fact, she knew someone in her area that was making $250 per hour doing the same kind of work that she did. Catherine was shocked, of course, that she had been under earning by so much for the last two years. So she made her pricing changes, and even though she had only taken on one new client, she’d already doubled her income!

In the upcoming months Catherine started plugging up her leaking profits. She kept track of the actual time spent with clients, and found that for every “hour” she thought she was working, she had actually done an hour and a half of work. That meant that for every $100 she charged, she had really deserved $150! And for every $1000 she charged a client, she was losing $500 worth of time.

She quickly plugged up that leak!

We then moved on to some other places she was leaking profits, such as her Client Intake process. We were able to narrow it down to a mere 1-2 hours, while in the past it had taken her up to 5 hours. Time is money!

Catherine soon hired help, giving her more time to work on the task which brought greater profits, while someone else handled the less costly tasks – such as admin, proofreading, etc.

She also created a marketing funnel, and started to be paid “by the project” rather than by the hour. That helped her raise her prices again; this time to $150 per hour — up 300%!

By the time we ended our work together six months later, Catherine had nearly tripled her income without adding a lot of time to the hours she had previously been working. She even began keeping a few clients “on retainer” – which attracted more high-quality clients as well as exciting new challenges.

She hired a house cleaner and a Personal Assistant, and was able to spend more quality time with her husband and children than ever before.

And she (and many others) did this during a recession!

Ask yourself these 9 questions:

1. How much would I charge if it reflected what I truly deserved?
2. What is the minimum per hour that I could charge, without attracting clients that will drive me nuts?
3. Do I think that I’m charging a fair fee? Why do I think that?
4. Do I think that clients are taking advantage of my good nature? In what ways?
5. How often do I lose money because of changed orders or change of mind?
6. What would you tell your best friend to charge, if they were in your position?
7. Am I waiting for my on and offline marketing to be perfect before I charge more?
8. What am I waiting to learn before I earn what I deserve?
9. What other ways am I leaking profits?

Learn how you can attract better clients and earn what you deserve! Find out where you are “leaking profits,” and how to stop. Grab your Free Instant Access to our “Business Checkup Inventory.”
Visit http://www.CoachMaria.com today!

(c) 2010 Maria Marsala, Elevating Your Business with Corporate Secrets Marketing.

Your Knowledge Is Cash: The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Raising Your Rates

You could be making this most common and costly pricing mistake. There is a 99.9% chance that you’ve drastically under-priced your services and products. This mistake has cost you a ton of money. Just changing the way you price your services will make all the difference in your life and your business. Stop Underearning! Today

Includes 7 audios, a 90-page workbook, 2  sixty to seventy minute sessions.  Learn more at http://www.ElevatingYourBusinessU.com/tele/pricing.html