Whether as part of planning your book, or simply as an essential, basic step in planning any kind of marketing, one of the first things I get my clients to do is to create a profile of their ideal customer. It’s also something I do annually for my own business and even if you’ve done it before, you always learn something new.
In my own case, I just had what an old boss of mine back when I worked in consulting used to call “a blinding flash of the bleedin’ obvious.”
Now, this isn’t the place to go into an in-depth review of the process, but one of the things to think about is what your ideal customer’s key pain points are. For years, one of the pains I assumed my clients had – and one that I built a lot of marketing around – was the fact that they often assume their income is controlled by “market rates”. And in many ways, that’s true. But as I was doing the exercise today, I had a deeper insight into what’s behind the market rate.
My ideal clients struggle to charge what they want to charge because their prospects don’t understand how to value what they do. And that’s because it’s really hard to put a $ value on advice or coaching, or consulting, or speaking. It’s the old story of the engineer’s hammer (it’s in my book Premium – you’ve probably heard some variant of it: “$1 for hitting the pipe. $999 for knowing where to hit”).
If people don’t understand the impact of what you do, they are always going to query your rates, however much you charge, because price is all they have to go on.
That’s why writing a book is so critical for most professional advisers and coaches and consultants: because one of the things a book allows you to do is showcase the results your clients get from working with you. That immediately puts context around what you do.
So, if you’re stuck charging market rates because you struggle to explain the financial value of what you do, set it out in a book. If you want some help deciding what that could look like, reach out here.