by Cara Lumen
When we are marketing something that’s easy for us to do it sometimes takes some new self-awareness to continue to see our own value. A web designer friend of mine would sometimes say, “But it only took me two hours to do that,” and I had to remind her to look at what the value of the design she had produced was to her client – how many new clients it would attract, how long it would be on the internet, how it would help her establish her reputation. Look for the long term results you help a person achieve and charge accordingly. Are you selling your expertise or your time?
Learn to value your mind
If you don’t value what you offer, others won’t. You are doing what you are doing because it is easy for you to do and as you get better at it you will do it faster and more easily. But that does not diminish its value. Over the years I have created a very strong coaching library – articles and exercises I have written to help my clients learn something or do something. I’ve used them over and over. I have one particularly good tool that I gave away too easily once. It is a powerful New Client Intake Form that helps focus the client’s ideas on her project, let her know what is possible for us to do together, and gives me insight on how to work with her. A long time ago I sent that to a client before she had totally committed to coaching and she got so many revelations that she decided to simply continued on her own. I had given her tremendous value and received nothing in return. I had lost sight of how valuable the exercises I create are, how profound are the realizations and awareness they create. Whatever you are offering be certain you look at the value it creates for the person receiving it. Then charge according to that value.
Help others value what you offer
I was at the first Tribes meeting in my area and one fellow entrepreneur who offered systems designs for web sites said people didn’t know 1) they needed what he offered and 2) that his service even existed. He had to start his marketing with education – showing them they had a need and that he could fill it.
I run into that with coaching. People don’t know how much they don’t know and they don’t know what they will need. My job is to let them know I do know what they need, in which order they need to do it and that I can guide them through the process. It may seem odd to pay for conversation and discussion in a coaching call. I am very generous with my ideas and have to remember that any one of my ideas might help my client make a lot of money or conquer a difficult obstacle. Just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it should come cheap. Your ideas have great value.
Create awareness for a need
For instance, on the surface a blog seems simple to do, it’s just about writing something on a regular basis isn’t it? Or does it include steps like deciding on a focus with a distinct call to action, choosing a target community, developing SEO optimization, optimizing your blog posts, planning and creating your cornerstone series and value laden content that builds trust and awareness of the depth of your expertise. Did you know you needed all that before I listed it?
There are a great many steps to take when starting a business or taking a major next step. Being aware of the need or desire you will fulfill is first. Then discover how you will create an awareness of the need or want and how you are the answer.
That takes time and is an ongoing process.
Manage your time
Set aside one day a week to work on your business not in your business. Then work it – direct outreach, curriculum development, visioning, quarterly how-am-I-doing reviews. Keep what’s working, toss what’s not.
Consolidate your client sessions into full days. I remember a client being surprised when I suggested she set up a coaching schedule that covered only two days and fill that first before she went on to fill a third day. She was seeing people whenever they wanted to be seen and had little control over her business hours. Cluster your projects – seeing clients, writing articles, working on new course – set aside healthy hunks of time to make them happen.
Track your time as part of its value. It is very hard to make a coaching proposal. I want to be certain they reach their goals but I don’t know 1) how fast the client will make decisions, 2) if the client will do her/his homework, and 3) what the exact skill set of the client is that will determine how much coaching in a particular area they will need. I have to be able to give them a time frame so they know what they are investing to achieve what specific results. If I’m building a web presence from scratch there are a certain number of sessions we have to have for the process to take place, not the design process, the making up the mind process, the focusing process, the writing of the landing page process. When I am helping a person create an information product I don’t know how organized their mind is, how well they can identify the core curriculum points, and how fast and how well they write. I do put a price on the time it will take, the number of sessions to complete a specific project.
Value your mind
But in all of this what has the most value is my brain – how it works, what it sees, how it conveys insights to others and what results they can get when I do that. My gift is to be able to absorb all the ideas from a client and help them choose and focus on the best ones and then help them make them happen. That’s a brain thing and it has great value.
A top ten list I write in 10 minutes because of my years of experience may contain a life-changing, ground-breaking, game-changing, money-making idea for someone. How do you put a value on that?
An idea I have and share in our first coaching session may lay the foundation for a lucrative project.
A supportive comment I might make in a coaching session may propel a person into achieving great things.
It’s not the time you spend on something, it’s not how easy it is for you to do; it’s the value of what it does for others that counts.
© 2010 Cara Lumen
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