I got a lot of free mentorship in the early days when I was just getting started, so it’s important to me to give back.
That’s why I spend soooo much time chatting with people who randomly subscribed to my email list.
I’ve spent a lot of time in the last month chatting with VAs and OBMs; women who are trying to transition from being an order taker, a task executor, to someone who commands high-end rates.
Interestingly, I got a new question the other day: “why charge high-end rates? Isn’t it harder?”
For years I worked only low-end. I didn’t believe I felt like I deserved higher rates, and I didn’t believe people would pay higher rates. Also, I didn’t want to alienate the little guy.
The little guy needs help, too, and I purposely kept my rates low in order to accommodate them.
But the problem with low-end rates is that it’s hard to survive, and the clients who can only afford low-end tend to be a complete mess.
Not every low end client I’ve ever had has been a mess, but mostly, low-end clients are a mess and a pain in the ass.
It’s not their fault; it’s just that they’re at a point in their business where they have a different relationship with money than a 7 or 8 figure business owner. Someone who has to stretch to find $500 to invest in their business is going to want to get their money’s worth. They’ll want to milk it for all they can. This is natural.
Think about the single mom who works two minimum wage jobs and shops at Aldi’s to feed her kids. She needs to make sure to optimise the value of her money in order to take care of her kids.
Conversely, a single mom who makes over $240,000 a year can afford to shop at Whole Foods because to her she cares more about the quality of the experience than extending each dollar as far as it can go.
Clients are exactly the same.
A business lesson from my father
My father is a fascinating man. It’s largely his fault (and my Mom and grandmother) that I am fascinated by business. My father used to own the premiere luxury car auto repair shop in Upstate New York, and then he and my Mother went on to own a consulting business that contracted to the Department of Health.
Whenever Dad and I grab coffee, we always end up talking about business.
In one of our recent conversations I was telling him about how in the last year I dramatically raised my rates. At my boutique agency, I no longer will do a website for less than $10,000.
“I am tired of pain in the ass clients,” I told Dad, “and if someone is going to be a pain in the ass, they’re going to pay me for the privilege.”
My Dad chuckled, and said, “Did I ever tell you why I only worked with luxury cars?”
“I didn’t always work with Lamborghinis and Jaguars, but I noticed my customers — you know, the doctors or laywers or accountants who drive expensive cars — were so much nicer to work with than people who drove cheap cars. People who pay that much money for a car value their time. They don’t want to pay a cheap mechanic and have to take the car back 4 or 5 times. They’re willing to pay a mechanic 6 times more to make sure their car is taken care of right the first time.”
That was a valuable conversation. In fact, I’m going to have my Dad on my podcast to talk about high-end pricing.
But he is completely, 100% correct.
Clients who are willing and able to pay more value time and money differently than people who are unwilling or unable (or both) to pay high rates.
My best client at the Agency is one who pays multiple 5 figures for content marketing. I speak to this client twice a year, and they trust me and my team to do what we do. The client doesn’t meddle or micromanage.
The client cares only about the results.
This is the difference between low-end clients, and high-end clients.
High-end clients know that to grow a business you have to relinquish control.
What’s been stopping you from raising your rates? Let me know in the comments below.