Every independent business owner is familiar with the specific type of awkward that is naming their price—especially for creative independents whose work is subjective. But no matter the industry, one thing is true when it comes to being the solo employee of a small business: talking money takes some getting used to.
The good news is that the conversation gets easier with time and experience. The better news is that there are a few steps you can take right now to speed up the process:
professional pricing guides
Let your work sell itself! In a direct conversation, it can be hard to talk yourself up and tell someone that you’re worth their money—so let your pricing guide do this for you. Your pricing guide is an opportunity to clearly state your numbers and set expectations, while also showing off your portfolio and sharing testimonials. This is a clear, attractive, and easily-digestible way for potential clients to understand your cost (and why you’re worth it.)
automated payment reminders
Past due payments are awkward no matter what stage of business you’re in. Avoid them altogether by setting up automated payment reminders to remind clients that their payment is upcoming, that it is due today, or that it X days past due. To put it simply, let AI do the nagging so that you don’t have to.
professional communication platform
I talked about this in my first blog post and it’s also relevant here: I spent my early years in business responding to inquiring clients from a Yahoo email address and asking them to pay me via snail mail or Paypal. Looking back now I wonder how many people I turned away with my email address alone (because that Yahoo shade of purple does not scream reliability.) Clients want a sense of security when it comes their money and you can set that tone from the start by communicating from a professional platform that enables secure invoicing and a cohesive booking experience. Simply put, it will feel easier to name your price if you’re doing so from professional platform.
I’m 11 years into self-employment and I promise you that the money conversation gets easier once you’ve got a few years of experience and reputation under your belt—but nobody starts out with those things! And without them it can feel awkward to ask a client to trust that you’re worth the cost.
Yes, years of experience and a solid reputation are the strongest way to give inquiring clients a sense of trust and professionalism—but so do pricing guides, payment automations, and a secure platform. These are easy ways you can level up your business today and build automatic trust from the moment you respond to an inquiry.
All of my client communication, including pricing guides and payment automations, happens on Honeybook. If you want to give it a try, use my code heyhails* to receive 35% off your first year. As soon as you register, you can start setting up pricing guides, payment automations, and a professional platform so that you can show off your business’s best self. (And if you need a little guidance to get you started, reach out about my Honeybook workflow mentor sessions!)
*Honeybook referral code is case-sensitive
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