Whether you are just launching a consulting or freelance business or are trying to expand your services, it’s easy to look at others and wonder “how do they get paid for that service?” Maybe you’ve heard the advice that you need to value your time, that you’re worth more than you’re charging, and that you shouldn’t be giving away your expertise. And yet you still have that pit in your stomach and a disconnect in your execution.
Providing Value, First and Always
Five years ago, when Joshua started McNary Marketing & Design and now with a team of employees and contractors, there’s one factor that has led to his success – providing value to the customer. It’s always about what the customer needs and how we can provide that. Sometimes that means answering a quick email with resources or a solution. Sometimes that means sitting in a meeting with a prospect and talking through strategy, without a bill at the end. Occasionally that means technically leaving some money on the table. But we see every person as someone we hope to help, and not just another contract.
But At Some Point…
Yes, at some point, we have to pay the bills. That’s why McNary Marketing & Design exists and where consulting fees come in. How do we know when we can’t provide anymore value for free and it’s time for a proposal. We look for the signs:
- More than a Reasonable Amount of Time – There’s a significant difference between an email with some quick solutions and hours of digging into a problem to find an answer. When it’s going to take longer than a “reasonable” amount of time, we send a proposal for consulting work. How do we know what’s reasonable? That’s mostly a gut reaction.
- No Intention in Working with Us – After a while in talking with a prospect, you begin to notice that they probably aren’t ready to start a project. They show hesitation or nervousness. That’s when we turn to a proposal for consulting. They may not be ready for a full project, but we might be able to come alongside and help them untangle certain issues holding them back.
The best way to gain confidence in charging for your services is to know you are providing great value to your clients – before and after the contract is signed. When you, and they, know that the services they are receiving are truly solving their problems, those invoices are so much easier to send and receive.
Want to talk to Joshua more about how he founded McNary Marketing Design? Well, let’s check his calendar. He would be happy to chat.