Reinforce Your Value to Ensure Your Getting Compensated Properly

June 09, 2015

Your time and talent have value. Be sure you're getting compensated properly for the work you do.

Far too often, I see startup business owners and entrepreneurs who simply don’t value what they do enough. It’s clear that it’s because they don’t have the validation that comes with landing high-paying clients. In an effort to gain traction and get some exposure, they give everything away for free or low-cost. Worse, they get talked into doing things for people who don’t value what they do.

Here’s the deal, though: Everything you do has some value. You must start to think about how to exchange value for everything you do.

The reality is that when someone gets something for free, they value it far less than if they pay or exchange something for it. When you establish value in what you provide, what you do becomes more valuable to the recipient.

There can be good reasons for waiving and discounting in exchange for things like exposure. But, when someone asks you to do something for free, think about exchanging value in a set way rather than saying yes and hoping something comes of it. There are a few ways to do so.

Get paid to speak

When someone asks you to speak to their lunch group, agree to do so willingly if you think it’s a fit, but also communicate that your normal speaking fee is $2,500, and in order to waive that fee you would like the ability to very casually educate the audience on your services.

The key here is to establish value and determine how you intend to collect it. It may be in the form of a list of attendees or the opportunity to showcase your products in the back of the room. No matter what you suggest, make sure you communicate what you need.

Get paid to provide a service

Let’s say you have a new service offering, and you’re trying to drum up some initial clients. Offer a smoking hot deal in exchange for a full-blown case study and testimonial video, assuming they loved working with you. These assets have value for you, while the customer gets a great deal and knows why, so your value is not diminished.

Get paid for your product

Let’s say you have a new product, and you’re trying to seed the market to get some users and customers talking about it. Reach out to a handful of like-minded businesses and suggest a barter arrangement. That way, you receive value for your product and perhaps initiate a few long-term strategic marketing partner relationships.

Get paid to develop a product

This last one is one of my favorites. Let’s say you are developing a product or an online course. Reach out to some early prospects, and offer to give them access as you are building the course in exchange for their systematic feedback and review of the course. It’s a good way to get lots of proofreaders, too!

Again, the key here is to think value first and price second. Sure, there will be a day when you can charge a premium for what you do, but in the meantime don’t let people take for granted the value you provide.

This article was originally published on Inc.

Your time and talent have value. Be sure you're getting compensated properly for the work you do.

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