6 things you must have before you can charge premium prices
Charging premium prices is every business owners dream.
To charge crème de la crème prices however, there’s a few hurdles we need to get past first.
A few of these I can easily point you in the direction of resources and systems you can set up to prep for charging premium pricing (and I will!). A couple however will be bits you have to look internally for, and truly understand your industry to successfully complete.
I'll also share with you one commonly accepted thing people believe is necessary to charge premium prices, that really isn't required as most of us believe.
So, ready to start prepare to raise those prices, and position your product/service as a premium offering?
Here's what you'll need to do so.
A product/service of true value
Numero uno (I’m writing this while in Cuba, can you tell?) is of course is actually having a product/service of top notch value.
Exactly what a product/service of true value looks like is different for every industry, so nailing this one will require you to really know your industry, your ideal customers, and be able to deliver an experience that blows away the competition.
It’ll be a miserable uphill battle if you’re trying to get away with selling subpar products/services at premium pricing. Plus you’re just about guaranteed to rack up some rather terrible reviews, which will makes long-term sales tough.
Second is your own mind. Confidence & mindset that is.
Yep, if you’re not so confident in what you sell, it’s going to be hard to even bring yourself to up the prices on your website.
All small business owners are guilty, they start off a little unsure of themselves and if they can even make their whole business idea work, so they charge pennies to start.
*Raises hand* (I was just like everyone else.)
I sold my first website package for I believe $680.00. I’ve seen people settle for less, but still, a website is worth a heck of a lot more than that, there’s no question.
Getting your mindset in a place where you’re able to bring yourself to charge higher prices involves confidence first and foremost. Confidence you really do provide immense value, confidence in yourself and confidence that your products/services are hellah worth it.
In terms of confidence/mindset and a product/service of immense value, these are the two pieces you'll need to look inside for, and truly understand your industry to determine.
Your website is your online storefront. Wether you’re a brick-and-mortar store with a ‘real’ storefront, or a purely online biz, a killer website is non-negotiable in 2017 and beyond.
You’ve heard about all the jobs being cut in shops like Macy’s because everyone is opting for online shopping, right? As you can tell from where the jobs are going (from retail clerks to IT whizzes) our websites are now and will continue to be more and more our primary method of connecting with our potential customers, and making sales.
Regardless if it’s in person, or online, we are more likely to buy and trust in a business that takes pride in its appearance.
Think about it, when you head into Apple, it’s all minimalistic, clean, and modern looking. Apple sets the trends in tech, and that desire to be the best shows in their well-designed and functional stores. (Have you seen those receipts that print out from under the table?!) Their staff are friendly, super-knowledgable, well-kept and all matching in their cute blue t-shirts.
Then think about those corner store tech shops. Windows covered in hand drawn signs displaying their services, a cluttered mess of items on rickety, mismatched shelves, and a few greasy looking tech guys with beer bellies in too-tight polos with ‘Ralph Lauren’ splashed across the front in gold stitching.
Where would you prefer to buy your $2,000 computer?
So wether you’re a brick-and-mortar shop or a purely online business, getting a professional website is in my humble opinion, the most important aspect of being able to charge premium prices.
For my website I use the Squarespace platform and am head-over-heels in love with it.
You can sign up for a free trial of Squarespace here and I also got ya a little off the price, use code PAIGE10 for 10% off your first year. (Yes, that's an affiliate link!)
As a Squarespace website designer, I love partnering up with the entrepreneur gals just like me, but who aren’t so skilled/interested in the confusing tech side of stuff. I’ve had the pleasure of working with numerous new and established businesses to launch sites that showcase their offerings in the best light possible.
firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t going to cut it when you want people to take your business seriously, and consider you a contender for a place to spend their hard earned dollars. A professional email is an absolute must when you want to play in the big leagues of your field.
I use Gmail for my email, I’m familiar with the back end, and love the use of Google Drive, Hangouts, and GCal. I also love all the fancy add-ons you can connect to Gmail to do things like schedule emails to send later, and get read receipts. I pay $50/year for my email@example.com email.
Proof you’re a badass
(in the form of a killer portfolio, case studies or reviews)
When you’re just starting out, you can scrape by with a mediocre portfolio and no reviews. Once you ask someone to make a massive investment however, you better have the proof ready to show what a badass you are at what you do.
A portfolio or collection of case studies is a perfect way for service-based business owners to show they’re legit, and that they have the skills necessary to deliver on their promises of a top tier service.
Know that your portfolio doesn’t need to be massive, but it does need to be darn good.
I’ve lost count of how many websites I’ve created, but my portfolio only shows 6 websites. Why? Because those 6 are some of my best work, and exactly the type of work I want to continue taking on in the future.
It’s much better to show just a few truly amazing pieces, than it is to have double or triple that, with a bunch of just okay pieces thrown in the mix.
If you offer a product, you’ll want to back it up with proof that it really is the bees-knees with some fab reviews. With reviews, unlike a portfolio, it really is a case of the more the better.
When you go to charge premium prices, its going to be a heck of a lot easier to do so when people know you are the go-to on the topic/product.
Marie Forleo charges $2,000 for B-School, an online business course. While there’s other business courses out there, B-School is definitely one of the priciest options, and people are excited when enrolment opens to pay her for it!
Why? Because they trust Marie. Marie has built up an authority status in the field of online business, and as such, she can charge top dollar for her course and knowledge. She of course follows through with a truly amazing B-School experience, but it’s her authority that gets thousands of students in the door.
One thing you don’t need
In the world of online business, there’s one thing which isn’t nearly as important as it once was. That is, a related education. Don’t get me wrong, I think an education is a good investment in your future, but it’s not necessary to charge premium prices with most online businesses.
Not once has a web design client asked me if I had a degree in Computer Science. A personal recommendation or a well curated portfolio and a handful of great reviews are all most potential clients look into before they decide to get in touch.
So there you have it. First you'll want to start by creating a product/service of true value, follow it up with a positive mindset & confidence within yourself and your business.
Once you've got those two down, the next matters of business is to set up your professional website and email, rack up a killer portfolio or reviews (or both), and then own your industry. Become an authority figure & the go-to for information on your topic.
In terms of a formal education related to your field, in the vast majority of online businesses, you can honestly skip that part. If you want to get into the world of academia, you'll want an M.A. or PhD after your name. For an online business however, being able to truly connect with and serve your audience is far more important.
Authority status will get you a lot further than a related degree ever will in terms of an online biz, so don't let a lack of related degree stop you!
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