Charge like the CEO you are
Jenni Fuller, SlumberBaby
"One piece of advice I received but didn’t take right away was ‘charge what you’re worth.’ With my background as a teacher who worked long hours outside of the workday because I wanted my students to be successful, I initially began sleep consulting with the mindset of helping everyone who needed it. I priced my packages far too low and was responsive to my clients at all hours. I nearly burned myself out in the first year.
A friend, who is also a small business owner, noticed that I was flailing and she asked, 'If you broke down how much you make per hour with each client, what would it be?' The answer was embarrassing – it was far less than minimum wage. 'Remember,' she said, 'you are the one with the expertise, you are the one who took classes, built the website, and have the wisdom. Charge for it.'
Shortly after, I took a business class where the teacher echoed those same thoughts. She added this: 'People who pay what you’re worth will be invested in the process of being helped by you.'
It was like a lightbulb flashed on. My low-paying clients were so hard to help because their investment was low. I took the leap and raised my prices. Sure enough, the clients I started to get were really into the process we took together. I set up boundaries around my availability and received zero pushback, too. It’s like I finally started charging what I was worth, and treating my hours like they were important.
My teacher-heart, though, still wants to help everyone! This is where my classes came in. While it took me along time to build my classes, I was able to price them at a lower price point for those clients that might not be able to afford my 1-1 consulting fee. I offer varying degrees of support along with the classes, but I never violate my ‘work hours’ boundaries.
I think the challenge people face when they are just starting out is that they need to charge very little in order to build a reputation, and maybe that is true in some areas, but I’d push back on that because I think it’s one of the causes of early burnout in entrepreneurs. Even though it’s scary, I’d encourage creators to charge appropriately for their professional time, perhaps create some lower-priced options for people that are low-impact on the time of the creator, but for the most part, treat themselves like the CEOs they are. They are the ones with the expertise, the one who took classes, built the website, and have the wisdom. They should charge for it."
Jenni Fuller is a teacher, a mom, and also a certified infant and child sleep consultant.