Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

Recharging your story

How do people in your industry charge for their services?

Do you follow that model?

If so, why?

price

Getting people talking about you

One of the questions people ask me the most, is how can they get their marketplace talking about them. I call this process crafting a story, worth sharing.

Well, one of the most effective ways for a small business to get their marketplace talking about them, is for them to use a different fee model to their competitors. This sets them apart and makes them more visible, especially if they are in a highly competitive industry or profession.

My story

For instance: When I started my small business marketing program, I decided not to charge an hourly rate, a project rate or a per-session rate. Instead, I offer a year of my time for a single, capped, annual fee. This not only means that people know exactly what a whole year’s worth of marketing costs them, it gives them a story about my business that is worth sharing. So, that’s what they do.

Your fees and your story

Here’s something to think about: If you changed your fee structure, so that it was different from your competitors, how would that change your story?

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About Jim Connolly: I help small business owners grow their business, make more sales and boost their profits. To see how I can help you and your business, read this.

12 Comments

  1. Hi Jim,

    I totally hear you and I think the fee structure should be part of the brand.. and your brand should be unique. We write a creative daily “seven sentence” blog called Seven Sentences AND we’ve started getting a lot of business from it… It’s definitely heavily branded using the number 7… so I though… why not use 7 in all our services too..

    Seven creative coaching sessions at $777.00
    A years retainer at $7777
    An online marketing blueprint for $777.00

    I’m not advertising my services here… I’m just wondering what your thoughts are on this kind of branding? Is it too cutesy?

    Geoff

    • @Geoff – This seems like no thought went into your fees. I’d see that and assume I could well be paying over the odds, just to make your sevens look nice.

      Thanks.

    • Hi Geoff. I get what you are doing, with the 7’s. How would you scale that, in 2018 years when your overheads have gone up by 30% and you’re still charging 2013 fees?

      As Greg said, it also may cause people to wonder if you rounded your fees up to hit those magic 7’s.

      Just some feedback. Hope you find it useful.

      • Hi Jim,

        I guess in my mind there is still room for adjustment with inflation especially for services that involve multiple consultations or that take place over a certain time period. Like changing the retainer to 9 month period instead of a year…

        I would have to think it through more… I’m just trying to make us stand out now… rather than worrying too much about the future.

        G

  2. Since I read this yesterday, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head. Thanks a lot, Jim :)

    I’m a financial advisor in the US, and virtually all advisors (including myself) charge a fee as a percentage of the client’s portfolio. For example, if a client has a $1 million investment portfolio and my fee is 1%, I would get paid $10,000 per year.

    It’s pretty straightforward and I would guess 90%+ of advisors charge fees under this model.

    But your article really got me to thinking about whether I’m charging this way because it’s the *best* way or am I simply doing it this way because that’s what everyone else is doing?

    Maybe I’m missing a big opportunity to differentiate myself in a very crowded market of advisors who mostly all look and sound alike.

    Haven’t figured this out yet, but the wheels in my head are spinning.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking piece

    • Hey Russ. I’m glad to have helped you think differently, about your pricing model and your differentiation.

      Let me know how you get on.

  3. I started my profession as a Freelancer cum Blogger. Now I am getting paid daily and looking to earn more.

  4. Hi Jim,
    I wasn’t aware of how changing the fee structure could end up being a marketing strategy. I changed mine a few months ago (before even reading your article), and it worked just fine (but only when I had the chance to meet my Clients in person). It didn’t work (or it rarely did) when I talked to them via email or phone calls. In fact, they didn’t understand why I charged them differently (and way more) than my competitors. I had the impression I got them confused. Don’t know if I’m making my point.

Comments are closed.