How to Charge What You’re Worth

by Jason Gracia · 35 comments

2Most experts don’t charge what they’re worth.

In some cases they don’t fully value their expertise. In others they’re simply afraid.

I was afraid.

When I first hopped online as an expert in 2001, I gave everything away for free. I worried that charging for my knowledge would lead to a massive and immediate backlash.

Would my subscribers get upset and send me nasty emails about trying to get my greedy hands into their wallets and purses?

Would everyone unsubscribe the instant they saw I was selling something?

Would I trigger the Apocalypse?

It turns out my fears were unnecessary. I wrote my first book, asked for the sale, and was blown away by the positive response. I had built up enough good will through my free content that the majority were more than happy to pay for the premium material.

Truth be told, I lost a handful of subscribers and received handful of less-than-wonderful emails, but those things will happen no matter what you do.

You can’t please everyone–if you try, you’ll fail every time.

Selling is Sleazy, Right?

The first thing I want you to do, if you’re not already, is begin charging for your expertise. If you’re not, chances are you think selling is sleazy (or at least not cool).

I get it. When we talk of selling, what does everyone and their mother think of? The slick, sleazy, pushy car salesman.

It may be a common reaction, but it’s wrong.

Selling is actually an exchange of value. You know your topic better than most; you’ve studied, researched, tested, discovered, and otherwise uncovered more about your area of expertise than 99.9% of people on planet earth.

That’s incredibly valuable.

When you sell, you’re merely asking your audience to trade their value (i.e., the income earned from their job) for your value (i.e., your vast experience and expertise).

This is how commerce…pure, honest, win-win commerce…has worked for thousands of years. Selling isn’t sleazy. When done right, it’s an equally beneficial exchange of value.

What They’re Really Buying

But I don’t want you to simply start charging for your knowledge. I want you to charge expert fees. Asking for $27 is one thing. Asking for $270 or $2,700 is something else.

For people uncomfortable with selling, charging high fees like these makes their head spin and stomach turn.

That’s because they don’t know what they’re actually selling.

It’s not a PDF or series of videos or three phone calls a month. It’s not the “thing” they’re selling, not the physical embodiment of their content.

It’s the result…the bigger business, healthier body, stronger marriage, happier life.

How to Charge What You’re Worth

The secret to charging what really you’re worth is to recognize the full impact of this result.

I once paid $5,000 for an afternoon with a business coach. Ten years ago I would have thought that was insane. You spent THAT much money??? For six hours???

The present-day me realizes it was a steal.

I didn’t pay for six hours. I paid for a lifetime of growth and opportunity for my business. The information gathered during that time delivered far more than $5,000. In the end, it will be 100x that amount.

The Rise to the TopHere’s another example from my fellow expert, David Siteman Garland. He recently launched his new program, Create Awesome Online Courses, for $997, a smart fee charged by a wickedly smart expert.

A thousand dollars is a serious investment, no doubt about it. But when you figure that he’s teaching you the very structure and system that earned hundreds of thousands of dollars, the price is shockingly low. The information is literally worth millions in the right hands.

This is true of every authentic expert. Their well of knowledge and know-how is worth far more than the price tag. And the same is true for you.

I want you to take a moment to today to map out the full impact of your expertise. When you sell a product or service, what will your customer get in the end? What are the fully-realized, long-term results? How will their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, change or improve weeks, months, and years down the road?

You’re not selling information. You’re not selling a product or service. You’re selling a result. The moment you recognize the full effect of that sought-after result, you’ll have no trouble charging what you’re worth.

Leave a Comment Below!

Questions about pricing? Worries about raising your rates? Success stories to share with the community? We’d love to hear from you, so get the ball rolling and post your comment below!


Jason Gracia

One of the keys to becoming a highly-paid expert is charging what you’re worth (always delivering 10x the amount of value you receive).

But I know how hard that can be. The fears, the worries, the stress, the confusion…

If you’re a true expert with value to share, post your questions and concerns below and we’ll work through them to help you finally charge what you’re worth.

Just as important–have you already overcome the pricing hurdle and have advice? Please let us know below!


Greg Hickman

Cheers to that brotha! Great post!


Jason Gracia

Thanks, Greg! If anyone knows about delivering real value to the marketplace, it’s you.

(For anyone looking for help with all things mobile, Greg Hickman is your man.


Randy Benjamin

I am starting my expert business and I work with construction and related service businesses. I now have an email list and am wondering what you would do first ? How would you start? Thank you


Jason Gracia


Congratulations on taking the all-important steps toward becoming a valuable expert in your market! The key to your success will come down to solving problems, so the first step is to discover the pain points/frustrations/fears/obstacles/challenges of the people you serve.

Because you have an email list already, you’re ahead of the game. Send them a short email asking them for their #1 problem they’d like solved. Their replies will tell you what to focus on and what to deliver.

You can add to this initial research by diving into the industry overall and seeking out common problems/solutions. Forums, blogs, websites,social media platforms, etc. will lend incredible insight to your search.

Your market wants something. The closer you come to giving it to them, the more successful you’ll be.




Great post Jason!! I always thought you undercharged for your wealth of knowledge and advice! I learned more for free from you than others I paid thousands of dollars to.

I raised my prices on my membership several months ago and it doesn’t seem to have deterred people from joining- I probably should raise them more- but I know my customers and know what will work and what won’t!

So glad you did this post- GREAT advice- as always!!


Jason Gracia


What a wonderful illustration of myth-busting!

Most experts would think a price increase would turn everyone away, but you are proof that the right clients will be more than happy to cover the fee when the value they get in return is worth it.

You’re a true expert with vast knowledge to share, so it’s obviously worth it.

Thank you for sharing and for showing the way. :)



gary wildman


Thanks for your advice, you posses a great talent .. communication! I really enjoy your posts!

I have a small real estate business in Dublin, Ireland and you have touched a nerve! i am finding myself to be the ‘busy fool’ lots of work little reward.. i have considered increasing my fees by adding extra products in my service, do you have any tips on how to increase to existing clients as this will be my challenge.. the new clients should not be too much of a challenge.

Thanks Gary


Steve Rice


That’s a great question and Jason might have a post or resource specifically geared toward your dilemma, so I’ll let him chime in to point you in the right direction.

But I wanted to share a vid that Marie Forleo did last year that addresses this issue. She had some great insights that might help you.


Jason Gracia


Excellent resource!



Jason Gracia


You bring up a really excellent point. Massively important, actually.

Beginning with high fees is one thing, but having to increase the fees of current clients or customers is something quite different. Never fear…I’ve got a few tips to help you through these murky waters. :)

First off, you nailed the most effective method–offer something more. Anyone wishing to raise their rates or prices needs to follow your lead. Whenever you ask for more, give more. Doing so makes the increase a natural progression instead of an unexpected shock.

Second, you can offer a one-time discount to give customers a chance to adjust to your new rates. This doesn’t completely remove the sting, but it does show that you care about your customer and want to make change as easy as possible.

Third, you can grandfather your current clients into their present rates while charging any new clients your updated prices. This can work wonders in the right situations.

Four, you can offer packages to your audience–low, medium, high. If people want to stay at their current rate, they will get less service–but they can continue with you. If they want the same services, or better, they can pay the new, increased prices.

Fifth, you can offer payment plans if your services reach into the hundreds or thousands of dollars. Again, this doesn’t remove the sting of a price hike but it does make it an easier pill to swallow.

No matter your approach, be up front and honest with your audience. Most important, make the case for the price increase. Show them why you’re worth it, why the fees you’re charging are little compared to the value they’ll receive.

You may lose a handful of customers, but the one who stick are the ones who understand your value…the ones you truly want to serve anyway.




Jason, I delete thousands of emails a month without ever opening them, but you always suck me in to WANTING to read yours. You are concise and relative. As a marketer of a travel agency and an advisor for my sister’s photography business, I am facing this FEAR and developing strategy for 2014 for this very thing! Neither business make NEAR what they are worth in fear of pissing off the loyal repeat customers. But in photography it is very clear for her to see competitors getting paid double and triple what she is because they are asking for it and it is true – They just want the RESULT of a beautiful wedding album or senior portfolio. And in the travel agency business you can only imagine how people want to suck all your knowledge out of the best places to go, the best times to book, the best airfare, etc. ALL FOR FREE and then go book it online. We are heavily considering charging a fee or deposit up front before ever starting to research options for people. Our expertise and the number of trips our agents have booked over the previous 20+ years is certainly worth $50! (But we know it is going to have to be presented correctly to showcase the value of what people get when they book with us). Thanks Jason! Becky


Jason Gracia


Thank you SO much for posting this message. It would have been quite easy for you to ignore my email, ignore the invitation to click, ignore the request to post a comment. But you did them all and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You presented the problem and the solution in the same paragraph! To inspire your market to work with you–as opposed to siphoning your expertise freely then hopping online–you have to make the case for why you’re better.

What can you offer that Expedia can’t? What advantages do you have over Travelocity? It may require thinking outside the box, but you seem like someone who wouldn’t have a problem with that.

Perhaps you can offer services or uncommon information that a heartless online system can’t–on-the-ground tips and tricks that will save them money, save them stress, or give them an experience they’ll never forget.

Perhaps you can surprise them mid-trip with a small (or large) token of appreciation waiting for them when they arrive.

Perhaps you can reach out to customers after purchase to help them make the very most of their next trip.

As an intelligent human with true experience of the process and the destinations, you have advantages. By showcasing these…along with going above and beyond for your clients…you can battle the nasty bots.



Stephen Lahey

Great post, Jason. For some reason, most experts don’t frame the value that they provide in a highly personalized way. In my opinion, we need to sell the result *and* what that result will mean to the buyer personally. What will that getting that result really mean to them in emotional terms? That’s powerful.


Jason Gracia


You said it.

As experts, part of the value we provide is that one-on-one connection with our audience. They can’t get US anywhere else, which automatically boosts our value and ability to charge what we’re worth.

That’s the “personalized way” you mentioned.

Emotions are just as important. People justify their purchases with logic, but they buy on emotion, so the more you can connect with your prospect on an emotional level, the more effective you’ll be at closing the sale.

Great point, Stephen, and as always, great to have you as a core part of this community. It’s truly appreciated.




Michael Knouse

Thanks for another dose of awesomeness, Jason! I think your advice here is spot on. This was my #1 fear when I was getting started. Earlier this year I began coaching a handful of clients for free in exchange for testimonials and case studies. Then I was able to move right into providing the same service at a price point of $1,200 for a three month program. To my surprise, people signed up immediately. This was partly due to the experience and confidence that I gained from offering the initial free coaching. I also realized after the fact that I probably should have charged something for the initial coaching.

What are your thoughts on this strategy for newbies? It worked well for me but I do feel that I left money on the table by not offering those initial sessions for a discounted rate instead of for free. As always, thank you!


Jason Gracia


What a brilliant move! I love it. I’ve done it.

I advise my clients to begin offering free sessions to, as you said, build confidence and ability while also gathering a handful of great testimonials and case studies.

As an expert, however, you have to do it strategically so as not to diminish your standing (you’re the prize to be won, not the needy newbie). A few quick tips to accomplish this are to offer free sessions on a particular day at a particular time (as opposed to saying you’ll do them wherever and whenever), use a waiting list, and require “homework” beforehand to weed out tire kickers and time wasters.

In this way, you can offer free sessions but you maintain your authority as a true expert willing to waive his fees for a one-time strategy session.

Having said all this, you can very well offer coaching sessions at a discount when starting. A webinar would be a great vehicle: deliver great content free of charge, then pitch your coaching program to a select few at a one-time discount.

Thank you for sharing your example and for giving proof that running an expertise-based business, when done right and well, can be massively successful.




Hey Jason,

I have intended to be a coach just two years ago even though it seems not so much of a time I have been transforming myself since I have set this intention.

I feel like I have come a long way and I have a longer path to walk, the timing about this post is great for me. I wanted to thank you. Your six figure formula helped me six months ago and expanded my vision then. You still do the same deep impact with your posts. Now I am helping to high school kids for free to get through their exam stress and I cannot and do not want to charge from them. I have been doing lots of individual coaching over a year now and I have started my page as well but I do not have the courage to fully go for it and now I am gathering information money and courage to get my trainings. Your work is inspirational, I feel like I will come back to your expertise when I need pricing advice again.



Jason Gracia


Thank you for investing the time to read my post and write your comment. I appreciate both deeply.

I’m thrilled to hear that the Six-Figure Formula helped you see a bigger vision for yourself. You certainly have the heart required to make it as an expert. There’s no doubt you also have the mind and persistence.

I have to say that your work with teens is incredible. I have personally seen the stress of exams cripple would-be successes. Work like yours literally changes lives, one student at a time.

In this case, I think it’s perfectly fine to offer your services free of charge. Not everything has to have a price tag. Then again, if you did charge for your help, could you possible offer more advanced solutions and services to your audience? Would the income make it possible for you to deliver even more?

Something to think about.

You’re not alone in your fear to “go for it.” Many experts have so much to offer but think, Who am I to charge for this? It may be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s correct.

If you can help someone achieve a desired result, that is value. And, as the I say in the post, selling services is simply exchanging value. You’ve worked hard to develop your expertise and ability. Like everyone else, you deserve to be paid for that effort.




I really appreciate your saying you spent $5000 for an afternoon with a business coach. As I try to become comfortable with charging for my services, it’s making me confront my own feelings about paying for certain types of services. Doubtless because of the way I was raised, not only am I suspicious of people who charge lots of money for something like coaching, but I worry that only fools actually spend money on it. I always find myself wondering “do all these coaches out there selling their services actually pay for services like this themselves? Don’t they just get it for free from their friends or something?” So it helps to know that you actually DO spend money, and in significant amounts, on these sorts of services yourself. Thanks!


Jason Gracia


I’m so happy you brought this up.

Thousands of experts most likely have the same thoughts. Now that you’ve put them in writing, together we can put their minds at ease.

First, the facts: Every single massively successful expert spends thousands on their personal education. They buy courses, hire coaches, attend workshops, invest in audio program, etc. I’m close with many successful experts and coaches and know this to be true 100% of the time.

It’s only natural.

We can’t do it all alone, nor can we expect our friends–whose work we highly value–to give everything away for free; we’re more than happy to pay because we know just how much time and effort goes into what they’re offering. To be the best at our crafts, we need to dive into our industries and gather the best advice and practices from everyone and everything around us.

We must invest in outside programs and services to become true experts of our craft.

Second, my story: I’ve invested thousands in coaches, mentors, strategy sessions, monthly memberships, PDFs, audios, videos, courses, workshops…it’s the reason I’m able to do what I do. Without the guidance of others, I couldn’t possibly guide my audience.

Third, your fear: I get it. Coaching is invisible, ephemeral. You’re not actually buying something tangible, just words. But in those words are riches.

Say you wanted to start a yoga studio. You could start from scratch and learn through trial and error the right moves to make. Those errors, of course, will cost you thousands as you work to find your way. They may even bring an early end to your dream. Hire a business coach who has expertise in the area, and it’s an entirely different picture. Because she already knows the right moves to make–as well as the wrong moves to avoid–she is priceless. She can get you to where you want to go faster and safer with far more success. That is worth a hefty price tag.

My first company, through which I learned the ropes of running an “expert business,” has earned nearly $1,000,000 to date. My experience and advice can lead to the same results for my customers and clients. The question is: how much would you be willing to spend to earn $1,000,000. Framed this way, charging $10,000 for coaching doesn’t seem so extraordinary. It actually seems like a fantastic deal.

This is the mindset of the truly successful. They realize that investing in themselves will naturally lead to a vast return in their own lives and businesses.

If you can save people time, money, effort, and heartache, that is highly valuable and, as such, rightfully demands a high amount of value in return.



Bea Kylene Jumarang


Great post. But then, when have you ever written less-than-stellar stuff? Thanks for your personal mail, by the way. I smiled. Your words were very kind.

Anyway, I wanted to share advice for overcoming the price hurdle. I actually have a process. I follow it religiously except for really small projects, and at the end, I’ve never gotten a client balking at my price. Always just the green light.

Here’s my process.

1. Engage the client in a long conversation. As a writer, I don’t pitch rates early. I actively probe about their goals first, what they’re looking to achieve with a certain piece, and I try to get an idea of their priorities and attitude. In these initial conversations, my goal is to build trust. I want them to see that I’m not out to fleece them. Clients have said that they felt my competence and seriousness because of the convos. There have been times where they said thank you for my prodding – I really push them to get clear on their goals for a project.

2. I build value. When the talk goes to the actual project, I really discuss the steps I’ll be taking to complete it. It shows them that I do much more than writing. I show them that they’re paying for my research skills, and for the eye I’ve developed when editing. If it involves talking to experts and special contacts in my network, I also discuss that. It affirms that they’re also getting everyone that I know. This leads up to the actual price conversation.

3. When it comes to the price, before the actual figure, I also clarify that I’m not some crazy idiot who’ll add huge hours at the end. As much as possible, I use a project-price model so they know upfront. I discuss payment terms and the like. We work these things out early, so the contract’s easy and quick to draw up.

4. Then I tell them the price. Here’s my line. “So, I’ve learned a lot from our discussion. First, thanks for cooperating with me. It means a lot, all the info you provided. It’s helped me with my quote. As you know, I don’t want to fleece you, with an inaccurate rate. I lose if that happens too. Okay, since we’re pretty much on the same page, my price for the project is SO-AND-SO. Considering the duties you’ve asked me to take on, and my prior experience and network, it’s reasonable, yes? You’re not paying for words, after all. You’re paying for the revenue and the authority the words will get. I’ve provided my revenue estimate. Considering the price I’ve quoted, you get 10/15X what you’re gonna invest.”

That’s basically it. We close out the conversation with small talk, draw up all the contracts, then it’s off to work. It’s a lot of effort upfront, but the clients I’ve used this process on? They’ve given me referrals, they intro-d me to contacts, they pay me promptly, and they don’t balk at what I charge. The effort’s worth it.

So, anyway, if there are service providers out there, you might benefit from tailoring this process to your own business. I do hope it helps.

And Jason, keep up your good work. I’ve been bettered by knowing you, and I hope things just get better from here. Oh, in reply to your mail – I’m well. Thanks!


Jason Gracia



That was a blog post in itself, packed with such excellent information and backed by personal experience. Far more than I expected from a comment, and appreciated more than words can express.

After more than a decade swimming in the waters of online business, I’ve found time and again that success isn’t a secret. It comes down to working hard (and smart), giving more than you receive, putting in the time, and doing what’s right as opposed to what’s easy.

The process you’ve outlined is infused with each of these elements. You go above and beyond for your audience.

Your success is no secret.




Wow. As per usual this was pure gold.

One thing stood out for me hugely and it’s something I’m going to take forward:
“I paid for a lifetime of growth and opportunity for my business.”

This is a huge way to look at what I do. When I help someone build muscle, I give them the tools to improve every area of their life…for their lifetime.

I always struggle with telling clients my price (which is 100% a steal hands down) I have an application for my muscle building coaching and I’ve always wondered whether I should include the price on the page somewhere as some people apply through my form thinking it’s free (which was a massive shock)

As per usual loving what you do and appreciate it so much.

Keep being you (a great guy)!!

P.S I don’t know if you seen playbook by the paid to exist crew recently – They were looking for course teachers for their site and I kept on thinking that you would be an incredible person for them to have on at some point :-)


Jason Gracia


I love this perspective–when you help someone make that kind of change, you change their entire life. Building muscle leads to drastic changes mentally, emotionally, physically.

You help people, perhaps for the first time in their lives, feel good about themselves. That in itself is priceless, Dean. But you’re not through. You boost their confidence, making it easier to meet people, ask for a promotion, stand up for themselves. You also improve their health and well being, giving them more years to their lives while making those years pain free and rewarding.

Here’s the key: You have to sell the price.

Your work may do all these wonderful things, but it’s up to you to make the case. You have to make your value clear, which will then make your price painless.

As to your price/no price dilemma, a simple test should answer the question. Run traffic to your page without the price and measure results. Then add the price in and do the same.

Go with the winner.




Hi Jason,
What a great reminder about the meaning of “value.” I’m so glad you taught me this as my coach, and helped me overcome the “fear of charging what I’m worth.” It is a worthy exercise to consider how your services or products truly help people and attach a monetary value to that if they properly utilize what you are selling. Just one piece of information or one simple mind shift could mean huge dollars for a customer. So you are right — what you charge might be just a drop in bucket!


Jason Gracia


With a client like you, overflowing with value, it wasn’t hard to convince you of your worth. :)

You’re absolutely right. One small tweak in mindset or strategy can lead to a lifetime of improved results.

Take pricing, for example. Someone, somewhere, could be sitting on an avalanche of expertise, but afraid to charge for her know-how. She worries. She struggles. She’s on the brink of giving in and giving up.

Then she reads a simple idea about selling that strikes her mind like a thunderbolt. In that moment, everything changes. She realizes her worth and her need to charge what she’s worth.

Not only is her spirit revived, but her business begins to grow. She’s finally earning income, which skyrockets her confidence and drive to expand. Growth begets growth and soon she’s earning six figures a year….all from a few choice words simply written.

In countless forms, this happens every day. Small idea, delivered at just the right moment, change a life.

That’s priceless.



Christopher Stafford

Spot on topic Jason! Charge what your worth and deliver 10X, LOVE it! Great post, thanks!


Jason Gracia


Thank you for reading! As long over deliver, all the fears, worries, and anxieties about charging what you’re worth fade away. Deliver $10,000 worth of value and charging $1,000 becomes a piece of cake.




Great post Jason!
One point you touched on was “How to Charge what you’re Worth”. Sadly, I think many times this is main problem: many people don’t value themselves enough.

Many of us suffer from low self-esteem or low self confidence. We’re insecure, unsure of ourselves and unsure about our ability to create real value or inspire real change in the world. Working on building self-esteem is a game changer in this business; it puts us in touch with our true power and that resonates louder than anything else.

The more you believe in yourself, the more you will realize the value your products and services bring to the world and then, as you said so beautifully Jason: “you’ll have no trouble charging what you’re worth.”


Jason Gracia


I couldn’t have said it better: Working on building self-esteem is a game changer in this business.

The more I work with clients, the more I see just how true your assessment is. More than anything else, I help them see their value and expand their visions of what’s possible.

Design, traffic, conversions, sales…they all matter greatly when building a high-quality business, but without that belief, without that confidence, nothing matters.

It’s amazing how easy it becomes to thrive as an expert when you recognize your value and worth to the market.



Rick Mulready

Great article, Jason, as usual. This is such an important topic that so many people starting out struggle with — and I’m still having an issue with it.

You’re absolutely right, that you have to consider the value you’re giving someone and what they will get as a result. That makes it so much easier to charge the real value of your time.

Keep up all the great work, man!


Jason Gracia


Charging someone $250 an hour may appear outrageous to some–that much money for sixty little minutes?

But, as you said, it’s not the time that matters; it’s the outcome.

If an hour chat can help someone earn $10,000, it’s worth $250 and beyond.




I have to let you know how much I appreciate your posts AND all of the informative, positive comments that follow.
My business is moving slowly forward, and at times I fleetingly think of giving up, but then you post an article that really hits home, and I’m more convinced than ever that I’m moving in the right direction.
Although I’m not quite at the pricing stage yet, I won’t forget all of the words of wisdom I have found here.
Thank you again for sharing your expertise and a big thank you to all of the people who participate with their comments.


Jason Gracia


I want you to know just how much I appreciate your time and attention. Everyone says it, but it’s certainly true: I couldn’t do what I do without you.

Without hardworking experts just like you who grant me a sliver of their scarce time, I wouldn’t have an audience, a community, or a business.

Now, about your comment…

If you have the passion and the expertise, you CAN’T give up on your business. You owe it to yourself and to the people you help to make it work. You can adjust approach, tweak your strategies and rethink objectives, but you can’t give up.

Keep taking one small step forward after another. You’ll make it.

In the meantime, ask me and the community for help. That’s why we’re here. :)



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