I was afraid.
When I first started 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?
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.
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.