Picture this scenario: You've been working for a while with a client who "loves" having you on her team. Then one day she tells you about some consultant/guru/shiny business person she's just met who's offering a service that's strangely similar to what you do—but at 10-times the cost.
Your client is super excited about the idea and wants to know what you think about her signing up to work with this new person. But despite your (very rational) arguments against making this investment, she goes ahead—shelling out thousands more than what she pays you—and assures you of how "awesome" it's going to be for the company (WTF?!).
Hopefully this has never happened to you before (if it has, don’t worry, you’re not alone!). But I bet you’ve had experiences with clients that made you wonder why they even bother paying you if they don’t really value your expertise.
Here’s what you need to understand:
They value your work, but as a commodity
Your client clearly values your role in their business, otherwise they wouldn’t have hired you. But while you probably want to be seen as their “resident expert” on your particular subject matter, they've assigned your role as something more utilitarian. In other words, though you’re great at what you do, and your work is useful to them, it’s no different (as far as they’re concerned) from any other service out there that’s similar. So what they value is essentially based on a preconceived notion of what to expect from you.
Now that we’ve established that, we can focus on the more important matter at hand, which is how you can stop this kind of experience from repeating itself (or prevent it from ever happening). It’s time to end the cycle of being undervalued by clients—for good. Making that happen requires a shift in perception about what you do.
To show your true value, you have to tell a different story
When it comes to talking about what you do, whether in conversation or in copy, the message you send has to connect with what your people find both tangible enough to pay for and distinctive enough to excite them.
Here are a few subtle but important shifts you can make to effectively re-position your services, changing the value perception of what you bring to the table from a “commodity” your prospects can purchase to an experience they’ll want to invest in.
Once you get super clear and confident about what sets your work apart, you can start infusing it into everything you do and say about your business—from your social media posts to your website copy to the way you talk about yourself at a networking event—making it all but impossible for other people not to see it too.
Over to you
What's been your biggest challenge with positioning your expertise? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments. And if you’re ready to tell a different story about your work to attract better clients who’ll value and invest in it, we should talk. I’ll help you get clear on what your ideal clients are looking for so you can shape your messaging, conversations and offers to send the right message about what you do. Learn more.
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