Why most new consultants/coaches undercharge (and how to fix it)

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Most ex-corporates undercharge for their services and consequently struggle to make the maths of running their own show add up.

The result is they get stressed and frustrated.

They worry they may have made the wrong choice in leaving the security of a monthly salary!

A recent example is Sarah, who I have just started working with.

Sarah has a seriously impressive track record as a female leader in a male-dominated, technical sector. She’s run successful startups and also held senior roles with ASX 100 companies.

In short, she’s been involved in creating multi-million dollar businesses and knows her way around a funding round and the Boardroom.

But when Sarah started her own consultancy, she tried to capture everything she knows in coaching programs, workshops and online courses.

In the process she lost her way.

She ended up spinning her wheels chasing low-value clients (and struggling to close them).

So now we’re cleaning house. Boxing up and putting a lot of Sarah’s current ‘stuff’ into storage (or the bin).

We are redefining her brand to attract the high value C-suite clients she deserves (and who are her natural customers!).

We’ll start by selling them executive coaching.

Some of these clients will want Sarah to work with their teams, so we’ll sell them that too.

And all at top dollar!

Already we have greater clarity. Sarah’s confidence and belief are returning.

I have no doubt we’ll build a consultancy practice that will easily scale to replace her historical salary – and with less stress and more fun!

Sarah’s story is common.

The thinking is understandable – but flawed.

When you first start out on your own, you are obviously a newbie at running your own business.

It’s easy to adopt a new-starter mindset and act like it’s your first day in the job!

But you are NOT a newbie in your field. You will have 10, 20, 30 years of experience.

That’s the value you have to capture and sell.

For example, If you’ve been a senior exec, but choose to run training programs for new managers, you are probably selling yourself short.

Such training has a value of course, but a good trainer can deliver the same content.

The fact you have been a senior player adds some value, but not so much that you can charge significantly over ‘market rate’.

But that same trainer can’t talk with authority about the higher-level work (strategy, transformation, innovation, capital raising) that you have navigated.

It’s critical to nail this.

To play the right game for you at the right level.

You can learn the business, positioning, personal brand, networking and sales skills behind running a successful solopreneur practice (and it’s critical to invest in acquiring this knowledge and mindset).

But it’s a mistake to think of yourself as a new-starter who can only charge low fees.

Sell your 10, 20, 30 years of expertise, not your 10 minutes as a coach/consultant.

Like I said, many people get this wrong.

And if you spend too long playing in the wrong space, it’s easy to become stuck there, because you’ve conditioned the market that it’s where you belong!

I’m offering 5 x Free Coaching Sessions

If any of this resonates, you are considering setting out on your own soon, or want to reboot you career within corporate,  I’ve opened up 5 slots for free coaching sessions over the next two weeks.

Book a discovery call here. 

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