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Your Price Strategy Is Your Command (How to Raise Prices)

“Yo, dude– look at those gas prices!”

“I remember when X cost Y.”

“Oh noes! Inflation’s ruining everything.”

Sometimes it seems like prices everywhere are going up, but are yours?

Chances are they should be.

Why?

Because… it’s Four Questions of Marketing Month here at Mirasee: 4 questions, 4 weeks, 4 jumps in your profit, and I, Jason “J-Ryze” Fonceca, am gonna shed some light on #1 — How To Raise Prices —

And also because…

What you charge is what you’re worth.

Do you have trouble finding a price strategy that works for you?

A lot of people do.

Do you know what you’re really worth? Do you realize how flexible price really is?

Most people don’t.

Most people see a limited ‘price-box’, and that’s cool. There kind-of-is an established ‘price-box’, but it’s usually way bigger than people think.

Let me give you a little perspective, using handbags:

  • Louis Vuitton charges an average of $1000.00 – $2000.00 for a bag. – (This is the top of the box – high-end.)
  • Walmart charges $20.00 – $30.00 for a bag. (This is the bottom of the box – low-end.)

From 20 bucks to 2000 bucks, that’s a pretty big box.

(Note: game-changers can push the boundaries of this already sizable box, much like Starbucks did with the “coffee price box”, but that’s another post.)

The bags perform the same function and have similar size and shape.

Louis Vuitton does invest a lot more in the materials and creation of their bags, but the actual physical value of the items is not thousands of dollars difference.

That’s because price comes mainly from perception, not physical value.

People’s perceptions and understanding of the values are different.

When people buy a Louis Vuitton bag they have a deep understanding that they’re buying a lifestyle, a dream; status & prestige.

Did these people just randomly get that perception, or did LV make choices about exclusivity, pricing, and more to position themselves as a Prestigious Fashion Brand?

People cherish their LV bags, but do they do the same with a Walmart bag?

Each company positioned themselves a certain way by creating an experience, a story, and a perception that allowed them to charge what they wanted.

You can too.

Yep, it’s time to admit that you can charge more than you are.

You just can. It has nothing to do with how many people are buying from you. It has little to do with your competitors.

This really isn’t difficult. It might seem tricky because it’s new, but like anything new, it gets easier as you apply yourself.

Louis V and Walmart both started with a leader and a dream. Nobody swooped down from above and told them what was acceptable to charge, they decided it.

They experimented.

Starbucks did the same with coffee, Apple the same thing with computers.

Megan Dougherty talks more about positioning on Tuesday’s post. and Wednesday’s post.

You can charge more for your offering, but no one’s going to magically do it for you.

And besides… it’s easy and I’ll tell you how.

raise prices 1

Be more awesome & charge more dollars.

Okay, so…

I know you’ve put tons of effort into your offer, and we can all admit it’s good, but wait… could you make it better?

It’s a good question to ask yourself, ’cause if you can amp up the value contained in your offer, you can confidently charge more.

How easy is it for you to add more value?

Well it turns out, first you need to know what ‘value’ is.

I recently watched a video from Tommy Walker where he calls out people who talk about ‘value’, because value is a vague cliche, and he’s right.

I’m not gonna get into here, but hopefully you know what’s value for you, your industry, and and your customers, and if not, you need to find your ONE person.

I will give you a few examples to think about:

  • Could you add a certificate of authenticity?
  • Could you pacakge and present it differently?
  • Could you get a big name endorsement?
  • Could you inject more personality than most people?
  • Could you direct it to an audience that would value it more?

You can leverage all kinds of things joint ventures, bonuses, training, and more, but I’m not gonna drill down to all these techniques here.

Also, sometimes you don’t even need to ‘be more awesome’, you just need to put a new price, a new story, or a new perspective on something you’ve been de-valuing and downplaying.

I’ll give you a personal example.

I’d been coaching people for free for years, and they loved me for it and ate it up. Little did I realize that my wisdom was “really valuable”, and all it needed was a price strategy and a story.

And hey, if what you offer already exceeds the expectations of most of your industry, people may actually feel better and be happier if you charge them more.

Note: There are some ethical issues that crop up sometimes with these discussions — I say as long as you’re at peace with what you’re doing, go for it At some summer concerts, bottles of water are sold at $8, and people paid it. Was it win-win? Ethical? Well-intentioned?

raise prices 2

Raise your prices or bury your business?

I’m giving you a small warning, because I want you to raise your prices well.

With all this talk of ‘expanding price-boxes’ and ‘adding value’ you might be tempted to spend a lot of extra time and money and resources to improve the value of your offer.

And you can, but make sure that the value you’re adding doesn’t raise your costs in a way that’s gonna ’cause you trouble.

Like, yes, it’d be awesome to include actual solid gold statues and prizes with your product or service, but there’s a high chance that it’d eat all your profits and bring your business to it’s knees.

Raising costs too much is totally not what we’re going for.

Raise prices, not costs.

Sometimes there are hidden time costs and opportunity costs, so that you think you’re adding value, but really you’re killing your profits.

All I’m saying is, pay attention with your experiments.

Split-test if it seems appropriate and focus on increasing your value with a price strategy that lets you increase your prices without massively raising your costs.

Comprendé?

I want you to be richer.

I’m not kidding.

I want ballin’ friends. I want the people around me doing well, and everything I’ve shared here is meant to be rock-solid, reliable business wisdom, told in a way you can understand and apply.

And speaking of applying…

Mirasee has a fantastic, focused, active community who shows the net a thing or two.

So, I expect you to rock it.

I expect you to take steps to increase your prices in win-win ways that help everyone.

And you can start by letting me know in the comments any ideas you have on doing that. Actually, I want you all to write down your main offer or sell, and then write down 3 things you could do to help you raise your prices.

And if you don’t have any ideas, ask us. I’m sure myself, Danny, Peter, Megan or the community can point you in the right direction.

About Jason Fonceca

Jason "J-Ryze" Fonceca (@ryzeonline) is a positive badass, shedding light on taboo topics to help game-changers ryze past plateaus. He's been featured on LauraRoeder.com, FirepoleMarketing.com, and Technorati.com. Get more "Sexy Success" from him at Ryze Online.

33 thoughts on “Your Price Strategy Is Your Command (How to Raise Prices)

  1. J-Ryze thank you so much for the mention!

    “Value” is such a funny thing, and often times it’s a reflection of the people themselves. You nailed everything here, and I’m very happy to share this post with everyone I know 🙂

    • It’s so easy and fun to ‘mention’ inspiring people putting out rockstar content. Your videos are great, full of personality and wisdom.

      “Value is such a funny thing.” Feels like a quote 😀

      Oh! ANd looks like it’s mutual mentioning then! Share on, playa! Thanks, people need to read this!

  2. Something I’m learning from Danny is to focus on customer results.

    So, perhaps another way to raise prices is to reposition the problem.

    Sometimes you can abstract too far, but other times you might want to lift your positioning up a level to focus on results instead of just solving a problem.

    • Hi Johnn Four (cool name :D), Learning *anything* from Danny is generally recommended (‘cept maybe Judo-fights-between-video-recording :P)

      And you hit on something very key to what I teach over at Ryze. I aim to focus on results as much as possible as deeply as possible — it always delivers…

      …wait for it…

      results 🙂

      Really glad you brought this up, Johnn, and I could probably use more of it in my copywriting, though I totally see myself with a legendary marketing dept. 😀

  3. Another great article Jason. And thanks for leading me here. I can’t wait to have a look around.
    I recently changed pricing on my site for Custom WordPress Blog Designs. I believe I’ve added more value while this being compensated for the extra time I tend to invest. Tell me what you think.
    The original package for $175 that looked like this:
    Design of a custom WordPress Blog Theme. This includes one round of changes to the design.
    PLUS
    Matching Twitter Page Background + Setup
    Facebook Sidebar Picture
    About.Me page Background + Setup
    Social Media Icons + Install
    Favicon Creation + Installation
    Button picture + Grab box code and install on page or in sidebar

    But then I found that I spent a lot of time, I mean A LOT of time, helping my clients figure out what they wanted before we even came to the design stage.

    So I changed this package and renamed it “the i know what i want” package and changed the description to this:
    “Design of a custom wordpress blog theme based on elements you provide (such as logo or header, background image, sidebar accents, font choice, color scheme choice, etc). This includes one round of changes to the design.”

    I figure if a client has a logo and design elements ready, then they know what they want.

    For those clients who needed the extra help, I created this package:
    The “Brainstorming” Setup $300
    Design of a custom theme based on brainstorming session. We’ll go over your goals for your blog and what your likes are. i’ll send you links to look at to get a feel for what appeals to you. I’ll then send you color, image and font samples for you to choose from. This includes two rounds of changes to the design.
    PLUS
    Matching Twitter Page Background + Setup
    Matching Facebook Sidebar Picture
    Matching About.Me page Background + Setup
    Social Media Icons + Install
    Favicon Creation + Installation
    Button picture + Grab box code and install on page or in sidebar
    Header created from stock photo
    WordPress 101 Video Training Package (21 videos to help you get started on WP)

    Now honestly, I’ve only had one client chose the $300 package. Other clients stick to the $175, but I now have time for more projects because these clients already know what they want when they contact me.

    • Wow, Vanita! I’m thrilled 🙂

      I get a great vibe from your change, it sounds like it freed up your time (effectively lowering costs), and clarity and value for your clients, and is a generally a better match.

      You bring up a great point, giving something a catchy name, although it seems silly, can raise the “value” in people’s eyes by a LOT.

      Right now my coaching is called ‘Ryze coaching’, but if I were to re-brand it like you did to “Ryzing Star Sessions” or “You: Unleashed” or “Rock On & Ryze Up Sessions”, etc. they’d almost certainly perform better and be seen as much more valuable.

      Another hot tip, you could carry your stuff further by leveraging your ‘color-design background’ & ‘proof-reading background’, not everyone has that and drawing attention to those things up-front would take minimal effort and allow you to increase the cost by some dollars.

      Something like “WordPress packages from a kick-ass chick with 15 years of color + editing experience” or whatever 🙂

      As for your actual prices, I’d also ask Danny + Peter to weigh in (or hire Danny for a Borrow-My-Brain Session) because while I’m fantastic at what I do, they’re definitely marketing experts who I value deeply 😀

      • “Wordpress packages from a kick-ass chick with 15 years of color + editing experience” Jason, does the great ideas ever stop with you?

        As for re-branding your coaching Jason, I can honestly say, i don’t think there’s a new name out there that can really truly express the immense value in your lessons.

          • Danny once I have all elements I can turn it around in a day. Ill load the the site on a subdomain so the client can try it out. Once approved ill create the other artwork based on the site. Including waiting on approvals, the whole process takes at 2 days. I know its a lot for $175 but Bloggers have tighter budgets than businesses, ya’ know? I also offer pr-made themes for $12 for those moms on extra tight budgets who want a pretty blog.

          • Yay! Danny weighed in! Fantastic 🙂

            And, ummm… I believe Danny’s expert online marketing + blogging opinion is heading in the direction of…

            “Vanita, you can totally be paid a lot more for what you do… *are you interested*?”

            And I know if I was in your place, what my answer would be 🙂

          • Why are you going after a market that can’t afford to pay what you’re worth? Or is there a segment of the market that could?

            Hmmm… food for thought… 😉

          • Okay, question about the point Danny raised. There are markets that could pay more, but if she likes serving that audience, what other choices might be better for her? Many small/solo businesses really can’t spend hundreds or thousands on a website, but they certainly need one just like those with bigger budgets. What about offering a little less actually and so that people can get in the game and then add more step ups so that they keep coming back as they are able?

          • I Love Cheryl’s Q. “There are markets that could pay more, but if she likes serving that audience, what other choices might be better for her? ” Any suggestions?

            And Cheryl, I know I seem like I’m giving away the farm here…ok I am giving away the farm here. lol. Only because I don’t want my mom blogger clients to feel like they’re lacking in anyway when it comes to competing. But when it comes to actual commercial businesses, with budgets bigger than bloggers, I offer various packages and the option to add on services later. It has proven to bring me a bit of repeat business since many see the financial benefit in the package deal and new business from referrals.

          • Two reasons

            #1 i’ve got a soft spot for my fellow blogging moms who are eager to build a business from their blogs but have small budgets. As a mom of 4, i know how things get re-prioritized and many times something i want gets pushed to the back burner because of things my kids need. helping a fellow mom out by offering a pro design on her budget, a design that makes her feel confident that she can run with the “big dogs” is good relationship building, even if it doesn’t seem like good business.

            #2 you never know who knows who. though i offer my WordPress Blog Design services inexpensively to moms on a budget, i’ve gained several commercial print design projects and a handful of seo and social media consulting projects for small businesses through referrals from these moms bloggers in the past year. Also, when I first started designing for bloggers two years ago, I did hand out a handful of freebie designs. Two of those moms are back to work in corporate environments now and both bring me repeat commercial work.

            Karma is good. 😀

            Give a little bit extra of yourself and people will not only appreciate it, but they’ll share their appreciation both online and offline.

          • Yup, karma is definitely good. 🙂

            So are you saying that this is a side project, and that you earn most of your income through commercial print design projects?

          • not a side project…more like additional services…an extension of my offering targeted to my blog’s audience. good to diversify and have multiple streams of income.

          • Hey Cheryl and Vanita, great questions!

            The key is to find an area of *overlap* between the people you like to serve, and the people who can afford to pay you what you deserve to be paid.

            Pricing yourself for the market segment with the least means might make sense as a market entry strategy (if they continue to do business with you for years, or pay you a small monthly fee for site maintenance, etc.), but doesn’t make sense if you’re compromising your lifestyle and business goals.

            Remember, there are lots of ways for you to help out your target market at prices that they can afford (including free); you can do giveaways, have scholarship programs, etc. I give away tons of free advice on Firepole Marketing, and via email, just because I like the people I connect with, and I want to help them, even if they can’t afford to pay my rates.

            But that doesn’t mean that I lower my rates. 😉

            Does that help? What ideas does this give you? How can you make it viable and profitable to serve the market that you care about (remember, not all moms and small businesses are broke!)?

          • Danny your advice here was awesome. I headed straight to my services page and changed the extras to this for the $175 package:
            Social Media Icons + Install
            Favicon Creation + Installation
            A Matching Graphic that can be used for Twitter, Facebook, G+ profiles and Button Grab box
            WordPress 101 Video Training Package (21 videos to help you get started on WP)

            It’s less work for me since i won’t be setting up the SM profiles’ artwork myself and it’s only one graphic built from the header elements or logo that the client can use themselves on SM platforms. Thanks again.

            Jason, I hear where you’re coming from. though i’m open to change, i guess i’m always going to be lame ’cause i like helping those who need a jumpstart. i won’t bow completely – I never discount my prices, I limit the email exchange, I don’t do support by phone but i do offer DIY themes for those who can’t afford my custom pricing. You are marvelous with the ideas Jason. simply marvelous.

          • I am sooooo thrilled, Vanita 🙂 Thank you.

            In my opinion, this is one of the best discussions on FPM. It feels as valuable as a post or a borrow-my-brain session or something. It’s for anyone interested in the ‘live’ evolution of someone’s business.

            I love when my ideas generate more and I’m thankful to all of you again for the chance 🙂

            To be clear, I never said your lame for helping those who need a jumpstart (which is the name of my upcoming product lol) —

            I’m saying it’s powerful if they’re something you decide ABOUT, but lame if they’re something that DECIDE FOR YOU.

            There’s a big difference between:

            “I WANT to help broke moms” (very cool) and “I WANT to charge more BUT sadly…broke mom’s are the deciding factor.” (very lame)

            My main message is people can have what they want, and my heart and soul is focused on helping people achieve that. For me then, step 1 is usually clarity about what they want.

            Either way, it feels like you and Danny have it nailed, so my work is done here 🙂

            Rock on and ryze up (and tell others about this article ’cause it shows some of the best, most positive, helpful wisdom on the net.)

            Bam!

        • YES! I *love* it when a discussion goes deep, in a healthy way. F*** yes. Rock on Vanita, Danny, Cheryl + crew.

          Allow me to shed some light.

          -Human beings are unlimited.
          -Vanita, you can do anything.
          -Price is elastic; you can charge whatevz.

          I’ma be straight up tho, to do it smoothly and easily you have to drop a BUNCH of s***.

          To me, here’s the main thing: The more the “moms you care about so much” factor into your decisions, the lame-er it will be, (and so far, it seems like they come up every sentence :P)

          Oh I know ‘they’ tell you to know your market, they tell you to care… but check this:

          You can have what you want. Not what your “moms” want, not what Danny, me or Cheryl wants. You can have what *you* want.

          And when you get clear and can explain it to US clearly, so that we understand, all our wisdom will be aimed at helping you get it.

          If you want to be poor, no problem. If you want to consistently keep prices around $175, no problem (Walmart may have some tips :P)

          If you want to help Moms who can barely afford Kraft Dinner, AND want to have lots of free time + healthy pay. We can focus on solutions.

          If you want to bow to the lowest-common-denominator, and do anything for them, because [they’re so poor and downtrodden] — we can help with that too.

          If you want to help “moms who are ballsy and willing to invest” or “rich moms” — we can help with that too.

          Or some combo of the above 🙂 You have a great community of brilliant minds, all willing to help you.

          To make any progress in this, to me, priority #1 is to explain as clearly as you can, what you imagine and see for yourself, your life, your services, your business.

          Hope this focuses everyone and keeps things moving smoothly and on-track.

          P.S. If I’m the only one who’s a bit confused, that’s cool, my bad 🙂

  4. Cool beans, Vanita.

    What I also like about what you did was creating an OR decision instead of YES/NO.

    Clients can now weigh your two options and pick instead of forcing them to say yes or leave.

    Can you create a third option and position the offer you want to sell most of in a sweet spot between the other two?

    • Yo! Well said Johnn 🙂 I totally agree. Influence + psychological factors play a big role there, and a sweet spot in a choice of 3 is very powerful.

      So glad you’re around contributing to the discussion man, really valuable. I’m off to check out your site.

    • Lol! Okay, so I checked out your site, and it had a landing page with a short paragraph, which was a YES/NO answer, where it was either opt-in or leave lol 🙂

      I guess there’s a place for those things eh? 🙂

      • Hehe. I just finished writing an ebook about how to blog fast without sacrificing quality, and set up that page this morning to give it away.

        It’s a humble start but I’m using Danny’s awesome course to flesh it out – I just haven’t released those sections yet.

        But good call. I love irony, even when it’s self-inflicted.

    • a third option…that is one wicked idea. I can probably offer the brainstorming help with out all the Plus extras at a price in between. I love helping other mom bloggers express themselves through design and I love being able to help them realize that design, I just happen to also like having my own time, ya’ know?
      Great idea. Thanks so much!

  5. I highly recommend people to raise their prices. You’ll have to work more for each sale but as a result, you’ll make more and in the long run probably end up working less for a higher salary.

    • Thanks so much, Stefan. I totally appreciate your feedback 🙂

      I’m glad we agree raising prices has a lot of good in it — and many businesses are able to raise their prices while doing the same amount of work, or sometimes even less!

      You kinda touched on that with your ‘working less for a higher salary’ concept, but I wanted to clarify anyway 🙂

  6. I have a question and hope that someone at this site can help me answer it.

    I am a music instructor and too many folks think we all teach the same thing, have the same skills, etc., and the only difference would be price and/or convenience to obtain what we have to offer.

    How do we change this perception? Obvious it is false and also obviously it is typical of many professions.

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