I got an angry email from a reader a couple of weeks ago.
She was responding to a coaching invitation I sent out. And she wanted to know why I charged so much to coach new freelancers on growing their business quickly.
Here’s the gist of her note:
“I think it’s sad that a program designed to elevate low-income writers is basically only available to people who have a huge savings account, a partner supporting them, or a willingness to go into debt to the tune of a full month’s income.”
A week later another reader emailed me this note…
“… For anyone who is earning less than $2000 [per month] it’s a very large amount, and I certainly haven’t got it. My budget for learning is at most $50 per month, because I haven’t got room for any more than that right now. I just think if you know people are earning less than $2000 a month, where do you think they’re going to find $495 as a first payment?”
Both readers asked a great (and valid) question.
So let me tell you what I told them. Because I figured if they asked … there are probably many other readers wondering the same thing.
First off, making your service affordable for everyone is not a good business model. For me AND for you in your writing business.
No matter what I charge for coaching, there will always be someone who can’t afford it today. I could slash the fee by 80% and still get emails like this.
But I’ve learned that cutting your fee serves no one. Because when you do, you still won’t be able to serve every person who wants to hire you.
And now you’re forced to take on more clients than you can comfortably handle just to earn the same income.
That quickly leads to burnout or bankruptcy. Or both!
Second, when you’re starting out as a writer or copywriter, whatever you invest in launching your business will be speculative in nature.
Either because you don’t yet have clients. Or because you’re not yet earning enough to comfortably fund your training or coaching from operating income.
Every new business involves risk. There’s no way around that.
And that leads me to the third and most important point…
If you don’t have the funds to invest in coaching, don’t despair.
Coaching isn’t the only option for achieving success. (In fact, many people aren’t ready for coaching anyway, even when they have the funds to invest.)
When you’re lacking resources, the key to success is to become incredibly resourceful.
For example, buy or borrow books instead. Or read great articles from experts.
Take full advantage of all the free resources my colleagues and I put together every month.
Here’s something you may not realize.
I spend an average of $5,890 every single month putting together and publishing FREE content.
Yes, every single month. I just ran the numbers.
That equates to $70,680 a year, on average.
This includes my own time AND the time and effort of my amazing staff.
I have a virtual team of people who do an excellent job every month putting together high-quality FREE content.
Everything from podcast episodes to detailed articles, videos, useful webinars, brainstorming calls, cheat sheets, checklists, show notes—you name it.
We take pride in the fact that our content is always relevant, thought-provoking and actionable for our audience.
And we put as much time, effort and energy into producing this free content as we do our paid stuff. It’s one of our core business philosophies.
So … use these free resources. Study and apply them.
That’s why we put them out there.
In fact, I strongly believe that EVERYONE who follows my stuff should start their journey with my free resources.
Because if that material doesn’t resonate well with you, neither will my coaching.
Finally, let me go back to an earlier point, because this applies to your own business as well…
Why do I charge a premium for my coaching?
“Premium” is a relative term. But I understand the question. There are many others who charge way less than I do. I get that.
The short answer is that I believe in playing a bigger game.
Given the choice between (a) charging low fees for low-value coaching support … and (b) charging higher-fees and pouring my heart and soul into the work…
I’ll always choose “b.”
But it goes way beyond pouring my heart and soul into my coaching work. All my coaching programs are focused on helping you get a very specific result, not just on learning.
I’m ALL about implementation. About doing the hard stuff. Because I want all my coaching clients to get the result they committed to getting.
And that doesn’t happen by just taking notes and memorizing information. You have to get out of your comfort zone. You work hard, even when you don’t feel like it.
So I’m looking for doers and serious implementers, not information gatherers.
Look … I’m not the right coach for everyone. But I want to make sure that those I work with get the very best of my team and me.
And that kind of commitment (I believe) should command a premium. Otherwise I won’t be around for very long.
And no one wins in that scenario.
The same goes for you. If you pour your heart and soul into your work, you owe it to yourself to charge fees that are commensurate with that level of commitment, passion and excellence.
If you don’t, you’ll eventually crash and burn.
So I urge you to start playing a bigger game. Your business will be healthier. And you’ll be a MUCH happier freelance professional.