What are you paying for?

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Last Thursday in a dedicated email we announced the launch of our fall Business Builder Bootcamp.  17 people unsubscribed from all future mailings.  Totally fine.  I’m a firm believer that most if not all digital relationships come to an end at some point, and if this dedicated email was a trigger to some that reminded them that they’re no longer in need of the services/content/community that they once found here at Actionable, I wish them all the best and hope they found value while they were here.

It got me thinking though, what if they left because we were now charging for something?  Granted, something new (not something they were used to getting for free), something specific to a subsection of our community (the Bootcamp is for sole-practitioners who categorize themselves as coaches, consultants or facilitators), and something that kicks off with a free session… but despite all that, what if they left because they didn’t like the idea of paying for something?  In a digital age, when scale is a non-factor and information is everywhere, what are we happy to pay for, and what do we expect to be free?  (Some people expect everything to be free, but let’s remove that group for a moment).

What should we pay for?  Here are my thoughts:

1.  We’ll pay for Context.  When information is freely available, time becomes an incredibly valuable commodity.  If someone that I trust can cut through the noise and give me access to resources/tools/information I need without me having to research and vet options, that’s valuable to me.

2. We’ll pay for Customization.  Again, building off the “information is everywhere” argument, but now I want to take it a step further; I want someone to understand me – my goals, current challenges and “unique” skill set and craft something specific to my needs.  That’s even more valuable to me.

3.  We’ll pay for Expertise.  Moving beyond simply giving me the tools (ie “Context” or “Customization”), I definitely value someone with greater skill set than me in some area doing the work for me.  In fact, I value someone doing the work for me so long as the time I save can be used to generate more money than what I spend on them doing it in the first place.  There’s two points in one here, but they both come down to the same principle – we buy back time by having someone else doing something that doesn’t rank high on our talent/interest scales.

4.  We’ll pay for Access.  There’s a shift towards exclusivity taking place in the world today.  We’ll pay more for “limited edition”, “application only” and exclusivity.  When so much is available to all, the hard-to-get becomes more valuable.

5.  We pay to Reward Ourselves.  We all work had.  We want to reward ourselves from time to time, and the emotional draw of certain items/programs/products can definitely be alluring.

All of this is fairly rudimentary supply and demand economics, but it’s worthy of revisiting from time to time, I believe.  When we pay for something, when we charge for something, I believe we’d do well to appreciate the Why of our transactions.  As for Bootcamp, I believe we’re hitting #1, 2, 3 in a strong way, and even #4 and 5 to a certain degree for some people.  Others will believe that we/you should give everything away for free.  I encourage you to acknowledge, and politely dismiss those people.  Bring value, and charge what makes sense for you and your clients.  But that’s just my opinion, of course.

If you’re a coach, consultant or facilitator interested in growing your business, I invite you to join me for one of our free Business Builder Bootcamp Webinars. Register below.  

  • North America – Friday, October 24, 2014 – 2:00pm EST – REGISTER
  • Australia – Monday, October 27, 2014 – 12:00pm AEST – REGISTER


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