You're an expert. In the most rudimentary language, this means that you know more about your topic than the average person, especially your target market. It also means that the sharing of your expertise will help others achieve or improve upon something that would otherwise have been very difficult or nearly impossible. How much value do you place on what you know and your method(s) of delivery? Probably not enough.
Speakers, trainers, coaches, and service providers can easily underestimate the value of their offerings because there are few or no cost of goods sold and overhead is negligible. But that's not the only reason they tend to diminish their worth; internal messaging is the biggest culprit.
In working with small business owners and solo-practitioners over the years, I've see a pattern of thinking that, frankly, keeps people poor. I've even experienced it myself and perhaps you have as well. The pattern I'm referring to is the ongoing questioning of the worth of your services, undervaluing them (therefore yourself) internally. You may believe that this negativity doesn't show on the outside, but you'd be wrong. When you diminish the importance and uniqueness of your knowledge, it's impossible for your prospects to set a high value on what you offer. The energy behind your sales pitch simply will not match that of a highly valuable end result.
I've actually come to believe that well-delivered information, inspiration, and emotional support are priceless. While priceless isn't acceptable in negotiations, embracing this theory will help you to set--and get--fees that are commensurate with the actual worth of your services.
Here are a few of the statements I've heard from people who are stuck in this loop of negative thinking. I call them lies, or excuses, because they are only a means of self-sabotage that keep you from taking emotional risk. It's time to stop the lies and accept the truth.
1. Lie: It's just common sense, anyone can figure this out.
Truth: If they could have figured it out on their own, they would not be seeking your help. Perhaps they have pieces of the puzzle, but haven't put them together yet. Many experts tend to diminish their wisdom because it come so naturally to them. What is simple to you may feel like rocket science to another. Your ability to turn rocket-science into manageable information is, as I said, priceless.
2. Lie: They can find this information online; they don't need me.
Truth: If you are a trainer or teacher, much of what you teach is most likely available online and in books. People are busy, some aren't great at collecting information, and most are willing to pay for the opportunity to access what they need through one convenient resource. Additionally, you put your own unique spin on the information, making it a meaningful process--unlike reading long articles and sifting through uninformed opinions in on-line forums.
3. Lie: I probably don't know as much as I think I do. I might be found out!
Truth: Ask yourself if you know more than your prospect. Perhaps they do know a lot, but are they acting upon it? Can you make it easier and more likely for them to take action? The answer is yes. You make peoples' lives easier and richer. Again, priceless.
4. Lie: What if they tell me it's not worth much? I may be facing rejection!
Truth: What if's create a tumbleweed of possibilities. Why not turn your negative what if's into positives? What if your client adores you to the moon and back? Understand that if--I should say when--a prospect says no, it probably has nothing to do with you at all. Don't assume that a "no" is a reflection on your talent and worth. Your prospects are dealing with their own limiting beliefs, including a perceived lack of funds.
5. Lie: If my client(s) fail, it will be my fault--It will mean I'm not very good at this after all.
Truth: Boy, this one used to be a biggie for me until I had a life-changing realization: not everyone is ready to do what it takes to get the results they desire--even if they say they are. As the old saying dictates, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, some of your clients will not show up as superstars. You're great at what you do and many of the people you work with soar to success with you at their side, right? To achieve a one-hundred percent success rate when you base your success on that of another is an act of self-sabotage. That's the truth.
If you have a challenge believing in yourself, muster up the courage to ask for help from a professional. You are so worth it!