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Episode 5: How to deal with clients saying you’re too expensive

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Tune in to The Hygge Hour Podcast: Apple | Spotify

Today’s topic is something I’m so incredibly passionate about. Because as entrepreneurs we need to make money. Otherwise we’re basically just running glorified hobbies, and that won’t pay the bills or bring us that life and freedom we’re dreaming of. 

It starts something like this: “I know what you do is worth it, but I just don’t have the money right now”

If you’re a service-based business owner, chances are you’ve heard this one before. My default reaction to this used to be thinking about how i could fit into their budget, crunch numbers to see how low I really could go, or even mention to a business friend what I was thinking about doing before stopping myself. 

My prices are what they are for a reason. 

Because when they say “I don’t have the money right now or even you’re too expensive” that’s really what they’re saying, they can’t spend their money on us right now. But what we hear might be something more like “how dare you charge so much for what you do” especially if we are in this growth stage of our business where we’re still trying to get to our ideal prices or charge more.

It’s a tough one, but so important. Especially for those of us who truly want to help everyone we come in contact with and have a heart for serving. 

Let me remind you of something. 

Someone not being able to afford your services is not your problem.

So don’t make it one. 

Pricing is basically the ultimate question in business, it’s such a balance, a truly fine line and definitely an art rather than science. 

I know for me, early on in my business I wish there was someone to tell me exactly how to price my services. After sending my prices to potential clients, I used to get answers from people like “oh you’re too expensive” leading me to start questioning my services or quality output. And I know a lot of creatives feel this way, because a lot of my clients are looking for a new brand and website so that they can finally start charging what their services are worth.

We know what we do can be worth the price we’re asking for it, and often it’s more about the presentation rather than the actual price itself. It’s about setting realistic expectations early on in the relationship, really setting ourselves up for the price we want to be charging, so that when it comes to the price it becomes a no issue. 

At the time I’m recording this, Emily Ley and the Simplified team are about to launch their newest planner lineup. I was just texting with one of my friends about it. At the core, she is selling planners, but they’re expensive ones. But she’s still able to sell because she has figured out the pricing and created a true demand here. 

It goes beyond just a planner for people. And yes, I have one of her planners and found it to be well worth it. 

But I’m sure she still has people telling her the planners are too expensive. And that is ok! Those aren’t her ideal clients. 

And I notice a similar thing in my own life. I’m willing to spend if I personally feel that there is a want (yes, we buy with emotions and back it up with logic). I was on the hunt for jeans, and I typically only buy my jeans at American Eagle because i just know that they fit my body well. But I wanted to get some more grownup ones, so I decided to check out Madewell. At American Eagle, which typically starts out at about half the price of Madewell, I wait until I can get a deal like a sale or promotion because i find them too expensive at full price. While at Madewell, I didn’t have any problem buying them at regular price. Obviously, this doesn’t make sense at all, right? But in my head it does. It comes downt to what I’m expecting going in there. 

So what do you do then, when you get that dreaded “I do love what you do, but you’re too expensive”

First up – don’t take it personally. At all. Know that it’s not about you. I’m sure if you look around the room, there are plenty of people with basically your same experience and expertise (or even lower) charging what you want to be charging. And you know the true difference between you and them? They believe in themselves and have decided to stick to it! They aren’t magical unicorns, and they’re essentially just like you and me. 

Then consider your options! (tune in to the podcast for full explanations of these options!)

  1. Find an alternative solution (give them less, not you less)
  2. Send them on their way with referrals 
    1. Leads are valuable so you might think I’m absolutely crazy telling you this. I firmly believe that by saying yes to something we are saying no to something else. So this is a way for you to consciously choose to stay open to better, more aligned opportunities. 
  3. Send them to some of your free resources or use this as a teaching opportunity (they want a pretty brand, but there is a lot of foundational work that can be done before that step for $0)
  4. And then, review what is and isn’t working in your business. If this keeps happening to you, is there an unclear message somewhere? What is making these people think your prices should be like this? This can be subtle or big. Think about the areas where you feel comfortable spending your money, why is that? We can learn A WHOLE LOT from the way we operate as consumers 

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