Why I don’t charge extra
This is something I have done for many years but I never really spoke about the reasons why I don’t charge extra.
I used to use the standard marketing strategies, like early bird price, VIP price, extra cost for payment plans. I have learned this from other business owners, coaches, and it seems standard practice.
- Early bird means you pay less if you commit early.
- VIP means you pay extra and get special treatment or extras.
- Payment plans usually incurs an additional charge to pay over time.
I’ve never been comfortable with any of these things.
This comes with having had my own experience around this and it didn’t feel right or aligned with me.
It was about 10 years ago, when I was taking my first steps into creating an online business and I signed up to a conference, which was about women in business. It was a big investment for me at the time.
There was early bird pricing (with a penalty for not taking up the early bird offer, which was a higher ‘regular’ price).
Another was having to pay a higher price if you chose a payment plan to pay over time.
And then there was the option of paying extra on top of the normal cost to receive VIP treatment which included some extra perks.
Why I don't use these practices now
At the time of this first conference I attended, I couldn’t afford to pay extra for VIP and I felt diminished when it was obvious during the retreat how the VIP people were treated differently to the rest of us.
I also couldn’t pay all at once. I needed a payment plan. This was a big investment for me at the time, and having to pay extra because of my financial situation was also not a pleasant feeling.
In general it felt like punishment. That might be a harsh word, but I couldn’t settle it inside myself that just because I couldn’t pay the total up front I had to pay more.
These practices still turn my stomach.
I understand the marketing logic, but for me it creates FOMO and falls into fear based marketing.
It can make people feel diminished when they are equally competent as anyone else but their life situation might be one where they need a payment plan, or they can’t pay early.
Ultimately my choice to not use these standard practices comes from how I feel about using them and how I want to run my business.
So yes, at that time of that first conference I made a note to myself that I wouldn’t make anyone ever feel like I felt at that conference if they wanted to work with me as a client or come to my retreats.
In the past, however, I did initially follow those accepted strategies.
And then I stopped.
It doesn’t feel good for me.
And the early bird pricing is one I only recently stopped. I questioned myself about this and came up with a better solution which is to offer the best price I can. For everyone.
I accept and honor others who adopt the standard practices and I have no judgment on them. We each follow our own paths.
When I listen to my heart I go with what feels right and that means letting go of any fear based elements in running my business.
If you're a business owner, or have been in a similar situation as I described I’d love to hear from you and how this article lands for you.