As part of Season 6 of Creative Freedom, we decided to take our parodies to a new level. Here's the full-length parody from Episode 1.
[10 years ago, I blogged regularly at businessactionhero.com. While I still own that domain, it's redirected here for years. That means many of the posts I had there haven't seen the light of day in a decade. I'm bringing back some of these posts with new thoughts since I'm 10 years older (and hopefully wiser) than I was back in the day.]
This post talks about the importance of being in integrity in your business - and how I had fallen OUT of it. I also mention a concept I learned from internet marketing "guru", Yanik Silver: providing 10-100x ROI for your clients.
In the 10 years since I shot this video, I've learned that 10-100x ROI is not always doable or sustainable, depending on your industry. I think there are times when it still is important and makes the difference, but I also now have the wisdom to recognize how foolish it is to expect that everything you offer is going to provide that kind of "EPIC VALUE". The three factors that drive pricing (market, price for the market, content for the market) are still relevant, but margins vary from market to market.
It's also subjective. I may think that it's delivering that kind of value, while you may not. What's the more important consideration? In the eyes of the buyer, it's what THEY believe that matters.
The original post intro and transcript of the video are below. Where are you rooting your tree?
So, I was reading Laurie Beth Jones’ book, “Jesus, Life Coach” yesterday. After our conversation this week about pricing, gurus and the “one step ahead” concept, I wanted to autopsy a major lesson in my own business this year regarding pricing.
Hey, it's Lisa Robbin Young here and I'm dressed like an Eskimo on winter holiday or summer holiday I guess. My son has been sniffling and sneezing for the last few days and I was walking him home from school yesterday and I got a little going on, so this is my healing ritual. Basically, I wrap myself up as warm as I possibly can stand…and then get just a little bit more warm. Down a lot of orange juice and hot tea and try and fight off – or no that's the wrong word, because we want to stay positive. It's my healing ritual to expel the thing that's trying to live inside me right now, so that my body can, in return, reject the virus…or whatever.
The reason I'm talking about healing rituals, and healing in general today, along with pricing is because yesterday I was reading Lori Beth Jones's book, "Jesus Life Coach", and in the section on productivity, she opens the chapter by talking about a passage from Ezekiel 4712. And she paints the picture through the scripture of this tree growing by the river, and it produces
fruit, and you know, it's the water from the river that comes from the sanctuary. And she makes the point that from a productivity standpoint the tree doesn't attempt to accomplish bearing fruit, it just does what its naturally inborn design is built for.
She's making the point that we need to stop fretting about accomplishing, and focus on what it is that we were designed to do. And just do that thing. But as I read it, I created a completely different image in my mind.
I think of the tree as your business, and your business bears fruit every month. And your business has products and services that nourish and heal. Okay those are the leaves in the fruit of the tree that nourish and heal, and the tree is routed by this river of healing water that flows from the sanctuary well. From a micro entrepreneur's perspective, the water, the healing water, is that which nourishes you, the business owner. And it comes from that sacred spiritual place inside you. Whether that's your core values, or your belief in God, or or whatever spiritual aligning construct works for you. And so as I read that I was like…that's what I want! That's what I've wanted all along! I want to build a business that nourishes and heals consistently.
And when we think about trees, you know the leaves drop, then you know it's cold, and then you know the leaves come back out, and then there's flowers, and then there's fruit and then the cycle starts again. Well, this passage says it's bearing fruit every month which means it's never dormant - it's constantly producing healing nourishing goodness for those who would, you know, pick fruit off the tree or use the leaves.
So when I thought about that and I looked at how my own business has been in the last year, I recognized that there were some things that I wasn't doing properly. So I'm going to autopsy it for you right here in this video and talk about shifting into a business more focused on healing, but also pricing my products, because one of the things that you're going to see over the next few months is a complete overhaul of the way I have priced just about everything on all of my websites.
And the reason for that stems from something that I read a couple of years ago. I think it was the way that Yannick Silver talks about the 10 to 100 x value proposition. The idea being when you create a product or service, when you put something out into the world, you want your people to feel like they are getting 10 to 100 times the value back to them for the investment that they're making in whatever it is that you're offering. And this year I did not do that.
You know, I could say it was because I listened to too many other voices, I could say it's because I got lured by the idea of higher paying clients, all of that would be true. But what it really comes down to is I uprooted my tree from the stream and moved down into the desert – or someplace else – the big city, you know, whatever. Someplace other than by the nurturing healing water that keeps me completely in alignment and in integrity with who I am. And what ended up happening was I was pricing products higher than that 100 x value. Sometimes it was closer to 10, sometimes it was closer to five, you know, I always strongly believe that I'm providing more value than I'm, you know, asking for in return. But there's a difference between two to three times the value of your investment and 10 to 100 times the value of your investment.
I think it, you know, it really speaks volumes when you can be the kind of entrepreneur who can stand proudly in their space. The entrepreneur who says “I am very confident that you are going to get 10 to 100 times the value out of this program as what you put into it”, and that's where I want to be. So that's what I'm doing.
There was a time in my business where I wouldn't have just done an across-the-board price change like this, like you're going to see over the next few months. I would have modified the program or taken some stuff out. I'm not a person who does sales because I believe that sales train your people to wait for a discount. I think that sales water down the value of the product that you're providing. I think maybe in the five years, six years that I've been online I have maybe done three sales, maybe, and generally it comes along with an “I'm going to give you this thing on sale but you won't get this thing that, you know, normally goes with it” kind of a thing. Because I didn't want to train people to expect that they were going to get, you know, this great bargain from me every other month or whatever because that's going to crimp cash flow.
Okay so there was a time when I wouldn't have just gone, you know, across the board “we're gonna change all over pricing” but what I'm doing I'm taking a lot of time over the next, you know, two months, the holidays and whatnot, to really sit with all of my products and services and if I don't believe that I can deliver ten to a hundred times the value of what they're asking to put in them, I'm taking them out.
I'm taking them off the shelves and they won't be available anymore. I believe there are three factors that drive pricing: 1. You have to have the right market; 2. You got to have the right price for that market and 3. You have to have content that that market wants.
If your product doesn't sell one of those three things, it has a problem and you gotta fix it. You have to find a new market, change a price, or change the content so that they see the value. We will launch Business Action Hero earlier this year and Phil is about 300-400 people. Most of those came from a teleclass that I did expressly on membership site programs, so I know these people wanted information about building their own membership sites. When we presented the product I had zero takers which is very uncommon for me when I'm clear on the market. I knew I had the right market because 400 people signed up for this program and I knew I had good content because the content mirrored what they were learning in the teleclass show.
That really meant that the only thing left was the price. I didn't have enough people in that audience that knew me, liked me, and trusted me enough and what I was providing that had a need for that information, to put down five hundred dollars to be in that program.
I don't really want to change the content of the course, so I'm gonna adjust the pricing and you're going to see that in a lot of my programs. In fact, I'm starting today with income acceleration strategies, and if you're on the newsletter list you saw that I've already repriced it. It's already on the website. You can already see what I've done there. It's me coming back in alignment and moving my tree back to the river so that I can continue to be nourished by what I know is right, instead of listening to the voices in the wilderness telling me, you know, throw yourself down from the mountaintop or whatever and and go chase after this bright shiny dream.
At the same time, I don't want anybody to think that this is my last-ditch, desperation attempt to get sales by slashing the prices on everything, because if I truly don't believe that I'm going to be able to bring ten to a hundred percent value on a program, it's gone.
I want to stand confidently in that space and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if you put your nose to the grindstone and do what I'm asking you to do in my courses and in my programs, you're going to get the results that I expect you'll get at 10 to 100 times the value of what you're putting into the program.
I want to stand there and I want to be proud of that and I want to be confident of that, and it means that there are going to be times when I am going to have higher price programs because I know they're going to produce infinitely better results. I guess the thing that I want to come back to on this a certainty there are a lot of people out there that will talk about different ways to price your products, you know, one of the best I think is Mark Silver over at Heart of Business, who talks about resident pricing and how to find a price that resonates well for you and still provides value to your customers and, you know, brings that message home on both sides of the equation.
But there are people who will say, you know, whatever price you're getting now, you're paid what you're worth, and you know, you need to price it higher to command a higher paying audience. There are a lot of voices out in the wilderness, you want to find that price that resonates within you that's not self sabotaging, self-serving, you don't have to make minimum wage to serve and heal the world, okay? The tree won't survive if it's, you know, taking a sip every six months. It's got to be rooted in the healing water and you don't have to charge ten million dollars and have one client here to make good money. Balance your experience level with the pricing that you're setting. Can you confidently walk into a room and command five hundred dollars an hour if you've never done this thing before? I don't think so. I don't think that's in integrity with anybody. I think that's someone telling you you should charge five hundred dollars, so you walk in and do it and then you're feeling all of this anxiety about “oh my gosh I gotta deliver, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh”.
Well you know what? I had an amazing client who asked me to do something I had never done before and quote him a price on something I had never done before and I said to him, “look, I would really like this job, I would really like to do this with you, but I have no experience in this particular area and I am going to adjust my pricing for this project to reflect my lack of experience here and if that's not good enough for you, godspeed, go find somebody who's got what you need. But I'm willing to learn about this pocket over here that I have no experience on if you're willing to, you know, ride with me on this”. And he bought into it and he's like, “Great! Let's do it!”
I didn't blow in there going sure I know everything there is to know about this thing and it's going to cost you ten grand to work with me on this thing and then try and scramble behind the scenes to try and figure out this piece. That stuff comes out, people find out that you don't know what you're doing, one way or another they find out so why not be transparent and adjust your pricing to reflect what you don't know because you'll build more trust and over time those people will look at you and go “Wow she really didn't know anything about that when we first started but look at her now and if she can handle that was something she didn't know oh my gosh i am totally trusting her with the stuff that I do know that she knows let's do this thing”. And that's where I want to stand.
I think that that's where a lot of people want to stand is in that value space that says I know my stuff, I know I'm worth my stuff, and so I'm going to ask for this kind of investment. But my commitment to you is I'm going to deliver this kind of value.
Don't let the voices out in the wilderness call you away from the river. Stay rooted at that spot where you know you are completely in your value and you are completely doing the thing that you need to do to build a profitable life and business