Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

Want to Make More Money? Fish in a Bigger Pond!

by: Kimberly Stevens

Setting prices is a dilemma most service business owners encounter at one time or another. This week, it was Susan’s turn. ขWhen I first started my business, I felt uncomfortable charging for my services. Since I was doing it to make a living, I finally just picked a price I thought wouldn’t scare too many people away. Now, based on my available work hours, I can’t really take on more clients but at the rate Iกm charging them, Iกm not going to make enough money to keep the business alive. How do I raise my prices without losing my clients?ข she wanted to know.

For whatever reason, it is uncomfortable for many of us to look a person in the face and state our hourly rate or the cost of a project they want us to complete for them. This is usually rooted in our fear of rejection. We think, ‘What if the prospect gasps and falls out of his chair convulsing on the floor?’ or ‘What if he snorts with disdain or launches into uncontrollable laughter?’ At the beginning, we really need the work and generally decide weกd rather start getting some clients to build our reputation and skills, thinking weกll charge a rate we know theyกll accept. Besides, we can always raise our prices later. Well, now is กlaterก, so it’s time to bite the bullet.

First, understand you aren’t asking for their firstborn child you are asking for money in exchange for the service you are offering. Shakti Gawain, author of กCreating True Prosperityก, introduced me to the concept of thinking about money as just another form of energy. Just as you put energy into the service you provide, the client puts energy into their field of interest in order to make money to pay you for your service.

On the businesstobusiness side of things, the clientกs business has clearly made the decision to outsource the service they are discussing with you. They have decided to use their internal staffกs energy to focus on their core business while outsourcing those things they don’t have the skills or time to do. The same is true of individuals they could paint their house, but they’re calling you. Clearly, they don’t want to do it and know itกs going to cost money to get someone else to do it Either way, they are going to hire someone to do it, so why not you?

That said, itกs time to raise your prices. Youกve got two sets of people to deal with here your current clients and your future clients. Future clients are easy simply start quoting the higher hourly rate or basing your flat rate proposals on the new hourly rate with no mention of a recent price increase. Your fear that you will lose out on some bids WILL come true. Youกve been fishing in the pond that attracts the lowerend clients, so you will probably have to start marketing to and networking with prospects on the next higher rung. But, so what? Itกs still your choice – you can stick with the lowend guys and struggle to make your business profitable or you can start charging a respectable rate for the skills and professionalism you bring to the table to create a prosperous business. Itกs up to you.

Now, the current clients are the ones you are likely most afraid of. What will they say? Will they never want to work with you again? The best time to raise prices is at the beginning of the year, either calendar or fiscal, or at the beginning of a new contract with an existing client. Never try to negotiate a price increase in the middle of a project. If a project is taking significantly more hours than you quoted for a reason out of your control or it’s directly within the clientกs control, you can consider discussing it with them. However, if you want to be sure to maintain positive client relationships, you may choose to learn your lesson from this one and protect yourself with a contract that outlines contingencies such as that going forward. But, in most cases, never try to increase your hourly rate on a client in the middle of a project. This sends a message that will likely get you the response you most fear that you are a moneyhungry soandso who only cares about him or her self.

Instead, wait until a natural beginning, ending, or transition period to communicate your price increase. One way to do it is to send your client a beginning of the year letter that expresses your appreciation of their business in the prior year, outlines any policy changes youกve made for the coming year, communicates your price increase, and states your anticipated pleasure of working with them in the coming year. If you are raising prices at the end of one project and are about to bid on another project with the same client, during your discussions tell them you have raised your hourly or project rate and hope they still find it to be competitive and will continue to work with you since youกve really enjoyed collaborating with them.

Notice you did not hear me guarantee you will keep every single one of your current clients. Like you, your clients make purchasing decisions based on a variety of factors, each person weighing each of the factors differently. If youกve been the lowest price available in your field, youกve no doubt attracted clients who make decisions based mainly on price. Increasing your price so you are no longer ‘the lowprice guyก, may send them packing. So be it. Once you raise your prices to a respectable rate you can profit from, that’s competitive and fair, you will begin to attract clients who will pay it. Itกs all about positioning. You can position your company as the lowprice guy, the topoftheline guy, or the value guy (middle of the road price with a quality service).

The lesson here … it’s your business and your revenues are what you make them.

About The Author

Kimberly Stevens is the author of the ebook series, *The Profitable Business Owner: A StepbyStep System for Starting & Running a Successful Service Business*. Download Sample Chapters & get her free MiniCourse, *The 10 Most Common Mistakes Business Owners Make & How To Avoid Them* at: http://www.askthebizcoach.com/ebooks.htm

kim@askthebizcoach.com

This article was posted on February 07, 2003

by Kimberly Stevens

PPC Management: When To Give Up On A Loser

PPC Management: When To Give Up On A Loser

by: Dave Brown

Pay per click (PPC) advertising can be a dream come true. You can get traffic almost immediately from some PPC search engines. And it can be mighty cheap too. Next to joint ventures, PPC search engines have been responsible for most of my online income. Iกve gotten some great returns on PPC campaigns. And I know other people who have too.

Right now, I have one PPC campaign thatกs making me $56.69 for every $1 I spend. I know, thatกs pretty incredible. And itกs not typical. But I have another thatกs making me $8.84 for every $1 I spend. Yet another makes $7.73 for every $1.

But I have other campaigns that have lost me money. Making money, instead of losing it, with pay per click search engines involves wise management. There are many different factors that decide whether youกll be in the red or in the black. And you need to be aware of what these are.

In fact, there are times that even the best management of your PPC campaign won’t save it. Some of them will be losers and thereกs nothing you can do about it. But you need to know when to decide that you have a loser on your hands. At what point should you bury it and move on?

There are a number of different factors to consider. Thereกs no simple answer. I can’t tell you to simply abandon your PPC campaign after 200 clicks without a sale. Or to quit after youกve lost $50.

First of all, you need to know how much your profit will be on each sale (before advertising costs). For example, if you’re selling your own product for $47 through Clickbank, then youกll make $42.48 on each sale after Clickbank takes their fees.

But if you sell someone elseกs product for $47 through Clickbank, and you get a 50% commission on each sale, then youกd only get $21.24.

But you need to know even more than that. You also need to decide how much of that $42.48 (or $21.24) you’re willing to spend on advertising. In other words, whatกs the least you’re willing to earn on each sale? This will determine how much you can afford to spend on advertising.

Letกs assume you make $42.48 per sale. If you decide that youกd be happy with a $20 profit, then you can spend as much as $22.48 to make each sale.

So now you know what your advertising budget is. Next, estimate what your conversion rate will be. If this is a brand new product you’re promoting, then you may have no idea. In those cases, I tend to use 1% as a rule of thumb. That means that 1 out of every 100 people that visit the site will buy. Letกs use 1% for our example here.

So if you’re willing to spend $22.48 to make each sale, and you expect to make one sale out of every 100 visitors, then you can afford to spend 22 cents to get each visitor to the site. This means that you can afford to bid 22 cents on each keyword on the PPC search engines (max).

At this point, you can go ahead and set up your PPC campaigns. Find your keywords. Place bids. I won’t cover these issues right now because they’re off the topic. The purpose here is to know when to drop your campaign because itกs a loser.

Now, just because you *can* bid 22 cents on each keyword, it doesn’t mean you should. You should bid as low as you can to get good traffic (whatever you consider *good* to be).

In our example, letกs fast forward. Imagine youกve already gotten 150 clicks, and your average bid has been 22 cents a click. So youกve spent $33, and you haven’t made a sale yet. Should you ditch this campaign?

No. *On average* you can spend $22 per sale. But thatกs an average. Which means that sometimes youกll spend more, and sometimes less. And if your conversion rate is 1%, then thatกs also an *average*. So don’t freak out if you haven’t made a sale after 150 clicks.

When you decide to drop a campaign though, make the decision based on how much you’re spending on it. Not the conversion rate.

When I first start a campaign, Iกll often wait until I spend at least double my advertising budget with no sales before I consider dropping it. Maybe even triple my budget if Iกm emotionally attached to it. 😉

But if I haven’t made any sales by then, Iกll usually stop the campaign. However, you may want to wait longer if you’re willing to spend more money to see if it works. I think Iกm probably more of a conservative.

At any rate, I *rarely* end a campaign before I get 300 clicks. 300 is typically the minimum number of clicks before I feel I can judge whether a campaign will pay off. And I will generally only end it then if Iกve had *zero* sales.

Sometimes, though, youกll make a quick sale and get excited. But then you see few or no sales after that. If you find that you’re consistently spending more than your budget for the first few sales, then get ready to end it if you don’t figure out how to make it better.

I want you to realize, too, that when you bid less on your keywords, you can afford to live with a lower conversion rate. But when you bid more, your conversion rate has to be higher to provide you with the profit you want.

Iกve only talked about *starting* a PPC campaign so far. But sometimes, you may have a PPC campaign thatกs paying off, and then it starts choking and gasping for air after a while.

In that case, you need to decide when to pull the plug and retire it. Otherwise, it may eat up all the profits youกve already made.

Iกll usually be more lenient in this case. Since the campaign has made me money in the past, Iกm more likely to give it the benefit of the doubt and keep it running. I don’t know if thatกs a good idea or not. But sometimes, itกs just hard to say goodbye to an old friend. After all, maybe itกs just a temporary downturn.

But you still have to cut it off at some point. If I find myself breaking even (or even losing money) on each sale for any length of time, then Iกll start thinking about ending the campaign.

In our example here, if you notice that youกve been spending $45 per sale lately, then start thinking about the future of this campaign. Try to figure out whatกs changed and see if you can fix it.

How long should you wait before you abandon it? Two weeks? A month? Ten sales? A hundred sales?

Itกs completely dependent on your situation. If you make 20 sales a day, then obviously worrying after only 20 sales is unwarranted. On the other hand, if it takes you 4 months to make 20 sales, then maybe you shouldn’t wait quite that long. Listen to your gut.

In the end, be aware that PPC management is not a rigid science. You have to use a certain amount of judgment. But try not to be emotionally attached. If a little voice in the back of your head is telling you that you’re spending too much for too little, then listen to it.

What Iกve given you here are guidelines based on my own practices. Iกm sure there are other people who do it differently and are also successful. But these strategies work for me. And Iกm sure you can adapt them to work for you.

About The Author

Dave Brown is a selftaught marketer and software developer. He also publishes the uncommon and uniquely original newsletter on making the most of your life A Fresh Perspective. You can learn more at

http://www.davebrown.com

dave@davebrown.com

This article was posted on January 23, 2004

by Dave Brown

Complete WebSite Optimization For Search Engines

Complete WebSite Optimization For Search Engines (Part 1)

by: Pavel Lenshin

SEO or search engine optimization strategy now becomes widely popular among online business operators. Nothing strange about it as it allows to substantially increase your gross income, as a result of growing traffic or visitors flow.

That is why one point should be stressed out your business return on SEO is directly proportional to the results your business have now. It means that SEO strategy, unlike marketing optimization, directed to boost quantity, not quality. If your business enjoys 1% response rate for any action you demand, whether it is sale, subscription, feedback or other it keeps on having similar response rate after SEO will be accomplished, although the response will grow in absolute numbers as a result of increasing traffic flow.

As you see SEO is not a panacea. The highest and the most efficient return on your SEO campaign as well as business investment may be reached upon one condition. Only when your current business model and marketing campaign has already been optimized and reached high level or response rate and efficiency, it is smart to grow your business กin quantityก.

The reason for such attitude lies within the next speculation as well. Having inefficient business model under conducting website SEO will force growing number of visitors to turn your online business down for good. The obvious reason is that too few people actually return to the site once they left it for any reason, so having low response rate will substantially decrease your SEO result!

Letกs draw an example. With previously mentioned 1% response rate from every 100 visitors you get, would mean that 1 visitor only takes desired action. Suppose SEO campaign increased the flow of targeted traffic to 1000. Using childrenกs math we can easily come up with 9 new people, who would start to express their interest in your offer every month.

Now what if your, as some marketers say, กconversionก rate is 10% (10 visitors from every 100) and the SEO helped to bring the same 1000 targeted traffic. You now have 100 ขdesired actionsข per month! In other words, your net SEO achievement is 90 new people. Compare this to 9 people with 1% conversion rate and it all becomes clear. That is why SEO is mainly about quantity, while response rate is mainly about quality.

I haven’t intentionally mentioned about high quality of traffic search engines generate. Many experts would probably be skeptical by now for my eveningout the quality of traffic and focusing on quantity only. The explanation is simple the quality of SE traffic is an Individual parameter.

Unlike many marketing and SE experts I cannot tell you how กqualityก visitors coming from SE will be for your particular business as I don’t know your present promotion methods. That is why the quality of traffic SEO campaign brings may be neutral, slightly positive or even negative. Yes, it may be negative.

I anticipate a small shock among online marketers, who were taught for their whole internet business career that search engine traffic is the most quality traffic they may have. It is not true under some conditions. If banner or classified ads were the only ways of generating traffic for you, then SEO will surely bring a quality improvement to your business response, on the other hand, imagine, that your present visitors are interested readers of your books, ebooks, reports, articles and other publications. Do you really think that ‘response qualityก of people coming from กDescription tagก of your search engine listing will be higher? Hardly, you can surely expect a slight decrease in response rate of SEO campaign, despite the unquestionable quantity growth in accordance with our previous example.

Next vital point is to understand that before anything we, firstly, should have those webpages, otherwise there would be nothing to optimize. That basic logic will lead to another obvious conclusion. The more themebased webpages you have the better SEO result you can achieve. If your online business represented by 3 webpages (main sales letter, about the author and contacts), your initial SEO ‘resourcesก are too weak to reach any substantial goal. SEs look for information, that is why, content rich websites may truly enjoy advantages of SEO.

Secondly, your pages should have already been listed in SEs. If you haven’t submitted your website to SEs yet, no point to optimize the SE listing position you don’t have.

An important dilemma every business operator faces is the extent s/he allows to reach in desire to get outstanding SEO results. Here is what I mean. As we all know the basic rule of successful website optimization is focusing on keywords with low or very low competition. In other words, the less supply of internet resources for some particular keyword or phrase is, the more chances are for your webpage of being กnoticedก and ranked high.

Here is the problem, if you want to get a maximum for your website SE position you should be prepared not just to rewrite or edit your webpages, but to completely change the theme structure and priority of informational content!

There would undoubtedly be website sections or pages with extremely high competition that would stress the popularity and importance of that topic, so if you decide to keep it กas isก, optimization will raise your listing, but somewhere from 796,021 place to 545,932. Does it help you?

The extent of your กflexibilityก and how far you can go to look กprettyก from SE viewpoint is what should be decided beforehand, because there are always 3 parts: you/your business, target market/consumers and search engines/directories, between which about 90% of informational preferences are common, but the rest 10% differ and it is up to you to decide what themes you should focus on. Whenever you are implementing any of the SEO tactics mentioned in this publication, keep in mind your business and consumersก needs.

Having understood these fundamental features of SEO, could we make a step further into a complete website search engine optimization, expanding your business to the new markets.

Note that SEO, despite all mentioned above, is all about กasking for high rankingก and there cannot be any results guarantee as no one except for SE developers themselves control ranking algorithm and determine กwho is whereก. More than that, SEO takes much time before effecting your listing positions and this timeframe may range somewhere from week to several months, so don’t panic if your optimization efforts haven’t resulted in Google #1 position by tomorrow morning.

Structure

Letกs start from drawing a scheme of your website link structure very similar to one every webdeveloper draws before designing a website. Under other equal conditions, we will speak about later, it is also clear that the more theme based webpages or even website sections you create, the more chances of being ranked high you have, no matter how optimized your competitorกs single webpage is.

Each webpage of website section should represent a particular theme or topic. This way you can diversify your กkeywords marketก, increasing chances of high rankings. Despite obvious visitors advantage your site is more likely to win market recognition.

For now try to have กhorizontalก as well as standard กverticalก link connections between pages. If one of your pages got a high ranking position (Google Page rank) it may help to improve the rankings of webpages connected to it as well.

Keyword analysis

Next step is to determine keywords, mainly, phrases that we would like to target. Talking about mentioned dilemma, I would like to point to the other approach you should know about, that is suggested by some experts. Letกs call it SEoriented approach.

According to this approach, before creating a website your first step implies searching for the best key phrases via competitive analysis on main SE and then starting to develop content around these keywords. It means that your website will get highest SE ranking, but the informational richness will be dictated by neither you nor your consumers. Under such conditions it is SE or, to be more specific, your compe tition will determine what kind of content you will have at your website. As you see, according to SEoriented approach, the more competitive some key phrase and based on it topic is, the less attention you should pay to developing that theme at your own site.

My attitude is slightly different. I offer at first to create and evaluate your current website content based on your business preferences and your nichemarket needs and then optimize those webpages according to keywords taken from your existed webpages, no matter how tough the competition may be. Of course, you are free to create new pages around keywords with low competition just for traffic building purposes, but the primary accent should be focused on your business development and marketing needs.

As for the keywords, the basic rule is to choose the most targeted phrases rather than single words for two reasons:

Phrases could describe your webpage theme usually more precisely than a word;

Phrases usually have substantially less competition in comparison with oneword.

Write down 35 the most targeted key phrases for each webpage or section we are going to optimize. Then by evaluating supply/demand ratio find the easiest keywords for SE positioning.

Standard procedure of determining your key phrase competition or, as i said กevaluating supply/demand ratioก is to look at their supply and demand at popular SEs. Supply is determined by results of searching them on SEs while demand can be found through query on PPC programs at Overture.com or Google.comกs AdWords that have tool for discovering how many time keywords or phrase have been searched on them.

By doing so we are searching for the most prospective and promising for optimization key phrases. Having them allow us to go further and start optimizing the webpages themselves.

(to be continued)

About The Author

Pavel Lenshin is a devoted Internet entrepreneur and founder of the entrepreneurship portal, where you can find discounted Internet services, FREE ebooks http://ASBONE.com/ebooks/, FREE reports http://ASBONE.com/reports/, and finally uncover innovative strategies through FREE กNET Business Magazineก

info@asbone.com

This article was posted on October 31, 2003

by Pavel Lenshin

Web Site Marketing Techniques Rated

Web Site Marketing Techniques Rated

by: Sky Maya

There are many ways to market your web site, both online and offline. Which ones are worth it? This article will rate several popular methods on a scale of 110, with 10 being the absolute most effective, and 1 being worthless.

High search engine rankings rate: 710, depending on which search engines you list your site in and how your siteกs listing is presented. When choosing search engines to list in, choose from the most popular ones, and remember itกs totally possible to get a free listing in a paid search engine. I wrote an ebook explaining how to accomplish this. Forget listing your site in กfreeforallก links pages, they are never visited by targeted traffic. Carefully word the copy for your siteกs listing, or search engine listings are worthless. Check out my ebook for more information on search engine optimization and marketing. This method does create namerecognition, which could be valuable in future marketing efforts.

Search engine sponsor links rate: 610, depending again on how your listing is presented and what search engines you are listed in. Once again opt for the most popular search engines. Some search engines have sponsor links on the righthand side of the page instead of the top; this is a very effective placement. Some search engines have effective topofthepage sponsor links that are very obviously separated from the regular search results. Make sure to use targeted keywords. This method does create namerecognition, which could be valuable in future marketing efforts.

Direct mail rate: 19, depending on the method used and who it is sent to. Postcards are much more effective than envelopes, because you are able to immediately catch the readerกs attention. Readers are too used to seeing advertisments in the form of envelope mailings, so only use postcards. Send your direct mail to targeted consumers, not just random people. This method does create namerecognition, which could be valuable in future marketing efforts.

Television commercials rate: 510, depending on where and what time the commercial is aired. If you are advertising your web site with a television commercial, be sure to include your web address in text large enough to be visible by someone sitting 20 or so feet away from the television set. Leave it on the screen long enough so viewers may write it down or type it into the address bar if they are also online. This is most effective during prime time, when most people are likely to be online. Few will actually take the time to write down your address unless they have a deep interest in your products/services. This method does create namerecognition, which could be valuable in future marketing efforts.

Printing your company name, product/service line, and web site address on coffee mugs, pens, pencils, etc. rate: 15, very ineffective at marketing your products/services, but leaves a good impression with your existing customers, you never know when that extra coffee mug will come in handy.

Good business ethics, high product/service quality, excellent customer service rate: 10, positive wordofmouth is very effective marketing. Keep your existing customers happy, and in return they will excitedly recommend your company to others.

About The Author

Sky Maya is the author of Best SEO Tactics an excellent guide to optimizing your web site for high search engine rankings using proper and ethical tactics. Proven techniques! Buy it today and watch your site traffic explode!

This article may be reprinted freely as long as this resource box with all active hyperlinks remain intact.

info@bestseotactics.com

This article was posted on July 11, 2003

by Sky Maya

Google Adwords: Higher Traffic and Sales in 2 Hour

Google Adwords: Higher Traffic and Sales in 2 Hours or Less!

by: Ben Chapi

There are various ways to purchase highly targeted advertising at very low prices. Google AdWords is one simple and quick way to to do this. Regardless of your budget, you can actually get your text ads appearing on search result pages within minutes! You can also target your ad to a specific language or country.
Pricing is based on the position in which your ad is shown but there is no minimum amount required in order to open an account. Google positions your ad based on how many users click on it over time. Current rates range from $15$10 (per thousand ads shown) for positions 13, and $8 per thousand for positions 48.
According to Google, Adwords text ads have an average click through rate 45 times higher than banner ads. I have generated click through rates as high as 36% by using the guidelines outlined below. I frequently test ads for as little as $1!
Iกve been using Google Adwords since it was first introduced and Iกve found it to be very effective for testing ads. My best click through rate so far has been 36% and the lowest being 0.98%! On average my ads get a 20% click through rate on very focused keywords and search terms and 6% on general popular relevant keywords. Here is what I do.
When promoting my products I choose keywords/search terms that are very specific to generate highly qualified prospects. I get very few searches, but a very high click through rate. I then keep the ad running for a very long time.
Example:
Instead of using keyword กprinterก for an ad about printers, I use the exact model of the printer e.g. กLexmark Z11ก or less focused กLexmark printerก. I also put the search term in the title section. This simple trick produces very high click through rates.
Here are some guidelines:
1. Avoid keywords that are too general. Because ads are paid for on a CPM basis, you are likely to spend money quickly with keywords that are too vague. Avoid general keywords like กbusinessก or กfreeก. Taylor each keyword to your offer and use relevant terms/words in both the title and the ad body.
2. Give Google users a compelling reason to click on your ad link. The easiest way to do this is to provide something of value for free.
3. Use a different ad for each keyword or search term. This increases relevance and the likelihood that Google users will click on it.
4. Test and monitor your ads. Refine and finetune your ad to maximise click throughs. With Google you can do this in real time!
Googleกs Adwords has become very popular and Google have had to increase the number of ad displays per keyword search from 3 to 8. You can open an account and test this service by going to:

http://adwords.google.com

About The Author

MDigestsubscribe@yahoogroups.com

FREE "Ultimate SelfFunding Autopilot Affiliate Recruiting System that will EXPOSE your Ad to over 1,000,000 people Daily for FREE! http://www.wildfirecoop.net/a.asp?70004278

This article was posted on February 4, 2002

by Ben Chapi

How I Boosted My Conversion Rate by 33% Overnight

How I Boosted My Conversion Rate by 33% Overnight

by: Rosalind Gardner

Once upon a time, I used to work as an air traffic controller.

As you might imagine, rapid technological advancement requires that controllers do a lot of reading to keep up with, and execute, procedural changes in their work.

As such, the first fifteen minutes of every shift was set aside to review new material in the ‘read and Initialก file, posted since your last day of work.

In addition to operational changes, the ‘read and Initialก contained administrative news on local, regional and national levels.

Some reviews would be easy. Iกd read one short memo about an upcoming retirement party and then Iกd be off to the coffee pot.

However, there were other days when an hour wouldn’t have been enough time to properly digest everything. But you were stuck with only fifteen minutes.

So, how did I make sure I fully understood all the information before sitting down to work on those กinformation overloadก days?

Well, fortunately for me, I had the best crew partner on the planet.

After quickly skimming the notes, heกd tell me all the nitty gritty details. In the telling, weกd both learn and understand the changes better.

I often learned more from hearing him explain what he understood, than if I had read the companyกs legalese a hundred times.

Why is that?

Because I learn best by first hearing information, THEN reading about it.

Knowing that, it surprises me that it took me so darned long to appreciate my friend Shaunกs suggestion that I put audio on my site.

Months after he told me how audio had boosted his conversions and how simple it was to do, I finally took half an hour to prepare a recording.

Incredible!

My sales skyrocketed by 33% overnight.

Iกve heard of conversion rate improvements of over 400 percent, simply by adding an audio snippet.

It makes sense.

Most of us are inherently lazy. Why read when you can listen instead?

Too, printed text isn’t capable of capturing and holding attention like a human voice.

Adding your picture and an กAbout Usก section to your site goes a long way to fostering trust and credibility, but your voice will take it home.

In addition to increasing your conversion rate, audio may also help reduce your email and overall workload.

I use Jay Jenningกs Sonic Memo on my site, and after a review of all the other audio programs out there, I believe Jayกs is the best.

If youกve been looking for an easy way to drammatically increase your siteกs conversion rate, I highly recommend talking to your visitors, using Jayกs technology.

© Copyright Rosalind Gardner, All Rights Reserved.

About The Author

Article by Rosalind Gardner, author of the bestselling กSuper Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peopleกs Stuff Onlineก. To learn how you too can suceed in Internet and affiliate marketing, go to: http://NetProfitsToday.com.

This article was posted on March 30

by Rosalind Gardner

Three Ways Flat Rate Conferencing Can Help Grow Yo

Three Ways Flat Rate Conferencing Can Help Grow Your Business

by: Tom Parker

There is no question that teleconferencing is revolutionizing the way that people do business, both on the Internet and offline.

Internet marketers, coaches, consultants, counsellors, major corporations, even Sunday School teachers are using teleconferencing to stay in contact with their staff, clients, potential customers, and classes without having to set up a meeting place.

Teleconferencing has also added a new dimension to the way people can teach and deliver information over the Internet. Seminars and classes can now be held for hundreds of people at the same time without having to leave their homes. With a preset date and time, people can call a number and either learn more information about a topic or participate in a forum of discussion.

Charges for admission to these types of calls can be anywhere from $20 to $30 up to $100กs of dollars for typically one hour.

Three Ways To Boost Your Income And Grow Your Business

Teleconferences can lead to an amazing growth in your income, and credibility as an expert on a given situation. You can also ADD more to your conferencing by utilizing flat rate conferencing.

Flat rate teleconferencing is simply setting up an account for unlimited monthly conference calls for a set rate. By doing so, marketers are seeing exponential growth in both their reach of new customers and as a byproduct, their income.

In watching this use of flat rate telenconferencing among individual marketers, corporate executives, coaches, and consultants I have singled out three ways that flat rate conferencing can lead to added growth and income.

1. Talk As Much As You Want.

Typically the average conference call would last for one hour. But, there are times when the conversation, and/or, meeting would take on a whole new life and 60 minutes just isn’t enough time. But, either the call is cut off or the host has to pay extra charges.

With flat rate conferencing you can host your call for as long as you want with no worries of extra charges or disonnections. People are more at ease and can have added time to grasp what is being taught or talked about.

2. No reservations needed.

With regular conference calls you need to reserve your bridge in advance. With flat rate calling, there is no need. You can set up calls wihthin a minutes notice if need be.

This works well with telecommuters and for staff meetings.

3. You can set a conferencing budget.

If you can budget something every month you can use it to grow your income. With flat rate teleconferencing you are able to know every month how much youกll be spending on it and know how much youกll be earning with it.

If you’re using teleconferencing to hold paid seminars or courses you can hold as many as you want each month for the same price.

People Are Learning More And Enjoying It

Teleconferencing has not only changed the way that people do business online, and added a new income avenue, but it has also helped alot of people get started with their own business, changed the way they learn, has helped coaches and counselors give more attention to their clients, and Sunday School teachers lead a lesson to shut ins and people who were on vacation.

And people are enjoying the new option of attending a seminar or class without leaving thier home.

Flat rate conferencing is going to add a new way for people to experience this more often and give businesses, and teachers, a new tool to reach more people.

About The Author

Tom Parker has put together a website to help people who want to host a teleconference or class, and has made it affordable for everyone! http://www.affordableconferencing.com is your place for reliable, affordable, reservationless teleconference lines for easy hosting. Go and check out the rates and get your conference started today! http://www.affordableconferencing.com/flat_rate_conferencing.htm

conf@anytimeconferencing.com

This article was posted on February 04

by Tom Parker

7 Killer Ways To Increase Your Online Sales

7 Killer Ways To Increase Your Online Sales

by: Tony L. Callahan

Every online entrepreneur I talk to is asking the same question, กHow do I increase my online sales, NOW?ก

Online selling is essentially a numbers game. The more visitors to a site, the more sales that site will make. The number of sales made divided by the total number of visitors to a site is called the conversion rate. A typical site will have a conversion rate of between 1 and 2 percent, or 1 to 2 sales per 100 visitors.

It is obvious that if the number of visitors increases, and the conversion rate remains the same, then sales will increase. Traffic is the first variable that most online marketers attempt to influence when they begin their online marketing campaigns.

There are two basic problems with the increase traffic method. The first is that it is expensive to run advertising and improve a siteกs ranking in the search engines. The second, and subtler issue is that there is no guarantee that the conversion rate will remain constant.

So what about increasing the conversion rate? Using the example above, if the number of buyers could be increased from 1 or 2 per hundred visitors to 2 to 4, sales will have doubled! So what can be done to increase a web siteกs conversion rate? Below I list 7 techniques designed to accomplish this goal:

Provide plenty of testimonials

These testimonials should be from previous customers and should include specifics as to how the product or service helped them solve a problem.

Obtaining testimonials is no problem, just ask. People love to be asked what they think; most will be willing to share their thoughts on your product or service. Implement a process of following up with your customers with a questionnaire. Leave plenty of room for their comments and make it clear that their comments may be used in your advertising.

Improve your follow up

Many people will not buy the first time they see your product. In fact, some experts claim that people must see your message seven times before they are ready to buy. Autoresponder courses are a great way to follow up with the potential customer. There are many free autoresponder services on the web. I use FreeAutoBot.com.

Give away free samples

By letting your customers try before they buy, you can significantly increase your sales. If you sell an information product, provide a few paragraphs or even the first chapter by autoresponder. This technique also helps to improve follow up by guaranteeing you obtain contact information.

Give a bonus product

Everyone likes to get something for nothing, especially if that something is perceived as valuable. Ebooks make a great bonus, especially if they contain original content. If you are unable to create your own ebook, you could give away someone elseกs. FreeeBooks.net is a good resource for finding Ebooks to give away.

Focus the web site

Use the Direct Response Site model. A direct response site is one where the customerกs choices are very limited. Essentially they can buy the product, bookmark the page, subscribe to your ezine, or leave the site. The more options a visitor has, the less likely they are to make a purchase.

Follow on sales are crucial

It is well known that successful businesses make 75% of their sales to repeat customers. Start a free ezine and get your customers to subscribe. Get their permission to send them information on upgrades and new products. On their receipt, mention a product that compliments their purchase. Don’t have a product to offer for follow on sales? Find and join an affiliate program offering products of interest to your target market.

Change the web site copy

Appeal to target emotion rather than reason. People respond more intensely to emotional appeals than to intellectual discussion. Design your copy to focus on the visitorกs dreams, desires, fears or goals. Position your product to appeal to their emotional needs.

Implement these seven tips, and watch your online sales increase.

About The Author

Copyright 2002 Tony L. Callahan, All Rights Reserved Tony L. Callahan is president of his own Internet marketing company, LinkPromote.com. He also publishes WebLinks Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. http://www.linkpromote.com/wlmonth/subscribe/index.html.

This article was posted on September 04, 2002

by Tony L. Callahan

Why You Should FORGET About Website Traffic!

Why You Should FORGET About Website Traffic!

by: Willie Crawford

The headline read, กA funny thing happens when you don’t promote your website… NOTHING.ก Experience has taught me that thatกs a fairly accurate statement. If you are not promoting your website, you’re not building your web business.

However, there is one thing you need to focus on MORE than generating traffic. That is converting that traffic into buying customers. If the visitors aren’t converting, and you’re spending money to generate traffic, then you’re probably worse off than you would be if you did nothing.

If you can improve your conversion ratio, then your existing traffic and new traffic is worth so much more to you. First, improve your conversion ratio, then aggressively seek new traffic.

Consider an example of a site getting just 500 unique visitors a day, with a conversion rate of 3%. Letกs assume this site markets a report that costs $49 and offers the site owner $30 profit after all expenses. This site is making 15 sales a day or $450 in profits. If this site can increase itกs conversion rate to 5%, it would be making 25 sales a day and $750 in profits… a big increase with no additional expenses!

Increases in conversion rates of 23% are very common. Conversion rates of 20% or more are also not unheard of. After a site has increased its conversion rate, earnings from backend sales also skyrocket. Thatกs because a VERY high percentage of first time customers become repeat customers if you offer them backend products. Increasing your conversion rate for first time visitors has an exponential effect on your bottom line… not a linear effect!

What are some way that you can increase conversion rates?

In a word… TESTING!

Test new headlines

Test new opening paragraphs

Test new guarantees (different wording, longer or shorter time periods, etc.)

Test offering different bonuses

Test offering no bonuses

Test new header graphics

Test removing header graphics

Test offering payment plans

Test different upsells on the order form

Test rearranging the elements on the order form

Test different wording in the call to action

Test different colors used for emphasis

Test different background colors

Test different prices

Test using different numbers of testimonials

Test putting testimonials in different places on the page

Test using audio or video on your page

Test long copy vs short copy

Test using different number of กorderก links

Test using different images within the page copy

In other words, test everything. Test one element at a time on your page, and track the difference that this made in your conversions. Do split testing where you compare the results on 2 or 3 different pages. Then use the page that did the best as the control and move on to testing the next page element. Thatกs how you increase your conversions over time from 23% into the double digits.

Seasoned marketers will tell you that marketing is nothing more than tracking and analyzing your numbers. This is true. You need to know exactly what result each change on your page had. Fortunately, there is software out there that makes this job very easy. Some of it is even free. There are also manuals that explain how to test most effectively. These manuals are how I was able to not be intimidated by the math and calculations that you DO need to do.

If youกd like to know what split testing software I use, and what I consider to be the best book Iกve ever read on the topic is, just send a blank email to my autoresponder at: willie360621@autocontactor.com. This information will totally blow your mind and put you ahead of 99.999% of your competitors. Thatกs not hype, thatกs a fact.

You test because you cannot guess what the market wants. Top marketers and copywriters such as Jay Abraham, Dan Kennedy, and Gary Halbert all relate that when they tried to guess what the market wanted, they guessed WRONG! Thatกs why they are consummate testers.

Testing often reveals surprising results. Iกve heard of marketers improving result for example by REMOVING the guarantee. Iกve heard of marketers improving results by doubling their price, or getting rid of a header graphic on a webpage. Those little things often prove to make a big difference and over time these differences can equal an over 1000% improvement.

After youกve gotten a decent conversion rate, THEN you need to focus on getting more traffic. The secret to doing this is to learn what those getting tons of highly targeted traffic are doing, and do something similar. Study why the techniques that they use are successful at attracting not just any traffic…but highly targeted traffic, then apply those lessons.

Youกve invited to join me and 2 very successful marketers as we reveal ways of generating highly targeted traffic. This traffic is people who come to your site, looking for what you are selling. This is the only type of traffic you should put your time and other resources into generating… and itกs a lot easier than you think. For details on a teleseminar we’re hosting, visit:

http://www.profitautomation.com/app/adtrack.asp?AdID=66804

Iกve just revealed to you the very essence of a successful website. Continuously test and refine the website until you have an OUTSTANDING conversion rate. Then drive massive traffic to that site using techniques others have already discovered and proven to work. The third element that separates the ultrasuccesses from the failures is simply acting upon what you learn. What are you waiting for?

About The Author

Willie Crawford has been teaching others how to build an online business since late 1996. Willie demonstrates the power of automated residual income through his system at: http://ProfitAutomation.Com Visit now for a business boost.

This article was posted on February 11, 2004

by Willie Crawford

How Do I Improve My Web Site Conversion Rate? Part

How Do I Improve My Web Site Conversion Rate? Part 1

by: Steve Jackson

In a recent teleconference, I was asked a number of questions about specific problems people were having and what I would do if I were in their position. This is the first article in a 3 part series that we’ll publish over the next few weeks. It will answer specific queries from the teleconference, in the belief that the answers will also help you to solve some of your issues.

Question 1: What do you mean by conversion? Do you mean getting someone to answer the simplest call to action such as “read more here” or actually selling a product or service?

What you’re talking about here are two different ways to measure your website. “Read More Here” is what I would call a variable affecting your conversion rate. I call these kinds of variables “Micro Conversions” because they are all small (microscopic even) steps toward a full conversion. A micro conversion is something that you should test and measure. “Read More Here” might get a worse clickthrough rate than “Click here to find out how to win a month’s supply of vintage wine.” So by improving this click through, you get the person browsing to take another small step toward your final website goal. By doing this, you improve your overall conversion rate, which in this case is to get someone to register or subscribe to win a month’s supply of vintage wine. Micro conversions can be tracked by measuring the click through of links, or the read time for content, or the bounce rate for headlines and copy. Full conversion is persuading your visitors to do what you want them to do. In my example, it would be registering to win wine, but it could be subscribe to a newsletter, download an audio file, buy a product, sell a service or whatever, but it should reflect what your website’s business objective is.

Question 2: What strategies would you suggest when there is no กonlineก conversion possible? I need them to call me for more info, to learn more and to eventually give them a proposal.

There is no such thing as “no online conversion”. You’re looking for leads who will eventually phone you but the visitor is the one with the power. If you don’t give your visitors a reason to let you continue to have a dialog with them, then they won’t. Using optin is one answer. If, for instance, you ask for a name, email address and telephone number from your visitor so that he can then get useful information from you in the form of a free report or audio file, you do two things. First, you qualify the visitor as someone who is interested in your services, and second, you get permission to contact him/her again. You need to build into your website a powerful reason for your visitors to give you permission to email or talk to them rather than expect someone to pick up the phone. In your case, you say they need to ring you to learn more. Put what they need to learn into some form that they can opt in to get, such as a white paper, report or audio file. Then you have a conversion rate that is the percentage of people who give you permission to continue the dialog with them by giving you their email address or phone number so that they can learn more about your offering. People visit a website to get information, so give them the means to get it.

Question 3: What if the product you sell is also sold by several others on other websites? How do you get someone who is browsing the Internet to notice your site and want to order from you?

In offline marketing, a successful tactic is differentiation. It’s no different online. If you stand out from your competition, then you get noticed. What makes you different (not necessarily better, just different) from your competition? A USP makes an enormous difference to conversion rates. We improved subscriptions by 11% per month for six months by differentiating ourselves. The second point is that your site should be of use to your visitor. The one thing that all people online have in common is that when they browse they are looking for information. So give your visitors what they want in the form of education. If your potential customers become educated about your offer and take away something useful from your website, they will remember you over your competition.

Question 4: How do you get the address, telephone number and name of the owner of any company that you’re trying to get in touch with to see if they would be interested in what you sell?

You need to get permission from the visitor to get that information. It can’t be done with any tracking tools available. There is a very good reason for this and it’s called privacy. If you or I went online and could have our names, addresses and phone numbers tracked by software, it could be potentially dangerous. Imagine if you were online and were talking in a chat room about going on holiday in a faraway land for the next few weeks and your personal information could be gathered. The person who sees that information then knows when to go to your address and rob you while you’re away. It’s OK to track browser behavior because no personal details are ever tracked. I for one hope it stays that way.

Question 5: What should one look for in the web logs to determine conversion rates?

Web log files are a problem because they record everything. Web logs record every request to your site’s pages from search engine indexes, to email harvester software, link harvesters and visitors. So first you need to filter out from log files the information that isn’t relevant to visitors. Then you’re looking for unique visitors (not visits) or unique sites. Once you have that filtered figure, you have the approximate number of visitors coming to your site, still not close to 100% because of proxy servers recording multiple visitors as one browser, but it’s as close as you can get with log files. Then you divide the number of people who complete the conversion action by the total visitors. That is your conversion rate. If you can get software that doesn’t use logs like IRIS METRICS or log software that works out the filtering like Web Trends, it makes your job much easier.

Question 6: What factors have the biggest impact on conversions on my web site?

The short answer is differentiation, target marketing, your site’s relevance to your desired audience, measurement, experimentation, and most importantly trust.

Differentiation is the first step in the process. You must find a way to stand out from the competition. It should start with the domain name, and continue throughout your entire website’s strategy.

Then in your content, your copy and your design, you must smack your target audience between the eyes. You have to find out exactly what it is they want and answer the wants and needs of that audience.

Relevance is hugely important, too. If you’re running a campaign on Overture or Google with certain keywords, your audience should land at exactly the right place after typing those keywords and finding your website. So if the audience types “Red Vintage Wine” into Overture and your link appears, on clicking through they should be taken to the page on your site talking all about and selling red vintage wine. They shouldn’t land at the home page of your website which has a small link to the red vintage wine section and 5 or 6 other types of wine for sale.

Measuring and experimenting is then the key to improving conversion rates. You can’t improve conversion without measurement unless you’re making educated guesses or you’re just plain lucky. So get a good measurement system, learn what it’s all about, and test your changes.

Finally and most importantly trust. You can’t sell anything if your audience doesn’t trust you. You can help them to trust you by prominently displaying your privacy policy, your shipping procedure, the fact that you use SSL encrypted protection for the forms on your site, that hundreds of satisfied customers have already bought from your store, that you make it very easy to find contact information such as a name and address as well as support via email. You could educate via your website with articles and ‘how to sections’ or newsletters and instill trust over time. In short, your prospect must trust you to part with his or her money.

What’s next?

In part two of this series, we’ll be looking at measurement software tools, the pros and cons of logs versus ASP vendors, average conversion rates, why it helps to track visitor activity using the software which is available, and what you should test and tweak to improve conversion rates.

About The Author

Steve Jackson, Editor Conversion Chronicles Steve Jackson is CEO of Aboavista, editor of The Conversion Chronicles and a published writer. You can get a free copy of his ebook sent to you upon subscription to the Chronicles web site (http://www.conversionchronicles.com).

This article was posted on October 18, 2004

by Steve Jackson

How One Word Or Even One Letter Can Boost Conversi

How One Word Or Even One Letter Can Boost Conversion Rates By Over 400%!

by: Eric Graham

Recently I was reviewing the keyword specific conversion rate data of a consulting client of mine. I have been working with this client for a few months now, helping her improve the sales conversion rate of her website and we have had very good results, taking average conversion rates at her site from below 1% to just over 4.3%.

(Your sales conversion rate is simply the number of unique visitors your site receives vs. the number of sales you make. If you have 3 sales for every 100 visits your conversion rate is 3%.)

Now, one of the keys to improving conversion rates is to continually test and measure every detail of your website, marketing and traffic. While reviewing the data from one of her Google Adwords campaigns I stumbled across a few hard to explain results that perfectly illustrate the very large effect small differences can have on conversion rates.

The keyword ขpiano lessonsข had a conversion rate over the last 30 days of 5.09%. The keyword ขpiano lessonข had a conversion rate of only 1.64%. Both of these keywords had the exact same Adwords title and description, the same average position in the search results and the exact same landing page on my clients website. The only variable is one letter in the keyword… an ขsข. Lesson vs. Lessons. That’s it! Yet the plural version of the keyword (piano lessons) out sold the singular version (piano lesson) by over 300%!

Another key phrase that had an even larger variation was ขhow to play the pianoข vs. ขhow to play a pianoข. Common sense would say that these two phrases would convert almost identically… Wrong.

Again, with identical titles, descriptions and landing pages, ขHow to play the pianoข converted at 5.92%, while ขHow to play a pianoข only converted at 1.42%. That is a whopping 417% difference between ขaข and ขtheข!

Shortterm variations and fluctuations in the conversion rates of individual keywords or landing pages are common. However, the data on both of these keyword pairs was measured over a full 30 days and several thousand clicks for each keyword. I don’t have any easy answers why adding an ขsข to a key phrase or changing an ขaข to ขtheข caused such a difference in conversion rates.

Sure, you can guess at it and draw a few conclusions such as ขplural keywords convert better than singular keywordsข or ขusing ‘the’ in a key phrase is more specific and targeted than using ‘a’ข. However, these conclusions are just guesses. The only real conclusion you can draw from this case study is that you have to test EVERYTHING!

If one word or one letter can have that big of an impact in an Adwords campaign, then a similar change in your main headline or guarantee can have an equally significant impact.

The lesson here is to test, test, test. What should you test?

Test headlines.

Test guarantees.

Test bonuses.

Test colors.

Test subheadlines.

Test your copy.

Test different prices.

Test layouts.

Test autoresponder messages.

Test your USP (Unique Selling Proposition.)

Test ads.

Test keywords.

Test policies.

Test images and graphic design.

Test deadlines.

Test navigation.

Test your checkout process.

Test font sizes.

Test payment options.

Test EVERYTHING!

Now, when you are testing a change, only test one item at a time. This part is critical. Testing only one change will help keep your results as accurate as possible. If you change 4 items at once and see a 1% boost in conversion rate, it is possible 3 items are helping and 1 is hurting, so your conversion rate boost would have been greater with just the 3 changes.

The bottom line is this…

If you really want to take your website’s sales conversion rate to the next level, you must absolutely commit to a focused and longterm campaign of testing and optimizing every aspect of your site. You never know when a small change is going to give you huge results!

Copyright 2004 Eric Graham

Want to improve your conversion rates? Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. A top authority on eCommerce & Internet Marketing, heกs an indemand speaker & consultant. Visit http://www.websiteevaluations.com today for an indepth evaluation to boost YOUR websites conversion rate!

About The Author

Eric Graham is the CEO of several successful online companies. A top authority on eCommerce & Internet Marketing, heกs an indemand speaker & consultant. Visit www.websiteevaluations.com for a FREE subscription to his eCommerce Mastery newsletter.

This article was posted on April 29, 2004

by Eric Graham

Raise Your Fees Overnight!

Raise Your Fees Overnight!

by: Kimberly Stevens

Do you want to make more money?

Yes, I guess that is a rhetorical question. Everybody wants to make more money, but oftentimes we are not willing to do what needs to be done in order to make it.

For example, I’m not willing to work an 80hour per week job to double my income. I have a husband and a 1 ½ year old son I want to spend time with them. I want to take vacations and visit my parents on the weekends and host dinner parties for my friends.

I am not willing to swindle little old ladies to make more money, nor am I willing to lie, steal, or be otherwise dishonest. I am not willing to work for a boss that demeans me, nor am I willing to work in an environment that is discriminatory, unfair, or just plain dull.

So, putting all those things to the side, what AM I willing to do to make more money?

I AM willing to develop products and services that business owners want and need. I AM willing to work regular business hours Monday through Friday with some evening/weekend work when needed. I AM willing to face my fears and try new things to market my business – like public speaking and approaching big joint venture partners. I AM willing to listen to my clients’ feedback. And, I AM willing to ask for what I’m worth.

In a service business, that last one is key. Believe me – if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. So how do you figure out what you’re worth?

It sounds like a relatively direct question that has a ขrightข answer, but it is not. Worth is a value judgment that you, your prospects, and your clients make independently.

You might think your services are worth $60/hour, and by choosing to hire you, your clients are saying that they agree that you are worth that amount. But, what if you raised your rate to $120/hour? Would they hire you then?

How about those prospects who choose to go with someone else, even when you are offering your $60/hour rate? They obviously don’t think your services are worth $60/hour. So, who is right?

The answer is – everybody is right. Each one of us has our own unique set of criteria for determining the value of any offering. We evaluate every offer we are made using that criteria whether we are consciously aware of it or not.

So, in evaluating your worth, let us start with what you are charging now. How did you come up with that figure? Did you pick it out of the sky? Did you find someone locally who was offering a similar service and find out how much they were charging? Did you do extensive research to determine the national, regional, and local average hourly rate for your industry?

No matter how you came up with your currently hourly rate, do not forget that you are the one – the only one with the ability to increase it. No prospect is going to say, ขI know you usually only charge $60/hour, but I was thinking of paying you more along the lines of $85/hour. Would that be okay?ข

And, no client is going to call you at the end of the year and say, ขI was thinking – you do such a great job for us. We would like to start paying you $100/hour starting on January 1 just to show you our appreciation.ข It just ain’t gonna happen!

I was reminded of the importance of this message when I talked to Alexandra last Thursday. Alexandra owns a leadership development company providing teambuilding workshops for midsized corporations. Instead of charging an hourly rate, she charges a daily rate of $1,500.

Prior to starting her own company, she worked for another small firm delivering similar programs. Only when this other company sent her out on jobs, they charged the client $4,000/day.

Yep, that is right. Same workshop $2,500 more.

Now, how could this be? A client that would pay $1,500/day for her services might have been willing to pay $4,000/day if only she had asked?

Now, perhaps, the firm she worked for had built up some brand recognition that Alexandra did not yet have when she went out on her own. But, the bottom line is, there were companies out there willing to pay $4,000/day for her skills. It was just a matter of who was making the offer and how the offer was being presented.

So, the real answer to ‘what are you worth?’ is a combination of how highly you value your own abilities, how confident you feel in communicating that value, and how well that value meets the needs of a specific market.

If somebody is willing to pay $120/hour for your services, you are worth $120/hour – to them. Are there enough ‘somebodies’ to generate a sufficient income for you? That’s what you need to find out.

Take a look around your marketplace. If you market to a local audience, look at your competitors’ newspaper ads, press coverage, web sites, etc. If you market to a national or international audience, do your research online. Make some phone calls posing as a prospect, if necessary.

How much are they charging for services similar to the one(s) you offer? How do they present the service’s benefits? How do they package the service offering? How do they position their company as a whole? What can you learn from the companies that are charging more for providing the same service you provide at a lower rate?

After you have done your research, take some time to reevaluate how you are packaging, positioning, and branding your business. Then, determine if you can deliver the value that warrants raising your rates.

If you want to make more, you have to ask for it!

About The Author

Kimberly Stevens is the author of the ebook series, *The Profitable Business Owner: A StepbyStep System for Starting & Running a Successful Service Business*. Download Sample Chapters & get her free MiniCourse, *The 10 Most Common Mistakes Business Owners Make & How To Avoid Them* at: http://www.askthebizcoach.com/ebooks.htm

kim@askthebizcoach.com

This article was posted on February 07, 2003

by Kimberly Stevens