How much money are you leaving on the table?
If you’re like most entrepreneurial consultants, you’re leaving tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands — or even millions of dollars — on the table over the span of your career.
Because you lack an effective pricing strategy.
Based on the value you’re creating for clients, you’re not capturing the maximum amount of that value for yourself.
Here’s the truth about consulting fees…
Most consultants are undercharging for their services.
Especially if you’re still charging hourly or daily rates.
In this article, we’re going to break down the 4 steps to increasing your consulting fees.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear roadmap to increase your consulting fees with confidence.
Let’s dive in.
1. Create & Promote Your Intellectual Property
The first step to increasing your fees is by creating and promoting your intellectual property.
By intellectual property, I mean content that demonstrates your expertise and provides value to your prospective clients.
For example, consider what we do at Consulting Success®.
Not only does this help bring awareness to our brand…
…but it helps to support our position in the industry.
As a consultant, it’s your duty to create intellectual property.
Your expertise is your product.
If you don’t create intellectual property to demonstrate said expertise, how can you expect clients to find you and want to work with you?
The stronger your IP, the more you are positioned as an authority — and the more your clients will see you as an expert. And… clients are willing to invest more in experts.
First, think about the medium in which you’ll create your IP.
It could be…
- Writing content
- Creating videos
- Hosting a podcast
- Speaking at conferences/events
- Publishing original research
…or a mixture of the above.
Second, think about how you’ll use your IP to create value for your prospective clients.
Your prospective clients have problems that your expertise can solve.
Create your content to educate and advise about these problems.
Teach your clients how to think about, approach, and solve their problems.
This creates a natural link between your IP and your offers.
Third, promote your IP.
It’s not enough to create your content and wait for prospects to come to you. At least not in the early stages of your business.
You have to go out into the market and create awareness about your IP.
That could mean…
- Posting your IP to your social media channels
- Using paid ads to generate traffic to your IP
- Sending your IP to your email list
- Speaking about your IP on other podcasts
- Writing guest posts about your IP on other websites
If you want to raise your consulting fees, start by creating and promoting your IP.
This is how you become an expert. And your clients are willing to pay far more if they perceive you as an expert.
There’s a reason why businesses invest so much time and energy into creating valuable content: the reputation as an expert is priceless.
Next, we’ll talk about the next step: using your conversations with clients as a way to increase your fees.
2. Discuss Value, ROI, & COI
The conversation you have with your clients about…
- The economic and emotional value your expertise will deliver for them
- The return on investment (ROI) your services will create for them
- The cost of inaction (COI) — what happens if they DON’T make a change
…determines how much you’ll be able to charge for your consulting services.
This is what effective consulting sales are all about.
We had one client from Texas who worked in the energy industry. We taught him how to have an effective sales conversation. He practiced it over and over. He learned what questions to ask. How to position his services.
The result? He had 7 conversations with buyers over a 3 week period and 5 of them became high-paying clients. That’s the power of an effective conversation.
(Would you like us to personally coach you and teach you how to have powerful conversations that win more business? Get in touch here)
In this conversation, you’re seeking to understand…
- The problems they have
- How your expertise might solve that problem
- Agree on the value of solving the problem
…and then, and only then, do you offer them your consulting service.
And when you do, you’ll be able to offer your services at a much higher price.
Because you’ve had a meaningful conversation about the client, their business, and their goals.
You can justify a higher fee.
For example, let’s say you’re a marketing consultant. You’re working with an accounting firm that has a lead-generation problem.
By asking value-based questions, you learn that the average worth of a client to the accounting firm is $500 per month in recurring revenue. And your client wants to win 3 new clients per month.
After doing some quick math, you can calculate how much value achieving this goal would create:
- $18K in monthly recurring revenue
- $117K in total revenue after a year
Charging $10K, $20K, or $30K might seem like a lot.
But when the client stands to make 3-10X as much?
Then those prices seem much more reasonable.
Who wouldn’t invest $10K to get $100K back?
Your client won’t get this type of return anywhere else — and they know it.
It takes a lot of practice to have these types of meaningful conversations with your clients.
You’ll need a good mix of strategy, confidence, and patience.
But remember this: the more value you can identify in your sales conversation, the more value you can capture with your fees.
Aim to talk about the value, ROI, and COI on all of your sales conversations.
Let’s say you do all of that. What can you do next to increase your fees?
3. Brand & Position Your Offer
Many consultants aren’t natural marketers.
They have an area of expertise, but often little experience in marketing and selling their own services.
Ask them what they offer, and they’ll say “consulting.”
Now, you can tell your clients you offer “management consulting” or “marketing consulting,” but that sounds basic.
Instead, learn to brand & position your offer.
That means to package and position it in a way that conveys more value.
- Our Clarity Coaching Program For Consultants (instead of just “business coaching”)
- Our client Mike Gammarino‘s Ops Performance Review: Your Roadmap for Unbeatable Operations (instead of just “operations consulting”)
- Our client Kristen & Erin‘s HR Assessment and Transformation Program (instead of just “HR consulting”)
These aren’t just “consulting” or “coaching” services.
Instead, they have a name that conveys the value the client will receive.
And they are positioned and packaged in a way that shows clients the value and transformation their business will receive.
Do not underestimate the role that perception plays in your business — and especially in how you market your services.
In episode 128 of the Consulting Success® Podcast, I asked Dave Ramos…
You have the Pit Stop Program and the Top Gear Program. You intentionally developed these names, which I love, and I’m in alignment with you. Explain to everyone why you did that. Why not just call it, “We do strategic planning workshops?”
His response illustrates WHY he branded his services:
“A key reason was that I wanted to differentiate ourselves from everyone else. Let me say it this way. There are dozens of other companies that might do strategic planning. We’re the only one that has the Pit Stop Program. Not only is that a registered trademark of ours, but that’s also our brand. We own that brand. It makes it sound more tangible, more differentiated, more like a productized offering. In fact, it is. We talked about the Pit Stop Program being the entree offering, but my goal was to turn a one-time sale into a long-term retainer.”
“That’s where we developed the brand called the Top Gear Program. The idea is you come out of the pits. We’re going to shift your company into top gear. It’s the racing imagery, and it works for us. It’s fun and the clients like it. That has worked very well for us. Back to that Pit Stop meeting where we write a bunch of ideas on flip chart paper. We have to implement those ideas. We can’t just leave the flip chart paper rolled up or maybe somebody types them up and nothing happens. The Top Gear Program is we provide ongoing strategic advice and coaching and sometimes the kick in the rear that they need to implement the things that we wrote on the flip chart paper and we hold them accountable.”
If you’re serious about raising your fees, get behind this idea of branding.
The more you brand your offers, the higher their perceived value.
And the higher their perceived value, the higher fees you can command.
There’s a big difference between investing in a branded program versus a plain “consulting service.”
Now, lets’ talk about the final step — improving your mindset and confidence.
4. Improve Your Mindset & Confidence Around Fees
You can have…
- Impressive intellectual property
- The perfect value conversation
- A well-branded and positioned offer
…but if you’re not actually willing to ask for higher fees, you won’t receive them.
You want to get to the place where you can comfortably ask for higher fees.
The good news is that by creating intellectual property, mastering the meaningful sales conversation, and branding and positioning your offer, your confidence will naturally grow.
However, at some point, you’ll have to simply charge a new price.
Prior to working with us, he was stuck charging a meager daily rate.
We encouraged him to follow these four steps and begin charging what he was truly worth.
He was able to increase his fees by a whopping 600%.
As Vince said, “One of the most important things I learned from Michael through Consulting Success® is that we often undervalue our own services. If you provide value, if you’re professional, and if you’re personable, clients will pay what you’re worth.”
My dear consultant, if you need a reminder…
Know that your service creates true value and provides key benefits to your clients.
It’s only fair that you capture some of that value for yourself.
This is where coaching can provide a BIG help.
We’re not just here to teach you new skills.
We’re here to encourage you, empower you, and support you to earn the fees you deserve.
It’s this emotional support that can often be the difference between undercharging and charging what you’re worth.
Now let’s make this actionable.
Imperfect Action: Start On The 4 Steps
The quickest way to begin raising your consulting fees is to begin working through the four steps.
1. Start creating and promoting intellectual property that provides value to your ideal clients. As an example, write a blog post that provides your insights on a problem that many of your clients are dealing with.
2. Alter your sales conversations to discuss value, ROI, & COI. As an example, in your next sales conversation, get a tangible & numeric answer on…
- The value you’ll create for the client
- The ROI they will receive
- The cost if they don’t take action.
3. Begin to brand and position your offer. As an example, give it a compelling name that communicates the value and results your client will receive.
4. Work on your mindset and confidence regarding your fees. As an example, raise your fee by at least 10-20% with every new consulting project.
Now, if you want help to develop a strategy so you can increase your fees — and earn significantly more (tens or hundreds of thousands more per year) — we encourage you to check out our Clarity Coaching Program.
We’ve helped hundreds of consultants do exactly that over the past decade.
- Are shy and introverted and feel like everyone is watching you when you publish something new (and that is holding you back)…
- Stumble over your words during a sales conversation — and feel afraid to ask clients about value and ROI…
- Don’t have the marketing skills to make your offer compelling and interesting so that your potential clients can’t resist it…
- Know what you need to do, but are lacking the encouragement and support to guide you along and actually apply what you know…
…we can help.
Schedule a FREE growth session today to apply for our limited capacity Clarity Coaching Program by clicking here.