How To Charge High Rates As A Solopreneur

I wear glasses. I’ve worn prescription eyeglasses AND sunglasses for over 10 years. No matter how many carrots I pile on my plate, I need help to see. Luckily for me, I really enjoy wearing glasses. They are my personal fashion statement, and shopping for a new pair is a religious experience. 

Here's a sampling of my glasses history.

nicole-history-of-glasses.jpg

For years I went to Lenscrafters to buy glasses. They made glasses in just 1 hour, which is unheard of. I would strategically walk around the store, pull out any frames that caught my eye and tried them all on a million times in the mirror. Lenscrafters is expensive because they carry designer frames. I’ve worn glasses by Coach, Ray Ban, Ralph Lauren and Dolce and Gabanna, just to name a few. The glasses I got would be mine for two years, so I had to absolutely love them. And love them I did.

So when I heard about this cool new startup that charges way less called Warby Parker 5 years ago, I just had to get a pair of their glasses. My first pair were sunglasses (the Piper style) and I loved them so much. I told everyone and anyone about Warby Parker.

I wore them for over 2 years proudly. But earlier this year I was given a new rx and alas, had to part with my beloved Pipers. I went back to Warby Parker for a new pair I had been eyeing for months. I looked forward to getting these so much it was all I thought about. I even had my family shop at Warby Parker for their new glasses too.

When I received my glasses, they seemed off and were uncomfortable. But I didn’t think anything of it because there’s always a curve with a new RX. My family, however, weren’t so lucky. We went into a store so my mom could try on frames in person and order on the spot.

The list of things that were wrong is, in fact, a list:

  • The employees weren’t sure if there would be a reflective coating like on the sample and they weren’t nice all
  • Her glasses were ordered, and when delivered she finds out there is no coating
  • She goes back to another Warby Parker store to order something different and picks out glasses she loves
  • When delivered, she tries them on and finds the prescription is COMPLETELY wrong. Everything is off.
  • Suspecting the person who measured her pupil distance messed up, she calls customer service and explains the problem
  • They tell her a new measurement can be taken if she sends a selfie into them
  • WTF
  • We go to Lenscrafters, where we ask them to check the accuracy of both our Warby Parker frames
  • Hers is completely off. Mine is slightly off as well.
  • My mom is exasperated and returns the glasses
  • We buy new frames at Lenscrafters and pay 400% more
  • It was worth every penny

 

Paying More Saves You Money

Why? Because Lenscrafters is reputable, consistent and accountable for their actions. They know their product, are helpful and extremely accurate. Warby Parker doesn’t realize they are dealing with someone’s EYES. To mess up prescriptions is to ruin someone’s eyesight, and the consequences are dire. Lenscrafters might be several times more expensive than Warby Parker, but they deserve it. While I liked Warby Parker when they were starting out, overall they have gone way downhill. I wouldn’t trust or recommend them.

 

Nickel and dime-ing every single thing in life just doesn’t make sense. If someone else can spectacularly do what you can’t, let them do their thing and pay whatever they ask. What you save monetarily you always make up somewhere else- aggravation, frustration, confusion, and hassle.

 

Make More And Save Your Clients Money

I’ve learned many times over that you get what you pay for. This is no different when it comes to selling yourself as a solopreneur. If you are offering a coveted or even just necessary service, but doing it consistently and above everyone else, then people will be more than happy to pay you a premium price to do it. You set expectations from the beginning and build a reputation around it. 

I am an advocate of value-based pricing, which is pricing based on the value you’re providing and not the time needed. If my glasses take the tech only 10 minutes to make and they charge me $500, I’m still happy because I am confident in what I’m receiving and I didn't have to do it myself.

When you undercharge as a solopreneur, educated prospective clients will question you and in turn question your ability to deliver.

But if you surpass everyone’s expectations by elevating yourself to a higher playing field, there’s no shame or worry in charging more. You become the easy choice. Delivering the goods to perfection the first time around ends up cheaper for your client than if they had to hire multiple sub-par people that never really got the job done.

Because if a client is only interested in the cheapest person to do the work, they will never value you even if you get paid what they want to pay. 

I currently charge a lot to build an online service business in just 1 week for location independent solopreneurs. As my value increases, that will go up.

You can make a Concept Concierge appointment to get your custom business concept and a first draft of your website in 72 hours. Then it’s fleshed out and polished in 1 week. 

Literally nobody else does this.

 

How Much Is Their Time Worth?

But it’s worth that and more for my clients who commonly make back their investment in just a few months.

Could they have hired a cheap web designer and slaved over the copy, positioning and tech themselves? Of course. But that would take months, not days. Their time is precious, and so is their sanity.

Instead of asking themselves “Why would I pay so much for someone to build my business when I can technically do it myself?” they ask “Why wouldn’t I want to start taking on clients now and avoid all the hassle involved in setting a business up?”

Convenience and immediacy is practically priceless.

What can you do to make your clients’ experience with you even more perfect and seamless? What are some ways your favorite solopreneur sets themselves apart?

 

Remember: keep your standards high, and your rates higher.

Nicole Faith