I’ve had the perfect opportunity to throw some relevant questions to Chalene Johnson, and her husband, Bret, during the Marketing Impact Academy this year. Chalene is a fantastic woman who has so many titles under her belt: a best-selling author, sought-after speaker, health and fitness expert. Add to that, the Johnsons’ entrepreneurial venture focusing on personal and business development, including Marketing Academy, Smart Success Academy, and Courageous Confidence Club.
So, if there’s one person who you’d like to pick their brains about business, it would Chalene and Bret. Our conversation was fun and insightful, and I’d like to share it with you in the video below, or you can continue to read on about this experience.
Figuring Out What It’s Worth
I’ve been in the same industry for a decade now, and I’ve been successful. My skill set is in storytelling with a background of 20 years as an actor for film and TV. I think I kind of launched a business on accident, publicly here. I help people tell better stories, and then I’ve been stopped by people saying, “okay so I want to work with you.”
When you’ve worked in an industry and you’ve represented someone else’s product, or their compensation plan and they’re like “this is what you do, this is how you get paid” and all of a sudden, you’re launching your own thing. I always thought well “that (your own thing) needs to be a course” then I would stop it, I wouldn’t launch the course. I always think it’s a product or service for me. It wasn’t that one-on-one if I’m working with you or with a group of people; that’s where I thrive as opposed to building up modules that make my brain fry.
So, when you’re launching your own thing, it’s no longer somebody else’s compensation plans. When it comes to a pricing structure or what it’s worth because you don’t want to ever build something for yourself that then controls you. It’s obviously bringing in more income, you’re getting to do what you love, but it’s also worth your time income-wise. Where do you start trying to figure out what is this worth? Where do I start?
There Should Be Balance
Chalene says you need to strike a good balance. It’s a balance of what you need to be paid for it, what your time is worth, and then you take into consideration how much you love doing it.
But here’s a general rule of thumb: you can always discount or offer a special to somebody. It’s hard to take your rates up and we always value things that we know the person who’s delivering it values. If a personal trainer comes in like “hey I do personal training, do you want it? I’m 12 bucks an hour” and you’re sitting there thinking “huh?”
You wonder about their credentials. Is there a difference between getting seven dollar haircut, and a 125-dollar haircut? Not that I’ve ever had one.
Her recommendation would be to look at what other people in the industry are charging so that helps you feel a little bit better about it. As long as your pricing isn’t published you can adjust accordingly. That was way more worth than I thought it was going to be.
For example, Chalene states “Bret and I did mentoring for entrepreneurial couples and people asked if we do that privately anymore, and we usually don’t. It wasn’t the right thing for us, but there are certain clients, like yourself, who were a joy because they just did everything. Then there were certain clients where it’s like, this causes me so much anguish to work with this person, that you couldn’t pay me enough money? I mean there’s enough money and they’re the kind of person that kind of almost makes you feel burnt out on something that you love. So, it’s nice to be able to when you’re offering a high-end service, pick who you get to work with.”
Group vs. One-on-One Price Structuring
I would start with the group setting because it’s easier to price a group. They’re still gonna get that individual attention from you. But in a group setting, the price doesn’t have to be as scary because you’re going to times that by how many you’re gonna put in the group.
I also think it’s easier to teach that way. If I’m sitting in a group setting, and we do a hot seat with you, and I ask you, “okay tell me your story and tell me what you do.” Naturally, I can tie these things together. It’s one of those things where you’re around people and realize what you just did, and I’m like oh no, is that a thing? That’s a thing, okay. But then when somebody else sees me do it with someone even if they’re in the group, sometimes they connect their own dots.
The Learning Process Matters
Bret also shared some insights about the wonders of working in a group setting vs. one-on-one.
“So, I used to, well I did for a long time, coached high school football, but I also ran quarterback camps and I would have parents that thought their kid was the next Tom Brady. All the time they want me to just work with their child individually. I would never do that. My individual session was always with either three or four kids because a lot of times kids learn by watching somebody else do it wrong or correct. For me, I either give the correction or the praise, and I always explain that. And I say “you’re never gonna miss any more reps because you know you’re still gonna get the same amount of time on stage.” So, in your example, and so it was always easier to price three or four packages.
Maybe you have this thought of “I would like to help a big group of people learn how to do this thing.” But you can often figure out what that learning process looks like for the average person by working one-on-one, or in small groups, where you’re offering a consultation fee, where people are skyping in.
It’s almost like you’re working with them in person, and you charge a higher level for that or even discount it knowing that with they’re in exchange for going to give you a testimonial, or their feedback. That, in essence, is helping you to create perhaps a course, maybe not. I mean you don’t have to have a course in order to make money online.”
So, the conversation ends up with one bottom line: whether you put an individual or group price for whatever it is that you offer, you need to attain a balance. It should be worth your while, worth your customers’ while, and it should be something that you love to do.