Ep 16: Part 2 of 3: The Three Keys of Remote Work Success: Key # 3 Pricing

podcast Jul 13, 2022
remote work pricing

In this episode, I offer Part 3 of 3 parts in this series and dig into Key #3 Pricing, related to my free class, The State of Remote Work: The 3 Keys of Remote Work Success.

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • How to diversify your remote work income.
  • Ideas for creating different options at different price points.

Here’s what you can find in this episode:

[:30] Today's episode is the third and final installment of a three-part series called The State of Remote Work: Three Keys to Unlock Your Success in an up or Down Economy. Today we're talking about key number three pricing.

Go to Instagram, follow me, DM me. It's @Camille.Attell. Tell me if you loved the series and what you want to hear more about.

[1:44] Today we're gonna dig deep into pricing. Go back and listen to Episodes 14: Key #1 Planning and Episode 15: Key #2 Preparing, because that's part one and part two of the series. Here are the highlights for now.

[2:57] In part one, I talked about planning and what it takes to plan effectively for remote work or a remote business. What that means what you have to have in place, how to set yourself up to get work or a business that you actually like. 

[3:47] In key number two, I talk about preparing and thing like skills inventories, what to do with your resume, and what to do on LinkedIn. I gave examples of real people and what they do for remote work and what it took for them to be successful. I talked about how you can reinvent your identity. I talked about how you can take advantage of so many different job types.

[5:44] Let's set the stage for Key #3 Pricing. First I talk about the big mistake that people make when it comes to pricing: people probably don't have enough diversified work, income streams. 

Some people went to school to get a career. Some feel into a career by accident. Some maybe always knew they’d be an entrepreneur.  It doesn't really matter what path you chose, or fell into. What I see a lot is that people don't diversify their work income streams enough

[6:31] Most people talk about diversifying income in:

  • Real estate
  • Stock market
  • Other assets


But what I'm saying is you need to diversify your work income streams. That could be earning income in different ways from the work you do now.

[8:59] Here are the results you might be used to getting all of your work income from one job and one paycheck. You aren’t:

  • Negotiating for your pay
  • Asking for bonuses
  • Advocating for benefits

These are ways to at least increase your work income if not diversifying it.

If you haven't asked for a raise in a while, do it. If you haven't asked for a bonus for some additional work that you're doing, do it. If somebody's asking you to go above and beyond what your typical job description should be, negotiate your pay. I literally just did this with the company that I work for. Sometimes it's just a matter of advocating for yourself today, wherever you. 

[11:52] Many people are living on social security or savings, which is also risky. Or if you are in business for yourself, then what I see happening is business owners just aren't diversified enough in their business.

[13:19] In this training, I gave an example of “Erin the Explorer”. She is someone who comes out of traditional employment. I gave her the identity of a social worker and because she's always worked in one place with one paycheck. She's used to making an annual salary.

She thinks that if she goes remote, she's going to have to take a pay cut. She only looks at online job platforms and therefore she doesn't see a lot of jobs. She thinks everything is a scam and she thinks the economy is bad. So there just aren't enough options for her. And for more context, Erin, the Explorer represents a segment of people that I work with. They feel very discouraged.

[14:30] Then I discuss “Rita the Relaxer”. Rita is relaxed because she's always prepared. She knows exactly how to find the jobs or get the side businesses. She knows how to turn her skills into services. She knows what to charge, etc.

Let’s break down how she does this.

She's a virtual assistant and she works 15 hours a week and she charges $25 an hour. $25 an hour for a virtual assistant is kind of average. It's not at the high end and it's not at the low end. I would say most virtual assistants who are brand new are starting anywhere from about $15 to $20 an hour, but Rita knows a thing or two.

So she's commanding $25 an hour. It's okay. It's not great right now, the national average for an hourly rate is $33 an hour just to give you context. But you know, a lot of people can't even make $15 an hour in a lot of places in the country, so $25 isnot horrible. The next job title she has is remote meeting coordinator.

She works four hours a month and charges $50 an hour to do that. I requires more specialized skills, and because she only does it for four hours a month, she has to get paid more money because it's not a consistent income.

These next two job titles are tied more to her hobby and what she loves to do, and something she's been noodling on for a long time and wants to see if she can generate revenue from these natural talents and loves. One of them is freelance writer. Now as a freelance writer, she's writing about four to eight articles per month and she's charging $150 per article.

This is a little bit higher than average. If you were a new freelance writer and you were writing articles or blog posts, or columns in a magazine or whatever, you would probably start at $50. That's about the going rate. But the reason why Rita can charge more is that she's been doing it for a while.

So she comes in with a little bit higher of a skill set, therefore she charges a little bit more money. She writes 4-8 a month and gets to control her income.

Now she wants to use those skills to bring in different revenue, work less and actually charge more money. So for that, she takes on two clients per month, teaches them how to be a freelance writer and she charges them $500 per client per month.

And quite frankly, that's not a lot. She could charge a lot more, but she's trying to get started, she wants competitive rates. 

So let me recap. I just gave you four job titles and I talked about how she charges differently for every single one. For two of them, she charges by the hour. She charges by the article and for the other one, she charges by the client and per month. 

[18:11] Rita is taking skills that she already has and diversifying all the different ways she can capitalize on those skills to bring in different revenue.

This is what I mean by diversifying your remote work income. If you added it all up, Rita works 20 hours per week and for her that's great. She only wants 20 hours a week. She's semi-retired and she wants to spend time doing other things. She wants to work to bring in the money to offset her social security, of course, but she also wants time to do her own things.

If you were to add up all of the salary that she makes from all of these different jobs, she's making $3,500 a month, which might not sound high, but for some people, that's enough.

They would love to work 20 hours a week and make $3,500 a month. That's perfect. It offsets their social security or their savings. It gives them a little cushion. They don't have to work full time. They work remotely, they work the hours they want, and so on.

So for some people, this is a really great example that feels very real world. And I like to be real world. 

[20:05] I'm not trying to tell people that you can start some fancy online business and make millions of dollars. There are a lot of people selling that idea. Is it true? Sure. It's true for a lot of people, but I would say not for the vast majority.

I think the vast majority of people who try to work this way are going to make a modest to good salary, six figures, for sure. You can get into the six figures. You could even get it into the multiple six figures depending on how you structure it. But some people are like, “Hey, Camille, I'd love to make an extra $60,000 a year.” And it's like, okay, that's super doable. I'm your realist. I'm the person who's going to give it to you straight and give you very concrete, doable, and reasonable scenarios. Now, could she make more, could Rita make more money? Of course. 

[21:00] So how does Rita actually grow her income? How could she move from $3,500 a month at 20 hours a week, to actually making even more money and potentially working even less? It's a very simple formula, but people love to overcomplicate this. She simply does more of the work she likes and less of the work she doesn't like.

Let’s break this down.

I talked about how Rita as a freelance writer can write somewhere between four and eight articles per month and charges $150 per article.

She likes doing that. So maybe she just does more of that. She's got a system down. She knows she can write these things pretty quickly. So she decides she'll just take on more articles. The other thing she really likes to do is be a writing coach. And if she can do two clients a month at $500, she's thinking, well, why doesn't she do more?

Maybe she can take on four or five clients. So you can see that she starts doing more of what I call “higher leveraged work,” where it's not necessarily more of her time, but it's more of her value. It's at the top of her value of her skill sets. 

Sure,. She's got the skill sets to be a virtual assistant but why not work on things you love and get paid more, too?

And here's the other trick, because she loves it, and because it's easy for her to do, she's actually faster when she works in the skill sets that are natural to her, therefore she should charge more money. People hear me say that and they're, and they say, “Wow. That feels so backwards. I mean, if it's easy for me to do Camille, why would anyone pay me? Why would anyone find value in something that's just so easy for me to do?” 

Well, that's just you taking your skills for granted. If it's easy for you to do it's because you probably do it well, you enjoy it and you could probably do more of it. 

The book, The Big Leap, by Gay Hendricks talks about this. People think that if they want to charge more money it must be because things should be hard and complicated.

But if the opposite is true, if it's easy for you to do and you love doing it, then somebody's going to find high value in it. Your job then is to figure out who those people are and how you package it up. That's it. That's how simple that is. Of course it's simpler for me because this is what I do. And this is what I help people do.

It might not be simple for you, but let me just keep going through the example here so that, that we can break this down even more. 

[24:24] Let's take this another step further. Let's say that Rita thinks, “you know, I see all these people out there doing online business, making digital products.” Rita and anybody else can certainly get into digital business and online business. And make a very, very good income, make a fantastic salary. But I am not the person who is going to tell you to run out, do it, and become a millionaire. 

If you get into it with more realistic goals, I think that's a healthier approach than thinking you're going jump into something and become a multimillionaire overnight. I just think I don't agree with that message. 

So how does she do it? Here are some options for Rita.

  • She can start by increasing her client capacity. Maybe she goes from four to eight clients per month at $500 per client.
  • She could simply raise her prices. Instead, of $500 she could start charing $1,000. She just doubled her income without doing more work.
  • Maybe instead of working one on one with people, she could do it in groups. That's what I do. I do group coaching. And for me, I love group coaching because you can get into leveraged time, as well as I find group coaching, to be way more valuable than one on one, because you can tap into the collective wisdom of a group.
  • With group coaching, she could lower her monthly rate to something like $300 a month and maybe she's going to work with 20 people a month. And if you do the math on that, that's $6,000 a month from a group coaching program!
  • Or she could do a digital product. Maybe she writes an ebook. She gets into what's called printables. She could charge a small fee, but her time is only in the front-end creation.
  • Rita could go on to create a course or a membership and with a course or a membership, however, she structures it.
  • I have a friend right now who has a really amazing membership site. I think she charges like $9 a month and she has over 1500 people in there. Do the math on that. And that's a fantastic way to leverage your skills, serve lots of people make it really affordable for them and make a really good living for you.

These are just some of the examples, not all of them, but some of the examples of how Rita the relaxer continues to develop and expand what she's able to do with only the skillset of freelance writing and being a writing coach. And you can see how this becomes really unlimited in what's possible.

[29:11] Now, the idea here isn't to create all the unlimited revenue streams, because that gets overwhelming.

The idea is you, you start with one. You get it really intact. You get really good at it. And then you elevate to the next one and you put the next one and the next one after that. It takes some time. Not gonna tell you a tall tale and say, you're gonna produce all of this in the next three months or six months.

This could take a year, a couple of years, which is why you have to diversify your income streams, so that you can offset the time it takes to actually develop into this stuff. 

This is where I think a lot of people go wrong. I think a lot of people jump into online business or remote business and they start with like the hardest thing.

They're like, let me go build a course, which is honestly the hardest place to start. And then they realize, oh my goodness, it takes forever to build, and I don't know how to market it. And then before, you know, it there's six months to a year in and they're not making any money. And it's simply because they started with the hardest thing and did not think strategically enough about what made the most sense for immediate revenue.

This  is what so many people come to me with. They say,” I want immediate income while I build something for the long term.” It's a smart way to think about it. So I work with people on, well, how do we get money in the door now to sustain you while you build out this longer-term thing?

It’s  what I like to call a “retirement business” and it’s why I say “remote work is the new retirement plan.” 

[30:55] The point is that Rita (and people like her) can find or create work in any economy.

That was the whole point of this training that I put on the three keys for remote work success in an up or down economy. When the economy's good Rita will benefit, when the economy isn't good Rita can pivot and still be okay. That is my vision for the future for so many people that we're not so tied to a good or a bad economy that it disrupts what we're able to do. 

That is ultimate empowerment. 

[32:26] lastly, let’s look at Jamila, a brand strategist and coach. When she found me she was stuck in a perfectionist mode. She was focused on only one business idea, and spinning her wheels. I encourage anyone listening to learn how to make money while you test your different business ideas, because that's the other key. It's like a sub-key to key number three pricing.

Too many people get way too caught up in, “I need to have a fancy website, and I need to have social media, and I need to have a brand, and I need to have a logo”. None of that makes money.

What makes money is turning your skill into service, and getting that service into the hands of people who want to pay you for it.

Jamila was able to make a thousand dollars in just a few days doing that. That’s my “Launch-It-Lean” Process. I come from the world of lean startup and continuous improvement. And so I was able to adapt that to online business. 

[33:33] The whole point of all of this is you have to be ready for all options.

You should be ready for traditional employment if need be, part-time employment, fractional or project-based work, freelancing, figuring out how to provide a service to somebody, or maybe you want to own your own remote business with a whole bunch of revenue streams like Rita.

To do this, you need to implement Key #1 Planning, Key #2 Preparing and finally, Key #3 Pricing. The Thr Keys will help you to feel empowered, and you always have some type of lever you can pull when the economy shifts under your feet.

In conclusion, diverse pricing for various work types can unlock so many more doors for you. Remember, this will help you ditch the Erin the Explorer approach for good and adopt that Rita the Relaxer approach.

If you have any questions  Click here to DM on Instagram.

Looking for more inspirational ideas? Sign up for my free training:

How To Get Remote Work Tp Have A Flexible Lifestyle (Without Running Out of Money), https://www.camilleattell.com/remote-training

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