How to Increase Your Value in the Market Place (Part 1)

Selling You

As a coach, speaker, writer and consultant, I’m selling me. Well specifically, my time, skills, knowledge, ideas, creativity, energy and experience. Among other things. And, to be totally honest, for a long time I was uncomfortable putting any kind of commercial value on myself. It felt weird. Egotistical, perhaps. Which said more about my mindset and lack of confidence than the actual process.

The Old Days

In 1987, when I first started training people for a living, I was surprised (guilty, almost) that people would happily pay forty bucks for a workout with the ‘twelve dollar guy’ (my previous hourly wage as a gym instructor). It almost seemed wrong. For the ex-fat kid with no university qualification at the time, forty dollars an hour was a fortune; a fortune that I wasn’t sure I was worth.

It’s fair to say that, in the early days of building my own business and developing my brand, crappy self esteem, fear and self-doubt were all something of a professional barrier for me. But then I’m not alone in that, am I? While I understood and was comfortable with ‘me the trainer’, I didn’t really grasp ‘me the commodity that people might place a dollar value on’.

Over the years, I’ve learned to differentiate between (1) me the flawed, curious, emotional creature and (2) me the commercial resource. I needed to. I wouldn’t have survived professionally otherwise. And while I still doubt myself and still have much to learn (being human and all), I now have a much better understanding and awareness of me the commodity that people will consider ‘buying’. Call any of the agencies that currently represent me as a speaker and they will tell you exactly what an hour of my time is ‘worth’.


Selling Stuff

When it comes to the task of selling anything (from a sandwich, to a house, to an idea), it’s in our interests to build a commercial strategy on the understanding that consumers are fickle creatures who, more often than not, buy on emotion. It’s also prudent to keep in mind that emotion (about what they might buy) comes largely from perception. Perception of what they believe they’re getting for their investment. Perception based on their previous experiences. Perception of what they believe a particular product or service will do for them. Perception of what they believe to be good value. After all, nobody needs a hundred thousand dollar car, an eighty inch TV or a pair of thousand dollar shoes. Nonetheless, all those things sell like crazy.

Which is why I love my Jimmy Choos. ;)

Which brings me to you…

If you have something to sell – be it a program, product, service, skill or even an idea – come back tomorrow and I’ll share some practical and proven strategies to help you increase your value in the market place.

Enjoy your day. :)

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonyfem March 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm

That’s so funny! I always have a bit of a giggle when someone comes on here and says that you must have been reading their mind because you have given them exactly what they needed that day.
I’m just in the process of taking my business up a notch, deciding exactly what I’m selling and what it is worth- and how to add to my worth without selling supplements. Today, and tomorrow I’m going to get from you exactly what I need. Though it will be free of charge, I realise that there is a price I will need to pay, and I know that what you give will be priceless! Thanks so much, Craig.


Fi March 5, 2013 at 10:03 pm

I wish it was still 1987 and I could afford you to train me for $40.

Would I get perhaps an hour in 2013?
ps. no need to feel nervous training me, I have no university qualification but funny …


Sulagna - Love in India March 6, 2013 at 1:14 am

Very pertinent for me the blogger who’s only just started to “market” their writing and its crowd-pulling capability.
It’s scary sometimes. ;)


Nury March 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

Thank you Craig, I have just had a lightbulb moment which has completely transformed the actions I will now take from now on. I love my work, am really good at what I do, have lots of energy and life experience to share- yet undervalue myself in what I charge. I thank you for sharing. You are my Yoda. xxxx


Hayley March 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Aww damn, good one Harper! when i saw the subject of your post early this morning I thought it was perfect timing as I had an interview today & it might refresh for me some things about selling myself to the interviewers, but then I got to the end of the post and you say come back tomorrow!!! Ah well, I think I did pretty well anyway..


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