As a financial therapist, I get asked often about how to go about raising ones rates, especially for those who are fee-for-service or hourly-based providers. In this video, a collaboration with psychologist Dr. Marie Fang of Private Practice Skills, I review some of the common emotional reasons you may be struggling to raise your rates.
Here is a summary of what I cover in the video above
1. Imposter syndrome. Feeling like you are a fraud or somehow got to where you are by mistake. Reframe these negative thoughts by reminding yourself of all you’ve accomplished and what you’ve had to learn or achieve to get where you are today.
2. Feeling like you are “selling” or “pushy.” Thinking of your ability to solve a problem as being "slimy" or "gross." Instead of feeling slimy, think of yourself as providing a service or solving a problem (which is probably what you are doing!). This helps your frame your thoughts in a positive way, allowing the marketing to feel more authentic than salesy.
3. Anxious about attaching a fee to doing something you enjoy. Worrying about charging for something that you enjoy doing. Remember that your zone of genius or think you like to do could very well be someone else’s nightmare. Embrace what you are good at and charge accordingly!
4. Fear of losing clients or not getting new ones. Worrying about turning away potential clients because of your rate increase. While there may be a smidge of truth in this, the reality is the clients who are bound to be a better fit for you are willing and able to pay the fee you are charging. There are plenty of cheap and free resources out there if someone feels they can’t afford your service.
I hope those tips help to get your mind and money in balance so you can stand confidently in your fees. After you’ve finished the video, be sure to check out her video below where she talks specifically about the things she sees therapists struggling with when it comes to raising their hourly rates.
Here's a summary of her top reasons therapists don't charge their worth:
1. Emotional reasons. Dr. Fang thinks this is hands-down the main barrier keeping therapists from charging what they’re worth.
2. Lack of Financial Education. Programs aren't teaching their students how to go about charging for their services, or the difference between a posted hourly rate and actual take-home pay.
3. Stigma. While in grad school, there was a HUGE stigma around therapists and others in the helping profession earning income higher than a basic living wage. Somehow in our culture, we’ve fostered a belief that if we truly desire to help people, we shouldn’t be earning more than a bare minimum for it to be genuine.
4. Gender Socialization. This message is for those who identify as ladies. She knows many of us are taught to believe that we shouldn’t be big earners. This messaging can run deep, whether we believe that we shouldn’t earn as much as the men in our lives, or if we believe that we’re genuinely less capable of being as skillful as men. She thinks we’re not taught to have a mindset that earning a higher income is something worth pursuing.