Getting paid for your time is one of the most difficult things to get right. Many of us are in the client service business, which involves a lot of talking, a lot of business development, a lot of questions & answers, and a lot of overhead. Keeping that overhead to a minimum increases your profit margins and makes you more money.
People usually feel weird talking about money, and I understand that. It’s a strange thing to talk about… at first. That is until you realize that approaching the subject with any sort of awkwardness does quite a bit to work against you down the line. I’ve found that if you’re confident in your approach when talking numbers with a client, you’re much less likely to deal with an extensive price negotiation phase.
When you approach cost of service timidly or in an abstract way, you’re conveying to clients that you yourself don’t stand behind your price, so why should they? It’s not about figuring out what everyone else is charging so you can enter a conversation with confidence, it’s about taking the appropriate amount of time so you yourself can validate your cost, with real facts and figures to back it up, and stand behind it.
I like how this article tackles one of the many ways we find ourselves inadvertently devaluing our time/expertise by offering our services for free in small chunks in response to specific questions. Responding by indicating that you offer the service of answering that question and including a price for that is a respectable, direct approach.