Determining the value of you by Alison Ellis

Today we are sharing a guest post written by our friend, Alison Ellis, of Floral Artistry in Vermont. Thank you, Alison!

Determining the value of you.
How do you determine your value? As a designer, a business owner, a consultant to your client? As a boss, a friend, an individual?

As creative business owners we are constantly reminded that we set our own value and we are often encouraged by respected pros not to underestimate that value. But what does that mean to you in your business?

Does it mean raising your prices? Should you increase your hourly fee or the design percentage on each order? Maybe. (And I’ll got out on a limb and say probably!)

Or perhaps you have your value set right where it needs to be in order for you to be comfortable and profitable.

One of my favorite people on the planet, Danielle LaPorte, says you need to be comfortable in your “money shoes”. By this she means that you need to charge what feels right for you. Just because you CAN charge more does not mean you should. If raising your price means you’ll feel squeamish about quoting it aloud to a prospective client, then you’re better off staying where you are. If you are content with your price point, hourly rate, etc. then maybe your money shoes fit just right. You’re Cinderella. You don’t need bigger shoes.

If you’re stuck in a mentality that you “can’t” charge more because your customers won’t pay it, but you’re struggling to pay your bills at your current rate it’s time to evaluate what you can do to increase the value you provide (or more likely recognize the value you are already providing), thus allowing you to charge a little bit more for it. As Sean Low told the Chapel Designers in NYC your value is not directly related to the cost of your product…YOU bring the value to your customer.

What should your customers pay for YOU?

One way to help recognize the inherent value you bring to your clients is to review your reviews. Yes. It is that simple. Read (maybe aloud) the thank you notes and WeddingWire reviews your clients have written and look for reoccurring themes. Other than just “the flowers were beautiful”, you’ll find things like “set my mind at ease”, “I knew from the beginning that I would get what I wanted”, “helped with the overall design”, etc. These are the little gems. The things you do over and over again that you don’t give yourself credit for. Read them out loud to a friend or spouse or your dog. This is the value YOU add. Take note.

PS I started a draft of this post prior to attending the Chapel Designers Conference in NYC last week. Needless to say I’ve been inspired by some of the thoughts that were outlined in our discussions and I hope we can all be inspired to place a higher value on ourselves as designers.

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  1. Thank you for this thoughtful and enlightening post. I am taking your advice and re-reading my testimonials and thank you notes. And yes, I do find many gems there. It’s gratifying to know that I have provided value to my clients that goes beyond my stated services. These are the things I must keep tucked in the back of my brain when a potential challenges my value. Alison, as your post points out, value can be so much more than money. I am comfortable in my Money Shoes.

  2. You might consider posting some of these rave reviews where you can see them on a daily/weekly basis…just to remind yourself that you bring “it”! So glad you enjoyed my post!

  3. Thank you for this timely article Alison and Flirty Fleurs. A good reminder to be confident in our abilities and value our work.

  4. I can’t believe Alison was out in New York, and I didn’t realize it! I love her work! Hopefully I’ll get to know her better next year!

  5. Janet, I’m so flattered! I’m sure I’ll see you on FB and hopefully in NYC next year!