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Afraid To Sell Your 'Smarts'?

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

Your ‘smarts’, your intellectual property and your time are worth it. Charge for all of them!

How many times have you stared at a blank invoice you’re about to make up for a client and thought…. “well.. it didn’t take me THAT long, I can’t bill them for this.”


Imagine… You go into a store and buy a widget…. You go to McDonalds on the way home and buy a coffee. NEVER ONCE will you worry about paying for it. Why would you? It had a price, it gave you good value, and… you needed or wanted it. That is the same process your client will go through before they come to you for help and when they are presented with an invoice. Ahhhh…..but… Greg, you’re missing the point! I’m not just selling a product or a widget! I’m selling my smarts – my intellectual property, so it is different.


You are selling:

  • years of experience

  • expertise

  • thousands of dollars in education and training

  • **God given talent**

All of that has VALUE! You just need to convince yourself.

And… just because you can pound something out in 10 minutes, doesn’t mean you bill for 10 minutes! Don’t penalize yourself because you’ve spent 15 years mastering a program/application/tool and can make it sing. You have to weigh the VALUE of the product you just produced with that tool.

Conversely, let’s just say… As a professional sign designer, you have created a beautiful PRODUCT – the sign. But how many hours did you spend tweaking the original design (which the customer, who had the ‘rough concept’, didn’t even like), changing fonts, changing colors… redoing the shape so that it was JUST RIGHT and looked professional? Probably a lot.


So, imagine if the client had to do the sign on their own?? You have rare, valuable skills. The client doesn’t have them or he wouldn’t have come to you. You know they are going to be thrilled with the finished product. The true VALUE of the finished product (the sign) is partially the sign itself, but if you’re honest with yourself, the real value is in the ‘smarts’ and the intellectual energy and creative juices you brought to bear on the project.


You must. And feel good about it


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