Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Want to bring in some extra income, but don't think you have anything to offer? Don't sell yourself short, because your ideas and skills have value.Want to bring in some extra income, but don’t think you have anything to offer? Don’t sell yourself short, because your ideas and skills have value.

In fact, if you’re like most people, they have more value than you give yourself credit for.

It’s time to start giving yourself the credit you deserve, especially if you want to make the money that you deserve. And you’ve got to sell yourself, because like it or not, we’re all in the sales business.

Selling successfully

Don’t believe me? Think about the last time you convinced someone of something, applied for a job, or asked for a raise. Those are all ways in which we sell our skills or ideas. If you have a business, you’re probably selling your products or services even more directly.

A big part of selling successfully is believing in your product, and you absolutely should believe in you.

Identify your talents

Start by making a list of your talents. Keep in mind that your talents may be masquerading as things that are so easy for you that you assume anyone could do them.

For example, I can create a basic web page without giving it a second thought. I’ve been doing so since something like 1997, and I don’t even have to think about it unless I’m doing some big complicated design. I just write it.

So if someone asked me how hard it was to make a web page, if I didn’t watch myself, the first words out of my mouth would be “oh it’s easy!”. And it is. For me. It’s NOT easy for someone who has no experience doing so — which means many people will pay to have it done. (Heck, some people don’t know how to use a computer at all, or how to type. Those are also useful-and-marketable skills.)

See what others are doing

Once you have a list of your talents — look around to see what other people are charging for them to make sure that you don’t sell yourself short. This is good to do both if you’re actually planning to try to get clients and if you’re currently using your skills in a job and are looking to get a raise or a better job.

Get a bunch of data. Try to find people whose skill levels and experience are similar to your own. Then throw out the highest and lowest bunches of numbers to get an idea of what’s most typical in your area. If you aren’t getting at least that much, it’s not going to hurt to ask for more.

Take the plunge

Then take the plunge and put yourself out there at what you’d consider a fair price — both to you and to your prospective customer. One important thing to remember is that while people are always happy to get a bargain, most people are also willing to pay more for good quality. And you offer good quality. Go ahead and ask for what you deserve.

Don’t be afraid to hear no. You probably will hear some no’s — but you’d have probably heard some if you’d asked for less, too. But since people often equate more expensive items with more value, you’ve got a good chance at getting the higher rates. You can always negotiate, too. No does not mean no never no matter what. And sometimes, you’ll be the one saying no. Because doing too much work for too little money is rarely worth it.

Get what you’re worth, and don’t sell yourself short.