Talking Money; It Shouldn’t Be a Bad Word

You’ve just started making some good money in your business. Finally.

You decide to go shopping.

You go to a store that you usually find too expensive, but today you’re ballin’ and you want to get a really nice shirt.

In the store, the sales associate is very helpful and you end up finding THE PERFECT shirt to flatter your body.

You couldn’t be more thrilled, and even better, it’s on sale for only $35

You take the shirt to the cash so you can pay.

What happens next?

Does the cashier stammer and balk at the thought of asking you for the $35?



Does the cashier offer you an extra discount because she’s afraid that $35 might be too much for you to pay?


Does the cashier show any signs of nervous freaking out, or other discomfort in relation to taking your $35 for the shirt?


She smiles politely, says thank you for shopping here while she rings through your transaction.


She sells shirts, and people buy them for the price on the tag. If someone can’t afford her shirts, they go to a different, cheaper store.

So why do you do this with your business?

Sending an estimate to a client is like showing them the sales tag on a shirt. This is the price, and there’s nothing else to it. There’s no need to get awkward, or flustered.

It’s time to state your price and unapologetically stand by it. This is your business, after all, and you need to make a living too. You’re offering a unique service that must command a certain price. A price that feels comfortable for you.

Why else did you decide to start your own business? Along with the flexible working hours, money is definitely a great reason. But you’re never going to make money if you keep shying away from discussing it.

Discussing money is an inevitable part of your business, like keeping all your receipts, and filing your taxes.

Here are 5 tips that I use when discussing money with clients:

  1. Send an Estimate
    If someone sends me an email asking what I charge for [a] copywriting services, I send them an estimate. I use Wave to design a lovely, personalized estimate (which can easily be turned into an invoice). This establishes me as a professional, and let’s them know, firmly, that this is what I’m charging.
  2. Discuss Money via Email
    I prefer to do my money discussions via email because then I can take my time to think about what I want to say and write it out. A lot of times when you’re speaking in person or Skype, you end up low-balling an estimate because you don’t want to seem  too expensive. This is terrible for your business because you end up losing out on a lot of money.
  3. Negotiate
    Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Sometimes the scope of a project will change as more things are added, so don’t be afraid to re-negotiate your rate, which should also be a clause in your contract, which brings me to my next point.
  4. ALWAYS Have a Contract! 
    Even if you’re just starting out, make sure to keep yourself protected by having a contract. In my contract, I state that half the money will be paid at the start of the project, and the rest upon completion, even if they don’t end up using what I’ve written for them. I’ve seen a lot of people get burned at the end of a project when a client says, “well, thank you so much but I think we’re going to go with something different.”
    Contracts are also a great way to establish a payment timeline during the project. This can help you weed out wishy-washy clients who might flake out on you.
  5. Be Clear And Don’t Back Down
    When you’re clear about your rates, your client can be clear too. Don’t feel bad or uncomfortable about what you charge. You started a business to support yourself, and you’ve set your rates accordingly and that’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a wonderful thing! The last thing any of us want is price shoppers. If someone wants to work with you, they will find a way.
    A designer I know told me that she had a client who saved up for 6 months to be able to afford to work with her! Stand behind your rate, the people who want to work with you will find a way.
    When you are clear about what you expect from them, then the client will be clear about what to expect from you.

Everyone wants to get in on that sweet cash action, and that’s why it’s best to start off any project with the numbers. Your time is valuable, and you deserve to be paid accordingly. No one wants to work for free, and you’ll never grow your business if you’re not comfortable talking about money.

What are 3 things you can do to get more comfortable discussing money with your clients?




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