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Do you know your own value?

One of the biggest obstacles to success in any industry is not understanding your real value and undercharging for your services.

I was recently at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers conference in Toronto. After a long day on the convention floor, I addled up to the hotel bar for a drink.

As often is the case, I met a few speakers.

None of us being shy we started chatting about our jobs. One fellow was just beginning in the industry. But his resume in education, politics and industry was so impressive that I was immediately able to pick out a niche, and could visualize specific companies that would be a great fit for his topic and expertise.

So what was he charging? $500.

No, I didn’t leave off any zeros.

After flushing out a quick business and marketing plan, I told him that he should be charging at least 10x that amount. And he’d get it too. Trust me. There was real value in his topic. And even the thickest manager would see it.

So why was he charging $500? Because he was a new speaker.

Here’s the thing, professional speaking is a meritocracy. It’s not a seniority-based business. It’s not how long you’ve done it, it’s how much value you bring to clients.

This guy could easily save a company millions of dollars, so charging $500 only demonstrated that he didn’t have confidence in his own skills.

I don’t know about you, but I prefer to have a few high value clients, so I’m not constantly looking for folks who will only pay bare minimum for what I do.

So if you value what you offer – don’t be afraid to charge for it. Trust me, you’ll feel better getting rejected 19 times at $10000, and getting a single great gig, than working your ass off for 20 cheapskates.

Are you using Facebook ads to promote your business?

Are you going broke using pay per click ads through Google?

From experience, I can tell you that it’s very easy to burn through $500 to a $1000 and not see any real return on your investment.

The main issue for me has always been the inability to narrow the audience enough to reach exactly who I’m looking for.

Over the last couple of years I’ve become a great advocate for Facebook Ads.

I’ve used them for clients and I’ve used them for myself.

In one instance I used them to help sell my own house – by targeting folks who lived within 50 miles of Toronto, between the ages of 25 and 35, who were married and “liked” Toronto.

Yes, I was able to get THAT specific. Better still, I was paying $.40 per 1000 views. So over the course of 5 days, I was able to drive 100 clicks through to my virtual tour page for less than $20.

So how can you use Facebook ads for your business?

There are few ways to do this. The first is to advertise your products and services to a specific region and demographic or you can use it to build your brand or target a specific company.

If you are a speaker, ask yourself who it is that you need to reach? The audience? Sure. But does the audience do the bookings or sign the cheques? Nope. You need to reach corporate planners, event planners, and anyone else who is likely to pick up the phone or send you an email.

So lets try a little experiment by creating an ad:

This ad is targeting folks in Canada, United States and the United Kingdom, who are older than 27, and like: event planner, corporate events, event planning or conference organizer

This ad is targeting 22860 people and it costs $.41 per thousand views.

So for $10 a day, this ad may be viewed well over 24000 times!

Building your brand and targeting specific companies

Facebook ads are also great if you want to work for a specific client or you want to reach people at a specific company.

As an example I randomly chose Research in Motion as a company someone might want to target. Using the same geographic regions of Canada, US and UK, I was given 4500 folks who work for RIM and are currently using Facebook. The cost for that ad? $.20 per 1000 views.

This can work for any company. You can also use Facebook ads to target current clients with new promotions!

So go ahead and experiment a bit. Facebook ads are an inexpensive way to get acquainted with online advertising.