Avoiding the Commodity Trap: 3 Ways to Create More Value

In the first of this series of three blog posts, I explained what the commodity trap is, and the big mistakes our profession makes that lead to working way too hard for way too little money.  I told you that the key to avoiding commoditisation is differentiating your services so that they cannot be compared to others’.

 

Then, in my last blog post, the second in the series, I showed you how we can differentiate anything, and explained that we need to follow a high differentiation, high value pricing strategy to stop being seen as a commodity and stop pricing too low. 

 

In this final blog post, I want to share with you three different aspects you need to think about in order to create more value for your services following that high differentiation, high value model.

 

Tangible Benefits

 

The first thing you need to think about is how can create more tangible value or benefits.  What I mean by that is, whatever service you’re thinking...

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Avoiding the Commodity Trap: 3 Pricing Strategies

In my last blog post, I talked about what exactly the commodity trap is, and the big mistakes our profession makes that lead to working way too hard for way too little money.  I told you that the key to avoiding commoditisation is differentiating your services so that they cannot be compared to others’.

 

In this blog post I’m going to show you how, with a little creativity, we can differentiate anything, including our services.  I’ll take you through 3 different pricing strategies that we can follow and explain which one is going to help you to differentiate your services so you can stop being seen as a commodity and stop pricing too low. 

 

We can differentiate anything…

 

First, let’s look at examples of how anything can be differentiated with a little creativity. Take one of the most common substances on the planet: water.  We might think of water as being a commodity because we can simply turn on a tap and it...

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Avoiding the Commodity Trap: The Big Mistakes

What is the Commodity Trap?

 

A commodity is a product that has become interchangeable with the same product from other sources; customers perceive the product as being identical regardless of the source.  When customers view your product or service as a commodity, the only differentiating factor becomes price.  This is a bad thing because it means customers will go for the cheapest option, forcing us to compete on price.

 

I see people posting online about compliance services like bookkeeping, payroll, tax returns etc. being commodity services.  That’s a big mistake.  These services are not a commodity unless you think they are.  What we need to do is banish that commodity thinking.

 

The BIG Mistakes…

 

One of the big mistakes that we make in our profession is very simply: we price WAY too low. 

 

I see this over and over again.  I did it myself when I started my accounting firm back in 1996.  For...

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What Equipment Do You Need to Start an Online Business Club?

 

In my last blog post I covered the top 3 barriers preventing people from starting an online business club and how you can overcome them.

Now, I want to look at exactly what equipment and technology you need to get started with your online business club. 

The great news is you don’t need a lot of stuff! It’s really easy technology nowadays and you’ve probably already got the software that you need because you’re already using it for online meetings.

 

Software

 

The first thing you need is software for hosting your online business club.

When I started the Value Pricing Academy in 2014, I was using GoToMeeting, and then we shifted over to Zoom. But there are so many other platforms as well.

 

Hardware

 

The other thing you need is a few bits of hardware, which you also probably already have because in the last year or two we’ve gotten so used to meeting with clients online. So, you probably have the equipment you need,...

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Overcoming the Barriers Between You and an Online Business Club

 

In my last blog post I went through the 6 BIG benefits of starting an online business club. It’s an amazing opportunity that can not only add huge value to your clients, but also create a big revenue stream for you. Plus, it’s FUN!

However, there are 3 common barriers that might be holding you back from tapping into this great opportunity. In this blog post, I’ll take you through those barriers, as well as how to overcome them.

 

Firstly though, I want to highlight that whilst equipment and technology might feel like a barrier, it really shouldn’t be one! In my next blog post, I’ll take you through the very simple equipment and technology you need to get you started.

 

1 – “I don’t know how!”

 

Firstly, it’s actually not that difficult to build a business club. Secondly, if you don’t know how now, that’s something that I can help you with.

As I mentioned, in the next blog post I’ll be...

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The 6 Benefits of Running an Online Business Club

 

The idea of starting an online business advisory club can be daunting. The technology can seem overwhelming and there are a number of barriers which can hold us back. However, when we keep it simple, it’s not actually difficult to do! In this blog post, I’ll share with you the 6 BIG benefits of running an online business club.

 

1 - Scalable

 

Traditionally as a profession we work with clients one-to-one, and that’s fine, but it puts a limit on what is possible for us to do, because we can only work with one person at a time. And we only have so many hours in a week! That means we can only take on a certain number of clients to work with so that we don’t run out of time.

However, if we think a little bit differently, we can start to SCALE. 

Let’s think about that opportunity. Imagine you start a business club, and you have 10 great clients who come along to listen to your content. They then get so much value from you that they...

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Video VS. Live: Why Going Live is SO Powerful

Historically, we have tended to do everything with our clients on a one-to-one basis. However, in the past few years, the world has changed massively. We’re increasingly moving online rather than meeting face-to-face, and this opens up new opportunities for scaling this process and delivering value one-to-many.

 

In the last blog post I took you through 9 different ways you can utilise video so that you increase your value and come across as the expert. Now, I want to take that a step further and think about the benefits of going LIVE. That is, the benefits of webinars and live streams to social media.

 

Video is great for so many reasons, and there are so many ways that you can use video to build value. But going live is even better still.

 

Scaling one-to-many

 

With live streams and webinars, you can reach a much wider audience than typical one-to-one communication with clients. If you have an update about your work, let your clients know...

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9 Different Types of Video to Make You Stand Out Online

In the past year and a half, the world has changed massively. We’re not having as many face-to-face meetings and interactions. Instead, the need to stand out and communicate with confidence online is rising as our interactions increasingly move online. And this online world isn’t going away. So, we have to learn to adapt so that we can be seen as the experts in our field and stand out from the competition in this new online world.

 

In the last blog post, I covered 7 key areas for better communication in the online world. Now that you know the basic standards for creating online content, I want to share with you the 9 different kinds of video that you can utilise to stand out online and position yourself as the expert.

 

Why video?

 

You may already know that video marketing is one of the most powerful forms of marketing, particularly in this profession. That’s because we’re in the people industry. The reason your clients buy from you is...

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7 Key Tips For Better Communication in the Online World

In the past year and a half, the world has changed massively. You’re probably finding right now that you’re not having many face-to-face meetings. You’re having meetings over Zoom, or on Microsoft Teams. And this situation isn’t going to change in a hurry, this online world isn’t going away. So, we have to learn to adapt so that we can be seen as the experts in our field and stand out from the competition in this new online world.

 

In the last blog post, I explained the Power of Context – how the way that you present yourself online affects how much clients are willing to pay you. Now, I want to share with you 7 essential tips for improving how you communicate online. By improving these factors, you play into the Power of Context concept, supporting your expert positioning so your clients see your value and pay you more – pay you what you deserve.

 

I recommend going through each of these 7 factors and scoring yourself from...

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Bringing the Power of Context to the Online World

In 1983, behavioural economist Richard Thaler did an interesting experiment involving beer. Thaler had a group of people in the study, and essentially, he wanted to find out how much they were prepared to pay for a particular bottle of beer. The product was the same for everybody, it never changed, the only thing that changed was the way it was sold.

Thaler found that people were willing to pay a very different price depending on where and how the product was sold. This is called the Power of Context. If the beer is being sold in a messy corner shop, stacked in a dusty corner, people are willing to pay a much lower price for it than if they bought the exact same beer next door in a hotel bar, cold from the refrigerator. Likewise, they would pay more for the cold beer on a hot day than a cold one, sometimes even 2 or 3 times the price! Simply changing the context in which you are selling can raise prices.

Another study in 2002 from price psychologists Adaval and Monroe tested this...

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