I remember it well. A photographer asked me for advice because he struggled to attract new business, his market was increasingly competitive and wanted to consider his options.

During our meeting, he recounted how he had submitted a proposal to a company to create brochures of their services, which sold for thousands of pounds.

He also said that after submitting the proposal, he became nervous, called them back, and offered to lower his fee.

He continued, “I was desperate for the work and was afraid they would say no.”

That’s an all too familiar story.

I remember driving to a client’s site, unhappy because I had reduced my fees again. It felt like I was paying them to work for them, and I was tired of it.

I was tired of the beliefs that kept me stuck, which matched what I heard from others:
• “I offered a discount because I didn’t want to lose the business.”
• “Asking for more seems greedy.”
• “I think it’s best to go in low, secure the business and increase fees later” – often never happens.

Change comes when the pain gets to be too much. I was now at a point where I knew I had to do something different. I had to change.

It all had to start with me.

It took me a while to gain confidence and self-belief, but I received coaching, devoured books like Value Based Fees, attended seminars and listened to podcasts.

I began to understand that my knowledge and experience were not enough and that knowing your value takes time to remove the wiring and conditioning embedded over the years.

It takes time to build up your self-esteem, believe you belong in the room, and not sabotage opportunities because of fear or feeling like an imposter.

I started understanding how much my work made a difference and improved my client’s situation.

My clients started to understand their value—personally and professionally—and get better results.

They experienced less self-doubt and had greater confidence, felt less of an imposter, and focused on how much they had improved their client’s situation rather than being concerned with the process used.

They stopped charging by the hour and offered packaged services instead. Their conversations improved and were clearer about their value and experienced less resistance when discussing fees.

Here’s the thing – even with years of experience, qualifications and knowledge, you can still undervalue yourself.   You must believe you are more and deserve more.