Pricing & Integrity

MY PRICING: Start up pricing; scholarships & trades. MARKETING MANIPULATION: Is there another way? CONSIDER ANOTHER APPROACH: An experiment with integrity, transparency, and consent above profits.

My Pricing

Here is my start-up pricing as I rebuild my business.  Also I offer trades for specific needs, and scholarships for my courses.

Why My Start-Up Pricing Low @$60/hour

Since 2010 I have charged at least $150/hour for all of my services, and raised my fees to $180 around 5 years ago (though a customer could get the $150 hourly fee by purchasing a package of 10 hours.. 

However, as you can read here about my 12 year dark-night-of-the-soul (coming soon), I lost most everything including everything connected with my business — clients, prospects, social media and marketing presence, websites, emails, domains, blog articles, and even the energy to market, work and write.

I disclose this so you can understand and believe why I am offering a low start-up pricing at $60/hour (low compared to what I have charged for 14 years).  I need to quickly generate business.

I will raise my fees as I gain business, and doubt I would ever lower my fees once raised.  From the start of my business in 1995, I have avoided lowering my fees, except one time over a Christmas holidays (I believe 2003) only for current clients.  I don’t agree with the model for lowering fees for services, or having sales for services.

Scholarships

I believe in scholarships for those willing to fully show up and put in the work.  Showing up is often the difference between success and failure (when a person quits, not when they make mistakes)!  I would give my past clients extra time here and there when they consistently showed up for themselves, going above and beyond to change their lives.  Unfortunately only about 5-7% of my past clients did.

Pay It Forward

Also, I have been blessed by some generous friends that supported me for years as I went through my dark night of the soul, and many individuals that helped me and my wife (soon to be ex) beat 2 terminal cancers.  I intended to pay that forward once I could.  Now I can!  And paying it forward is how I honor all the gifts I was blessed with.

Up To 20% Of Event Space Given To Scholarships

For any workshop, webinar, course or group event, I offer scholarships for up to 20% of spaces available.  This includes those events where I give one-on-one time too.  I ask those that are in the financial position to need and want a scholarship to email me.  I will send some questions as well as my selection criteria and expectations (mostly around showing up) for my scholarships.

Nominate Someone

If you want to nominate someone for a scholarship, please email me as well.  I LOVE nominations, because too many individuals in need have a challenge asking for assistance.  I know from too many decades of having to choose between food, rent, and gas, due to my debilitating life long chronic health conditions, and when I assisted my twin flame beat those cancers, which destroyed us financially.

Trades

Now and then I will do trades, depending on what I need.  Below is what I am willing to trade for now.

TRADES NOW ACCEPTING — in prioritized order

  1. Website design in DIVI (15-50 hours, depending on your abilities)
  2. Sales work for my business
  3. One-time seamstress project — various clothing items I love that need repair work (5-8 hours?)
  4. Very healthy (according to my selection criteria) home cooked meals with left-overs and portions to freeze 
  5. House cleaning every other week (2-3 hours)

Marketing As Manipulation

Is There Another Way?

How much marketing is based on manipulation, and even relies on it?  How often is consent ever considered?   As a sole proprietor or business owner, can we avoid the usual and expected manipulative marketing strategies if we want to earn good money?  Is there another way?

Much of Marketing Based on Manipulation

I consider much of marketing to be based on manipulation, and often relies on it.  However, most of these types of marketing tactics work in that they bring in more money.  “Pop-ups” are one good example. 

Pop-ups today are an expected and tolerated marketing tool.  I consider these to be quite manipulative, because they do not get consent.  We must deal with them, often taking time to figure out where the ‘X” is to close the pop-up, so we can read sought out information.  They take our time away (don’t get our consent), and sometimes have us look for a hidden “X”.  Some pop-ups even have timers that wait before they show a way to close out the pop-up.

Why are they used so much?   Pop-ups truly work, as they bring in more money through significantly greater sign ups, conversions (converting visitors into paying customers), and paid subscriptions.

Consent — A Rare Quality

One example of a quality I rarely see mentioned or used in marketing is “CONSENT”.   When consent (transparent permission) is obtained before sending marketing materials or using some other marketing tool, trust is built. 

One form of this became known as permission marketing.  As the story goes, a woman in a sales position among all men outsold all of the men by asking permission first (getting consent), establishing a relationship and trust well before marketing to prospects.

With the use of consent along with permission based marketing, the customer knows and feels they are respected, listened to, and trusted to make the right choice for themselves. 

Consent goes way beyond what I briefly mention here, particularly for relationships with significant others, family members, friends, co-workers, and so many others.

Fake Deadlines For Lower Prices

A frequent example of pricing that erodes trust for me, and I bet for many others, are the supposed “deadlines” by which potential customers can get a certain price. 

I used to put on my calendar dates of deadlines by when I needed to make a choice to purchase a ticket (to a workshop, event, gathering) to get the best price.  However, once that supposed deadline passed, I almost always would see a new deadline given, and sometimes even a better price!!!  I still witness this going on!

Many years ago I asked others about how they feel about this, and most everyone agreed that it didn’t feel good, seemed slimy, and eroded trust.  Yet now it seems expected.

Manipulation Destroys Trust

I can give further examples of marketing and pricing practices that destroy trust, not just little things, but big practices too.  How many times have I (and you) found out that someone wrote, “hurry and get your tickets — this will sell out”!  But it does NOT sell out, not even close, and sometimes is even canceled.

Often (not always) this practice was an outright deception, a manipulation.  How did I know?  I researched (asked the organizer, assistants, participants, or looked online) that their event never sold out, nor was even close .  In some instances, if it was going to sell out, the event organizer had a plan to get a bigger venue, which I have witnessed occur.

We Can Do Better & Must!

This win-lose extractive attitude — trying to get as much as we can out of everyone, and on top of that, using manipulative marketing practices — irrevocably harms our planet and all life (includes us!).

Harmful Consequences With Manipulation

An overwhelming number of individuals needlessly suffer the harmful consequences of all the actions I am pointing to around manipulation, lack of consent and integrity, and how much can I get out of you?

I hear and read so much talk that the world is in a bad place because of just a very small percentage of “powerful” rich individuals.  These people get powerful and rich in part because of our choices!  We allow the manipulative practices to continue by voting with our wallets.  

And hey, I am guilty of some of this.  At times when I have had so little money, I chose to buy paper less recycled because it cost less.  I also chose to purchase tickets to events from people that I know are out of integrity, because otherwise I would miss out on being with most of my friends at that event. 

I am not saying there are easy ways to change, BUT we can pick and choose to do better.

Consider Another Approach

I doubt that marketing has to be manipulative to bring in good money. 

I believe when a business operates with integrity, transparency, and consent, the business will do better overall in the long run than if they use regular marketing manipulations.  Not just in making more money, but other intangible benefits that are often more important, such as great relationships with customers, deep trust, and the business owners/employees feeling good about themselves.

For those of you who would like to consider another approach — a way to conduct yourselves and businesses — I offer my views and ideas on this page.  My experiment with a different approach to conduct business without manipulation is a work in progress — it is not perfect.  

Perhaps you may get ideas, and my words might be a starting point for others to believe that they don’t have to resort to what they are being told to do for marketing, both as businesses and customers.

 

My Experiment With Integrity, Transparency, Consent

I choose to not engage in the manipulative marketing practices I read I am “supposed to do”, particularly if I want to make good money.  Therefore, even if I make less money, I want to do right by my conscience, soul, ethics and most importantly, my precious customers.

I endeavor to continue to be transparent with how I do business, as I have done for years.  Not just with marketing, but also pricing — how I charge for my products and services and my guidelines on when and how I intend on changing my pricing.

I Welcome Constructive & Kind Feedback

I welcome constructive, and only KIND feedback, as I consistently update and evolve these ways be integrous.  Of course I am human, fallible, so if I make a mistake and I realize it or it gets called out, it is up to me to own it, learn from it, and make amends where needed.  

Even though it may not make sense, and possibly seem naive to others, I strive to be better in a world that seems more divisive than ever.  I have witnessed too much incivility, mean-spiritedness, and rampant win-lose extractive attitude.  And  some of our leaders, the very people that are supposed to have our interests first, are some of the worst bad actors out there.

My Online Selling Pricing Integrity & Why

For those of you that sell items on places such as Facebook Marketplace, CraigsList, OfferUp, Ebay, or others, I created pricing integrity as I don’t like negotiation for a few reasons that I explain below.  And as you will read, you are welcome to use this.

••••• PRICING INTEGRITY 5/3/24 •••••

I do not negotiate — my posted price is my best until I post a change for ALL TO SEE.  I may raise or lower my price depending on demand and if it doesn’t sell as fast as I want.

••••• YOU MAY USE THIS POLICY •••••

Many have asked permission to use this policy.  YES, on the condition that you include:  others have permission to use it,  and they also give others permission to use it.  I want PRICING INTEGRITY everywhere!

••••• WHY PRICING INTEGRITY? •••••

Negotiating often creates an unfair situation to those that don’t know how to negotiate, and to individuals that would have purchased the item if they had seen the lower price somebody else successfully negotiates.  Also, I often experience negotiation as manipulative with an extractive attitude — how much can I get out of this person?  It doesn’t feel good —  I want to connect with people, not get more out of them.