“It’s okay, you can say your price. I know it feels like a big number, but you can say it with pride.” These soft words from a potential partner ushered in a realization. Why was I afraid to say my price? I’d gleefully expressed the work that I’d done and how much the results would benefit her clients, but when money became the topic, I felt my body shrink at the idea of speaking about it.

Growing up, many heard and experienced the idea that “Good Girls Don’t Talk About Money.” As a ‘good girl,’ the notion of engaging deeply with money, discussing it confidently, or showing wealth (stealth wealth is an interesting trend, no?) is frowned upon. This cultural dogma, seemingly rooted in the misconception that “the love of money is the root of all evil” (a notable misquote), implies that women should be attractive, perhaps educated, but generally passive about financial matters, leaving the ‘dirty dealings’ of money to the men in their lives. It suggests not only a disdain for money, but also that selflessness to the point of self-sacrifice is expected.

Yet, when building a brand, the notion of giving from the heart is undeniably beautiful. However, it’s crucial to remember that allowing people to invest in themselves through your offerings and using price points as value indicators and potential return on investment is vital. Pricing psychology isn’t just a tactic; it’s a necessary component of communicating the expected value and ensuring your customers understand the quality and results they can anticipate. There are quite a few ways discomfort with the topic of money will affect a brand.

  1. Underpricing Services or Products: If there’s a hesitation to talk about money or a lack of confidence in pricing discussions, it often leads to underpricing. This not only affects profitability but can also signal to potential clients or customers that the value offered may be lower than competitors who price their services more assertively.
  2. Limiting Business Growth: Effective financial management and investment are crucial for scaling a business. Without open discussions about money, there may be missed opportunities for reinvestment into key growth areas such as marketing, product development, and talent acquisition.
  3. Weakening Brand Perception: Price often correlates with perceived quality. If a brand consistently undervalues its offerings, it can become perceived as a lower-quality provider. This perception can be hard to reverse and might deter ideal clients who are looking for high-quality, premium experiences.
  4. Impacting Negotiations: A reluctance to discuss financials can lead to poorer negotiation outcomes. This might mean accepting deals that are not financially viable or beneficial in the long term, simply because the conversation about money is uncomfortable.
  5. Hindering Strategic Decisions: Strategic business decisions often require a clear understanding of financial health and projections. If money is a taboo topic, it might result in less informed decision-making, affecting everything from resource allocation to strategic partnerships.
  6. Creating a Culture of Silence Around Value: When money is not openly discussed, it can create a company culture that avoids talking about value, worth, and compensation openly. This can lead to disparities in pay, undervalued employees, and a general lack of understanding about the economic dynamics within the company.

My husband likes to quote Nas every now and then, just saying, “Queens get the money.” This line serves as a reminder that money and value are not just for others; they are for us, too. To truly claim them, we must show up, recognize our worth, and seamlessly own conversations toward payment and finances.

Branding is about having the agency to own your narrative, and they don’t flourish without financial nourishment. Engage in money conversations, delve into your money history, and work through the barriers that hinder proper pricing and negotiation strategies. As someone reminded me recently, “Stay premium.”

  • Heal Your Relationship with Money: Let go of any negative beliefs about money, particularly those that undermine your worth. Understand that your past does not define your financial future.
  • Money is Neutral: Remember, money itself is neither good nor bad. It’s a tool, and its impact depends on how you use it.
  • Recognize Your Worth: Understand that your time, skills, and intelligence have immense value. If you can create results, you deserve to be compensated fairly. Do not shy away from asserting the value you bring.
  • Maintain High Standards: People will respect your financial boundaries if you respect them yourself. By setting and adhering to high standards, you teach others how to value your time and efforts.
  • Align Your Pricing with Your Brand Image: Ensure your pricing reflects your brand’s market position. Consistent and strategic pricing enhances your brand’s message and customer perception.
  • Leverage Your Brand Story: Use your brand’s narrative to justify your value. A compelling story that explains the effort, quality, and innovation behind your offerings can significantly enhance customer appreciation and loyalty.
  • Communicate Financial Transparency: Build trust by being open about why your products or services are priced a certain way. This transparency helps customers understand the value they’re receiving, supporting a positive brand image.
  • Invest in Brand Differentiation: Distinguish your brand from competitors with unique benefits, superior service, or connective marketing. Differentiation can justify pricing and make your brand the preferred choice.
  • Cultivate Financial Confidence: Build your financial knowledge and confidence through education and practice. This empowers you to make informed decisions that align with both your personal and business goals.
  • Create a Supportive Network: Surround yourself with a network that fosters healthy financial discussions and practices. This community can provide support and accountability as you navigate your financial journey.
  • Practice Assertive Financial Communication: Develop the ability to articulate your expectations and the value of exchange clearly in negotiations and everyday transactions.
  • Reflect on Your Financial Achievements: Regularly celebrate your financial progress and achievements to boost your confidence and motivate you to continue pushing towards your financial goals.

The price is the price. Own and believe it, make sure you can back it up, and then say it with your chest.

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