This is what I have been pondering:
Alienating your current market by raising your prices drastically. Is this business & financial suicide? Or is this a necessary move to grow your business?
I’ve been in business for 20 years, and in those 20 years I have alienated my marketplace many times. And I needed to. Because otherwise I would still be selling my artwork at markets in Switzerland freezing my backside off for $40.
I now have a $5,500 offering.
To get to where I am today, with clients globally, designing brand identities, custom backdrops and being a paid mentor and guest expert for business schools, I needed to move on and move away from the previous cohort of clientele.
Because if you have a vision for your life and your business, you cannot stick within the exact same space. You cannot take the same people with you. You cannot have the same clients at every stage in your business journey.
Sometimes you NEED to drastically change something to move the business forwards. It all depends on your goals and plans for the future.
You will evolve, your business will evolve, and your pricing, your offerings, your positioning and your messaging ALL need to change to keep up. Alienating your marketplace is part of the evolution. At one stage you will have to leave people behind. And that’s fine.
I cannot sell $40 paintings for nurseries and kids’ rooms and $6,000 brand identities with same strategy to the exact same person, with the same pricing, offerings, messaging, positioning and brand identity.
My branding, my messaging, my business back then looked perfect for a $40 sale. My branding, messaging and my business today is perfect for a $5,500 sale.
And yet the CRAZY thing is that my actual skill set is roughly the same. Yes I have learnt more, added more strings to my bow, and progressed in creative terms, BUT my core skill set of art, design and aesthetics has not changed.
STOP – before I go any further, let’s just change up the vocabulary.
Words have meaning and exude feelings. When people talk about alienating a marketplace or audience, it sounds scary and negative. “Don’t alienate anyone”, it warns. “Alienation is rejections”, it foretells.
So let’s change it to Change.
Changing your marketplace by raising your prices drastically. Better! Already it feels expansive and positive.
This actually sounds like solid business sense, especially if your product, service and goals require a price rise to move into another market.
So please don’t be afraid of alienating, changing or repositioning your market, if you feel the need to raise prices or move on. There are more markets beyond the one you are currently serving.
And let’s be honest here, you won’t be wiping out your whole current audience or marketplace. Many people will move with you. They will see the value in your product, service and offering and be ready to pay your new prices.
I have moved markets often, some times drastically by changing the WHOLE business or price point. And sometimes it’s been less drastic but equally scary at the time.
Each time, I have alienated a particular sector in the marketplace. But I promise you, my business has improved and gained new traction with the RIGHT people for this new marketplace. I have remessaged, rebranded and rebooted each time, even within the same business with the same product and service.
Did you know that in 2015 I was designing and selling my custom backdrops for $500 and a logo for $180? My business branding was quite simple and a bit of a pot-shot mess, to be honest haha! However, it worked perfectly for that price point and that early stage in my untested business.
I’ve had 3 leaps in price since then. Each time some people told me they could not afford me anymore.
Today, the custom backdrops range from $1,250 to $2,950 and my VIP Expert Package is moving to $5,900. And I’m adding a new service for 2020 that’s priced at $9,900.
My branding has developed along with my level of expertise, my business model and my marketplace. My brand identity and branding have been deliberately designed to fit.
I am not worried about alienating anyone because I don’t see it as alienation.
I see it as a natural turn of events. I know that in moving, developing, changing and evolving I have found a new, bigger marketplace with clients who fit with my services, my messaging, my ethos and my aesthetic.
And yes, it’s not for everyone but that’s OK too.
Don’t be afraid; try to reframe the word alienate and see how far you and your business can go!