Today we’re talking about whether you should have mates’ rates for your products and services.
You might find that at the start of your business – and especially when you start to become successful – you’ll have friends and family saying, “Hey, can you just proofread this for me?” or, “I’d love to pick your brain about marketing,” or, “Hey, can you whack up a website for me?”
It can be a potentially awkward situation, but don’t worry. I’ve got a few tips and tricks for you about how to change your mindset and decide if you should charge mates’ rates for your friends and family.
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Lucky Bitch Video Transcript – Should You Have Mate Rates For Friends and Family?
I think we’ve all been there, especially at the start of our business, when our friends and family think, “Hey, it’s really easy to help me out,” or, “It doesn’t cost you anything” especially if you’re in a service business.
“It doesn’t ‘cost’ you anything, so can you please help me?”
Sometimes they’re asking for mates’ rates, but quite often they’re asking you to do it for free, or they might want a barter arrangement that’s not really a good deal for you at all.
How does it feel for you to charge full rates?
What’s my take on this?
Do I think you should do it sometimes, or never do it?
You know what? It’s totally okay to charge your friends and family your full rate. It’s totally okay to charge them a mates’ rate and it’s totally okay to do things for free if you want to.
I really don’t have a set policy around this. It’s more about how it makes you feel.
Some of your friends will be amazing clients and some of them will really respect you. Some of them will probably insist on paying your full rate, or if they are getting a discount, they’ll be really appreciative, pay you on time, and be a dream to work with.
I’ve definitely helped friends and family at different times and some of them have been better than others.
I have friends who I go to for products and services, and I have friends who’ve joined my Lucky Bitch Money Bootcamp and it’s totally cool. We respect each other as professionals and it’s great.
That’s the best-case scenario – it works out perfectly
On the other side – and maybe you’ve experienced this as well – you try to be really generous because you want them to succeed.
Maybe it’s someone who has seen you become successful in business and they’re like, “Hey, I’d like some of this entrepreneurial luck! They’ll help me out.”
But they are the worst clients in the history of the world
They don’t respect your time and energy, they expect you to over-deliver (sometimes to the detriment of your fully paid client work), they’re people who don’t necessarily get things to you on time, and generally make it a horrible experience.
Feel free to part ways when it’s not working out
Now, if this has happened to you in the past, tell those people that you won’t be working with them ever again.
You don’t have to say it in those words, like “Gosh, you’re a pain in the butt.” But, you can say things like, “You know what? I really don’t think I’m the best person for this job anymore,” and you can recommend them to someone else.
They might not act the same way with someone else if there’s an exchange of money taking place, or if it’s somebody they don’t know personally. They might not necessarily be a pain-in-the-butt client, but they are taking advantage of you.
You can also say to them, “I’m booked out for the next three to six months with paid client work, so I’m not going to be able to help you this time. Sorry about that.”
Another option is to say, “When I started my business, this is what I did,” and point them to the books and resources that you used at the time.
You remember what it was like at the start of your business when you had to hustle, you had to get past resistance, and you had to learn things for yourself.
That’s one of the rites of passage to being an entrepreneur. If they can’t get past those little hurdles at the start, then they’re probably not going to be successful in business.
Feel free to say to them, “Hey, this is a book I read that taught me about marketing. This is the resource that taught me how to build my own website. Here’s a course that I did to learn about XYZ,” and send them the links. Send them affiliate links too if you want, so you get a kickback.
It’s okay to point them in the right direction without solving everything for them. You don’t have to do everything for them. It’s that whole philosophy of give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for the rest of his life.
That’s one of the truths of being an entrepreneur, or being successful in anything. You really have to build those inner skills to do it.
If you’re trying to do everything for your friends and family and help them shortcut their success, they might not have the stamina to be successful long term in business.
Tell me if you think I’m being harsh about this. I want to hear from you in the comments.
Some people think they’ve got a duty to help their friends and family no matter what.
Even if their friends and family are pains in the butt, they wouldn’t dream of charging them as clients.
I’d love to hear it from your perspective as well.
Everyone deserves to feel like a valued client
When there isn’t an exchange of money – and make sure you watch my bartering video on this – it can be a messy arrangement.
You might think, “Yes, I’ll totally over-deliver for my friends and family,” but you might be robbing them of the experience of being treated like a valued client, paying for and receiving something in return, which I think is kind of a cool feeling.
I’ve been on the receiving end of mates’ rates, because I felt like I couldn’t insult friends by going elsewhere.
You can say to your friends and family, “I’m not going to be insulted if you don’t want to work with me. Don’t feel like you have to work with me, I’ve got someone else I can recommend.”
Then they can have the experience of being an actual client, especially if your work is in the business or life-coaching arena. Give them that experience of being a client for somebody who doesn’t have a prior relationship with them.
That’s another perspective
It could really serve them to NOT work with you.
Now, I’ve actually got a free eBook that might help you.
We talk about what to say when friends or family members ask you to work with them. But also, there are about 30 other scripts for potentially awkward situations, like what to say to a client who is late with their payment, what to say to somebody who asks you for a discount, and what to say to people who ask you to speak for free.
Get the scripts here at www.LuckyBitch.com/awkward
Make sure you download that today. It comes in really handy for those potentially awkward money conversations you need to have in your business.
It’s your time and you’re ready for the next step!
Did you miss last week’s post? Check it out here: How to Have a Millionaire Mindset