August 20, 2019

But I didn’t DO anything!

Lots of folks who are used to getting paid for making stuff are baffled by the idea of getting paid for their advice.

They think:

“Just give advice? But... that’s not real work! How can I charge the client when I haven’t even done anything?!”

I imagine that most of these same people can think of examples from their own lives where they gladly pay a professional for advice.

Here are a few examples from my life that I pay on an ongoing basis - year after year - for access to their expertise:

I have also hired many experts on an ad-hoc or one-off basis over the years:

Other than have a conversation with me and maybe perform a few minor diagnostic activities, none of these people “did” anything.

They didn’t repair my garage door or stage my house or do my taxes or configure my servers or set up a reverse proxy or optimize my site for better SEO.

They “just” diagnosed my situation and gave me useful advice. And it was great! That’s what I wanted. I’m 100% satisfied with the outcome of every one of these engagements.

Here’s the thing...

When you have an important decision to make and you feel like the stakes are high, it’s perfectly reasonable to pay an expert you trust to mitigate the risk by helping you make a more informed decision.

So... why couldn’t you do the same thing? The greater your expertise, the more likely it is that someone would value having access to your advice.

Selling advice is very low cost to you and can be very high value to your clients. This is the perfect dynamic for setting fixed prices (value-based or otherwise) that are extremely profitable for both parties.