However committed you are to a business venture, and however much you might believe in it, at the end of the day, the key word is business . And business isn’t charity. Your expectation is—and should be—that you’ll get paid for what you know. Pricing and selling something that comes easy to you can be difficult, though. I’m sharing my three simple steps for monetizing your knowledge.

Step 1:  The Theory of Relativity

Anytime you know more about something than someone else, you’re an expert relative to their experience. That has value, so make sure it shows to your customers. They need to see the value you’re bringing to the table. Assume a position of authority on your topic, and don’t be shy about referencing your accomplishments. There’s nothing wrong with taking credit for the things you know and can do. After all, you worked hard to develop your skills.

Step 2: Pricing for Value

Your knowledge is the same as any other product, and you need to approach pricing in the same way. If you create an iPhone app that starts selling like crazy on the Apple App Store, eventually you’ll make back the money you put up for design, development and advertising. After that, almost the entire passive income you bring in from a product like this is profit. Should you start giving away the app for free then? No, of course not. You set the pricing based on how much value the app has to the client—and that’s what you need to do with your knowledge as well. How much value is your knowledge providing to your clients? Price for how much the client needs your product, not how much it cost you to create or maintain.

Step 3: Charge Your Worth

It’s often said in lamenting tones that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. That’s true, and further, is that as an expert you deserve to be compensated for sharing what you know. Knowledge is neither easy nor cheap and shouldn’t be given away for free. When your product is you, there’s a natural inclination to devalue what you’re selling. When you love what you teach, remembering that the value for others is your experience, communication skills and insight can be difficult. Because that’s what you’re really selling!

You wouldn’t give away products for free, would you? Don’t lose sight of the fact that your expertise has value. And don’t be afraid to charge for that value. Last, don’t set a precedent with yourself or others that you’ll give away your knowledge–unless you’re establishing other opportunities or relationships that are mutually beneficial.




image credit: Bigstock/PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek

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