The Impostor Syndrome Tax: Why You Should Charge More for Your Products
If you struggle with pricing your products, you need to read this post.
Do not index
Do not index
Creators put a lot of energy into their work. Initially, that energy takes the form of content.
In return, you receive likes and attention. But eventually, that energy balance starts to decompensate.
Likes are great. Followers too. But they don't pay the bills.
If you want to make it as a creator, at some point in your career, you'll have to CHARGE MONEY for what you do.
This post is not about HOW to charge (that's why I wrote this one) but to touch on a concept that worked for me early on and helped me make more money: The Imposter Syndrome Tax.
Let’s dive into what it is and how it works.
The first money I made online wasn't from digital products but from services. Someone found my content and reached out to ask for help with theirs.
Up until that point, I had never sold anything I had created. Thanks to my agency background, it was easy to put together my proposal, the project scope, and the deliverables.
But when I got to the price, I froze.
Well, I did what someone who knows nothing about pricing would have done: I charged by the hour.
I calculated how many hours I would need to complete the project, assigned a $ value to those hours, and set that as the total price.
Then I put it in a nice PDF and emailed it to the client.
A very quick YES.
Uh oh, bad sign.
If a client says YES so quickly, it's cheaper than it should be.
When I asked the client for feedback after the job was done, his first response was: "You should charge at least twice as much. Next time, add AT LEAST 50% more to that invoice."
And that’s when I realized: Throughout this entire project, I wasn't the one talking, but my impostor syndrome was.
Being aware of your imposter syndrome is the first step towards overcoming it.
My problem was that the impostor Alex took over whenever I thought about pricing something.
So I decided to fight it with another of the biggest solopreneur pains ever: taxes.
That's how I came up with the Impostor Syndrome Tax. Here’s how it works:
When you price something (service or product), you’ll quickly come up with a number in your head.
Maybe it’s based on your past experience or maybe just on a quick hourly count like I did.
However that number feels for you, my advice is that you add at least 25% more to it.
What the heck, make that 50% and call it the imposter syndrome tax 👇
It’s in our nature to undercharge.
Whether it is our limitations or fear of how others perceive us, whatever number you come up with will be lower than it should be.
Starting today, remember the imposter syndrome tax when pricing.
Here’s something I’ve experienced firsthand and also learned from many creator friends: Do you know what happens when you raise prices?
99% of the time, nothing happens. Well yes, one thing: you make more money
Pricing low is your call, but if you do it, make it for strategic reasons or personal preference.
My best advice to apply the tax is to keep raising your prices until someone says you are “too expensive.”
At that point, you may be nearing your limit. But if no one is saying no?
Then you are still undercharging. Your tax needs to be higher.
So kick your imposter in the butt and keep raising your prices.