Charging 10X: Watch me analyze these real-life businesses

Ramit Sethi

There’s something weird going on.

Why is it that even when the newspaper is talking about economic turmoil… we still walk past a nice restaurant and it’s full of people spending money?

It’s almost as if there’s a game being played around you that you don’t know about.

We’ve been talking about how to earn more. We talked about breaking down the math of a dream vacation — an eye-opening view into how things like a $5,000 vacation are actually surprisingly achievable.

The next question, of course, is how the hell do I earn more money?

(By the way, here’s an 89-minute free video on how to find an idea and start earning more.)

Remember, there’s a limit to how much you can save, but no limit to how much you can earn.

So, back to this question of the game being played around us. Assume for a minute that I can teach you how to find an idea.

And even how to charge for it. Maybe $20/hour, maybe $50/hour.

When you think about people charging for services (whether it’s dog walking, interior design, or Excel consulting…whatever, really), think about the two kinds of people:

  1. People that struggle to find any clients, and when they do, their clients are The Worst People In The World. They haggle, they don’t pay on time, they have unrealistic demands.
  2. People that seem to always have a booked schedule of high-quality clients who are happy to pay, even though they’re paying more. Hmm…

What is going on? Again, assuming I can teach you how to find an idea and find clients, which kind of clients would you want?

How can some people charge double, triple, or even 10x what other people charge?

Let’s look at 3 real wedding photographers in NYC.

I have no idea the talent level of these photographers.

I did a search and then clicked right to the “pricing” page of dozens of photographers to see what they offered.

Let’s take a look at the difference between a photographer struggling to get $500 clients, to a photographer that charges 14x that.

Just scraping by: The $500 package


One question: Why would anyone book this photographer!?

Put yourself in the mind of the customer — this is the most important day of their life. A bride doesn’t want to know that you have no experience but “a lot of potential” (what does that even mean?)

When you sell yourself short you attract clients that are looking for the cheapest option. These type of clients:

  • Haggle on price. They want the cheapest option, so they will fight you every step of the way with payment.
  • Don’t value your work. This sets you up to be disrespected and bossed around.

Doing a little better: The $4,000 package


This is closer. This photographer gives “social proof” in the first line, which calls out that she is a talented professional that should be taken seriously.

Then she offers a valuable bonus that most couples would be interested.

However, I’m still asking, “why?”

Does she understand me, the bride?

How do I know I’m going to enjoy working with her?

Clients begging to work with them: The $7000 package


The first paragraph talks very little about the photos and more about the bride. Notice how many times he uses the word “you.”

At this point, a bride is nodding along, excited to work with this person and the result is that price becomes irrelevant.

That’s how you charge more.

Let me show you what I mean. Raising rates doesn’t have to be difficult or awkward. In this 3-minute video, I’ll share with you a word-for-word script for charging more (even if you’ve already worked with the client at a lower rate.)


Do you know your actual earning potential?

Get started with the Earning Potential quiz. Get a custom report based on your unique strengths, and discover how to start making extra money — in as little as an hour.

Start The Quiz

Takes 3 min