I've always struggled with how to price my services as an entrepreneur. Our guest, Amelia Roberts, breaks down how she helps people discover their value. We discussed being in the market as African-American females and making sure you create circles of influence to reach your goals. Also, we talk about how to use research to your advantage when asking for a raise or a promotion.
About Our Guest
Amelia Roberts is a digital native who officially became a practitioner of online marketing twelve years ago with a role as a virtual assistant. One thing lead to another and now alongside other hats, she works as a visibility expert and digital marketing consultant.
In this role, Amelia helps under-recognized professionals become thought leaders by skipping the maddening Facebook Ads, sales funnels, and algorithm changes and go straight for online collaborative partners such as podcast hosts, bloggers, and who already have the “know, like, and trust” of thousands of supporters
Follow her on Twitter: @rn_solutions
Follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rn_solutions/
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ameliarnsolutions
Black Enterprise Article: https://www.blackenterprise.com/state-of-black-women-owned-businesses/
For people who want to know how Amelia paid off 18k of student loans as a nurse: https://thebusinessofnursing.com/earn-more-now
Welcome to Money Talk with Tiff, a podcast where we discuss everything money – from tips and tricks to current events. Follow me on my journey to become debt-free, and meet other cool people along the way. I’m your host, Tiffany Grant, now let’s talk money.
Tiffany Grant (Host): Alright, so I’m super excited about today’s episode. I have Amelia Roberts. Now, Amelia is a digital native who officially became a practitioner of online marketing about 12 years ago, with a role as a Virtual Assistant. One thing led to another – and now, alongside other heads – she works as a Visibility Expert in Digital Marketing.
So in this role, Amelia helps under-recognized professionals become thought leaders by skipping the maddening Facebook ads, sales funnels, and algorithm changes – and going straight for online collaborative partners (such as podcast hosts, bloggers, and people who already have the no like to interest a thousand of supporters). So, thank you much, Amelia, for joining me today.
Amelia Roberts (Guest): Thank you for having me. Thank you for inviting me, I’ve listened to a couple of episodes, and I’m excited to be here.
Tiffany Grant: Awesome! Awesome! So, we’ll get right into it because I feel like you have a very…. I’m just excited about what you have to talk about today. *laughs*
I’ll just let you go ahead and start. I love that Amelia helps people recognize their value, and to me, that’s super important, especially as entrepreneurs. So Amelia, how do we recognize our value and make sure we get what we’re worth in the marketplace?
Amelia Roberts: So, how to make sure we get what we’re worth? I will back up a little bit and talk about how I came to the point of realizing I had value because it’s just a conversation that can be challenging to have when we talk about how to get your value when you’re not quite sure if you have it.
I started out as an under-recognized employee. I was in a regulated industry where there were millions who did what I did. I came to a point where I needed to do something different to earn income, and just working an extra shift was not an option for me for various reasons. That’s when I started to go into online entrepreneurship, and I found that there were virtual assistants who were charging $7 per hour to do a task, and others were charging $75-$100 per hour to do the same task.
My will started turning, and I just started to see this gap, saw the possibilities, and wondered why some people could charge and ask for $1,000 for a project while others couldn’t. It really comes down to you being certain of the value you offer before you can request that it be respected and recognized. If you don’t feel as though you have any value to offer, if you feel as though you’re worth about $20 per hour, that’s what you’ll ask for – and that’s what you’ll get. If you feel as though you’re worth $20 now, and you ask for $100, that is just going to be a hard conversation to have – if you don’t feel like you deserve it. It probably won’t be recognized because you’re going to have all sorts of hesitancy and weirdness about your voice as you ask got something you don’t feel like you deserve.
I feel like I’m going off-track, but it goes back to you knowing for sure what your value is.
Tiffany Grant: Right! You know it’s interesting you said that because I personally struggle with that as an entrepreneur. When I first started Money Talk With Tiff (MTWT), I was pricing myself so low when it came to individual coaching and everything. As the years have gone by, I’ve increased and increased, but I’m like, “Tiffany, you were worth what you’re charging now, if not more, way back then.” So, I know a lot of my audience are entrepreneurs or budding entrepreneurs, and it is a real struggle – the imposter syndrome is real!
Amelia Roberts: It is! As I mentioned in my communication with you before this, the imposter syndrome is real, and more people of color (POCs) are impacted a little differently by that – just by way of the society’s messages that tell us what our value is.
Society tells us that our (POCs) value is different and that our value as women is different from that of men. Society tells us that our value is different than women of the majority (as women of color). So, we have those additional messages in our context, along with the typical impostor syndrome that other women of the majority also have. We just have this additional context.
That context is seen. I can give you the link to a black enterprise article on the state of black women in business that states how many women of color entering business have an earned average revenue that equates to poverty levels within the United States. The article also talks about an annual revenue of $24,000 versus over $100,000 among all women business owners. So the gap is real.
“Imposter syndrome is so tough. For so long, women and girls have been told we don’t belong in the classroom, boardroom, or any room where big decisions are being made. So when we do manage to get into the room, we are still second-guessing ourselves, unsure if we really deserve our seat at the table. We doubt our own judgment, our own abilities, and our own reasons for being where we are. Even when we know better, it can still lead to us playing it small and not standing in our full power.”
– Michelle Obama
Tiffany Grant: Oh, wow! I would definitely want to read that article, and I will put it (the link) in the show notes because that sounds very interesting. I can just speak. For instance, I used to be in HR as I would try to coach people on how to ask for that raise or ask for that promotion, and you know, women, in general, are typically scared to ask for more, especially black women and other minority women. I had to get over that myself; you try to fit into this mold, like “this is what I’m supposed to do,” “don’t speak up too loud, or you’ll be considered having an attitude,” you know, something like that. We need to start using our voices more. Ask for those raises, and ask for what you’re worth because if you don’t, nobody will give it to you.
Amelia Roberts: That’s awesome that you do that, and I agree with you, and this is where models outside of your family might be needed. I listened to one of your episodes where you talked about financial role models – lack of financial role models. I resonated with that when I heard you say that. The same can be true when it comes to asking for raises and money. Many of us may not have those sort of career roles models handy, and there’s definitely a need for us to seek out examples from other people that might be outside of our family.
Thanks to the internet, there are millions of people who look like us who have examples of what they did, what they said, and how they got from point A to point B. You can listen to their podcast, binge on their YouTube channels, look at their Facebook lives. Examples of what this looks like are everywhere is we choose to look. I know I didn’t wake up like that either.
Tiffany Grant: Exactly.
Amelia Roberts: Yes, I definitely had to grab examples from elsewhere (for me).
Tiffany Grant: Exactly, and you just learn from experience. It was just one point where I was just tired of making what I was making (money). And I was like, “I’m just going to go in there, say what I want; if they give it to me, good! If they don’t, then I need to start looking elsewhere.” I just had to put my foot down that one day; it seemed ridiculous. *laughs*
I mean, doing that takes a lot of courage because many people are also scared to lose their job.
“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”
– Mohammed Ali
Amelia Roberts: Yes. I like the fact that you had your enough-is-enough point, and you recognized that. I feel as though many of us have like this enough-is-enough point that we don’t stand up for ourselves or save ourselves or come through for ourselves. That act of not coming through for ourselves teaches us not to trust ourselves, which goes back to the lack of requesting our values be recognized. If we can’t trust ourselves, why would we invest in ourselves if we can show up and save ourselves from horrible work situations? It was awesome that you found that courage.
So a question for you if you don’t mind.
Tiffany Grant: Yea, sure.
Amelia Roberts: Where did you find that courage to stand up for yourself- your enough-is-enough point?
Tiffany Grant: You know, it’s all part of research: because the more you know, the more you can leverage what you know, right? I was researching this job title that I had. (I asked)“How much do people in this market (where I live) get paid for doing the exact same thing that I’m getting paid to do?” And when I looked at that, I realized that I was way below what I was supposed to be making.
And you see, that’s was one of the ways I coach people into asking for promotions and raises – make sure you do your research ahead of time. That way, when you go into that meeting with that supervisor or that HR person, or the owner of the company (in my case), you have all your ducks in a row, because when you start hitting them with stats and numbers, *laughs* then there’s not much they can say after that. I love it!
Amelia Roberts: I’ve seen something similar work in the entrepreneur’s space, stats, and numbers too. I honestly did not know.
When I was first introduced to virtual assistants and working from home, doing this string of tasks and marketing, some people were charging $20 per hour, and then the specialized (advanced) folks in the virtual assistance were making $100,000 a year plus came into my world. That just opened up a new world of possibilities like “Oh, wow!”
It really is about knowing what is common in the market and what is common in which market. There are markets of 7-8 figure online business owners who are out there; they exist, there’s more than a couple of them. There are high 6-figure earners too. There more than a few out there who have teams of people, and yes, they’re paying their teams well because they’re making up to $2,000 per hour or something like that, so they’re happy to pay someone $75 per hour to take care of something versus them doing it.
Tiffany Grant: Absolutely.
Amelia Roberts: But what you said – research! Researching is seeing what’s out there; that’s where it starts. That’s where you know what to even talk about.
Tiffany Grant: Absolutely! Another thing I feel helps you with your value is by surrounding yourself with people that you look up to. For instance, I know my career coach, she introduced this concept of the “circle of five.” The five people that are closest to you, you’re bound to mirror those five people.
She was like, “Ok, Tiffany, how much do you want to make a year. No limit.” And I was like, “No limit?” Ok, let’s go ahead and say 6 figures. At this time, I was only making about $10 per hour, so to me, that was big. So, I was like, ”let’s say $100,000 a year”. Then my coach said, “but everybody that you’re surrounding yourself is nowhere near that. So you need to change your circle and start interacting with people that are already there so that way you can see how they did it, and you can mirror that new circle.”
Now, that’s not saying you should get rid of your friends, but also surround yourself with other people you admire and are already where you want to be.
Amelia Roberts: Yes, and that’s so important for those of us who didn’t necessarily grow up with these folks in our circle and how these people were in our circle. I know that this can vary. At first, it started with listening to podcasts; I’m listening to podcasts of people I needed to be around, and that sort of gave me ideas. I listened to them, and they set a new standard of normal of what was to be expected in terms of value and asking for money, which formed my new expectation.
Then I started to have in my personal network; people that I networked in real life, people who also share that same value. And that helped me re-calibrate my norms right.
“Start building a network of fellow entrepreneurs that understand your passion and don’t make you feel guilty about always chasing it.”
– Cameron Herold
Tiffany Grant: That’s right. That’s super important as well. It doesn’t have to be people in person. Like today, you know two people virtually that you can look up to – me and Emelia. You know what I mean, so it doesn’t mean that you have to have people in your town, these can be people all over the country or all over the world – and that’s the beauty of the internet.
So, I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I wanted to hear (because I know a bit of your story) how you were able to get $1,000 in one day because that just stood out to me.
Amelia Roberts: Again, mindset works. It took a long time even to feel like, “Hey, I can ask for that,” because again, if you ask and you don’t feel as though you deserve it, you don’t even get it. People tend to reflect on things that make sense, and if it doesn’t make sense for you, you’ll be telling something to somebody, and you’ll have a question mark all over your face, and they’ll look at you crazily. It’s just not it! It just doesn’t work out well.
So, in any case, I started listening to people who did. What I was offering was done-for-you outreach – helping people to get on podcasts, blog posts, Facebook groups with their best buyers so they could be in front of hundreds of thousands of new people on a weekly basis. I knew the value of their product.
Their products were worth it and under-priced. Not that I’m talking about it, but, you know, no matter, this is a conversation, we’re being sure. So, that was the plan – get them in front of influencers who had the interest of their best buyers. The product that he was selling was close to $1,000, and I figured with all of these, he’d at least be able to move one product, so let me charge $1,000.
Upon further research, I found other companies that offer a similar sort of direct outreach – an outbound client acquisition program – and their prices are around $4,000 a month. That’s because you can put people in front of hundreds and thousands of people who want to buy, and if their products are $1,000 +, it sort of works out well in their interest.
Anyway, $1,000 was what I had the confidence to charge at that point. So, I was in a Facebook group, and I pitched that to the gentleman, and I said, “Hey, I’d like to offer my service related to outreach.” You know, getting them on podcasts, blogs, blah blah blah, and he said, “let’s talk.” Then we talked, and he said, “name a price that would feel comfortable to you,” and I felt comfortable with only $1,000 at the time, and he said “Yea,” and that same day, I had $1,000 in my bank account.
That was an amazing moment, and the first time that happened for me, so it really opened my eyes to what’s possible.
Tiffany Grant: Nice. #Goals! I’d love to make $1,000 in a day, snd I know that time is coming, but that is so inspirational. You know, just ask! The worst they can say is “no,” and if they say “no,” you just move on.
Amelia Roberts: Yes, and what helps to build up for those asking. I know there are people out there who have gotten $10,000 in one day, but what builds up to these asks are “smaller asks.” I’ve asked for $97, I’ve asked for $297, I’ve asked for $300, I’ve asked for $500. So once, you know, I got the $97, that gave me the confidence to ask for the $297, and that gave me the confidence to ask for the $300 and then the $500.
You know, nothing happens overnight; I want people to know. But you have to get in the process of knowing what you’re worth, and then asking, or I’d like to say inviting people to recognize your value, but it’s more like inviting people to recognize your value with confidence!
Tiffany Grant: Absolutely! Well, thank you so much, Amelia. That was a wonderful discussion and very much needed, especially for the audience that I have! So where can they find you?
Amelia Roberts: Sure. I have a blog, well, actually a few places. First, I’d love to connect with you on LinkedIn; that’s the place where I hang out the most. People in the business frame of mind are used to talking about business, thinking about business and such, and that’s who I prefer to hang out with.
I am also on Facebook, I’ll give you my links afterward, and I have a website – Solution by Amelia, solutionsbyamelia.com. You’ll see solutions of people that I’ve been able to help get visible and get in front of their audience and get clients.
I also have a background in healthcare (well, it’s a long story), and I love helping people see the other ways they can use their degree in healthcare to do different things. So I have a blog for that as well called thebusinessofnursing.com.
Tiffany Grant: Wow! So I counted two blogs. There’s Linkedin, there’s Facebook, there Twitter, and there’s Instagram. I’ll have those links available in the show notes because Amelia is someone you want to keep in contact with.
So, thank you so much! That was wonderful, and I look forward to having you back on the show again.
Amelia Roberts: Absolutely! I look forward to staying in touch again. Take care.
Tiffany Grant: You too.
Thank you for listening to the Money Talk with Tiff Podcast. For free resources and materials, head over to moneytalkwitht.com, and while you’re there, why not sign up for our newsletter, so you’ll never miss an episode. Talk to you soon…
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