The Essentials to Getting Paid For Your Value

by Shana Lynn Yao
CEO | Business & Personal Success Strategist
Total Genius™


Are you being valued and paid for the value of your work?

How do you price your products and services so they speak to the value that you are? How can you attract your ideal clients to you, cut through the noise of your competition, and still make the amount of money you want?

Understanding your value, how to position it in the marketplace so you stand out, and having a business strategy that attracts your ideal clients is essential to making your business work.

Whether you sell on cost, price or value, needs to be predetermined in order to create a solid business strategy and understand the earning potential of your business.

But FIRST, you have to understand what your value is.


It’s an ever increasing problem for new entrepreneurs and an unaddressed market, struggling to communicate the value and depth of your expertise and life experience. 

This new breed of entrepreneurs are people who have migrated from the corporate world, have an inborn talent, or launched forward with a new certification to their name, setting out to create change in the world. Due to the ease and popularity of owning your own coaching or small business, more and more people are choosing to set forth in what seems like, an easy way to make money and NOT have to report to a boss or a job.

The problem lies in the fact that with the rapid pace of technology, while the numbers of online entrepreneurs is changing, the training and information is not. In fact, even from just a few years ago, when Facebook became the go-to communication tool (launching in 2004 but only in recent years becoming the hub of social networking), life and business as we know it has changed.

And to make matters worse, the information being taught has been diluted. New entrepreneurs with no experience - online or off - are becoming rich, simply by the mere boldness and quickness of their actions and speed of learning and implementation. And while they themselves are celebrating their success, the information at times, is not supported by solid business principles, or taking into consideration the more experienced, value-driven people who are missing the critical factor behind their success - understanding their VALUE and how to position it to sell.

Just a few years ago, when people started building their online businesses, they used Facebook as a tool. They became stars on Instagram (think the fashion bloggers with millions of followers and brands throwing money at them), Youtube celebrities, and even via Twitter.

But now, it's becoming harder than ever to get "seen" and heard by people. Facebook has become a black hole, and people with NO experience are becoming rich, merely by being the boldest and courageous.

This causes OVER-LEARNING by the experienced, talented and purposeful business owners, thinking you have to do certain things that THEY did in order to get seen and heard. You start following people just because THEY made money and found a system that worked for THEM.

If that's you, trying to learn what they did will only keep you stuck. It causes a misunderstanding of your true value, and in the end, a loss of self esteem.  If that's you - it's now your JOB to discover your unique positioning. In fact, you don't need to learn it, you need to UNCOVER it and DEVELOP into a system that works for YOU.


Understanding how to communicate your value so that you get paid what you are worth, is the purpose of a your marketing and positioning strategy. It is determined by a clearly defined framework that helps you identify your unique value in the marketplace and how to best promote your business so that it speaks to your strengths.

This framework is made up of your understanding of:


Your expertise and life experience, put together in such a way that it produces a result that is needed for your ideal clients - what I call your “genius” - is the purposeful foundation of your business. It’s the identity of who you really are and the value of it in the world.


What do your ideal clients need? How did you solve your own problems? What ways did you work so hard, go through personal hardship and learn lessons from that adds value in the lives of others?


What is your unique position on that subject? Positioning is the place you CLAIM in the minds of others, in reference to your competitors. Because your business is a personal brand, you have a unique positioning that differs from everyone else. This is how you stand out to your ideal clients, despite the crowded marketplace


Because we, as humans must face challenges in our lives, chances are, if your business is positioned correctly, your lessons were found through your greatest challenges. Whether it was a health condition, a failure, spent money - your “investment” in the solutions to your own problems are a large part of the value of what you do.

As Pastor Rick Warren told Oprah, “God never wastes a hurt.” Whether you are religious or not, the lessons that we learn in our lives are powerful lessons that your purposeful life was meant to teach to others. For this reason, you need to communicate that personal investment strategically in your marketing.


It’s essential to “brag boldly” as a business owner, but even more essential (and fun) is investing so much value into your clients that THEY brag FOR you. This is the goal of value-driven entrepreneurs. Because when you go the extra mile to touch the lives of others, they become raving fans.


Conviction. Dogma. Credence. It’s the inner confidence you have and get when you know what you do in your business. A well positioned business is based on the solid foundation of YOU. Because of that, you know WHAT you do, WHO you do it for and HOW you do it. You don’t need to do it to gain the approval of others. You KNOW it works because it’s based on YOU.

Believing in yourself is NOT a sales tactic. But in fact, nothing sells like conviction. As the CEO of your personal brand, you set the tone for your ideal clients by positioning yourself as you want to be seen in their eyes. 


Selling on value, not price, is essential to communicating the value of you work. Many business owners get caught up learning and seeing what other people do, and because of it, miss the key differentiating points that are necessary to attract people that value them. Understanding  your value,  involves the essential elements named above, but it also involves the tactical elements of PRICE vs COST vs VALUE.

COST: the cost of your product or service is the amount you spend to create it
PRICE: the amount you charge for providing the product or service
VALUE: the value of your product or service in the minds of your prospective clients

If you are an plumber and you are called to an emergency situation, with someone's toilet leaking all over their house, ruining their furniture, and you find the cause is a loose pipe that just needs to be twisted in place - so the solution takes you about 10 minutes, the VALUE of your service far outweighs the COST of your service - and therefore the price you charge can be much higher because it's not based on time, it's based on urgency.

To more clearly identify your COST PRICE VALUE strategy, and if your business is already POSITIONED correctly, you need to ask a few well-thought out questions, including:

√ What is the urgent problem that you solve that will determine the benefit to your ideal clients? 
√ How are you ideal clients judging your service? (your competition, other options, distraction, etc)
√ What value your customers place on receiving the benefits you provide
√ How are you communicating that value before  the client sees the price? What is your short term and long term marketing strategy

Clearly defining the benefits that give you, standing out from your competitors, and knowing your unique positioning in the marketplaces, gives you the freedom to charge what you are worth.

Remember, perception is everything. And perception, is determined by your positioning, and a well thought out marketing strategy that speaks to your BRAND STORY.

“Telling a good story is the key to being understood.”


Your brand story lives inside your strong beliefs. This is what positioning is in business. It's the truth that you stand for, the purpose it serves in  your life, and the place that it holds in the lives of your ideal clients.  This is the strategic difference you have that sets you apart from your competition.

A business that is positioned correctly means:
√ You sell what your ideal clients need
√ You have an evergreen marketing tool that can be your client attraction magnet
√ You know the exact words your ideal clients need to hear because you're so clear on them you speak their language
√ You are reaching your target audience all around the world because you're not relying on standard marketing tactics
√ You have a personalized marketing and positioning strategy that makes you STAND OUT as THE answer for your ideal clients

In business, It’s not about being better than the competition. It's not about trying to be everywhere. And it's not about being on Facebook and trying to get more "likes".

It’s about having a business that is positioned correctly, with a strategic marketing plan of action. A business that is based on your expertise and life experience, that supports what you STAND FOR, and ATTRACTS your ideal clients based on a purposeful strategy and system that works.

Ready to scale attract your tribe of loyal PAYING CLIENTS and build your business in a smart, strategic and purposeful way using positioning?

Click here to grab your seat at the next FREE Online Class all about the EXACT steps to getting




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Shana Yao is CEO and Founder of TOTAL GENIUS™, where she works with high achieving entrepreneurs to discover your genius - the combination of your greatest strengths, talents, and life experience - to create a profit generating business based on your purpose, that fulfills your life and makes an impact on the world. She is an award-winning Business and Personal Success Strategist with over 28 years of experience managing multimillion dollar retail and shopping center locations, including the famed Rodeo Drive. 

In her signature program Discover Your Genius, Shana helps her clients achieve discover and empower their genius within. Using her knowledge of neuroscience, neuro-linguistic programming, positive psychology, emotional and positive intelligence, and high level business strategies, she works to develop her client’s unique vision by uncovering their purpose, their message, building their profit-generating signature program and putting their words into action on their website and in their customized marketing strategy. Schedule a chat to get your business and personal brand positioned to sell. 

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