Last updated: October 2018
(This article is part of our “Psychology of Success” module, a new part of our service that we’ll reveal soon.)
People often ask us how to get paid more.
The advice we give is applicable to many types of jobs.
We know it works, because we use it ourselves—it’s how our founders went from being employees to forming Conversion Rate Experts.
It’s also the same strategy we’ve used to grow Conversion Rate Experts over the past 11 years. And during that time, we have helped to greatly increase the earnings of many people and companies.
In this article, we reveal the principles … and then we give a 7-step plan you can use.
The principles behind the plan
- Understand that an employer is looking at two things: the value that you will create, and how much you cost. Obviously, they will pay for your services only if you deliver more value than you cost.
- So there are two ways to get paid more:
- Get paid more for the work you are already doing.
- Create more value, and prove you’ve done so, so you can easily justify a greater cost.
- In our experience, the best career strategy is to focus on creating more value (the second of the options above)—and proving you’ve done so. For several reasons:
- It’s easier. It’s possible—particularly for a marketer—to create ten times as much value as a co-worker.
- You build up your superpowers. In hyper-achieving, you learn the skills of hyper-achievers.
- You have more fun. Success is exciting.
- Your market value doubles. Your employer then has a lovely problem: they have to pay you more to keep you, because you have demonstrated that you can deliver amazing value. A good employer will be happy to pay you what you are worth. You become indispensable.
- You get an impressive story to add to your resume. Amazingly, most people’s resumes have no quantifiable evidence that they have ever created value. There’s a serious shortage of people who have proof that they can grow businesses.
- The key to all of the above is that you need to trust that you’ll eventually get paid what you are worth. Which does tend to happen, in the long run. But many people are reluctant to make the effort unless they have a guarantee that they’ll get paid more. That’s like refusing to practice guitar until you get booked for the halftime slot at the Super Bowl. Success doesn’t happen that way. Unfortunately, as the corny motivational poster says…
The seven-step plan
Here’s our seven-step plan for doing the above:
- Identify what would represent incredible success for your employer (or client). What are the main problems they want to fix? What would be their dream outcome? For many businesses, the answer is to increase sales.
- Establish a metric, a way of measuring your contribution toward that goal. (For example, the metric could be overall sales, or sales for a particular part of the business.) This part is essential. If there’s really no way to measure success, then choose a goal that can be measured. (Salespeople tend to get paid highly because the financial impact of their work is easy to measure.) Plot a graph of the current performance, and draw a line showing what it would look like if you doubled the metric in the next 12 months. If your target feels delusional, that’s a sign that you are doing it right.
- At the start of every day, spend at least 30 seconds looking at the graph. (If you’re a rationalist, this part of the process may feel superstitious. Trust us that it has a firm psychological grounding.) Envisage how great it will feel like to hit it. Remember how important the graph is. If you achieve it, it will become the cornerstone of your resume. After a few days, the graph will start to feel less delusional.
- You will begin to notice that you start coming up with ideas for making your vision real. In our experience, such ideas often pop up within five minutes of waking, or when you’re doing an activity that preoccupies your conscious mind—like showering, gardening, meditating or driving. You will also begin to spot opportunities that you might not otherwise have noticed. And you’ll become more impatient with distractions—in the same way that someone who desperately needs the toilet is hard to distract from their mission.
- Focus. Ensure that your plans for every day include activities that will make the target become real. Do everything you can to ignore things that will distract you from hitting your target.
- Spread your vision like a virus. The more people you persuade to join in, the more likely you will be to succeed. It’s better to win as a team than to lose alone. Assemble your winning team.
- Don’t assume that others will calculate the ROI you’ve generated. Next time you are due for a discussion about your pay, show the value you’ve created so far (in monetary terms), and the value you plan to create next. Alongside those numbers, your cost should appear tiny. By expressing your value this way, you make yourself appear less like a cost and more like a no-brainer investment.
Good luck, and please let us know how you get on!