Stemming from a conversation I had yesterday with a fellow entrepreneur and small business owner, the topic of our management rates arose.

As this was actually our initial conversation (we met a week ago at a networking event and set up a time to get to know one another and our businesses), the discussion was a bit of a deep dive into what we do for our clients. His business, as a private investor, was very intriguing. I had never met anyone who does exactly what he does and I look forward to being able to refer him some new clients in the future.

When I began to talk about what I do (assist small business owners with their social media marketing), the topic of my rates came up. In speaking very candidly, as we seem to have an instant rapport, I made it clear that my whole process is in hopes that I’m seen as an investment to my clients and not as a monthly expense. Especially as a marketer!

So, for the rest of the day, I began to ponder the thought: Am I really seen as an investment or do my clients dread making their check out to me each month?

My initial thoughts are that I’m seen as an investment. I do send out monthly reports on all the relevant metrics, provide a continuous education on our objectives, and, for the most part, my clients have been with me and stay with me for a good period of time. I seem to have their loyalty and I make it obvious they have mine. I’d be worried about it – that being seen as an expense – if I had a high turnover or clients that continuously pay late or, frankly, if I was struggling to find and keep clients.

Have you thought of this question? And, if you think you’re seen as an expense, how can you adjust your program or process to turn that around and be seen as an investment?