90 Seconds or Less: Don’t be “Affordable”
I was chatting with someone I consider a mentor yesterday, when they dropped a gold nugget of unconventional wisdom that aligns perfectly with the business strategy I’ve taken with my writing work.
We were chatting about pricing and costs – and how often writers (and other consultants) are timid to quote what they’re worth out of a bizarre, misguided protectiveness of a client’s budget. I’m not talking being “cost-concious”, I’m talking the internal monologue you have when sitting at your monitor, wondering how to quote:
“Ack, but if I charge X, it will come out to Y – and I just don’t think the client has the budget for that!”
Boo frickety hoo. Contrary to the opinion we seem to be pre-set with, you do not exist to save your client money: you exist to MAKE them money by creating value for their business.
And that’s when Derek shared his mind:
“Don’t be affordable.”
“You don’t want to be the “affordable” option – the guy they come to with their ragtag projects. You don’t want to be the guy who is delivering steak on a McDonald’s budget.”
What he said next is what really hit me:
“You want to be the guy where they say, “Man, when we get some money – when we’ve got a budget to do something awesome – we want to work with Joel.”"
Why chip out a day-to-day doing minor, bland jobs that don’t excite you? If you’re any good at what you do, why settle for that kind of work?
And yet, so many talented writers eek out a living for bottom of the barrel wages because they’re afraid to take any pride in their work or hear the word “No”.
Sometimes, “No” is “Not now.”
Prove you’re the BEST option, not the most affordable one – and then hold yourself to that standard.
Whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, consultant, SEO, content strategist – it doesn’t matter. Work to be the option people want to be able to afford.