Have you ever heard the phrase, "Great work ain't cheap, and cheap work ain't great." - it's short, but in my opinion it's absolutely spot on. The thing is that the 'Great' doesn't really quite explain what's involved in producing great work. I'd like to talk about this in today's post.
Online service providers everywhere, especially when they start out have a battle with how much they should charge, self-talk debates go on where they ask themselves questions like, "If my prices are too high I might not get any clients." or "If my prices are too low, my work might not be taken seriously." or "If I charge this price I'll make so little profit I'll feel bad about it."
The fact is, there's never any right or wrong price, it depends on your circumstances what you charge and your reasons for it, and it depends on the client's circumstances what they can pay. There are rich people in the world and poor people, so there will always be people who will pay for your services and people who won't.
When do I charge for 'great'?
The ideal answer is that from Day 1 of your business you immediately start charging for great work. But that seldom happens, because we don't believe that we can come straight off the starting blocks, with no testimonials, no portfolio, no history, no clients, no established brand identity, no [fill in the blank] and start charging for 'great' - and have people pay it.
It's not that we can't charge for great - we can, but it will only work if we've done a hell of a lot of work on our own self-confidence and belief system beforehand, to have a sense of knowing, without doubt that you'll get those clients in the door at your 'great work' price.
So we do the hustle, for a while.
No, not the dance, although that might help your mood. When I say "do the hustle" I mean, we grab opportunities to start developing the kind of things that will build our confidence and help us to break the limiting beliefs we have that we can't charge for 'great work.' In order to do this effectively we have to of course be clear in our mind, that this is only temporary.
When I started my business I was a complete novice, I was entirely self-taught and had nothing to compare anything to. All my theories of doing business online with clients from a remote location were just that, theories, and I couldn't say confidently that I was able to provide services to the kind of excellent standard I strived for when I worked offline. So I basically put myself to the test and did work for free, or very low cost. By doing this, in no time I had testimonials, experience, I had proven my theories, and I had first-hand knowledge of what it cost me personally to do great work.
'Great Work' ingredients
When you don't charge for great work, you feel under pressure to finish the job as quickly as possible, and when things are rushed, you lose out and so does the client. My work tends to require a great deal of creativity, ideas, innovation and Ah Ha moments, which often come due to my experience, and you generally can't turn a brand new innovative unique idea on like a tap.
If a client asks you for a cheaper rate are you going to say, "Sure thing, you can take my shoddy package, it's half the quality so half the price" - well, some might... Generally, we always try to do our best, and the best, comes at a premium....
Have you noticed in Mcdonalds you have to carry your own Big Mac, dispose of your own rubbish and you don't have someone attentively waiting on you throughout your meal?
I hope you see the humour as well in this post, I'm not saying you should choose whether you're a Mcdonalds or a Michelin Star, or even that one or the other is better, I'd eat at a Mcdonalds, and I'd eat at a Michelin Star restaurant, there's a clear place for both of them in this world, just like there's a place for all online service providers charging all kinds of prices, but what I'm saying is that if you look at this from a different perspective, while some clients may ask for a price which is cheaper than YOUR great price, you might want to explain why that's really not best for either of you.