"I Know You Are An Awesome Service Provider, But I Found Someone Cheaper"
I’m afraid. There, I said it. I’m afraid because I’m seeing a problem that has always been around … and I’m seeing it catch fire:
“We Love Your Work and Know You’re Worth Every Penny, But We Found Someone Cheaper”
… usually these people don’t even say ‘better and cheaper’ … it’s just that they found someone less expensive and they were sold.
There Will Always Be People Less Expensive Than You.
The issue that I believe is happening right now is that the number of people ‘less expensive than you’ is growing and at a VERY FAST PACE …
people see you do and then they want to do, too
It’s natural … it looks ‘easy’ … just pick up a camera and point it at something and push that little button … easy peasy!
Easy Peasy, My Ass.
I’m not saying that people should STOP starting their own service providing businesses … but what I am sick of is how LAZY people are about it now … how saturated the market is becoming with mediocre business owners that don’t know jack sh*t about the craft they are selling and then those people being less expensive and taking business away from the people who DID THE WORK in the trenches and grew before social media and worked their ass off … beyond that, the ones who:
DESERVE TO BE PAID WHAT THEY CHARGE BECAUSE OF THEIR EXPERIENCE
Here’s the issue and the cycle …. a lot of people are looking for the cheapest option … we are all spending less as a whole, trying to keep up with a world that is financially spinning out of control … and it is bringing down the idea that an experienced service provider is worth more because of their experience. If I buy two shirts: one cheap ish and one expensive, in most cases I can immediately feel that the more expensive one is better - but with service providers, you don’t know until AFTER you work with them if they are great or not …
It’s also SUPER confusing for a consumer to compare services with the pricing and to understand WHY it’s more or less!
An example of what probably goes through the minds of a potential client:
potential client: “SO YOU GUYS BOTH OFFER THE EXACT SAME SERVICE BUT YOURS IS WAY MORE???”
service provider: “YES, I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS FOR 10 YEARS…”
potential client: “BUT IT’S THE SAME SERVICE … CORRECT?”
service provider: “ON PAPER, YES … BUT MY EXPERIENCE IS WHAT MAKES MY PRICES HIGHER BECAUSE I HAVE BEEN DOING THIS LONGER AND I AM F*CKING BETTER THAN THEM BECAUSE OF IT.
… ok, obviously we can’t say the last thing … but we all want to, right??? Because if you kill it at your job, you ARE BETTER than someone who just started and charges way less … it’s so frustrating.
The good news is that the industry goes through waves … I personally feel we are in a major down wave right now. I know for me, I am getting passed up constantly for a website designer who is WAY LESS than me … are they better??? Well …… I highly doubt it ;)
Back to why I’m afraid: this is what I do … this is what I’m meant to do … and if everyone with a mom decides they can do it too, I am f*cked … so what do we do?
A FEW IDEAS:
lower your prices a bit during these waves … I know it sucks and it hurts and it seems unfair, but there will be a time when an up-wave hits and you can bounce your prices back or even higher than now!
offer ‘sales’ or ‘discounts’ and get enough clients to cover you for a bit without the hit to your pride of fully lowering your prices all together.
if you have a potential client that you REALLY want and you know they are shopping around, lower your prices just for them to make it easier for them to choose you.
I realize all those ideas suck ass … I hate lowering my prices because I know what I’m worth … hell, I’m not even that expensive … I should charge WAY MORE than I do … I just keep telling myself: eventually a percentage of the mediocre website designers out there who are charging way less than me will filter out because they can’t hold up to their promises … and it will bounce back. We just have to be patient.