The Next Time a Freelance Client Bitches About Your Rate

This is another Reddit thread. The post is actually just a link to this quote:

“If I do a job in 30 minutes, it’s because I spent 30 years learning how to do it in 30 minutes. You owe more for the years not the minutes.”

This seems to be the quote du jour for freelancers right now.

Eh.

I appreciate the intent and it’s certainly better than being timid about your pricing and undervaluing yourself. But, it still leads you down the wrong path. That’s why I want to talk about this comment on the thread:

“Yep, skill doesn’t mean the job will get done better. Even if someone is more skilled and the work turns out better the return on investment might be exactly the same as someone who is less skilled. All they would need to know is how to make that less skilled work have the same effect through possibly different means or however they figure that out.

For anyone who wants an example. If I spend 5 years learning to make websites and I make a website for a business it’s not worth anything more if someone else only spent 1 year learning but creates a website that makes just as much money for the client. This is what people mean when they say focus on the value. If you are making something for a client that will bring a return to them then that is value.”

At first, this probably makes no sense.

People tend to equate skill with value with price.

Let me try a clearer analogy.

I could be a world-renowned chef… high skill level. But, if I go into a McDonald’s and whip up a burger, using their ingredients and their method, what I’ve actually created is no better than what a 7/hour employee can do.

All my skill doesn’t lead to the end product being of any higher value to the customer. That is the point he’s making and it plays a big part in deciding what services you should offer.

Let’s take a more concrete example.

Let’s say you’re a web developer. 

There IS a market out there for fixing website problems. Being a troubleshooter and bug-smasher. That could be your service (or one of). But, there’s a ceiling on what people are willing to pay for it.

Clients view it as an expense, not an asset.

And, that ceiling will always limit what you can make.

NO MATTER how skilled you are at it.

On the other hand, another service… building landing pages for websites… has virtually no ceiling. Why? Because, what those clients care about is conversion. How well a page turns visitors into leads or customers.

And, that can always get better.

And, that service is tied to real dollars and cents for the client.

So, they view a good landing page as an asset.

You will likely make more offering this service, with even mediocre skill at it, than you would offering a “fix-it” service.

Point is… when thinking about what services you’re going to offer, look at it from the client’s perspective and what value THEY are going to get. What value do THEY place on it?

Then, choose wisely.

And, I’ll give you a hint… the closer you can get to the actual money-making function of the business, the more you’re going to be able to charge. So, things like landing page, sales pages, SEO, etc.

They’re all viewed more like assets.

So, you have a much higher ceiling…

Than, just being another monkey who can fix a missed semi-colon.

Some will rebuke that advice because of fear or laziness. But, for some, that’ll be the light bulb moment you need to blast off in your career. Either way, it underscores the importance of picking the right services to offer.

And, doing some work and research when doing so.

Of course, I have a guide to help you do just that. A part of my Freelancing 101 series, What Services to Offer, where we walking through picking, packaging and pricing your services…

Based on real-world data.

Not guesses and hunches.

In any case, you can get access to it for free over on Skillshare. All the details on the course and how to get free access are here: https://johnmorrisonline.com/niche

Later,

John

P.S. If you have questions about the Skillshare offer, check out this page: https://johnmorrisonline.com/skillshare. Should answer them.

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John Morris

JOHN MORRIS

I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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