What is your marketing worth?
I see an important element in pricing freelance and consulting services that gets no discussion, but it shapes pricing on most every project.
The price you will get paid is in large part a function of how you obtain assignments. In other words, it’s about how you market.
Some marketing techniques support higher fees. Referrals from trusted and / or influential people; polished marketing materials, whether print or online; relationship-based social networking and one-on-one contacts are among the marketing methods associated with more money.
Online assignment bidding sites and Craigslist are associated with lower fees.
Some argue these services are wrong to broker such low-paying work because writing, graphics, etc. is “worth more than that.” Yes, we wish they paid better.
Yes, it would be a happy world for solopros if we could simply post our ads in a nonthreatening way or respond to bid requests without getting our hands dirty. We could allow ourselves the timidity that comes easy to many of us.
I once had a husband (not my current husband) who videotaped weddings and other occasions. He wanted to relegate marketing to me. He assured me he was very hard working because he would fulfill any assignments that I brought to him. After all, he was a videographer and he was extremely conscientious about videography.
But it’s also unrealistic.
For the solopro, marketing (or overseeing marketing by others) is intrinsic to the work.
Some types of marketing bring in higher paying assignments than less personal, less professional or less expensive alternatives.
This is one reason (among many) why sample pricing guides found on the internet are ineffective. They don’t have a clue about the marketing that obtained these prices.
As you market your services, don’t assume that because you know that low-price sellers are readily available if you know where to look, that’s all you can charge.
And one reason is that certain marketing channels command higher fees.
I think so.
Or more importantly, what I “think” doesn’t matter.
This is simply how it works.
Originally posted 6-14-10