Your fee is part of how you advertise yourself

There are many online services now where you can hire writers and they all have several things in common. Without fail, the writers are charging practically no money at all or sometimes literally no money at all. This is because everybody thinks they can write and part of their stupidity is that they conclude that the way to get writing jobs is to be cheaper than anyone else.

Cue a race to the bottom as every amateur undercuts every other amateur and the professionals are left being told they’re too expensive.

Now, I’d be okay with this and I might even enjoy the karma that the quality and effectiveness and sometimes actual comprehensibility of the writing you get for free is exactly as bad as you’d imagine.

Unfortunately, companies who are stupid enough to hire writers who charge no money will tend to conclude that writers are crap. You can mock them for this but it won’t change their minds. They’ve gone to a writer, the writer is crap, all writers are crap.

It bothers me that this is what they conclude and I am only a little bit mollified by the fact that they’re going out of business on Tuesday.

There is a word for companies like this and it’s the same word for amateur writers: “goodbye”.

But in this race for the bottom you can unconsciously believe that you have to lower your prices to get any chance of a look in. Often, it’s true. That destroys or at least dents my argument a bit but then this undoes the dent, this repairs it and gives it all a polish: an app developer raised his price as an April Fools’ joke and it worked.

San Francisco-based developer Giacomo Balli doubled his take on his iPhone apps thanks to an April Fools’ Day joke. When he ratcheted up the price to an eye-popping $4.99 for an app that catalogs books, he got downloads instead of complaints.

The App Store lets devs change the sale price of their apps pretty much any time they like, but most folks take conventional routes: cutting prices during sales or dropping prices to free. Balli made his previously free apps premium with just a toggle.

“There weren’t any app updates, either,” he told Cult of Mac over the phone. “Just the price.”

How a dev doubled his revenue with an April Fools’ joke – Rob LeFebrve, Cult of Mac (22 August 2014)

The full piece has some thoughts about how this worked and how it had something to do with the specific target market for this app.

But the thing to take away for me is that your price is part of your advert for yourself. If you say you are worth something, you’re worth it.

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