Creative Professionals Need Not Charge by the Hour

One of the biggest challenges creative businesses have had to contend with in the past, and still exist to a great extent, is getting paid what they are worth. The root of the problem was not the client’s inability to pay the money requested; and it isn’t that the client is unwilling to pay what the service is worth. The root of the problem is in how you, the professional, is charging and how you are creating value in the mind of the client.

In order to buck the trend – so to speak – and start getting paid for the value you provide, instead of the time you spent on a particular project, you must do a couple of things. First, you must create a business based on value pricing and not hourly pricing. The number one worst way to charge (and most creative businesses have been charging this way) is by the hour.

Frankly, it shouldn’t matter how long it takes you to solve the client’s problems or provide your service, it should matter that the client is getting what s/he needs and what he wants. If you’re creating value and you’re giving them value, they’ll pay you for that value. They should not be paying you for your time.

Sign up for CBClicks ... FREE

Second, you must determine what value you are providing. If you’re being paid for your time you’re essentially setting a ceiling on how much money you can make because you can only work so many hours. Therefore, you must determine, specifically what your value is to the customer/client, not how many hours you will work for that customer/client.

Here are a few questions to consider in that regard:

  • How do you impact that customer or potential client?
  • What do you provide to them that will help them and help to solve their problems?
  • How will solving these problems impact the customer?
  • Is it a problem with high impact or low impact?
  • What is important to the customer?
  • Why is it important to the customer?
  • How important is it?
  • Have they had experiences working with someone in your type of business before?
  • If so, was it a good or bad experience? Why? Exactly what happened?
  • Why is the client coming to you for this issue?
  • What is the client’s definition of success with this project?
  • Ask him to describe specific ways he will know he made the right choice in hiring you.

By getting the answers to these questions – not guessing what the client will say, but actually getting the client to answer these questions – you will have the information you need to create VALUE in the mind of the client. If they perceive your work to be valuable, they will be thrilled to pay you. If they do not perceive your work to be of value, they won’t pay you no matter how low you go on the pricing scale.

It’s all in the mind of the client. Get in their head and understand specifically what they want and, even more specifically, why they want it. Once you do that, getting paid what you are worth becomes a matter of how-much-is-your-bill-I’ll-get-the-checkbook, instead of “I don’t know-I want to think about it a little more, let-me-get-back-to-you.

For the purpose of pricing, think of your business as if were a real estate agency where commissions are negotiated between the principal (the seller of property) and the agent (the real estate broker), without the imposition of any “set” fees or hourly payments for the agent’s time.

The broker may negotiate a higher fee if s/he believes the job may require more resources, advertising and risk, or s/he may negotiate lesser of a commission if the sale is considered a “slam dunk”. The point is – based on my frame of reference – there is no preset fees, hourly prices or time-based payments for the agent’s compensation.

Home Based Web Business – A Network Marketing Affair

If you have been in the eCommerce market for at least 6 months, you are already receiving offers from many companies promoting their products/services to you, and this will continue as businesses offer you the opportunity to become a distributor of those products and/or services. While many of these businesses offer the opportunity free of charge, others may require you to pay a fee similar to that of a franchise, based on their willingness to set up a website with your name on it and provide instructions on how to make it a success.

Regardless of the motives behind their willingness to share knowledge, techniques and strategies, you’re still able to share in the wealth of their business operations. Where many people make the mistake, is in getting involved with a home-based Web business and then believing – mistakenly – that just by filling out the online forms and paying the required fees, they will immediately start on a money-making journey to riches, wealth and the realization of their dreams.

This could not be farther from the reality of what actually happens after getting involved with a home-based web business. Failure to think long enough about how you came to be involved in this type of business, and the fact that someone was marketing this plan to you, can often lead to failure to grow your new business by marketing it to others; as many “others” as you possibly can during the early years of the new venture.

So the time to relax is not in the beginning of your new business but after you put in the required time (10 to 18 hour days and 7 day weeks, for as long as it takes) to make your business a success. The major portion of your time, work and and money will be spent – or should be spent – promoting and advertising your new business.

There are numerous ways to promote your home-based Web business, such as old-fashion advertising, handing out business cards or even putting you web address on the side of your vehicle to be seen while you drive to the grocery store or around town. All that may be good to draw a half dozen people or so to your new business venture, but to help it really grow and ultimately succeed, it may be necessary to rely more on the network marketing strategy.

Oil millionaire J. Paul Getty is often quoted as saying, he would rather have one percent of the efforts of 100 people, than 100 percent of his own efforts; and that is the basis of network marketing. The Kirby vacuum cleaner company devised its own form of network marketing as far back as 1935 before the phrase was coined and the concept totally understood.

The KVC company knew that in order to sell their sweepers, a sit-down presentation was needed. They had a few dealers with whom they shared the profits of their sales and using their proven methods they taught others to sell the sweepers and each person who was brought in as a sales representative could also share in the profits off the efforts of others once s/he followed the proven success plan.

While a few people may make a lot of money in a short period of time with network marketing, most must grow their business slowly, because of the learning curve, as well as the marketing tests (or test marketing as the case may be) that must take place if your home-based Web business is to be a success. Test marketing is a time-consuming activity which cannot be rushed.

You owe it to your business and yourself (and family, if applicable) to devote the number of hours every day, week and month to learn all you need to know from and about the sponsoring company (if your business is network marketing or milti-level marketing in nature), and anything else you need to know about how to market the product or service you are selling.

Once you educate yourself, you can train others to be successful by teaching them to market the product or service and make money from their sales as well. The more people they have working under them, the more money they can make; And since you devoted valuable time, money and resources to train them, you will also make more money which you would deserve.