Adding a zero to your budget

As I mentioned earlier, I was recently in the market for a graphic designer to create a new template for my online courses. (Watch this space for the first course on pricing strategies.)

Adding a zero I could go to Elance or Fiverr and find someone who could probably deliver a perfectly serviceable template for a very modest fee. In fact, Fiverr specializes in jobs that will cost no more than $5. (Why would anyone work for or hire someone for $5/job? I have used Fiverr to get a 3-D image of an ebook; it probably took the designer 15 seconds and it would have taken me more than $5 worth of my time to do it myself.)

But this template really matters to me, and I knew that I would get a lot of use out of a well-designed template. I would rather pay more and get something of much higher value. And I wanted someone who would engage me in a conversation, who would take the time to listen to some of my presentations to get a sense of how I project myself. I wanted someone who really wanted my business, and who makes a living through maintaining a sterling reputation and generating word-of-mouth referrals, not someone whose main selling point is that he is cheap.

So, I had a choice of several price points for my custom template:

  • Over 200 people on Fiverr offering to design a PowerPoint template for $5
  • Over 3,000 people on Elance designing PowerPoint templates for under $15/hour
  • 1 person I found through a referral who charges around $500 to design a PowerPoint template

I was happy spending 100 times as much as I would have had I hired a Fiverr for this job, and I am probably at least 100 times happier with the results. Why? Because I wasn’t just shopping for a PowerPoint template. I was looking for someone who was willing to invest time in learning about who I am and who could create something unique that will reflect me best.

As you think about the services or products you provide, consider what you could do that would add a zero to your value to your clients. What can you do that will push you outside your comfort zone and into your Zone of Inspiration? What can you create that no one else has thought of in quite the same way? What can you do that is unlike anything else?

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