Imagine a world where the whole game has changed. Some powerful authority swoops down and decides that by law, everyone can only charge one standard price across the board. All writers are paid the same, all web designers are paid the same, and all web developers are paid the same too.
You can’t compete with your peers on price anymore – you all cost the same.
That means there’s one rate to rule them all and one rate to bind them. No more undercutting the competition with the lowest rate. No more discounts to fill up those lulls in your schedule. No more volume-based tier pricing or charging PITA tax or time-sensitive specials or long-term client deals.
How would you compete? Without a lower price on your side, would you even win the gig?
If clients didn’t have to worry about cost, they could choose anyone they liked to get the job done. They wouldn’t have to worry about who’s more expensive or which person offers the best deal – they’d pay the same rate no matter whom they chose. They could hire anyone!
And with price eliminated from the equation, clients would be able to focus on a far more important selection factor:
The best person for the job.
Clients wouldn’t have to settle for lesser quality because that’s all they could afford. They wouldn’t have to work with someone of lesser skill levels or knowledge. They could skip the amateurs and head straight towards the people who had the most knowledge, the best experience and all the skills in the world.
Would that person be you?
If you were standing shoulder to shoulder with your peers, would you have a fighting chance to win clients? Would you stand proudly knowing you’re just as good as the next guy? And if you’re just as good as the next guy, what other advantages would you talk about to make you an even better choice?
Or would you be silently hoping that by some freak chance, the next guy screws up, you luck out and the potential client picks you for the job?
You know the answer to this. Deep down, you’re already thinking about the potential outcome of that shoulder-to-shoulder scenario. You’re imagining standing in the line-up with a client stroking his chin and pacing slowly back and forth in front of all of you, pondering his options. You can imagine what you’d feel in that moment.
Is it stress? Confidence? Nerves? Pride? A sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach?
If you aren’t imagining the most comforting of feelings, why not change that? You can, you know. You have all the ability in the world to become a skilled, confident person who knows he could win the job over the next guy, even if you cost the same.
You control your knowledge, your learning and your skills – and how much of each you accumulate in life.
Imagine a new feeling. Imagine you’re standing there, rubbing shoulders in that line-up with the competition, waiting for the client to make his choice. Imagine that satisfying feeling of knowing you have a good shot at winning the project – a great shot. You have vast knowledge, top-level experience, and all the ability you need to get the job done.
Imagine winning the project because you’re that great. You didn’t have to haggle on price or bring your rates down or throw a sale or knock the competition to win over the client. You got chosen because you were good at what you do – as good as the next guy, and then some.
In fact, imagine how great it would feel to step forward and invite the client to check out the competition. Imagine knowing no one compares to you.
Why not make that happen right now? Why wait for some rate-setting authority to come along and force you to be better than average? Why wait until your back is against the wall to improve? Why not start working towards being the best, the most experienced, the most capable?
Take a course. Get training. Pick up a used textbook and start reading. Practice. Push yourself. Challenge yourself to do more, and better. Volunteer. Find a mentor. Sign up for a course. Go back to school. Whatever it is you have to do to push yourself to improve, do it.
And imagine what clients would say then. You’d never hear, “Is that the lowest you can go?” You’d hear something like this:
“Everyone else was cheaper – but you were the best. We can’t afford you, but we’ll find a way to make it happen. You’re hired.”
It’ll be music to your ears. Promise.