Show your expert some love!
A shout goes out to all my experts and business professionals out there...
Maintain your value.
As part of my remit to build websites, I also (rather uniquely I think) offer business mentoring to my customers. In support of that, I run a Facebook group for small businesses, to help them to grow and develop.
(Ok here’s the link since you’ve asked – Small Business Big Ideas).
In that group, I wanted to ponder whether some Facebook groups and even wider afield, platforms like Fiverr or Upwork waste your time by devaluing your skills and knowledge.
As you have probably gathered, I am a web developer. I create, build and maintain WordPress websites. It’s a competitive space and one that can be very confusing for potential customers. For that reason, many people do nothing about getting a website and others start their journey by asserting that they won’t pay over the odds. They ‘just’ need a cheap website (with all the bells and whistles by the way). And I get that!
No one wants to be fleeced especially when it’s a subject you know little about.
Ah, my people..... oh!
I recently stumbled upon a FB Group which connected 14,000 website developers and requestors. Joining them seemed like a no-brainer. I excitedly greeted my new marketplace expecting prospective owners to supply useful briefs on what they were looking for, some thoughts on what the website needed to deliver and to indicate how best to advance a conversation.
Instead, I found posts like these… I was lucky if real words and full sentences were used in many instances.
Below each post was the same stock, generic response from website developers desperate for work or just chucking their hat in the ring in case what they offered resonated with the post’s author. There were twenty to thirty standard replies (adverts) to every short post created. The momentum was fantastic in this group but the value was seriously lacking for all parties.
The race to the bottom
I could have easily offered my own services but the only differentiator was clearly just ‘who offered the cheapest service’.
Each time I considered posting my own generic message, or asking an intelligent question, I felt cheap and undervalued for getting involved. I felt that my experience and skills were an afterthought and the person that needed the website probably didn’t understand that just having a website, didn’t mean people would find it – rendering it absolutely pointless in the first place.
I could help them with all of that of course, but they weren’t buying my value and knowledge.
So what can we conclude here?
Well, sometimes, it’s easy to join the race to the bottom, any customer is better than no customer, right? But how does that shape your business and fuel your motivation? Does it alter your mindset, do you waste time chasing the wrong type of customer?
This all applies to both me as a web developer AND YOU as a business owner and expert in your own field.
Instead, know your ideal type of customer and understand what makes them ideal. Know your value and worth. Remember each time you’ve added value to your previous engagements and hold on to that worth. You spent valuable time gaining experience, adding skills to your portfolio, studying, gaining accreditations and truly helping customers that value your insight and advice. Never undersell that value for a quick buck, and consider carefully where you hang out online!
Invest your time and contribution where it matters most.