What’s The Biggest Marketing Mistake You Can Make?


I do uphill skiing; I don’t do downhill skiing. I think that’s for nerd amateurs. – Judah Friedlander

What is it that means some people struggle to sell their time at $10 an hour and others are fully booked at $10,000 an hour?

As you know platforms are the big thing now – you can get people from all over the word to bid for your work and get amazing results.

Or can you?

I’ve not seen that really. I’ve had some competent work and some pretty shoddy work. But because it was cheap it wasn’t really worth worrying about.

And that’s the thing about how you think about what you do.

If you’re cheap people will take a punt because they haven’t got much to lose but you’ll still be under the same pressure to perform as you would be if you were paid ten times as much.

In most professions it doesn’t take you any less time to service a small account than a big one.

That means it’s almost always a good idea to raise prices – to charge more than you think the market will bear.

But then, you’re asking, why would anyone pay that?

Let’s say you charge $300 a day at the moment. Why would anyone pay you $900 a day?

What is it you do that justifies that level of pay when others are doing the same job for $300?

If you’re asking that – then you’re asking the wrong question.

The point is that the value in what you do is not in the job you do.

It’s in what happens after the job is done.

If you think about your time as worth a fixed amount that’s thinking about it all wrong.

Your time is actually worth a share of what happens when you’ve spent it.

If you spend your time digging a hole you end up with a hole.

The value of that hole depends on whether you’re now going to chuck some rubbish in or whether there’s a vein of gold in there somewhere.

Boiling this down what this means is you’re on commission and whatever you’re paid is a percentage of the value you create.

If what you do saves someone $30 an hour then they’ll pay you $10.

If you save them $30,000 then you’ll get your $10,000.

But this is where the marketing problem comes into play.

If you say to someone “Give me $10,0000, and I’ll do some work that will make you three times that”, their first reaction will be “How can I be sure of that?”

And this is where you can go in one of two ways.

You can make it hard for them to be sure – create a road filled with potholes of uncertainty.

Or you can remove all the risk they can have.

For example, you might be very clear that you do everything at your own cost and risk and only get paid if you’re successful.

What if you’re too successful?

Maybe you cap the amount. Give the person a chance to buy you out.

But whatever you do you have to make it easy for them to buy.

And that’s harder than it looks unless you are totally clear that the customer getting the benefit they’ve been promised comes first – ahead of anything you get.

It’s very easy to make things hard – but what you’ve got to make sure you do is go the other way.


Karthik Suresh

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