You can get a lot of good stuff at Walmart, amiright? From dog sweaters to pre-made fruit trays to urns, you name it…it’s probably there. Walmart will even change your tires while you’re filling your cart in the store, getting ready to drop a stack of twenties like a rock star in Vegas. It’s a one-stop wonderland of frenzied shoppers—all wondering why the handles on the carts are so sticky.
Except for One Thing
You know how there are some things you’ll buy at the 34-Cent Store (or whatever low price we’ve reached now) …and then there are other things, more sacred things, you religiously buy top-shelf ONLY?
For example, I’ll buy 34-Cent Store sandwich bags all day long. That’s simple math. Lots of Kids = Lots of Bags. I could go broke on sandwich bags alone if I bought the bougie ones with space ships all the time. Those are for special occasions only.
BUT, barring a major life-altering catastrophe, I’m not skimping on toilet paper or hair color—for obvious reasons. (Things have happened…bad things).
The same goes for services that support your business, your livelihood, and your success.
Let’s unpack that. (How badly do we all hate the ‘unpacking of the things’ already?!)
Suppose you grew a tail. (I know…bear with me.) And then suppose you had to choose between a) a 34-cent drive-thru Tails-R-Us or b) the lead at a medical teaching hospital specializing in seamless tail removal and rehab. Which one would you choose?
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that successfully getting rid of that tail would be a big priority for you, so it would warrant more of your resources. Sure, the expert is more expensive, but for the love of good sense, it’s a tail!
What in the Sam Hill…?
This is the point in the story where my grandpa would have scratched his head and raised a what-are-you-talking-about eyebrow.
Point is THE WORK WE DO AS WRITERS IS VALUABLE.
Pricing, Apologizing & Using Cheap Toilet Paper
I’m not going to get into how to price your word-bending brilliance today. This is about what happens after you’ve considered the types of projects you’d like to take on, determined a rate model, and set a fee schedule.
This next part might be the toughest. It’s the part where you—the professional, capable, talented writer—remain confident in the value you’ve set for your work.
Don’t apologize. You think the landscaper who sculpted Next-Door-Susan’s shrubs into pristine spirals apologized before he charged her? No, he did not. Because his time and the mastery he has of his craft are both valuable.
Cheap TP Is Out There
Rock-bottom prices are inevitable. Other pros will undercut your rates. Just like you can buy cheap toilet paper (I implore you, do not), you can also buy cheap writing. You can try to build your brand with cheap design, inexpensive materials, and low-bid marketers. And that’s cool. We all like a good bargain. There are some really, really good creatives out there, so you might get lucky.
Just be careful of the lowball quotes and the too-good-to-be-true offers. That 34-cent toilet paper may claim it’s pretty darned good, but every now and then, you’ll get a little shit on your hands.