Position and Perception
In the last lesson we walked through the most principle in business which is how to solve a business problem. (Review the video if you missed it.)
The next step is to set your business up in a way where the client trusts that you can solve their problem. Understanding the problem is one thing but communicating how you can solve the problem is another.
People are always going to place you in a box, at the least you need to choose the box. Positioning involves recognizing or changing your placement in the market in comparison to your competitors. It’s the difference between eating at McDonald’s versus eating at a fine dining steakhouse. They both sell food, but their methods, marketing, and price for service are vastly different.
How does the client perceive your services? Does the client’s perception match your position in the market? When your positioning and perception match up, you’ll not only begin to attract the type of clients you are targeting, but they will view you as an expert who can solve their problem.
I was at a point in my freelance career where I was frustrated. I had the skills, but I wasn’t able to command the prices I felt I deserved. To discover how much my skills were worth I reached out to a web design studio and asked them what they would charge for a website similar to one I designed this is what they said:
Whoa. I charged $1,000 for that website, and they charged $10,000 (1 year). I realized that I was not positioning myself the right and learned 2 big takeaways:
(1) Position yourself as an expert
Due to my low pricing and my processes, I was sending the message: “Hi, I’m some web guy who can help you with website stuff.” The client would work with me give me tasks and expect me to complete them. This was not how I wanted to be perceived; I started teaching on digital marketing, changed my pricing and onboarding process.
(2) Don’t call yourself a freelancer
When you call yourself a freelancer you subject yourself to other people’s opinions on what the word freelancer means. The word freelancer doesn’t do all of your skills justice. You should choose a job title that better captures all of your unique skills. Choose a title like digital design strategist or creative consultant which helps your client get in the mindset that they are working with a professional.
There are some more resources available if you would like to look deeper at the difference between positioning and perception:
Marketing and Trust
Targeting Your Audience
Perception is Reality
Next is the final lesson in this mini course: Uncovering Your Skills