It’s easy for people to tell you to raise your prices. Or to “niche down”.
You hear it all the time. And in certain contexts, it’s good advice.
But what if you have no clients? Or what if you’re surviving gig to gig?
I have a saying that goes like this: get busy, then get picky.
If you need the money, keep your prices reasonable. Not cheap, not expensive… just something that feels reasonable for the work you’re doing.
Sure, it’s a subjective way to look at things. But your buyers are making semi-subjective decisions, too.
It goes the same way with “niching down”.
Imagine you were dropped into the wild and had to survive with a limited set of tools and skills. And let’s pretend you wanted to be a vegetarian. Chances are, you wouldn’t make it very long.
You’d have a much better chance of surviving if you thought of yourself as an omnivore willing to eat any calories you could find.
Only after you built a sustainable way to capture high-nutrient food would it make sense to consider “specializing” in finding certain kinds of foods.
The key thing here is survival.
You need to earn a base amount of revenue to keep you in the game. It’s important to earn enough to stave off the hunger that causes desperation.
If you need to build a base of lower-paying but steady clients (not low-paying clients, but lower than your ideal), then do it.
But don’t try to be the cheapest—that’s a race you can’t win. Aim for reasonable if you’re in this situation.
Keep marketing yourself like hell so you have a steady flow of leads to give you back your leverage and bargaining power.
Slowly raise your rates as your opportunities begin to exceed your supply. Slowly begin to specialize as you notice opportunities for easier and more fruitful work.
There’s no point in being the bravest vegetarian in the wild. Get your bases covered. Become sustainable. Then worry about increasing prices and specialization.
P.S. On Friday, I’m closing the membership option again until the summer. It gives you four months free over the monthly plan.
If you’ve been on the fence about joining, now is the best time to get in. You get access to my monthly workshops for free, twice-monthly coaching calls, a private Slack community, and more.