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Average?

People always complain at paying above average prices, but they absolutely never complain about getting above average results.

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Jo Watson, copywriter, editor, trainer, England, Manchester
Average blue grunge textured vintage isolated stamp

Every now and then in business, you’ll stumble across someone who makes you think, “If I ever need that role fulfilling to make my business even better, this is the person I HAVE to work with.”

You don’t care what they charge, or how long you have to wait until they’re available, you just know you have to work with them.

Those people – the ones you just know you have to work with…

They’re something special.

They’re a cut above.

They’re beyond average.

Ahhhhhh, ‘average‘. The one thing that nobody ever wants their paid professional of choice to ever be. ‘Okay’, ‘Generic’, ‘Satisfactory’. Not exactly a glowing reference, is it?

We don’t like average or anything that falls below that line, so why do so many people get bent out of shape at the fact that some people charge ‘above average’ fees?

I’ve faced that objection myself in the past from ‘not in a million years’ potential clients, not only because my profession (copywriting) is still seemingly massively undervalued, but also because I work in an industry where you can freely Google, ‘What’s the average rate for a copywriter‘ and get a whole host of (wildly varying) responses in return. Note – if you want a great site that will answer this question fairly, professionally and empirically, visit the lovely folk at UK-based ProCopywriters. The link takes you to a page on their site that gives you some really bloody interesting detail when it comes to hiring/budgeting for a copywriter; based on results from their 2020 annual survey of professional writers. Indeed, one of the many MANY questions that participating copywriters are always invited to answer is, “What’s your day rate?”.

Let’s take a moment to delve into that question, however.

Firstly, not every copywriter will – or should be expected to – charge by the day (or hour, or any unit of time you can think of, for that matter), and so this is not always a good measure of spend or value. And secondly, I don’t think ProCopywriters ask that question purely to help the people hiring/budgeting for a copywriter (they’d hope you’d look further than just the price), but more so to inform their members if they’re charging in or around the right kind of ballpark for their work – y’know, to ensure that they know their worth and aren’t writing whole websites in exchange for a shout-out at a soul-destroying breakfast meeting… (oh how I remember those days with a total lack of fondness).

I digress. Where was I…

Okay, my point was/is this, and this goes for any person you’re looking to hire in any profession – in business or at home…

When you get a quote from a professional and you find out through whatever means that their rate is ‘above average’, before you go losing your shit/ seeing your ar$e because they’ve dared to charge even so much as a quid above the mathematically lowest price bracket, consider the following points:

  1. People always complain at paying above average prices, but they absolutely never complain about getting above average results. You know I’m right.
  2. Remember how averages work, genius. There will have to be people higher – and indeed lower – than what you come to accept and embrace as ‘the average’, otherwise you wouldn’t have the average.
  3.  Though there’s every chance that someone could indeed be placing a ‘hideous‘, ‘extortionate‘ or ‘hugely inflated‘ cost on what they do that prices them so far away from average that it just seems plain mean* to charge anyone that much, remember that you should be looking at so much more than just the price anyway when hiring a professional. Look at their testimonials, their portfolio, and the way they represent themselves publicly (website, social media, appearances at events, etc). If all of that stacks up and impresses you, then there’s every chance that other people believe your professional is indeed ‘worth that kind of money‘, even if you don’t. Therefore, that person has every right to charge it.

There’s a customer at every price point. Always remember that. Especially if you’ve ever been made to feel like you should lower your own prices.

I guess what I’m saying is that in order to know if you’ve got the right professional for you, you should be striving for that, “Oh my god I HAVE to work with this person” moment, and to get that, you’ll really need to base your choice on so much more than cost. And, if the price really is a problem, then at least be respectful in communicating this to the human being you’re dealing with. Nobody deserves your anger, ridicule or judgement just because you’ve decided you can’t – or won’t – stump up the cash on this occasion.

If this blog isn’t a good lesson in maths or manners, then maybe it’s a good lesson in doing your research when it comes to hiring a professional to help boost your business (or whatever it is you’re hiring them for). And, if price is always going to be your deciding factor, remember that the Law of Averages suggests you’re probably going to come up short when it comes to getting ‘above average’ results with everything you set out to do.

Lesson be learned.

*Yes, I went there.

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