Following a comment from @jamesbulls a couple of days ago regarding communicating value to buyers I have spent some time thinking on this extremely important topic. It is something that we have all heard people say to us
"You must explain your value"
“Don’t focus on price, focus on value”
“If you don’t value yourself then neither will buyers”.
All very self explanatory and it is difficult to argue with these statements but what does it actually mean - Value?
Here is a basic definition of the word:
The regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth, or usefulness of something
Most of us would have come up with something like that I think but in business terms and specifically in the Buyer/Seller scenario, this definition doesn’t really go far enough. When I think of value in terms of Buyer/Seller, this is how I would define it:
The usefulness of a product or service in relation to the cost.
That’s nice and neat and I think it clarifies what we are talking about. What it also does is that it brings up the relationship between cost and usefulness (or utility in economics) which is a FUNDAMENTAL element of business itself.
If something has no usefulness, who will buy it? If something is cheap enough, the buyer may value it highly! If something is excellent quality but costs more than it is worth then the buyer will not value that highly, and vice-versa.
And so it goes on, the more useful something is, the more it should cost in comparison to its competitors. This is definitely an over simplification of how costing a product works BUT it is definitely a major part and is the focus of this post. For advice on the other elements of pricing and how to adjust your pricing, check out this other post in the series - How to up your prices sensibly and sustainably
I believe communicating value on Fiverr should be simple. If you keep it simple, then you will not need to repeat things to buyers and they will grasp it quickly as well as being able to quickly compare the different offers they get from different sellers. Here is a great example of keeping value simple:
Coca Cola count their recent “Taste the Feeling” ad campaign as extremely successful. More so than others in recent years. This campaign is the definition of simplicity - in terms of the message. In essence, what they were doing was telling people that Coke will quench their thirst. Now, when it comes to choosing a drink - what is the number 1 reason for doing so? If you didn’t say “to quench thirst” then you probably need to drink some water right now. It is the most basic reason and yet Coke chose this to be their Unique Selling Point (USP)! It is not unique - it shares the quality with every other drink for goodness sake! They left behind previous campaigns like “Open Happiness”, “Share a Coke”, “attractive man/woman drinking coke” etc and went with the reason that everyone knows.
Too often we believe that we should come up with huge explanations and complex USPs while ignoring the primary factor - the reason a buyer wants to buy. You may say what you will do in your gig description but we know a lot of buyers simply don’t read them. This establishes the base value of your product.
Next, I want you to do a little exercise if you will -
Write down 3-5 things that you include with your gig. If you write, do you proofread it before delivery, come up with a title (or multiple titles), do you include comments/reasons for what you have written, do you do research, etc.
Have a look through your messages with buyers, both within the order page and the Inbox, those who bought and didn’t buy. Check how often you mentioned these 3-5 things that you do for every buyer.
Now ask yourself why you have not mentioned them with EVERY buyer and inquiry you have had?
At the very least you should be mentioning these aspects along with your delivery.
Please find the delivery of your order for an article titled “Moderation: a PITA or a Labor of Love” attached.
I have included the PITA bullet points you submitted and researched a couple more. You will find a couple of comments explaining my choice of words and you can choose from any of the 3 subtitles that I have included. I was unable to find someone who agreed with the the labor of love aspect but we expected that so instead I have followed the hypothetical route we discussed. If you have any queries, please let me know but I am confident that this article is ready for you to use.
The (fake) delivery message I sent to Fonthant clearly defines what went into the order. This emphasizes the value of the delivery they have received. As I said, this is the MINIMUM you should be doing to emphasize your value.
If you do more than that, you will see the benefits.
Here is how I communicate my value to clients:
When: In the beginning, when they first contact me. I have a variety of prewritten answers for different types of inquiries which I personalize according to the client and the query. I spend quite a bit of time on these and update them with new info or create new ones as required.
What: In these answers, I lay out the options available to the buyer as well as EXACTLY what I will do in the gig. BUT, here is the clincher - I always edit the what I do part to include or potentially include what they are looking for (within reason). 70+% of my orders are custom offers and so I have the freedom to redefine what the gig actually covers and that means I can delete some things and add new things to it!
"But Eoin, my clients all just order without contacting me!"
Never fear - In this scenario, you should simply send the prewritten message with a “thanks for your order” message. Emphasizing what you do and perhaps even asking if they have something particular in mind can bring great results. It can lead to extras/upsells, clear communication, etc. Doesnt work with everyone of course but at the very least, when they do look at the order, they will see your responsiveness etc and that alone has value. You would be amazed how few sellers actually acknowledge an order and with a seller I have not used before, I find this extremely irritating - I see it as a basic courtesy if the delivery time is longer than 1 day.
(Yes, I value good communication extremely highly and am prepared to pay more for it - I am not alone in this).
Ok, Moving On!
Having established that defining and communicating exactly what you do is how to express the value of your service, I want to focus on price and its effect on value/the perception of value.
$5 sales is what this site was built on. It is however, not what the site is focused on any more. Regardless of that, price is still a key reason for why people come to Fiverr and for why people choose particular sellers. I want to point out that I am discussing Price separately to Value, because they are two different things and the buyers who choose to buy based on one of these can be very different to each other.
If the price is the absolute most important thing to a buyer then what they are actually doing is valuing price over value. HUH? This buyer has a fixed budget and will not be moved on it. So how do you sell to them? First of all, IMO, these buyers have a bad reputation on Fiverr which is unfair. Some are absolutely awful, and I have spoken about this before but that is generally those who will not pay more than $5 for anything. Here I’m talking about those with limited budgets such as those who want something worth $150 for $100 etc. This type of buyer can actually be ok to deal with but it is up to you to define how the order will go. To have a successful transaction with this type, you must:
- Establish what is being offered
- Define exactly what is being done AND what is not being done as a result of the lower price being agreed.
To do this, you will need to negotiate or discuss what the buyer doesn’t need and/or what you are not prepared to include at that price. Defining this can mean that A. you do less work. B. your buyer knows what they are getting. C. If there is a problem, you can show this to CS.
So, what do you see as valuable in your gig? What do other people offer that may add value to yours? Is it worth it? How are you going to express this to Buyers?
If you do nothing else with what I have written in this post, I suggest you create prewritten messages about your services which you can customize. Send them when Buyers message you, on receiving an Order and/or when sending a delivery - Honestly, from both sides of Buying and Selling, I can see the use in doing this.
The Buyer’s perception of your gig’s value is defined by you so make sure you are saying it clearly!
This post is one of a series of posts I am doing which are aimed at helping sellers to Up Their Game and begin to earn more from their work, gain new clients and make the most of being a freelancer. The posts will mainly be based on This Poll which is still open so if you haven’t made your voice heard, please do so as the more that vote on an issue in that poll, the more likely I am to post about that issue.
To see all posts in the series, Click Here