In the murky ecosystem of working for yourself, the ‘value’ of your product or service has everything to do with being in demand. Your value goes up when the demand for what you create goes up.
And being in demand is tied to these things:
1. How well your product is a solution to the needs of your market or audience
2. The perception your market or audience has of the demand surrounding your product
I.e. a lot of your value is rooted to things that aren’t even proven, they are just felt. Much of this is psychological.
Knowing this, I will show you a few things that you might be doing that are detracting from either of these two things, and are therefore harming your value and opportunities for new work, making a sale, and getting hired.
1. Being too available
Telling people of your availability is ok when you frame it in the sense that a window has opened up in your (hopefully active) schedule.
Saying that you are available in a permanent place like a Twitter bio or website ‘about’ page is broadcasting this very clear message to people: you are not getting much or any work at all.
People’s perception of your demand needs to be high in order for your perceived value to go up. Therefore, you need to avoid communicating to people, especially potential clients, that you are too available.
2. Saying you’re aspiring
I see this a lot and it’s a shame that in an effort to appear as someone chasing their dreams, which is brilliant, you are inadvertently demonstrating low value. I.e. if you are aspiring to be something, you can’t surely be there yet or at an experienced-enough skill level in order to do the work with excellence.
In which case, why would anyone hire you?
3. No social proof
People buy from you when they trust you. The best way to encourage someone to trust you is by demonstrating that other people trust and like you. This is social proof.
So when you don’t make use of various forms of social proof such as testimonials alongside what you are selling, you could be anyone.
That someone is less likely to be trusted by others.
So make sure you include social proof wherever you can to solidify the trust prospects have for you before they decide to buy.
4. Saying you’re good at everything
Every time you add another skill to your repertoire, you are lowering your value. This is for two reasons. Firstly, the more things you claim to be good at, through logic, the less likely you are to be very good at each thing.
Clients want experts and you don’t find jack of all trades experts. Even if you are an expert at several things, in the buyer’s mind you hold less value for spreading yourself too thin.
Secondly, presenting yourself as great at many, is confusing. Being great at one clear thing is not confusing. Therefore people are more likely to buy from the obvious solution in front of them. Make the decision to hire you simple.
5. Grammatical errors
I’m a big supporter of taking notice of the tiniest things, and how important small stuff really is. Pointing out spelling mistakes and grammatical errors might make me look like a boring git, but such little things play a huge role in the perception people will have about your value.
If you can’t find time to look up the spelling of a word, or pause to make sure your copy is written well, how can someone be enthusiastic to work with you and spend lots of money on you. Take notice of the small things (and it’s not just grammar)!
6. Not enough evidence that you are a human
In a similar way to the need to demonstrate social proof, people have more trust in others that are similar to them. When you show your human side, you appeal to the human side of the prospect, and people warm to that.
Things like including a photo of your face on your site, telling stories of your dreams and struggles, quirks and hobbies are all important for opening up opportunities for you, and increasing your perceived value as a professional who isn’t, I hope, an android.
What did you think of these ideas? Did they help you?