Confession: I used to have a tendency to refer to the work I do as “easy”.
I have spend a lot of hours and $ to get where I’m at. To know what I know. To work as fast as I do.
So when a friend or a client comes to me with job that seemed “easy” after everything I had taught myself, referring to the job as “easy” used to be my way of celebrating how far I had come.
People associate easy with cheap. But they’re definitely not the same thing.
Let’s play this through here for a minute…
You have a web designer, in her first year of business. She builds you a website not knowing anything about server security, how to get the best website speed, how to prevent spam emails and comments, etc. She gives you a timeline of about six weeks to get your website ready.
Compare that to a web designer who has been in business for seven years. She’s screwed up and saved her own website about ten separate times (and yes, a couple client sites too!). She knows that sites on the same cPanel (hosting account) can easily be cross-infected by a hack, she has sped up pretty much every site she took over from other designers and spam for her is practically a non-issue. She gives you a three week timeline. (you always quote extra time, things happen…)
The first web designer will probably charge somewhere between $750 and $1000, and the second, upwards of $1750-2500.
As you may have guessed, the second web designer in this scenario is me. And so is the first.
When I started out, I was humble, I didn’t have the word “easy” in my repertoire. Then a few years in, I started getting excited…really excited. With the knowledge I had gained over the years I was finally able to do things faster. I didn’t make the same mistakes I had before, and I delivered my clients better service than ever.
When people hear you use the word “easy” in relation to your work, they don’t look at it from a perspective of, “Wow, I bet this person has spent a lot of time learning about what she is doing, and really working at it so she could become good at it.” They hear the word “easy”, and think, “Well if it’s so easy, then there’s no way I’m paying that much for somebody to do it. Next!”
But the truth is, I’ve been doing this for seven years. What comes easily to me now wasn’t necessarily easy two years ago. What came easily to me then wasn’t necessarily easy for me when I started designing. It only became “easy” for me because of how hard I worked, how much time I put into learning about what I was doing, and how many mistakes I made and learned from over the years.
If it really were “easy” to do what I do, then no one would actually need to hire me to do it, they could just do it themselves. And the same holds true for you!
So why are you using the word easy?!
Don’t make the same mistake I did! Your may have become so good at what you do that the actual work itself is simple for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do it.
When you make comments about how far you have come, and state that a certain task is now “easy” for you, all you’re doing is diminishing your own accomplishments in front of your clients, and devaluing the service you’re providing.
Not tell clients how fast I actually can be. I don’t like playing those marketing games of telling someone this is a really difficult problem, it will take so much time or anything like that…but there is a reason why those approaches are still used in marketing – they work.
Nowadays I try to not comment on the actual work-time, or what difficulty level the work is. I give a project price and a deadline – done.
Now to be fair, I am generalizing a bit here! I do have clients that pay me hourly, that know that knowledge is priceless and that pay a good hourly rate for the peace of mind that I don’t just handle their website but oversee, consult and provide advice about all things online and IT. However, overall, I have learned that telling someone what you’re doing is “easy” does more harm than good. Rest secure in your expertise, and charge your clients in accordance with the time and money YOU have spent getting to this point. You’ll be happier, and ultimately, your clients will respect you more in the end.