09 Jan Pay disparity- the hue, cry, et al.
Ever since we have ventured into this sprawling world of Digital Communications, we have not heard the end of how there are no uniform paying standards for digital content. For the longest time, we agreed with it without quite giving it much thought.
We made our own judgement errors in terms of pricing- under-quoted a lot, unfortunately. But we took it in our stride, knowing mistakes were inevitable and that is exactly how you learn, after all. But a few recent deals made us really sit back and think. A written piece, whether on online or off-line communication is like a piece of art. I might think it has been a ton of effort and you might think it is not a big deal. In the end, what defines the price is my conviction towards what I have created. And also, finding the right customer who respects the quality.
Hence, the problem is two-fold. Firstly, the conviction about the quality of work produced a lot of times is low. Secondly, clients seem to think that since there are agencies and writers available a dime and dozen- they somehow have the biggest bargaining power. And to our utter horror, a lot of them don’t care about the quality as much as we do. But that’s okay. We feel every piece of art created will have a taker. There has to be a reason why there is our own little world of distribution created in the digital content world. Of course, there are margins! We need to figure out where do we see ourselves fitting in.
Why do Biotique and The Body Shop, both sell? Why a local carpenter might not even come over to fix a door handle and yet someone like an Urban Clap does it at Rs 299 per hour? Takers, people! You have got to find the right customers. The problem exists, there is no doubt about that. But we suggest, let us first start valuing our own work methodically. Consider the amount of research you’d need to do, the number of pages you need to write etc. And then begin to say no to the people who don’t agree with your valuation. Our industry is no different than any other service industry where there are as many price points as there are customers. Let us focus on correcting it rather than starting another #metoo. More power to us!
Watch this space for more suggestions that may help you price your work better.