Gettin’ the Gig
OK, so you have decided that you want to be part of the Gig Economy? Do you want to do gigs instead of working a regular job? Great! Welcome aboard. I’ve been doing gigs for the past 25 years or so. Toward the beginning of that 25 years, I was doing it “on the side” and still had a regular job, but it was a pretty quick process until I took the leap and went all-in with the gigs.
How do you get the gig? Well, there are a number of things to consider.
Firstly, you need to price yourself right. If you go too cheap, the customer will wonder if you are really serious and really have the knowledge and skills needed to do the job that they are looking for. Believe it or not, there is a theory of perception that if your price is too low, you are not offering good value. Value consists of more than just the best price. In fact, it is quite possible that the highest bid might be the best value to the customer! How? Well, if the quality of the work done by the highest bidder is so much better than the other bidders, that could mean that the customer will get many multiples more than what the low bidder can offer.
On the other hand, if you are new to gig work, you probably need to price low. Why? Because you have not built up a reputation! In fact, you are, in many ways, an unknown commodity to the customer. So, price yourself low for starters. After doing some jobs at a low price, get some testimonials from your customers and post those testimonials on your website. If you have permission post the testimonial along with a way to contact the client for a reference. When you have plenty of testimonials to show that you offer quality work, then you can raise your prices.
Don’t ever undervalue yourself
While this may seem contradictory to my previous point, I want to also emphasize to never undervalue your work. Let’s say that you are bidding for a job and the other bidders are offering prices of say, $800 to $1,000 or so, but your bid is $150, well, it will be seen as a joke. If somebody does take the chance on you at $150 and you do great work, that’s super for the client, but you just cheated yourself out of a great deal of money. If you had bid $650 on the job, you probably still would have gotten the job, and made a great deal more money. In fact, I believe that there is a greater chance of getting the gig at $650 than $150, it is a more serious offer.
Sometimes you just don’t know
Recently, somebody went to one of my Gig Sites and wanted to hire me for a gig. The man wrote to me and explained everything that he wanted to be done. In fact, over 24 hours he emailed me about 30 times. I had a bad feeling about this guy because I did not want to wade through hundreds of emails. Just reading and answering his emails was going to take a lot of time. So, I made him an offer. Keeping in mind that the job would likely have plenty of hassles, I bid a price about 6 times what I would have normally offered. My bid was more of an outlandish amount in order to push him to go elsewhere without actually turning him down. About an hour after I made the offer to him, he asked how he could pay me. Wow! Yes, it was a hassle dealing with the man, but the money was also really good. He felt like he got value for his money, and I felt that although he paid me a lot more than usual, I got paid for the time I had to put in to keep him happy. It was a win-win. If I had bid my normal price on the job, by the end of the work I would have walked away feeling like I had been taken advantage of.
Always consider any clues that people are giving you before you quote a price. If dealing with the person before you are contracted for the work is a pain, you can imagine what it is going to be like once you have signed on. Don’t undervalue your time or your knowledge.
Doing gig work is fun and rewarding. Just use common sense when you bid on gigs. If you don’t get some of the things you bid on, don’t get overly worried! You would not want to work for such a small price anyway!
Ahh I know this so very well. After 26 years i know what the prices need to be set at as well at what gets you jobs the others cant because they are missing the two top things you need for any gig these days.
Pricing is very important, Brent, for sure. Especially while you are still establishing a reputation. Once you have built up a good reputation you can demand a higher price, and you will get it, because people know you can deliver!
Also a person that does events needs insurance and the ability to take credit cards. Those two things alone are the most important things as most places now requires you have a 2/2. Thats 2 million liability and personal. And the credit card is something that I did not take for the longest time due to cost, but now i do for a long time now and that tripple my income.
Now in my case i have a $250 per hour fee with a 4 hr minimum. And overtime at $175 per hour after the first 4 hours.
So yes dont undercut yourself when booking out gigs.