Hey, creative, how important really is price in business? We talk about it a lot. We talk about how much we cost a lot. I mean, I know clients, uh, like to go back and forth with us on price and stuff like that, but I’m here to tell you that price is not as important as it might be. All. What really is the most important thing that I learned early, early on in business years ago, and I’ll tell you a story about that here in a sec, is trust. Trust is more important than price. Years ago, one of the businesses that I owned was a property maintenance business. And so I did, uh, landscaping. I cut grass, clean gutters, pressure wash buildings. I used to be the guy that was blowing off the parking lot, you know, at the, like the surgical center or the Hardee’s or whatever it was.

That was me. And so I had lots and lots of individual customers, whether it was commercial or it was, uh, residential. You know, most of those, most of those customers were widows. They were older ladies because, um, their husband had always done the yard work or fixed things around the house, and then their husband had passed away and now they needed somebody cuz they didn’t, they just didn’t know how to do that stuff. And I learned early on that it wasn’t hard to find somebody to come cut your grass or whatever. But what I started to notice with these folks is that they trusted me and they wouldn’t ask about price. Like they wouldn’t even ask me what stuff cost. They would just say, Hey, come do this. And they would never come up. And then I would hand ’em a bill at the end and they were, they never, they never balked at it.

It got me thinking, what the heck is going on here? Well then it dawned on me is if you’ve ever been in the, if you ever, well you’ve probably seen this. If you have a service person ever come to your house to fix the air conditioner or cut the grass or clean the gutters, those folks usually look a mess, don’t they? Right? They have like a neck tattoo and they put a cigarette on your front porch and they show up late. Their truck is a disaster. They’re wearing holy jeans, right? We, we all know the cliche thing. And I never did that. I just, uh, first of all, you could tell I’m a, I’m the most benign looking guy on earth. I don’t look dangerous at all. But also too, I would tuck in my shirt and I would wear clean pants and I would cut my hair and I would shave my face.

And I didn’t, I, I just did that, but I didn’t do that as a business strategy so much. But then I found, oh, oh, these folks like the fact that I don’t look scary and I am not rude. And I answer my phone and I show up When I say I’m going to show up and if I don’t show up, I’m, I call them and I tell them something came up and I reschedule. In other words, I was trustworthy. Yes, I did a good job. Of course I did a good job, but there’s a lot of people that can do a good job. I, they trusted me to be on their property, especially the widows, right? They’re, they’re nervous and they should be. They’re letting people in their home, somebody they don’t know. But once I realized that, that trust was more important than price, cuz they had the money, they were gonna spend the money no matter what, they already made up their mind.

I really started le I I really started working on that to make sure I was the most trustworthy person out there. And what happened was, I mean, I answered every phone call, every email I showed up for every appointment. I never, ever, ever let them down. I looked like a presentable human being. I didn’t look dangerous, I looked professional and it, my business took off. They start, those folks started telling other folks. And I would get phone calls regularly from people who would just be like, Hey, Barbara told me about you. I need you to come out and do this job at my house. And I quit even quoting prices. Uh, no kidding, I didn’t even tell ’em how much it costs cuz they didn’t care cuz they were gonna pay it. And I’d show up and they’d go, Hey, I need you to do this.

Or Can you cut my grass? Or whatever I had, I literally had people who would fire their lawn care company and hire me. It wasn’t even that they didn’t have a lawn care. They had one one and they fired ’em and they were cutting the grass pretty well. It’s not that hard to cut grass, right? But that trust factor separated me and man did it build customer loyalty and man did it build word of mouth. This is especially true of, of creatives. Y’all, we have a bad reputation for being flaky, for being unreliable, for being unprofessional. Some of that is deserved, let’s be honest, right? Some artists creatives out there. Sometimes you don’t answer your phone, you don’t check your voicemail, you don’t return the emails, you show up late. These are all very, very bad habits and you gotta get rid of ’em. It’s much more about trusting.

It is price. And I’ve seen creatives who get more work and more jobs and make more money and they aren’t as good as other folks that I know in the same genre. There are folks that are out there that are better, but they’re not getting the jobs cuz they’re flakes. You gotta get over it. Sorry. Uh, you gotta be a professional. The, the idea of the flaky, you know, um, artist out there who doesn’t communicate well, cuz I’m super duper creative. It’s not as cute as you think it is. And it’s, and it’s costing you money. Be trustworthy, make more money. Pretty dang simple creative. You can do this. I’ve had it happen to me. It’s going to happen to you. So I’m not saying you can’t have tattoos, and I’m not saying you can’t be a little bit weird. We all are. It’s totally fine. But you can’t answer an email and you can show up for a meeting on time and you can deliver. Trust is built by being trustworthy. A million little ways work on that. Be more trustworthy, make more money. You can do it. I love you.