If you want to create a winning product, your customers should never feel that poor quality is acceptable because the product was cheap or free – they will never come back for another if that was what they thought. While you may want to initially give away your product for free or very cheaply, you should never compromise on the quality if you want to build a brand name or a reputation for your company. Cheap should not equate to poor quality.
A few years ago, I started out as a freelance photographer, working on the side, to make some extra cash on a hobby I immensely enjoyed. Initially it was hard for people to see the quality of my work and to trust that I was a good photographer. So to build a portfolio and my brand, I would have to take on a lot of work that I was not being paid for. It would get demoralising, spending so much time on a shoot and not getting any return out of it. But I told myself that as long as I have agreed with my client, even if it’s for free, they will get the best quality of work from me.
It was this attitude, that helped me build a decent portfolio and helped me to get many offers to cover weddings and fashion show shoots.
Even today, there are clients who love my work and come with job offers. But there are a number of them who have tight budgets and cannot afford my rates. So they ask,” Any chance of a discount?” Depending on the situation, I would offer a small discount to help the client, and to close the deal.
But just because I gave a discount in the price, does not mean I would give a discount in my work. I chose to give the discount in the price based on that certain standard of work.
It would always be best to keep producing the best quality of work, because the best marketing tool you have is the word of mouth. For wedding photographers, their work is usually spread online, on Facebook and many other sites. Every piece of good work, is marketing ammunition, that helps you spread your product to more people. Referrals are the best way to go from job to job. You may cover a wedding today, which may lead to people seeing your work online(within that family) and it may bring about more clients from weddings in that circle of people.
Now as a Startup, how does that affect you? Well again, many sales and deals come from referrals or word of mouth. Whether it be a previous customer, or even your employee. If your product is good and has good review, you will surely come up within someone’s conversation, which will help in the promotion of your brand.
So whether you are volunteering to build schools in a third world country, or are giving discounts on your product. The work you produce must be of the top most quality that you have.