The internet revolution has changed the dynamics of communication forever. That’s a fact that is unarguable. Matters that once had us traveling thousands of miles to see to are now sorted between a few calls and online meetings. Logistics are only put in place where it is absolutely necessary. As expected, many have explored the ease the internet has provided to communicate the value they offer and institute processes and systems that ensure they do not have to see a client face-to-face before they do business with them. I am one of those people.
As a writer, editor, proofreader, and writing coach, most of the work I have to do can be executed to perfection with just a laptop and great internet connectivity. I can teach my courses via Whatsapp or any of the other internet-based platforms. My clients can mail their documents or stories to me and I can give them regular feedback on the progress of their work via email too or we may opt to chat privately on a mutually convenient social media platform.
Life is that easy these days and those who appreciate convenience have found ways to leverage it for work. Service providers, and in particular, consultants, trainers, and coaches have found that internet-based platforms are suitable for their line of business. What’s more, they do not have to incur the attendant costs and stress associated with getting a physical venue for their sessions. Hence, the growing popularity of webinars, WhatsApp classes, and other forms of online training.
Naturally, as the popularity of web-based consultations grew, professionals (and charlatans alike) across diverse sectors place a wide-ranging valuation on their service. While some might be considered fair, others are deemed over the top. This development has led to the criticism of the ubiquitous masterclasses that dot the virtual community landscape these days.
Recently, a consultant was maligned for charging what was widely considered a cutthroat rate for her Whatsapp sessions. Not a few people wondered why a class that wouldn’t hold within the four walls of a classroom should cost that much. In the same vein, CV reviewers and writers have been called to question many times on their perceived intent to take advantage of the unemployed. The critics argue that a graduate of any higher institution worth the ground on which it was built should be able to put an excellent resume together. They forget there’s such a thing as expertise in a particular field. The ability to do a seemingly mundane activity better than the average person.
I am a writer, but even I jumped at the offer of having professional eyes peruse and review my CV when I was offered the opportunity. I had written a good CV, but I saw a marked difference; how my CV went from good to great when those whose entire career revolved around projecting job candidates in the best possible light tweaked it.
Doctors consult other doctors when they are stuck or have a hard time treating an ailment or even when an immediate family member falls ill because they appreciate the superiority that expertise confers. Same with lawyers, advertising professionals, and even artisans.
At the risk of stating the obvious, the more technical or eclectic one’s area of specialty is, the higher their chances of earning a premium. A foreign-trained professional who has had an impeccable career across a variety of industries is unlikely to give out their knowledge at the same rate as a career neophyte.
And just in case, you still haven’t figured out what I’m hinting at, I am saying an expert (and anyone at all, in fact) has the exclusive prerogative to name what they consider a deserving price for their services as long as they aren’t bound by any law or association. They, more than anyone know the amount of work, resources, and financial investment they put into becoming a master of their craft.
However, the potential client also reserves the right to refuse to pay that price if they deem it overvalued or unworthy of their hard-earned money. It really is that simple.
To hurl insults or tag a person a thief due to an inability to afford their product or services is at best unfair, and at worst an indication of myopic, illogical thinking.