Recently I was reading an article by marketing provocateur Seth Godin. In his usual challenging manner he hit the nail on the head.
” The hard part isn’t charging a lot. The hard part is delivering more (in the eye of the recipient) than he paid for…Too often, in the race to charge less, we deliver too little. And in the race to charge more, we forget what it is that people want. They want more. And better.”
This got me thinking. A personal history book or video is a big ticket item for most clients. So what can we do to demonstrate that our clients will get get more than they expected?
Here are some ideas that come to mind:
Emphasize the lasting value of A life story.
When you have an initial conversation with a potential client, use words such as investment rather than cost, legacy rather than personal history, gift instead of book or video.
I sometimes use a new car analogy. I point out that as soon as you drive a car off the lot, it begins to depreciate. On the other hand, a Life Story appreciates over time. You can’t say that about many things.
Use your professional qualifications.
It’s true that “Cousin George” can probably do the book for half the price. But does he have the experience and professional background to do a first-class job?
When people hire me, they know that not only are they getting an experienced professional personal historian but also a former award-winning documentary filmmaker. My work will be better than “Cousin George’s”. At least I hope so.
Look for ways you can make your qualifications stand out.
Give your client more than just a book.
There are a number of ways to add extras.
- Include a set of audio CDs of your interviews.
- Provide a poster size duplication of the book cover.
- Give a subscription to a a family history magazine.
- Reproduce a treasured archival photo from the book and have it framed.
- Organize a launch party for friends and family after the book’s publication.
Find those little extras that add more value to your work.
Emphasize the superior quality of your books.
Have one of your beautiful personal history books to showcase your work. The quality will speak for itself. Point out the exceptional archival paper stock and inks that are used. Acquaint clients with the outstanding design elements.
You want to convey the message that these are “Legacy” books that will last for generations.
stress the good feelings that come with a personal history book or video.
What clients may not appreciate are the positive feelings that arise with personal histories. It’s not just a book or video.
Parents and children talk about feeling closer to each other after engaging in a life story. Parents are touched by the thoughtfulness of their children undertaking such an endeavor. Still other recipients of a personal history find a new appreciation for their life accomplishments.
A personal history is a connection to the soul.