noun: a report of something such as a political situation or system or a person’s work or ideas that examines it and provides a judgement, especially a negative one.
verb: to give an opinion or judgement about a piece or work, book, film, etc.
A Brand / PR Agent approaches you to Blog for them. You review their product or service and prepare a portfolio and quotation email. Silently, you pop the champagne hoping that this is the beginning of a long working relationship the minute you click “Send” in Outlook.
Hours pass and you constantly check send/receive hoping for a reply of “yes you are hired”. Days go by and eventually, you receive THE email.
Thank you for your quotation. Upon reflection we wish to inform you that your quote is not within our budget’s scope and would like to find out if you have better pricing available?
Ohh-Kay. Well that’s a heart wrenching blow. Now what now?
In my opinion you have two options available:
1. Grab a box of tissues and cry a river. Seriously. You have completely out priced yourself. You did not take the time to review Industry standards when it comes to content creation and Blogging. Your tears stem from utter embarrassment and not the harsh feeling of criticism.
Wipe them away and start from scratch. Do the market research and then readjust your pricing.
Top Tip: NONE of us have the follower numbers that Kim Kardashian does and can therefore not quote the prices she does. Market research is a must.
2. If your pricing is Industry standard and comparable with your expertise, reply to the email with a simple, “Thank you for your reply. The quotation I sent you is valid for the next 7 days and unfortunately I do not have better pricing at this time for the services you wish to employ me for. I can however downgrade your quotation in terms of hours so as to meet your expected budget. Could you please give me an indication as to how many hours I need to deduct?”
Why the latter? Simple. YOU. ARE. WORTH. IT.
Top Tip: Bloggers, your Blog is your Business. As a Business Owner, you are going to be criticized for your prices. All. Day. Long. It’s one of the reasons why the term “You need a thick skin to be an Entrepreneur” exists. Place value on your work and stick to your value. If you truly believe that your pricing aligns with Industry standards and is acceptable for the amount of work you will put into the project, maintain that belief and stick to it! When a Brand “criticizes” your pricing it is not so much an insult on your pricing as it is the game of Business that we all have to play daily. Don’t take it personally. Seriously, don’t.
P.S In my experience, the clients that usually criticize pricing the most are the ones that don’t pay on time. Do you really want a bad payer on your books?
Thank you for your quotation. Upon reviewing your portfolio in depth, we have decided that your style of writing does not fit with our brand at this moment in time.
Yikes! Why do I all of a sudden feel like I’m having a hot flush? Am I not good enough?
Again, in my opinion, you have two options:
1. Run for this hills and change EVERYTHING. Change your blog theme, colours, graphics, writing style, you name it, just change it all!
2. Do as I do and take this response as a feather in your cap. Let’s be real here. Do you REALLY want to be like every other Blogger out there? Do you want to work with a Brand that only wants a certain style of writing? As a Blogger, I don’t think so. As a Business Owner, I know so. Take a good look in the mirror and remind yourself that Authenticity with Integrity does not appeal to everyone. And that’s ok.
One of the most important lessons that I have learnt in my Blogging years is that being authentic is one thing, but being a Blogger with integrity is another. Recently I read a Facebook Status Update about Mom Bloggers that attack each other online based on their parenting and writing styles. This status update once again showed me that Bloggers often become the critic they themselves hate and fear.
Being able to deal with criticism requires a level of responsibility, both in receiving and giving. You need to be responsible when giving criticism because your words may have the power to make or break someone else. You also need to be responsible when receiving criticism by knowing that the words and actions of others cannot affect you unless you allow it.
Tell me, how have you had to deal with criticism before?