I've had a bit more time to think about this, Natasa, and you raise some interesting points.natasa812 said:Dear Matthew, no, it is not.
1. Murphy`s law: Anything free is worth what you pay for it. (Many people apply this in their lifes. I read your offer, I know it is not free but, it almoust is).
2. Very often, in the begining of my career, people (clients) used to tell me the reason why they left some other Agency. And I was in shock: ``Their prices are too low`` or, ``Since their prices are too low, they certainly have no knowledge`` or ``The prices are so low and I am sure they put students to do all the work and not profesionals``. The conclusion is that people question quality if the price is too low.
3. This is not deontological. You have to think your colleaques and the Astrologers Union (if there is any) and to make average prices or a fixed price list (a Taurus / Virgo combination) and stick together.
4. How many astrological predictions and charts you have to do per day to collect an amount that looks like a mounth salary. You have to sleep at least 8 hours, eat 3 meals (approximately 2 or 3 hours), your every day usual care (bath, brushing teeth, to supply the house maybe... and so on) will take another hour or more, if you want to see the sun in the park or a friend of yours it will take 1-2 hours, to keep yourself informed and maybe see the news on TV another hour. So, we have approximately 10 hours or less left. How many charts can you interpret in this working hours?
And think that there are other people thinking in this way too and they sometimes think that the time you take to interpret their chart and the quolity of your interpretation are corelated.
So, keep it in mind, think of your colleaques also and keep it on the level where it is supposed to be. And you HAVE to sleep too (the 8 hours mentioned above). THINK ABOUT YOUR HEALTH TOO!
And the world crise is (partialy) a product of TV and something that is presented in the way I doubt how real it is. I have the feeling that someone is trying to take away large amounts of money away from market or that somehow those amounts are stolen from us. I can not support my ``feeling`` but this situation does not look normal to me. Where is the money going? We had it since yestrday...
Wish you the best
Matthew The Astrologer said:I've had a bit more time to think about this, Natasa, and you raise some interesting points.
1. It's not free, true. However, unlike most cases where "you get what you pay for," this is really more a matter of "you pay for what you get." Which is... I know... really unusual. You get it, and you tell me what it's worth. And if it's worth X to you... then you may very well come back for more.
2. Since the client sets the price, they know what they are paying for. People generally don't rip THEMSELVES off.
As for the Agency example you gave: If they were already a customer, they should know if the person they are dealing with knows what they're talking about or not. Then they can figure out if the price is right. Same with me, except they set the price. And to be honest... with what I've been paid so far, I can honestly say that (if we use price as the only objective standard) I seem to be good at what I'm doing.
3. Unionizing astrologers is like herding cats. Seriously: as a former Shop Steward at a phone company, I know exactly what you mean. But (at least around here) the astrologers are more lone wolves than pack animals. Nonetheless, the cost of a consultation tends to float around a certain point. That's not organization, that's just how the free market works.
4. You sound like my Mom. And I have Moon in Cancer on the ascendant, so that isn't an insult at all.
natasa812 said:I strongly disagree.
1. I am not going to get it or to tell you what it is worth. I just feel sorry for the rest of your colleagues that have to experience this situation and maybe even fear of prices falling. I emphatize with them, I don`t want the market to work on a lower level and I will not try the cheaper product. I want the person who works to feel satisfied and worth. So, I refuse.
2. Since whan the client sets the price? He knows nothing about your work or about the time you need to do it corectly but you give him the oportunity to interfere with your work and not only, but to set the price also... When you go to the Super Market and by food for yourself to eat and to make your organism strong every morning so that you will be able to do astrological predictions, do you set the price? Or to by close and to protect your body from cold? Or to pay your electricity and to work with your computer? No, you don`t set the price.
This system was already experimentaly applied in Socialism and it faild. To work in practice, everyone must work and think in the same way. This is not the case. (Or, with example: if your client can set the price, since you are a client too in other cases (Super Market, shopping, using electricity...), than, it would work if you could also set the price for yourself in those cases).
In my Agency, a client is never right.
And you wrote that a client should already know if the person knows his job. Why do you think that they are obligated to know anything? In most cases, they know nothing. And they don`t have the time or the necessary knowledge to know anything. How can a client know anything about your job? If he knew, he would not come to proffesional astrologer at first place. He would do his readings by himself. You have to ``sell` yourself as an proffesional astrologer who will not compromise with less.
3. I know how difficult it is to make people make an Union. But, except written rules, there are also ``invisible`` rules - also applied and also respected in real life and they are even stronger than the regular one. Deontology is the key word.
4. I know I sound like your mother, but you HAVE to think about your time and health!
And there was a film with Tom Cruise as a manager of a baseball player and he talked too much and then the baseball player just tells him ``show me the money``... Maybe it would be prefered to find yourself a good manager to promote you and your work and to think in a more commercial way...
And you asked about good internet offer. Here it is:
1. The golden rule is: golden average.
2. Deontology and collegiate behaivour
3. The client is never right
4. I need 8 hours of sleep because I am human too.
5. Show me the money
And sorry for the approach, you may disagree, I certainly do disagree strongly with the free market idea, but since I am the part of the free market being a free lancer, it means that I MAKE THE RULES. Maybe it is the Neptune Moon square since Moon rules my 6th - I never mix bussiness with feelings. I understand that you empathize with people and the world crises but something has to be done about it. And in my 1th, there is no Moon, only one Mars but it is doing what he is suppose to. And I don`t know what I will do with Cancer AC. Feelings and business? This is indeed ``a challenging`` aspect...
In my office,
1. A costumer is never right.
2. Show me the money
3. Take it or leave it
4. Please go elsewhere and do it quicly
5. Don`t waste my time
6. I studied for 30 years and YES I demant it to be payed in cash
7. You want to do it by yourself - be my guest
8. You want the job done ``yestrday`` - I have a table on the wall: ``For miracles we demand a 24 hours term``
9. A clinet talks too much: I give 2 notifications - non verbal by looking at my watch and a verbal one how ``time is passing`` and the 3rd one is that I have to go and close the office so he goes too. He insists on talking? - a table No 2 ``Minimum charge for consultation: 10 euros`` (Consultation meaning that I do nothing - the job is not done, all I did was jus listening to him and his problems about his documents and maybe gave an advice where he should go from here. Because, there is a proffesion called ``Information bureau`` - and they CHARGE. Real money. And I am not ``Information bureau``.
And now, please think how much time you will waste with clients who want to talk, tell you their life story, talk about their love problems, ask ``just one question`` and then of course a ``subquestion``, see you as a friend since you ``shared`` all their career or love problems, just ``keep in touch`` with you after the reading, even flirt with you and waste your time again. And of course, your mother is right. You have to think about yourself, your healt, your time, your personal issues - maybe you want to take a walk in the park with your boyfriend / girlfriend instead of listening unknowned people?
Wish you the very very best, keep the prices and the level and think about yourself.
Where is this country? My guess is, wherever you are... you're standing on it.natasa812 said:- you are not harming any other astrologer
- price is not dropping
- you are making more this way
- customer is setting the price
- free market is working
- you work less than 40 hours a week
- AND this IMPROVES condition for other astrologers
Where do I aply for visa for this paradise country?
- customers are happy
- astrologers are happy
- the situation on market is improving
- everybody is happy
And because I don`t live in paradise, and no, you did not misunderstood, a ``customer is never right`` works for me.
If I ever meat the client that has at least 1/2 of knowledge and at least 1/2 of education I have and also my experience, than, maybe, but only maybe, I will tell ``this customer could be right`` and I`ll even listen to him in his try to set the price.
And because I also don`t live in Star Trek film and I know that the New World Order did not come to us from space, I DEEPLY UNDERSTAND that it is BROUGHT by people, accepted by some other people, supported from some other people and violently appled by this mass of people.
So, I continue to refuse even more to accept it.
I simply, strongly, refuse.
And I will not tell you ``If you are happy, I am even happier``. I beleive in People, in Humanity, in this World as a ``whole`` and that we can not function separated from each other - the reason I answered to your post.
As Ernest Hemingway wrote: Never ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for you.
Olivia said:Matthew, have you tried pricing at closer to what you're actually worth? I live in an even more expensive Canadian city than you do, and yes, it helps that we can charge in American dollars, but at your rates....
I was too sick to see clients or have clients at all for a long time. I'm still recovering now, but at least I can study again (I'll spend the rest of my life doing courses, I think). I've done a few successful blogs, so when I got to the point where I could at least do written and telephone consultations, I advertised on the divination blog.
But because I'd been out of the field professionally for three or four years, I set the prices too low.
And got almost no clients.
Then I doubled the prices. Then people wanted readings from me. I don't think anything changed on the blog, a lot of it was educational and it continued to be educational, but people seemed to prefer to pay a higher price than a lower one.
Natasa is right, though - the client is almost always wrong. That doesn't mean you beat them over the head with it, but they'll argue that the astrology forecast in the magazine says.....and you do their chart and say something different. Or whatever.
Doing natal charts, especially with progressions and transits takes time - way more than horary with the rare exception of those really complicated horaries you have to spend hours on. So I charge more for natal than for horary.
Suppose I came to you, and took you up on your $10 report, you did my chart, and discovered I had, say, 15 really twisty progressions and transits coming up in the next three months and they were all playing off each other? Then I call you or you call me and we talk about it for an hour, or you have to write it up, or something.
A little extreme, I grant, but it does happen. So after you've spent four hours wrestling with the chart and another hour talking to me, are you still okay receiving $10 for it? At this point your income is about $2 per hour. And after our conversation, you just cannot face another chart that day. But you still have the blog entry to do, and your sun sign column to write that night. Ugh.
Because I'm human and I really didn't want to hear the bad news (clients seem to be split about 50/50 on this - some really appreciate your being straight with them, some not so much), I decide that I'm not going to pay more than $10. I don't know that you've spent four hours unravelling this mess, I don't know that you've had to take courses and buy a lot of expensive books and spend hundreds of hours on hundreds of charts to get to the point where you could even tell me this stuff. I just know I didn't like what you said and I don't want it to be true (even if in some part of my mind, I know it is). We'll assume you're not terrorising me, and did give me some useful advices on what I can do to make things better, but no, my husband really isn't coming back and it does indeed look like I'll have difficulty finding work.
People are funny that way sometimes.
My astrological education has been a fairly costly matter, and it's ongoing. Same with yours. Are you making enough so that you've paid off the costs of that, or will be able to, and still be able to buy that book on horary or progressions or whatever it is that you really need and still eat? If you get a raving sinus infection or just need some time away, can you take two or three weeks holiday without having to worry about eviction notices?
I grant that Radiohead could do whatever they wanted to market their last album. But they're Radiohead. If they'd marketed their first album this way, none of us would have ever heard of them.
I'll be interested to see how your experiment goes, but I think I could only do charts for $10 for a few weeks before I was sending out resumés to work in fast food.
Keep us posted how this goes, will you? Heck, if Calgary really is that great I'll move there myself.