Matt, I think you are short sighted in your perspective.
If you do a good job of telling people what to expect on your website, let your website weed out the tightwads. Not to take advantage of a resource because you believe this is what Craig`s List only attracts only means there are a group of people who will not ever see your site.
More importantly your site earns a higher position on the search engines as it gets more and more links.
To be very clear your prejudices about Craig`s List may cost you business, and fails to take advantage of the benefits derived from a listing relating to Search Engine Optimization.
I am a little surprised by your point of view. Frankly I find many web designers a little above the real businesses. Pizza shops, builders, restaurant owners, cleaning companies and the real people trying to make a living.
I am very proud that we have gone after all those little people. That is what we are and I find most web designers charge so much money it is borderline outrageous.
I am not bitter because the people who do that have tossed me lots and lots of business.
I have owned a window cleaning company for 20 years and built my own site. Web Sites have to make money and the somewhat arrogant, "I am too good" for anything does not work.
You`ve got to get in the game with the real people who have to struggle to make things go and who need every deal they can get. When you take care of those people you will have loyalty that lasts for years.
My company is very successful giving a tremendous service with a tremendous price.
I get in the trenches with my clients. Sometimes I am the guy giving them the friendly kick in the pants. Just last week I went to one of my pizzerias and stood there while they put their website on their marquee.
Chamber of Commerce is nice. I am a member of a small one, but let`s face it the people who pay for membership are already successful.
I say you should get whatever you can for your work. This is the American way. At the same time, no, I do not think our work is worth doctor or lawyer wages.
In the end our business model keeps the costs to $329. We build it, design it and update it for one year. No BS charges for all the little stuff. In terms of numbers of clients we are already around #3 or #4 in our market. In the coming year we should hit #2 and probably #1 in 2008 if not sooner.
Now maybe we are around $40 an hour, but we do more work and we have more experience than the "elitest" artist making websites. Our sites are great investments that return good money for the client.
I looked at the portfolio of the person who did the testimonial on your website. I just don`t get what there is a need to charge more than $3-400. The sites look nice, but we build a site like that in 3 or 4 hours. What is the big deal you are offering?
The answer is simple. Right now there are only so many web designers and lots of people who need the services. You can get big money for what we both know takes little time. That is the American way...However, enjoy this time my friend, for it will not forever.
I did not say that to you. I am saying, "No" you are not worth the same as a lawyer. (My opinion) and you were the one who introduced the "elite" issue.
I am not impressed with the size of her business. Two testimonials? 7 people on her portfolio (one of which is closed?). How much did she pay for the service and what did she get out of it?
I think these are fair questions and you have heard them before as I read what you wrote. So rather than taking your ball and going home, tell us why you are worth what we pay our lawyer? Tell me how I am wrong, take my argument and destroy it.
My rule is I will pay for almost anything if you can prove to me your idea can be implemented so I can make some money. If I am so wrong show me, I am listening, and heck if you make sense I`ll be writing a check.
Great to see such an active discussion here!
Good Going StartUpNation People!
Craigslist is good for somethings and not so great for others.
One of my clients received a huge boost for a weekend furniture sale almost 400 hits in the first 4 hours on the list. And a few good sales. It does help to raise interest. I hope there are at least 3 or 4 more like it soon! Healthy competition is a Great thing!