I know our quality of service is far superior, and I know that all the people (or at least 90% of the people) pitching lower prices than us won't be able to deliver an end product that will be of much benefit to the client (even if they do manage to fulfil the technical requirements).
We want to actually talk to buyers to figure out how and if we can actually help them, but most insist on us just sending a quote so they can screen everyone based on pricing before proceeding to discussions.
Consider that Elance is only one marketing venue. And though a segment of your market may shop there - you may find that you only end up with "bargain" shoppers.
If the product/service you provide is superior and you can demonstrate this to the marketplace then it makes sense that you should be able to price it higher.
You are currently offering a great value service to a bargain marketplace....So your current business model is bound to fail.
There are several things you can do to move your business forward.
For example - use Elance as a lead gen marketplace, offering a lower value entry level service that can be priced competitively and upsell to a higher value service.
For more ideas and a simple way to build a more profitable business model, give me a call.
Best of luck!
I'll be blunt: you can't.
I've ran design agencies for years and in the beginning I was obsessed with this question, thinking our dashing service could win them over. "If only we could get in the door our problems would be solved!" I'd proclaim to no one in particular.
But over time with hundreds of clients beat the truth into me.
There are three factors in every purchase: speed, cost, and quality. Most buying decisions are based on emphasizing two. Fast food is speed and low cost, missing quality. A fancy steak house is low speed, high quality and cost. Everything is a compromise.
If someone doesn't *value* quality they won't pay for it. If someone doesn't have the *budget* to afford quality they won't pay for it.
So, the bad news: elance is filled with the above.
This is why you're not winning there. Their qualifiers are misaligned. That is not knocking elance, it is just a reality. They don't want a conversation they want a low cost solution. It is insanely unlikely that you will walk away with longterm clients who value what you do and are willing to pay well for it.
But there is a silver lining...
This means you can focus on customers who you can win with. Those that value quality. Those that believe in responding when you put some effort in. Those probably not on elance.
Love to help on the agency end if I can at all in the future too about how to find clients. Feel free to reach out to me through Clarity and you'll be helping a good charity at the same time.
This is an old question and I hope you've pivoted since...
However, if you haven't the simple answer is to focus less on those places. You're in the low hanging fruit section of the web so you will get the low prices-- most of the time.
If you want to be paid based on your value not your time, you've gotta do what the rest of us do. :)
--Hustle to put scalable marketing systems in place.
Begin with the basic fundamentals of mapping out your ideal client, setting up an email list, and put content out there to attract them to you.
I know what it's like (as many experts here do) to get started but you'll never grow playing small.
All the Best!