Thanks for sharing your costs. On the outset, these seem quite high. Lets just focus on the social media bit for the time being. Is it possible for you to reduce these costs because these are very very high and something we do not have the budget for. So let me know what is the best cost you could give.

Pricing, like beauty, is subjective. I might find a particular guy or chick HOT and you might think I’m off my rocker. Similarly, I might find a person’s talent worth spending X amount on and you might think that amount is “quite high and very very high”. What is your point exactly?

I receive enquiries about pricing and deliverables like any other entrepreneur. Since the work I do and the deliverables I provide are highly dependent on the client, their brand and the requirements of a particular campaign or product, there is no way to give “pricing” right out of my ass. Still, after many years in the business of storytelling for international brands, at Naina.co, we have come up with a rate card to email to potential clients because it gives them a sense of our pricing and how we work. I have NEVER, in my 12 year career, received an email from a first time enquirer, where they disclose what their budget is.

This is because most haven’t really thought about the budget. Hiring someone to create or build a story around a brand is usually an afterthought. Many brands attempt this path only when they see their competitor brands doing the same. It is more a “Let’s see what happens.” rather than a clearly defined project with goals. Naturally, a “budget” is the last thing most people think of. I recommend that to make life easier ( yours and mine – or someone like me ), you first identify your goals – what are you trying to do for your brand? What kind of an audience would you like to reach out to? What are the platforms ( like Naina.co ) that might be able to help you reach that goal? Then, much like I am asked to “provide costing”, come up with a fucking budget. And only then – ONLY THEN – reach out to entrepreneurs like me and begin a discussion.

If you ask someone “What is the price of this?” and then they tell you what the price is, don’t come back to them with, “Quite high, very very high.” What the fuck is that supposed to mean? And what are you hoping that will achieve anyway? Are you expecting that I will reduce my prices just because you are asking me to? Hope in hell bruh. If you’re looking to reduce pricing, for whatever reason, expect to reduce deliverables as well. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the work I do, there is no scope to lower the “quality” of what I deliver. One blog post with ten photographs is only marginally less impactful than a blog post with twenty photographs. The effort is marginally different but potential client expectation of prices is “less than half”. Please get your head out of your ass and at the very least ASK how it works.

I hate to say this but blogging / brand story-telling / photo stories as brand tools, are STILL considered “new-fangled” ideas in the Indian market, which is a shame. We’ve had them for a long time you know – just not on the online / digital platform. So they aren’t “new” in that sense. It’s just a different medium. And if you don’t understand that medium, you can hire someone like me to consult and provide a way forward. Always better coming from a place of knowing just what the hell you’re getting into. ( Unless of course you’re a salaried employee and you don’t really give a fuck how the company’s money burns. )

“Your costs are too high because they are out of our budget.” This is dumb shit. And it is obvious shit. I’ve even been called an “asshole” because “Who do you think you are?” “What are these high prices for?”

I owe no one any justification for the prices I charge for the work I deliver. When you tell me that you can’t afford these prices, I don’t come back and ask you why you can’t right? There is no one else in the entire country who does what I do. There is a reason my existing clients hire me and pay me what I charge. I totally understand if YOU are not able to “get” that but don’t you dare throw that back at me. If you can’t afford it, don’t shop for it.

I’d like to show off a Bentley in my driveway but I can’t. I can’t afford it right now. But I don’t go to a Bentley store and tell them they need to give me a better price because their prices are “very very high” and “out of my budget”.

I’d be told to fuck off I’m sure.

So yeah, I get it, violent reactions to my pricing are nothing new. Now, my making fun of those isn’t new either! All you have to do is head over to the rest of the weekly pieces I publish under #WTFNaina! ( Every Monday around 0815 hours. ) With malice towards one and all. Cheers!

More anecdotes and stories in the #WTFNaina series. ( These are all inspired by true stories. Some written emails, some from face-to-face meetings. They have all been piling up for years now and I’ve decided to put them to use! )

(  Image from Flickr. Creative Commons license. )