Every now and then I get a call from someone who, after I give them a quote, they say "I can get it done for less."
Now I've always believed that I charge a fair and reasonable fee for my services. I feel something is expensive if you are paying a price more than it's worth.
So getting back to this "I can get it done for less" mind set. As a successful freelancer you can't compete on price because you should be offering more than what your client is purchasing. You should be competing on a different level. You should be communicating that your client getting will be getting "more bang for their buck".
The "more" is experience.
Some designers will deliver projects that are more expensive to produce in the long run. No savings there.
The "more" is talent.
If an ad is not designed to sell or looks bad, who is going to buy the clients product or service? You should be communicating that you know what you are doing and that you have the "chops".
The "more" is service.
No one likes to work with someone who "loves them then leaves them." My clients stick with me and come back with more assignments because they know that I've "got their back".
The "more" is an understanding of what your client needs... it's NOT always what they want. Your job is to help them sell their product or service.
I have gotten more work from my clients by TURNING DOWN ASSIGNMENTS. I'd say... "you really don't need that." And after discussing it with them, they sometimes agree. BUT because they know that I'm not after grabbing their money. That I'm here to help them... when I say "you should be thinking of doing THIS...." they listen and I get the project because I'm helping them.
Sometimes prospective clients will play this "I can get it done for less" game and throw out a number that is so crazy I say "if your project comes in at that price, please let me know because I can use them." I have never gotten a call back telling me they got their assignment done on budget. And anyway, I do everything myself.
Bottom line: A bottle of Snapple is worth $1.25. If you pay $5.00 that's expensive for what you are getting. Charge a fair and reasonable fee for your work and give your clients MORE for their money. If they can't afford your fee, that doesn't mean your price is too high, it means their budget is too low. You will go out of business being busy with poor paying clients.
As a successful freelancer you will get more business by offering a price for a project that is fair then following through with the "more".