Why we are going ‘Value for Value!

This article is not free. But how much is it worth? I spend some time thinking about this topic, I write something, read back. But what is the value of this article? That differs per individual. Will this article help you pass the time? Or are you in a quest for the ultimate definition of value? Or are you struggling to determine the value of your services yourself? What is the value of this item?

What is value?

In many of the training courses I have given in recent years, the term “value” came up. The discussion revolved around maximizing value and defining what value is. This was also an issue with the various consultancy assignments. What makes the service I provide worth a certain hourly rate? I know that I add value, the things that I offer to make a situation better. Or at least I inspire people to look at things or do things differently. But what justifies a certain amount (per hour, per day)?

Product versus Services

This is a bit easier with products. You can determine what the different parts cost and how much time it takes to assemble a product. Prepare to be delivered. Add to this a profit margin and a dose of taxes. And there is the value of the product. The value of a service (especially services!) Depends on the perception of value. How do you quantify that perception when people ask what your service costs? Difficult.

I often say jokingly that I really make impact only 5 minutes a day job but I have to be present there for 8 hours.

This remains a major struggle for the services sector. What justifies a certain rate? An hourly fee still seems to be the most accepted standard, but it can also be done differently!

What is our pricingmodel?

We ran into this issue when we decided to offer some of the materials and workshops online course (more on this later!). A big step forward for the scalability of our work. We can reach a larger audience than if you for example, offers a physical workshop.

Everyone can do the workshop at a time and pace that suits him or her. That’s a big step in value. In addition, you can offer consistent quality and you only have to make an effort to put the first version online. Notwithstanding maintenance and further development of the material.

The big question then is, what is it worth? What are people willing to pay for an online workshop? No idea…

Then we discovered the “No Agenda Show” and their “Value for Value” modeland in our opinion there lies the answer.

A brief history

The “Value for Value” model originated with Adam Curry and John C. Dvorak. To the older readers, Adam Curry is known as a former VJ at MTV. He is also known online as the “Podfather”. One of the founders of Podcasting. For over 13 years, the two gentlemen have had a bi-weekly podcast, the “No Agenda Show“. This podcast is available for everyone to listen to and you will not hear any commercials.

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The podcast is therefore completely independent. You can imagine a podcast about news and current events. It is made twice a week and has a length of approximately 3 hours. Requires a fair amount of time and energy to make and prepare. Nobody has that much free time left. How do they do that? How did that lead to a 13-year podcast?

Actually very simple. The listener is asked to share with them the value they get from listening to the podcast. In most cases this means paying an amount, this can be one-off or structural in nature. But alternative contributions are also welcome. Like designing a cover for a podcast episode. Or help with developing the platform. But also sharing newsworthy facts.

Value for Value model

Actually, the “Value for Value” model is very simple. You as a user are asked to share the value that you get from certain services or content. In most cases this means paying an amount. But alternative contributions are also welcome.

Where many services require a fixed amount determined by the supplier, this model reverses the roles. You determine the value yourself. If it has no value to you, you do not return anything. In this way, it places the responsibility on you to be critical of whether the service is actually valuable and to determine for yourself in what form, quantity and extent they share this value.

Makers receive direct feedback on the value they deliver and can thus find a balance between the time they invest and how much it yields.

Same as donating?

This model is not the same as a donation. Donations are a gift or gift to achieve a specific goal. The “Value for Value” model revolves around an actual compensation for a service provided.

Where many services require a fixed amount that is determined by the supplier, the roles are reversed for the No Agenda podcast. The listener determines the value himself. If the podcast has no value to you, you will not return anything.

Freedom and independence

This model gives the maker enormous freedom. You will be rewarded by the people who find your contribution valuable and you will sometimes be surprised at how much more value this is than you would expect. In the world of digital media (podcasts, vlogs, etc.), advertisements and sponsorships are the norm. This does limit the freedom of the maker, often because the advertiser or sponsor has a certain expectation which message you bring.

The downside of this is now also more than known, if you make or do something that does not match the objectives of the advertiser, regardless of what the consumer thinks about it, you will lose your income. With the creation of the “Value for Value” model, it gives makers and consumers the space to discover together where the value lies!

Introduction of the producer

In the “Value for Value” model, the user determines the value for the service provided. And they then share this with the makers. This makes them a producer.

With his or her contribution, a producer enables the creators of a service to deliver more value or to continue to deliver value. You mainly come across this term in the entertainment industry and media. A definition:

A producer is a person or organization that has the business and financial direction of an artistic process. (Wikipedia)

And that is exactly what happens. Because the producer determines what is possible with their contribution. Without their contribution no service and the greater the contribution the more is possible.

Value for Value in real life

Everyone has come into contact with this model before. In principle, the music in the shopping street plays for free. Nevertheless, the instrument case lies in front of the artist to invite you to share your value for the service provided (music). You are not obliged to give anything. Can this work out? Apparently yes, as long as enough people give money and this outweighs the time and costs incurred by the musician, this works very well. The better the artist and the busier the street, the more he will earn. More examples from our practice.

Spontanious coaching conversation

During one of the first conversations I had with Susanne (co-founder Entrepreneurability) about the Company of Owners model, this conversation resulted in a coaching conversation for myself.

The conversation was so valuable to me that I asked her to send an invoice for this. At first she refused this, but after some insistence an invoice came with the value that I thought the conversation had. Value for Value!

Workshop with more value

One of the first workshops I sold was at a large development organization. The supervisor was enthusiastic about the content of my proposal that I had made. He saw the value and saw me, with my experience, as the right person to lead this workshop. He knew that I had just started as an independent entrepreneur and asked me to charge a higher amount for the workshop. You deliver much more value than you ask for now! Feel free to double this amount! I asked too little value for the value I delivered!

Determine the invoice amount yourself

The last organization I worked for organized special theme evenings for further deepening for former students. These evenings were free but at the end of the evening we asked for feedback and what they thought was the value of this evening. This amount would be billed to them. As a yardstick we indicated an estimated value of approximately 400 euros.

Entrepreneurability goes Value for Value

Why do we also embrace this model? This has everything to do with why we started Entrepreneurability. We believe in the distinctiveness of entrepreneurial skills. Our goal is to inspire as many people as possible to take initiative, make decisions, innovate and bear the risks.

We are also convinced that there is no standard process, method or framework for this and that every person, team and organization operates in its own unique context. So what we can do is create content that inspires you, makes you think and takes action. This may provide value for you.

How much that is worth? We believe that it is not up to us to put a price on it. We make it available, up to you to determine the value and share it with us!

So you give everything away for free?

No, it is not free!

We make our knowledge available and we place the responsibility on you to share with us the value it gives you.

And yes, we find that exciting too! Plenty of people will take advantage of this situation and consider it free. But that is no reason for us not to do this.

Imagine buying a bunch of flowers for that special someone in your life. But you forgot your wallet. The florist says to you: “Oh, it’s too bad that you can’t pay now, just take those flowers with you and otherwise pay at the end of the day or the next time!”

What would you do? Most of them will stop by the same day to pay and have a positive association with this florist forever. Some will think, beautiful free flowers and never get flowers from that florist again. Choose for yourself.

We will be very sorry if people see our value as free. Our time and knowledge are not free and without “value for value” we cannot deliver new value or better value.

Now the question you knew was coming!

What is this article worth to you? Co-produce for even more value! it might take some getting used to but if you’ve gotten this far reading there will undoubtedly have been some value in this article! Share this with us! Questions? Ask!

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