Factofly freelance fuel


Welcome to this week's edition of Freelance Fuel, where, as always, we share curated content that can hopefully inspire your business, or be the starting point to get started.

Today we look at decoy pricing, how Mark Cuban made his first dollars through RTFM – and how you can do the same, the art of saying no and protecting your time, lessons in great work, and recommended tools.

Let's get started.

/Jannik from Factofly

🕊 Decoys and prices

Last week we talked about how you can use anchor pricing to get the really good deals home.

But there are several tricks you can use to sell your expensive solutions.

In close relation to anchor pricing, also exists decoy pricing.

In short, the decoy effect is about introducing a third, less attractive option – the decoy – that has an influence on how the original options are interpreted by your customer.

The decoy is so-called "asymmetrically dominated", and placed so that you have to see a doctor if you choose it rather than the target it is set against - think "buy 1 for DKK 10, or 2 for 12". On the contrary, it is only slightly worse than the other option it is pitted against.

When you go to the cinema, you typically experience the decoy effect in this way:

decoy effect

In this case, taking the big popcorn seems like a no-brainer.

If we wanted to boost sales of the medium package instead, we would have moved it closer in price to the small and created a greater distance to the large variant.

You can use the decoy effect to focus on your hero product, but always make sure to test the structure of your different packages so you know what works for you.

It can help your customer navigate and make the choice to go with you. And it's not least a trick that can lift your turnover 💸


Mark Cuban

If you have seen the American version of The Lion's Den, Shark Tank, Mark Cuban is hardly a new name on your radar.

Cuban today has a staggering net worth on the heavy side of $5 billion, but the way he made his first dollars can be boiled down to an acronym and popular internet slang: RTFM.

Read The Fucking Manual!

In his first company, MicroSolutions, the business basis wasabt reading the damn manual, then selling that knowledge of how the various systems worked.

And it worked.

MicroSolutions was sold for $6m in 1990, landing Mark Cuban around $2m after tax. Not a bad start.

People are furiously lazy, so there is still money to be made from reading the manual and learning from it. Today, we see money being made by, for example, teach others how Midjourney (image based AI) works. The course here costs €15, with knowledge that can basically be found in Midjourney's own user guide.

So, today's lesson: Where are your opportunities to read the manual and teach others what you know? Making information readily available to others is a lucrative art. Even if they "just" can read it themselves.

(Side note: there's even a page dedicated to RTFM, with one long rant about why people should read the manual – readthefuckingmanual.com)

🙅‍♀️ How you say no

Regardless of whether you make it as a freelancer or not, your greatest asset is yours your time.

What you actively choose to spend time on – and not spend time on – is what largely determines the joy in your work. (And the rest of your life, for that matter.)

Therefore, one of the most important and most underestimated tools is and will be, the ability to say no. 

👎 No to customers, you can never satisfy them.

👎 No to projects that do not follow your values.

👎 No to irrelevant and lengthy meetings.

The art of saying no will free up quite a lot of time for you. But it must be done delicately.

Here you therefore have a template that can protect your time without burning bridges.

Copy/paste when there are less attractive projects knocking on your door:

Thank you for thinking of me for [Task]. I really appreciate it and will usually chase such an opportunity. 

Unfortunately [project 1], [project 2] and [project 3] take up all my time and I don't have the capacity for more tasks at the moment. 

Finally, don't take it personally. I am (fortunately) in a situation where I have to say no to several other projects in order to deliver on [project 1, 2 and 3].

Feel free to come back again in a few months and my calendar may look more open.

In the meantime, you might want to try reaching out to X. He/she might be able to help you here and now.

Again, thank you for thinking of me. Good luck with [project]

🖖 How to do great work

How to do great work

⚙️ Recommended tool: Loom


In addition to protecting your time, there is one tool in particular that you can use to minimize the consumption of meetings.

The vast majority of meetings are really just the passing on of information, and clients in particular just want to be kept in the loop and know what's going on (read: what they're paying for).

Loom may have been featured before, but deserves a rerun nonetheless.

Record your screen, with accompanying video of yourself. It's easy and straightforward, and if you want to score a few extra points with your customers, give them a short video update at regular intervals, so they feel looped in.

Loom's freemium model allows you to make 25 videos of up to 5 minutes each before you have to dig the mole out of your pocket.

Receive future newsletters in your inbox every Friday