Value is an idea in the mind of customer. A site like Fiverr.com is the place if you want things to be done at $5. Nothing is off limits, that cannot be done in the lowest cost, from technical help to creating a video.
It looks like a race to the bottom because an ever increasing number of people are joining as freelancers and are ready to offer their services at lowest prices ever. As a professional it is really very hard to compete in a crowded market.
In IT space ( since I worked in that industry), a new skill is difficult to acquire. Once done, it fetches a premium till everyone sees the potential . There is then a golden rush for acquiring that skill which increases the supply of professionals. In the end, the price of skill goes down, often leaving the person who took the risk first in lurch.
However I have seen quite the opposite. A person who takes a risk and acquires a skill, often stands to gain the most in the crowded market . The experience of working with the skill for a long time gives a person unmatched value. There are a thousand of project management professionals but hardly a very few who can deliver the best of project management.
The world is going to get more competitive. But It is hardly a thing to be scared about. The benefit of this phenomenon is that many things for which you did not have time or skills can be done at much cheaper cost and at a faster pace.
However the quality work will still command a premium. The kind of value that you provide your customer will determine if you stand out from the crowd. The skill pyramid will always have more people at the bottom and middle. The cream is at the top but to be there, one needs to be the best in what they do .
You will be valued based on what your customers think about you. Your responsiveness to their problems will determine, how much you mean to them. If they express regret that they cannot pay to hire you, it “may” mean that given a chance, they would love to hire you. That would be like getting a stamp of approval and your movement away from the crowd.
Sure you may lose out a project or few but you can always get back in game by delivering quality that legions of similar skilled professionals can not do. You will need to constantly move up the value chain for that to happen.
“Image courtesy of [jscreationzs] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net“