Clear Objectives & Fair Treatment
Good work can be affordable. But if it involves the development of complex ideas, intricate slogans or brilliant copy meant to take every reader's breath away in an instant, the time spent must be recognized and properly valued. But, for just a moment, let's consider the broad meaning of the word "competitive" when it comes to pricing, and make sure we are all singing from the same song sheet.
There are thousands of fly-by-nighters who will promise the moon for a nickel, or sit downstream pumping other people's work off the Internet without thinking twice about copyrights. They've been doing it for school projects for years, or filling their phone with other people's hard work, so they wouldn't blink twice before doing the same thing for a "client". Unfortunately, in the end, that's not good for anyone's image.
Over here, we don't consider using stolen goods to be a reasonable solution for our clients. Image banks deserve payment for their work, the same way that designers, copywriters or programmers deserve theirs. Our clients don't give away their work either, as far as I know. People wouldn't value them very highly if they did.
Consider this final point when thinking about the cost of good work, in relation to your Internet presence, for instance. A guy or his sister can sell you a web site for the price of a stolen TV, but will they be around to perform security updates every few months, on that nifty platform they downloaded for free? Do they even know how? "Open Source" is a great thing, but expertise and experience are not included in the free software that Jane or Joe downloaded, to "develop" your web site, and leave it full of security holes.
If they were better at gardening or baking, why did they decide to get into web development?
Greed is not the solution.
Rather, it is the problem.
Start with a spark. See where it leads.
The right word, idea, code or technology to make it happen.