Here's a marketing tool that I've found helpful: in any given project, a product can be fast, cheap, and/or good. But it can only be two of the three. Let's look at this through the lens of a songwriter.
If you're interested in getting a song recorded, there are three scenarios:
There's an audio engineer friend who is looking for some recording experience. He said he'd record your song at his place if you buy him lunch. Fast and cheap, but what level of quality should be expected?
There's a family friend who has had success over the years recording well-known artists. As a favor, he offered you the opportunity to come into his studio when it's available to record some songs. He even said he'd be willing to mix them. It's no cost, and the quality is top-notch. But how long will it be before he has a free day to mix your song?
There's a professional audio engineer in town who has gained a reputation for not only getting great-quality recordings, but mixing them the very next day. Nothing's better to a songwriter or publisher than getting a final mix so soon, but how much is that going to cost?
The best audio engineer of all is the one who makes you feel like you got a recording that was all three of the above: cheap, good and fast. It's your job to figure out which one of the three it's not!