7 Ways for You to Confidently Price Creative Work
May13

7 Ways for You to Confidently Price Creative Work

I feel some artists will vehemently disagree, and I’d love to hear your opinion on this, but I’m starting this post with a potentially controversial assertion: Success depends on sales. I’m happy to share my argument for why this is true: If there’s not enough revenue, then any project is unsustainable regardless of its artistic  purity. The best art is ingenious, honest… and profitable. The challenge is getting paid enough to make it worth the effort while not pricing yourself our of the market. If you can make money doing your art, your creative endeavours become more and more exciting. So this post is about pricing your art. Why talk about pricing on a productivity blog? If the price is wrong, the project won’t make money, and the art is financially unsustainable. The more income we receive from art, the more time and energy we can devote to it. We expect to make more money when we are more productive, but more revenue also opens new channels for productivity. More money means more resources to do the art you envision. Don’t give away your power with a premature price quote I’ll start by sharing my own failure in pricing my design work… I used to make up a price while talking to a potential client about a job.  Excited to get new business, I wanted to please the client and close the deal fast. I plucked a number out of the air trying to impress the prospect in front of me. A recipe for disaster. My new-found client quickly became a problem that cost me money. I would get angry and resent the client for taking advantage of me, but really I had no one to blame but myself. I was giving away all my power by committing to a price before I thoroughly understood the project. Taking time to think though pricing helped me develop my creative business into a career. It forced me to consider all the factors involved, how to earn profit, and what dangers to avoid. Price your work ahead of time so that you’re not on the spot trying to pull a dollar value out of the air. If it’s a custom project, give yourself enough time to prepare a formal quote for your client. Price clarity creates client confidence Knowing the price you charge for your work is critical to being paid fairly.  Being vague about pricing tells the prospect that you don’t consider your creative work a business, and you don’t believe in its worth. It invites haggling because a client can see that you’re struggling to find a price. Be able to state your base rate when asked. This might be an hourly rate or a minimum project rate. Your base rate allows the client to respond to your pricing before you do...

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