Creatives gotta eat, entrepreneurs have bills too…
We spend years perfecting our craft. We invest countless hours, dollars, and emotions into our businesses. We fight off self doubt and mute that nagging voice that tries to convince us not to launch… and then finally – we arrive!
…JK. Actually, now you have to set your prices… *yikes*
As creatives/entrepreneurs and everyone in between, it is imperative that we know our worth. In order to receive the maximum return on our investment(s), we as a collective must get comfortable with saying no to handouts, discounts, or anything else that short changes the livelihood of ourselves and/or our businesses.
How many times have you heard one of these lines:
Hey Fam! Can I get a discount?
I really want to work with you, but your prices are kind of high. Can we work something out?
Or even worse:
Who do you think you are charging that much? You’re only [insert age]
Ma’am, Sir…that has no correlation to our skill set, professionalism, or let alone our T-I-M-E. Come correct! The nerve.
While “mooching” comes along with the territory, it is not your responsibility to honor those requests.
Here Are 5 Keys To Making Sure You ALWAYS Charge Your Worth As A Creative Entrepreneur.
1.Itemize your costs. Factor in your experience. What are the industry rates in your field? How long have you been in business? How much time and money did you spend learning your craft? How much are your supplies? (Yes, including that MacBook you’re typing on.) Once you take all of that into account, it should be a whole lot easier to stick to your prices.
2. Just Because You Make It Look Easy Doesn’t Make It Cheap. The fact that you’re able to do something quickly and with ease, does not automatically equate to cheaper prices for your consumer. (See point #1) You invested a lot into being able to “whip up a flyer…” and truth be told – your client, did not. *Shoulder Shrug* — It’s perfectly fine to charge according to the finished product, not just the process.
3. Know Your Worth. Really Know It. Let’s get deep for a moment, shall we? … Examine your “self-talk”… Do you consider yourself a professional? Do you believe in compensating professionals? Sometimes we are quick to accept “low-ball price points” because we aren’t fully convinced that what we’re doing is a business, and not just a hobby. When you believe in yourself, so will your clients!
4. Ask another expert! It’s okay to ask for help! You aren’t in this alone, and definitely aren’t the first person to not necessarily know how much to charge. Call up someone you trust and respect, and ask for some honest guidance.
5. What’s Your Long Game? Think about longevity. Sure, there is a time and place for everything – including discounts. You’ll have to use your own better judgement to determine when and when not to offer them. However, at the end of the day, make sure you are keeping yourself, your needs, and your future in mind. How much do you need to gross this year in order to reach your financial goals? You’ve got goals to meet, and the right clients will be in it with you for the long haul, even if it means they’ve got to adjust their own budget in order to work with the greatness that is YOU.
The enemy doesn’t want you to know your worth, because once you realize how valuable you are it’s a wrap!
Know your worth + then add tax ✨
— Niya ? (@NiyaAlexis_) July 8, 2018
When you love what you do, you tend to put your blood, sweat, and tears into its fruition. The service/product you are offering is valuable and rare because you put your magic touch on it. As much as we creatives loveeeee to share our gifts with the world, we are building businesses, not hobbies for people to nitpick from. Afterall, the fact that people trust you enough to inquire speaks volumes.
So the next time someone just wants to “pick your brain,” do yourself a favor and send them a (friendly) invoice.
Honestly, most people want to see you win. However as humans, we tend to be a bit selfish and lookout for ourselves. While taking care of your clients, make sure you don’t forget to look out for yourself, too!