It’s time to price with confidence.
If you had someone approach you and say “How much do you charge me for (insert project description here)”, would you instantly freeze?
When you hover over the “send” button on an estimate for a client, do you have a stomach full of butterflies?
Have you ever written up an estimate and gotten it all ready, but then gone back and docked $50 or $100 off before hitting send because that original number just felt a liiiiittle too high?
If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above, you may be suffering from a lack of confidence in your pricing.
OK that last line sounded like a totally bad commercial for some sort of medical condition… but it’s true: confidence is one of (if not THE) biggest struggle that artists have when it comes to pricing their work.
And it’s not just beginners who feel this way. Eeeeeveryone struggles with confidently pricing at some point or another.
In fact, I co-wrote an online course called “Panic-Free Pricing”, where we help calligraphers and hand letterers learn how to price their work, and just this year we polled our thousands of students to find out what their number one struggle was with pricing.
The top answer, by a landslide, was confidence. And more specifically, we kept hearing some variation of this exact comment come up time and time again:
“I don’t get many clients approaching me… so when I do, I don’t want to charge too high and risk losing them”.
And that, my friends, is a confidence issue.
So I want to address that exact concern specifically, and help you get past it.
Before we do, though, I do want to mention that I also have a free webinar called “5 Keys To Confident Pricing” that goes muuuuuch more in depth than I’m able to in this post (and adjoining video). We go over really 5 important concepts that’ll help you feel more confident when you’re pricing projects. You can find that for free at thehappyevercrafter.com/pricing
Rather watch than read? No problem! If you’d like to hear more about confidence with your pricing, click the video below.
Let’s jump back to our original concern: “I don’t get many clients approaching me… so when I do, I don’t want to charge too high and lose them.”
We’re gonna break this concern down into 3 parts and address each one. I’ll warn you right now, this might sound like tough love. But you need it!
Part One: “I don’t get many clients approaching me… so when I do, I don’t want to charge too high and lose them.”
Okay, first, let’s talk about this first part “I don’t get many clients approaching me”. It’s YOUR job to get clients. You shouldn’t be sitting there waiting for clients to approach you! That’s the first problem. If you don’t have many clients approaching you, it’s likely because of a lack of marketing or a lack of awareness around the fact that you’re available for hire.
You need to put yourself out there. Open up some social media accounts, set up your website, start telling anyone and everyone that you’re available for hire, and get some word of mouth going. There is sooo much valuable information out there about marketing, and many artists are so concerned on perfecting their craft that they overlook having to market themselves at all.
Marketing is half the battle (if not more) of running a successful art business, so start educating yourself on how to market better and stop waiting for clients to come to YOU! Find the clients you want, and figure out how to get yourself in front of them. The more you do that, the more confident you will become over time.
It’s like a domino effect once you start – you find a client you want, you get that work, other similar clients see the work you did and start to approach you. But you can’t sit around waiting for it to happen!
Part Two: “I don’t get many clients approaching me… so when I do, I don’t want to charge too high and lose them.”
Next, let’s address this part about not wanting to charge too high, and I’m gonna flip this around for you. Think of it this way instead: charging too low makes you just as likely to lose a client as charging too high.
Imagine a potential client reaches out to 5 different wedding calligraphers to work with in your city for their wedding place cards. Four of the calligraphers charge within an average range of $400-550 for the project, but you come in and quote the job at $100.
The client can clearly see that the market average is likely within that $400-550 range because that’s what most of them are charging. So when you come in at $100, you’re actually signaling to them that your work won’t be as good as the rest of them.
Even if it is!
You’re pricing super low thinking it’ll get you more jobs, but you may unintentionally lose out on clients altogether because clients will be scared that you don’t know what you’re doing. Or, equally unfavourable, you may be attracting bargain hunters who hire you solely because you’re the cheapest option, and not because of your style and skill. Those are NOT the clients you want, trust me.
So in both of these instances, pricing too low actually is hurting you. You’re much better off pricing within the market average, researching what that is and placing yourself there, and then differentiating yourself based on your style and skill.
I talk more about this in detail in this blog post. We also go way deeper on this topic in our free webinar: “5 Keys To Confident Pricing“
Part Three: “I don’t get many clients approaching me… so when I do, I don’t want to charge too high and lose them.”
And number three, let’s talk about this last part… about being afraid that you will potentially lose the client.
Listen… when you’re pricing properly, you need to be prepared to lose about 50% of the clients that come to you. THAT MEANS YOU’RE DOING IT RIGHT. If you’re not getting every job accepted, you’re actually doing it right.
If you’re getting a yes on every job you quote, you’re pricing too low (and again, you’re probably attracting bargain hunters who aren’t going to help you grow your business).
And here’s some more super-tough-but-necessary-love….
If you’re petrified of losing a potential client because you *neeeeeeed* that money to pay your bills or put food on the table for your family, you might want to rethink whether or not you have this as your only source of income just yet. If you’re coming from a place of DESPERATION, you’re always going to feel a lack of confidence in your pricing and you’re constantly going to want to charge lower to make sure you secure at least a little income.
But imagine if you already had another part time job that paid your bills. So when you go to price your artwork, you could quote what you’re worth without having crippling fear that you won’t make rent this month? It might just mean that you’re not completely ready to take this full-time yet, and that’s FINE! It’s really okay to do it as a side hustle for a while – that’s what I did!
It’s like that saying, “slow down to speed up”. Slow down on feeling like you haaaaave to do this full time, price yourself properly and feel more confident, and then over time, this will naturally cause your business to speed up.
And that’s a wrap!
That was seriously like a little tough love crash course, but honestly, if you’re like 90% of the students we hear from and you really want to work on feeling more confident with your pricing, come sign up for our free webinar. We’re diving deeeeeeep into these issues and helping you work through them.
Alright that’s it for now, but again I hope this was helpful and I hope to see you in the webinar!
Confidence building dad joke for you…
What did the confident whiteboard say to the dry erase marker?
I am remark-able!