Let’s Talk Pricing | Part 1

Let’s Talk Pricing | Part 1

There been a ton of discussion within various online forums that I’m in as well as at WPPI (wedding portraiture photographers international) convention this month about pricing services.

There’s been chatter from all different angles about how people who price low are under cutting the market and devaluing the industry (could be any industry). And those that are undercutting they’re competitors are in a race to the bottom.

Well, let’s talk about pricing.

pricing your creative service art

Knowing the Market Rate

You can research the market rate by talking to potential clients who are looking for the service you are offering. This is a delicate discussion but it can provide you with insights to the your rates based on what others are finding. This conversation may be best reserved for clients you have a longer standing relationship with.

Further, ask your industry colleagues what they charge. But be reciprocal when asked the question in return. You can step up and be the first to offer up what you’re charging and how you determined the pricing, which can spark a deeper conversation.

Last but no least, researching online can uncover rate sheets and ‘prices start at’ information.

Just starting out or don’t know where to look? Look up the industry groups. For photographers who want to shoot weddings, and portraits, starting your research with PPA and WPPI are good places to start. You can read articles, and find photographers in your area using the find photographer link. Click through to review the photographer’s work, and reach out to them if their work speaks to you. Let them know what about their work you admire and ask them for advice for a budding photographer.

For commercial photographers check out APA and ASMP, and drill down to the local chapters near you to find other photographers to connect with. Both sites have great information for different things to think about when it comes to pricing, bidding and licensing.

For makers check out the Academy of Handmade and Etsy regional groups to connect with other makers both in person and online. Also Etsy has a extremely active forum which is filled with great information. For pricing tips check out Megan Auman’s classes on CreativeLive.

As you begin to gather your research on what others in your field are charging, remember the information doesn’t not get at the heart of how those prices were calculated. You don’t know the persons life situation, other revenue sources and other expensives. So the information is merrily providing you with a scope and breath as to what is out there.

By no means, do your prices need to be aligned with or even within the same ballpark of your competitors, as your set of life and business circumstances are yours alone.

Time plays a part in profitability

Your profitability margin can change greatly based on your time. Time is a essential element in any creative business. How much time a task take you or your intern, from culling images from a wedding to creating a design mood board, needs to be tracked. Guessing how many hours something takes, is not the same as knowing. Create a daily habit of tacking your time will allow you to: 1) keep records from past jobs that can then be used to determine pricing for future projects of similar value, scope, and complexity; 2) identify profitable as well as unprofitable relationships and projects;  3) see where you can improve your systems and eliminate gaps or steps in your processes.¹

As creatives we trend to everything to make our offering/product/service perfect. But the reality is, being perfect, when most of our clients can’t distinguished between good and great, cuts into your profit. If you want to go the extra mile every time, make sure you’ve baked your cost into your price, or you’ll be cutting into your profit margin every single time.

There more to pricing. Here’s what is coming up in Part 2 –  looking at reasons to raise your rates and to lower them, as well as how to determine what is the right price tag for your business offerings. Stay tuned.

 

¹ from The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money How to think about it. How to talk about it. how to manage it. by Ilise Benum

 

 

Stop Hiding Under the Covers | BE THE CEO

Stop Hiding Under the Covers | BE THE CEO

Are you a creative entrepreneur, who started your business because you wanted to live your passion? Now that you’ve jumped in, offering your service, but struggling to hold onto money, finding that there never seems to be enough money to pay for your business and your life. You’re a smart and capable person but feel shame around not understanding the financial aspects and would much rather ignore the numbers all together, and hide under the bed covers.

Not to fear.  You can crawl out from hiding and see how to look at your numbers without panic. BE THE CEO is you’re light in the dark.

BE THE CEO workshop is a two day intensive hands on workshop.

Day one: We will work to quite your money fears. Then finish calculating what you need to live your life and sustain your business comfortably, work on understanding how to do project forward to see the peaks and valleys of your income and expenses and end the day with pricing to make a profit.

Day two: We dive into positioning and messaging, understanding your customer’s experience and creating your businesses unique value proposition. And because we know that you might need to raise your rates or offer new products and services to get there, you will also make a plan for positioning your business in a category of one, so you can command better prices and attract your ideal clients.

  You will:
  • take the reigns of your numbers and work through your emotional financial roadblocks
  • have a plan for generating your revenue so your to do list is focused on moving forward allowing you the flexibility to get in the activities that refuel you.
  • learn what makes you the most money and be able to phase out the things that drain you (or at least charge more for them
  • be in a supportive group of entrepreneurs who face similar issues in running a business and understand the stresses
  • have a business coach with a unique point of view and background to help you create a map to reaching your chief initiative
  • have Brigitte Lyons, CEO and founder of B THE FORWARD-THINKING PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY, to guide you to positioning your business with consistent messaging
  • have an ongoing community to supporting you and helping you reach your business goals

The workshop includes:

  • writing out a revenue plan. Knowing when money is coming in is a good thing!
  • analyzing your current offerings. Are you accounting for the cost of goods and paying yourself for the production time?
  • positioning your business using your special sauce
  • digital and physical worksheets for you to continue to tweak and use as your business evolves
  • a notebook to write down your thoughts and break-throughs
  • light nibbles and refreshments on both days to keep your focused
  • lunch on day two

The workshop is open to a limited group of ten business owners. We will spend out a pre-work packet before the workshop. Two days beforehand we have gather together for an online meeting, allowing for the cohort to meet one another before, and answer any questions that came up for you as went through the pre-work.

Ready to crawl out from under the covers and take control of your business? Then register now.

Two locations to choose from:

Got questions, post them in the comments and I’ll answer.

Be The CEO Workshop 2.0

Be The CEO Workshop 2.0

As an entrepreneur do you ever feel like your stumbling around in the dark, trying to find your way? Be The CEO Workshop is the lantern to illuminate your path.

Have you ever:

  • struggled with figuring out what to charge
  • wondered how to price a package of goods or services
  • stressed that you won’t make enough to pay bills
  • felt lost on how to craft a clear message to position yourself to your clients
  • needed someone to help you prioritize your task list
  • lacked motivation because you felt you needed a resource or tool to move forward
  • wanted a small group of entrepreneurs to build a community with

If you are like me, you were nodding your head the whole time.

I’ve struggled to find the right fit for my business that matched my personal lifestyle needs and wants. I’ve downloaded ebooks, purchased templates, traveled to conferences, listened to podcasts and have read through tons of blog posts, only to find I still didn’t have the answer that fit my business. I felt like a fish swimming in mud. I would try something and then something else and none of the tactics seemed to work for me.

The reality is there is not a one size fits all answer. Each of our small business are operated by individuals who have different wants and needs. Therefore, our pricing, messaging and goals will all be different.

I found that by understanding my finances, the amount of time I spent working on different tasks and working to have a consistent message to my clients, led to building better systems, incorporating the how-to tactics that made the best sense for me and starting everyday with the a clear intention to work towards my business goals.

BE THE CEO workshop was born out of my experience.

Last year’s cohort spent an entire day digging into financials and pulling apart their numbers to find where they killing it and where things were going awry. This year’s workshop has expanded to two days, so we can take our financial learnings and apply it to our marketing strategy on day two.

 

This workshop is designed to give you the space and tools to focus on looking at your business as a whole. To give you the chance to step away from the production line and BE THE CEO.

Saturday and Sunday January 23-24, 2016
9am – 4pm
(location to be in the San Francisco east bay region)

You will:

  • take the reigns of your numbers and work through your emotional financial roadblocks
  • have a plan for generating your revenue so your to do list is focused on moving forward allowing you the flexibility to get in the activities that refuel you.
  • learn what makes you the most money and be able to phase out the things that drain you (or at least charge more for them
  • be in a supportive group of entrepreneurs who face similar issues in running a business and understand the stresses
  • have a business coach with a unique point of view and background to help you create a map to reaching your chief initiative
  • have Brigitte Lyons, CEO and founder of B THE FORWARD-THINKING PUBLIC RELATIONS AGENCY, to guide you to positioning your business with consistent messaging
  • have an ongoing community to help keep you moving toward your 2016 business goals

The workshop will include:

  • writing out a revenue plan. Knowing when money is coming in is a good thing!
  • analyzing your current offerings. Are you accounting for the cost of goods and paying yourself for the production time?
  • positioning your business using your special sauce.
  • digital and physical worksheets
  • How to Fascinate test to highlight how the world see you
  • a notebook to write down your thoughts and break-throughs
  • light nibbles and refreshments on both days to keep your focused

Ready to claim your spot?
Early Bird $385 and save $100. Ends Wednesday 1/6!

 

Creative Entrepreneurship 101 Workshop | Stratiscope and Future Studio

My friends at Stratiscope and Future Studio have put together an amazing 3 hour workshop and asked Business Juice to tell you all about it.

It’s a jam packed morning filled with handouts to get to you thinking through various steps, like your artist statement and creating an online presence. Further helping you identify the right audience to market yourself and an action plan for getting out into the community. The workshop attendees is keep to a small amount (between 6-12) allowing for individual questions to be answered. The small group allows for insightful group discussions and learning between participants.

Future Studio says:

You should attend this workshop if you…
1. are an established artist/writer looking to be more effective and efficient with their the limited and valuable time.
2. have a creative idea and are looking to take it to the next level.
3. want the secret formula to take the relevance of their craft to the next level.
4. are looking to focus your creative passions as a source of revenue.
5. want to participate in more shows and create legitimacy for your brand.
6. want to get back into the business of the creative process.

After attending this workshop, you will…
1. …not only gain an understanding of your personal Creative Statement but walkout with a template to revise it;
2. …have strategies of how and with whom to partner with your community, as well as how to leverage that partnership for mutual success;
3. …have developed a draft plan to reach your desired audience;
4. …leave with “cheat sheets” for communication, audience engagement, & more;
5. …have an expanded network to collaborate and develop opportunities;
6. …increase your desirability and competitive advantage in a crowded field; and
7. …be able to create your own platform for your craft.

Space is limited to provide participants with focused attention. Please sign up today by clicking this link and selecting the date you want to attend.

The workshop is offered monthly on Thursdays from 9:30am – 12:30pm. Upcoming dates include: August 22, September 26 and October 24.