Wrapped Present

How To Value (& Price) Your Creative Work

Your creative work [enable images to see it!]
What Is [Your] Creative Work Worth?
Once we get past the itchy judgy mainstream idea that creative work doesn’t have inherent value.
Once we get to the place of understanding the incredible power that being creative has to heal our own souls.
Once we dedicate time, talent, money, and belief into developing our skills, honing our craft, and creating work.
Once we do all that, we come to the place where we finally have to put a numerical, a financial value on our work, at least if we want the work to be sustainable and shared with a wider audience so they can experience the joy, healing and power, too.
And then, we often freeze up.  And then, the “I don’t wanna” kid in us comes out.  Or, we get suddenly shy and demure and decide we’ll just charge 50 cents or give it away and see what happens.  Surely people will see it has value, right?
Today, I bring you wisdom from FOUR saavy creatives about how to price and value your work.  Ready for this?
It’s Not About Skill
“I hung a poster of a modern painting in my studio space in college that was simply a big rectangle of red with a thin white line space down the middle. My art-mates made fun of me and that poster for more than 4 years! But I love red and I got to look at that big, official, successful red-ness everyday! Value is subjective.”
-Delaine Due, MA, ATR
Art Therapist, Visual Artist, Entrepreneur, Co-Facilitator of our upcoming  Space To Create Retreat in Santa Fe, NM
 
Your Money Set-Point
Your money set-point determines how you spend money, where you spend money, and what you value.  Everyone has a money set point.
For example, about how much do you normally spend on a hotel room?  $50?  $100?  $150?  Whatever that number is, that is your hotel room money set point.
Would you get a hotel room that is $1,000 per night?  Some people do.  Those people would NOT get a $100 per night hotel room, most likely.  It might not even be on their radar screen.
Would you get a hotel room that was $25 per night?  You might think it would be dirty, full of bed-bugs, in a dangerous neighborhood or less valuable in some other way, right?
The same is true of our work.
No matter what you charge or how you value your work, there will always be people for whom it is too expensive and people for whom it is too cheap.  They may not even SEE what you have to offer if it is not within the range of their money set point.  They will certainly make judgements about the quality of your offering based SOLELY on the price-point.
[This part is my addition]- So, it is important to price your work just at the upper edge of YOUR IDEAL AUDIENCE’s set point so they get all the value possible from it and they pay for it.
-paraphrased from a livestream by Pamela Bruner, Musician, Founder of Make Your Success Real
 
What Is A $500 Painting Worth?
“I was trying to talk one of my VIP clients into charging $500 + shipping for her painting.
“She wrote back to me, “OMG, $500???? Really?  They’re only 24” X 24. You think?””Yes.

“Now, I have no idea where this imaginary correlation between the size of the work and the price of the work came from. I think it’s kinda crazy.

“By that yardstick, muralists should be millionaires.

“Here would be some examples of my criteria for deciding if my painting were worth $500 –

1) Is this painting more inspiring and transformational than $500 of therapy?

2) Does this painting raise my spirits more than $500 worth of wine?

3) If I look at this painting twice a day for 10 years, will it give me six cents worth of joy each time (365×2=730 x 10 = 7300; 500/7300 = .068 : )

4) How many compliments will I receive on this work once it’s hanging in my home or office? If I get one a week for ten years, is that worth a dime for every admiring remark?

5) $500 is one medium-sized car repair; it’s two haircut with highlights (at least in LA); it’s three or four college textbooks, it’s five nice-ish date nights out with the spouse… you see where I’m going with this?

“It’s not about price, it’s about VALUE.

“So….what’s the value your work brings?”
-Samantha Bennett, The Organized Artist Company, Actor
It’s Not About Quality
1.  When I was in music school, I was surrounded by incredibly gifted musicians, with gorgeous voices, incredible skill, finely tuned craft.  Even after I set out becoming a touring singer/songwriter, I was/am often blown away by the skill and quality of the work of others.
So, I would periodically ask myself, where do I get off being a touring musician, earning income for my work, commanding $500 solo shows?  The answer was and still is that I was willing to do the work, not just on honing my craft, but also on building a business.
I was also willing to stand in the value of what I had to offer (my imperfect, growing, limited, lovely, fragile gifts) and ask for that amount.  Why?  Because that is how much I needed to make the work sustainable and because people valued the impact of my work enough to pay it.
2.  One of my musician friends taught me the easiest way to raise your rates.  Ready?
When you get asked to do something you are sick of, or that doesn’t feel worth it, or you’re just not excited about, ask yourself exactly how much you would need to get paid to do that gig/job/project with zero resentment and actual gratitude.
When he asked himself that question, he tripled his rate on the spot and got it, no questions asked.  Get that new rate once and it’s much easier to ask for again and to get again.
Oh, and it will fund the work you are psyched to do.
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OK, remember, this is not, in the end, about money or pricing at all.  It is simply that we want our work to be sustainable and shared with a wider audience so they can experience the joy, healing and power, too.
Keep up the good work and do share your pricing challenges, celebrations, and comments on my Facebook Page  , OK?
PS- For more support in standing in the value of your work, pricing your work, developing an audience, gaining recognition, earning income and making an impact, check out the 6-Week  Inner Fire, Outer Light Program (beginning in January, with amazing bonuses if you register THIS MONTH).
PPS- Do you have a creative project or business/life that needs to be born?   Click here for a juicy recording that will help you leap over your mindset blocks and get to work sharing your gifts!

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