I’m about to do something I’ve never done before.
Talk about pricing. Our pricing. Publicly.
I love running my own business. Absolutely love it. I’ve met some amazing people along the way, many who will be lifelong friends. But with happiness, also comes strife. Sacrifices. Hardships. Situations that keep you awake at night. And something that has been keeping me awake at night for a long time, is my pricing. Pricing tends to be the enormous elephant in the room. It’s always present, but nobody wants to talk about it.
Lucky for me, I happen to like elephants.
I had a conversation with a dear friend this week. She said one of the most profound, yet simple things to me—Artists think they are worth more than they really are. That statement stopped me in my tracks. I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I guess it’s because I agree with it—even though I don’t want to.
I raised my pricing about 6 months ago. I didn’t want to raise it. I did it because we want to start a family. Because I want my future child to have as much of my attention as humanly possible. Because every speaker at WPPI tells you to raise your prices, if you want to “make more and work less”.
They are wrong.
What they don’t tell you is that working less, sucks. And missing out on working with amazingly talented people, because they can’t afford you, sucks. Being expensive, just because you think you’re worth it, is ludicrous. It’s selfish. It’s egotistical. Because you know what? None of us are Coach. We’re not Ferrari, Prada, or even Tiffany & Co. We are not global. We are not even a household name in America, to our clients. We are artists for crying out loud. And you know what? We should be thankful people hire us. We get to do what we love and people give us money for it. It’s a blessing. I’m not saying you should give your talent away for peanuts, but if good, deserving people have to pass you by continually because of price—you’re doing it wrong.
This week, I lowered my prices back to what they were in 2011. That’s right. Pricing from TWO years ago. Because I, my friends, was doing it wrong. The design industry and photography industry is vain. We get stuck thinking that beauty should come at a cost. We think our talent is worth more than it is. I’m sorry, but that’s just not me, and I can’t fight it anymore.
Price yourself for the people you want to work with.
Edit: This post has created quite the stir, so let me make a mini public announcement! Please understand that this post is about my journey. I am in no way, shape, or form eluding to the fact that you should lower your prices just because I did. What I am saying, is that you should think twice about changing your pricing just because someone said you should. I think it goes without saying, but let me be very clear—there are many, many factors that go into pricing. Thinking about the type of client you want to attract is just one of several factors. Only you can determine what price works best for your business and the lifestyle you want to lead. Don’t let anyone else determine that for you—that was my point!