Here at Braid Creative we aren’t really known for doling out business-specific advice. What we are known for is branding and business visioning. That means we’re coaching, designing, writing, and branding creative entrepreneurs so they have the confidence and clarity to package up what they do and offer it to the world. But we only take our creative entrepreneurs so far – after they work with us they still have to put themselves out there in a way that makes it easy for their dream customer to find them and buy them. Over the years we’ve gotten really good at attracting our dream customers, talking about money, and pricing our own offerings in a way that never makes us feel apologetic or insecure. So today I want to share a few of our pricing secrets.
PRICE WITH YOUR GUT
Anytime I have to make a decision about money, like how much I want to charge for an offering or service, I go with my gut. Try this: literally pretend as if your brain resides in your core and ask yourself “Does $500 feel right? How about $1,000?” Your body holds a lot of wisdom if you’ll just listen to it. (This is also a good way to determine how much money you would like to be making!)
CRUNCH THE NUMBERS
Okay, this is the opposite of intuitive pricing and going with your gut. Run the numbers – how much money do you need to live your life? How much do you want to work? Let’s say you want to make $100,000 a year and you want to work on 2 projects a month – that means each project needs to be $4,166.66 dollars. So that’s what you charge. If it seems like really obvious and simple math that’s because it is.
GET A SECOND OPINION
My business partner and sister Tara is a gut-pricer like me. So when we’re offered an opportunity where we need to make a decision involving money we blurt out what our guts are telling us at the same time. Sometimes those numbers match up. When they don’t we either split the difference or talk it out and come to an agreement. If you don’t have to have a business partner to get a second opinion, talk money with your significant other, a trusted friend, or hire a business coach to bounce money conversations off of.
PRICING ISN’T PERMANENT
No matter how you price yourself or your products, remember that it’s not permanent. You can always raise your rates or reduce them if that’s what you need to do for the health of your business. Just yesterday I was coaching a creative who felt super queasy about pricing her handmade screen-printed napkins at $20 (though, they’re totally worth $20 each.) It was enough to paralyze her from listing them on her Etsy page. She’s making $0 per napkin if nobody knows how to buy them! I asked her what it would feel like to start at $10 per napkin, sell a few, gain confidence and THEN raise her prices. She said “Wow, that actually feels really good.” She simply hadn’t considered that her prices aren’t permanent.
The last thing I want to say about pricing is that even after crunching the numbers, going with your gut, and tapping second opinions there is never a definite answer or formula that will tell you how much you should charge. If you feel as if you’re figuring it out as you go know that you’re not alone – everyone else is figuring it out as they go too.
P.S. I started a new podcast called Being Boss with Emily Thompson. Next week in Episode #2 we’ll be jamming on how to keep your cool when you’re freaking out about money. See more at our website here.