Who sets the price?

What is it about creative services that makes them so susceptible to short cuts and penny pinching?

How many times have you heard someone talk about getting a student writer or an intern graphic designer or a junior video editor to work on their project?

When clients come to us with a range of what they’re willing to pay for creative services, it’s not about market rates or industry standards, it’s about the price they’re willing to pay.

If you’re the intermediary in the process - you work with the client to help them access contract creative services - you know more than your client about what those services will reasonably cost.

You are also self-employed and understand the importance of staying true to your price. Of not allowing your margins to be undercut. That your price won’t work for everyone and that’s okay. We also have a responsibility to our industry and to our peers. If you won’t be undercut, why would you expect any other professional whose work you respect to be undercut?

It’s our job to set the price. It’s our job to educate our clients about how much they can expect to pay.

The problem with free

When was the last time you paid nothing for something that made a real difference in your life? That last free event you RSVP’d to - did you show up?

The problem with free is it demands nothing from your audience. Whether they decide to show up or not, they never really had any skin in the game.

Of course, by not showing up they miss out on something. The benefit of learning from your expertise. And if they were simply making a choice between doing nothing and doing something, they’d probably choose doing something.

So why then, don’t they show up? Because no one ever chooses between doing your thing and doing nothing. They choose between doing your thing and relaxing at home, catching up on work, going on a date, spending time with their kids.

Often you don’t have to change what you offer for your audience to see its value. You simply have to charge for it.