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I follow (on facebook) a rude(!) but successful Australian business/marketing guru who charges $8-10K for a 4 day residential, immersing you in strategies to succeed and it appears her students do extremely well.   She posted this today and I thought you may find it interesting as many of us do undervalue our work... 

It makes me sad to see people who have SO much to offer the world under-valuing themselves.

The problem with running $197 events and selling $997 products is that the effort required to get to a reasonable income is so overwhelming that you end up exhausted and often, burned out.

I know. I've been there.

By valuing yourself appropriately, by believing in what you offer, by backing yourself, you'll create a business that's easier to run, makes you more money and one that allows you to service your clients without overwhelm.

Start by doubling your prices.

The only reason you think you "can't" is because of the negative self-talk and money bullshit you're letting control you. Sure, you're VERY good at justifying it with the "economy" and the "market" and what your "competition" are charging ... but that's all just the sweet, seductive voice of the sales demon.

And it's all a lie.

You are worth more than the struggle you're putting yourself through! It DOESN'T have to be like this! All you have to do is let go of your fear - just for long enough to put it out there ... just for long enough to sell one person ... just for long enough to SEE that it's possible.

The level of service you'll be able to provide to your clients at that rate will also make a huge difference. The more you charge, the more you can do, the better results they're going to get and the happier they'll be.

If you're going to change the world, it's time to stop letting your doubt and fear hold you back - own your incredible gifts and value them fairly.

What are your thoughts after that?

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I am right in the middle of this discussion with myself and my prosperity coach (!). I have been pricing my work at a consistent $1.15-$1.25 per square inch, and he has been urging me to: 

1. Abandon the square-inch pricing idea

2. Price my work higher

I've recognized that the problem with pricing my work higher has nothing to do with the value of the work, but has everything to do with the value I place on myself. I am not trained, I have not been to school, I have not been painting for long, my paintings aren't "serious" and on and on and on. 

Fact is, they are selling, and selling faster than I can make them. If I need any confidence-building, all I have to do is look at my track record and allow reality to venture in. 

Here is something that happened recently. I had a 36x60 painting, a really good one, probably the best one I've ever made. It was what Coach Joe called a "signature piece" - a cowscape. I took it to a show and set the price at - gasp!!! - $4,000. 

It didn't sell that first day - but four other paintings did. And honest to God, they looked like bargains. 

I lost my nerve, and marked it down to $2,500 the next day. It didn't sell, and no other paintings sold. When the show was over, a woman who had loved it at $4,000 bought it for $2,500. That was an excellent outcome for me - but for me, the lesson was in the day that I had it priced at $4,000. 

Yes, you're right - having some higher priced items definitely make your lesser priced items look like a bargain!   I wonder if you would have sold the $4K painting to that woman without the markdown?

If you're items are selling faster than you can make them it does indeed sound like they are underpriced.

Carrie,  I am courious, what would you had normally priced the cowscape at before this happened?  I find this very interesting...

Hi, Jacque - I've been struggling with the whole pricing thing, as I said, since the beginning. To sort things out, I settled on a per-inch price, which put the cowscape at $1900. I normally would have priced it somewhere between $1600 and $2000, depending on the venue and my mood. 

That's a great marketing tool! Having a high priced "masterpiece" and using it as a jumping off point for prices. It makes your other work, which may also be high priced, but not as high as the masterpiece, look more affordable.

This post and its information couldn't have come at a better time for me. I am in between shows right now and have been questioning myself just as the article notes. The lesson learned by Carrie gives me the incentive be honest with myself and not bow to other strategies. Thanks for sharing the article.

I'm glad its proving helpful David :)

I always struggle with my pricing. Every year, I increase a little more to see what the market will take.

This is a very timely post. I'm always struggling with how to price my pieces. I'm always scared that it'll be too expensive and that no one will buy it at those prices. So its good to read a post like this!

I have a pricing formula that includes material costs, labor costs, overhead, and profit to first figure out a wholesale price and then a retail price.

I've just seen someone's work that has a very limited range but those items are in a similar style to some of mine and she has the same target market.  She has less skill and next to no knowledge about what she is selling.   She is charging at least 2 to 3 times what I do.  And she's apparently successful.   She must be making easily 500% on some items, if not more AND I suspect a couple of her items are buy/sell (yet she attends a handmade market...yeah right, handmade by who!?)  

That's it.  Big changes ahead for me!!!

Great post and topic! I have been working hard on my marketing this year and a big part of marketing is of course pricing. I have limited time now so I will keep this brief. There is a lot to say about raising your prices. A good quote from a marketing book I read recently is that "if your customers come to you because of your price, they will leave you because of your price." Meaning that if your customers are buying from you because you are the lowest priced, they will stop buying when you raise your prices and you will have to build up a customer base all over again.

Pricing work seems to be a thing most artists, including myself, struggle with. I raised my prices this year and started offering new pieces that are more than triple the cost of what my most expensive pieces were last year, and they have been selling AND helping with the sale of other higher priced pieces that now look more affordable in comparison.

Look at it this way...would you rather sell 5 pieces for $20/each or one piece for $100? You end up with the same $100 at the end, but you only had to spend the time and materials to make one item and therefore your profit is higher. You can then focus on making a much higher quality product, people expect to pay more for quality goods. It's about offering quality over quantity. Being that we are running small businesses, and a lot of us running them solo, it's hard to keep up when trying to do high volume sales anyway.


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