How Do You Price Your Work?

Jennie and Davis help you understand the psychology of pricing so you get it right

How do you price your work?

What should you charge for your product or service? How do you price your work? This is a tough question. I think it’s the single business decision that can sink your chances of success more than any other. It is certainly a high-level business skill — The Third Business Skill, according to at least one expert — that can make or break your freelance business or side gig. Price your product or service too high and you won’t get the client or make the sale. Price it too low and you’ll wish you didn’t get the client or customer. There is a sweet spot for you and what you are selling. The trick is to find it.

I once watched an artist destroy an otherwise thriving business by being psychotic about this. She vacillated wildly between nearly giving her work away and getting angry at people who didn’t pony up ten times more than she’d charged for the last piece they’d bought. Even though she had developed a brand and enough paying clients to keep her busy, profitable, and employed for years, she couldn’t make enough money to survive. She is no longer a working artist because she failed at this one business skill.

When you have a buyer interested, they want to know the price. They aren’t your therapist. They aren’t here to validate you. They have a budget for what this is worth to them. Get your emotions out of it. There is a science here. (And some art.) It isn’t personal, though. And it’s best to approach the decisions with the application of at least some science.

For a quick intro, here are two woodworkers explaining the psychology of pricing and how it applies to their business model. Much of this applies to all pricing strategies. So watch and learn. It’s less than 10 minutes long.

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