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Q&A: Pricing

Lesson 5 from: Art School Rehab: Finding Success Without Selling Out

Megan Auman

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Lesson Info

5. Q&A: Pricing


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Reprogram The Art School Mentality


Roadblock 1: Art School Makes You Feel Guily about Making Money


Exercise: Get Comfortable Charging More


Q&A: Pricing


Student Examples: Pricing


Roadblock 2: Art School Gives You the Luxury of Working Slowly


Exercise: Develop a Process for Getting Past Decision Paralysis


Lesson Info

Q&A: Pricing

all right. So before we dive in and actually do some math and break our breakdown, our audience, it's okay. We're gonna build you back up. But I know the father is scary. I do want to handle questions. How do you relate the two? So if I do something that could be mass produced a printed like my greeting cards versus I do someone off paintings on furniture and I sell those. How do you reconcile? Do I have to do to different pricing formulas? So that's actually a great question. So I just want to repeat that so every kind of understand. So if you have something that's manufactured versus something that you're making for yourself, do you have to you two different pricing formulas and the answer is no. So the pricing formula stays the same. It's just that now you're using somebody else's labor costs instead of your own. So when you get a card manufactured, they're whatever they're quoting. You is probably already materials plus labour built in there, right so that but then you're you still...

need to add in overhead and profit, and you do want to take into account if there's any steps that you have to take after the cards come back to you. So if there's any packaging, if there's any folding, whatever that is, you do you want to count that in there as well? Okay. Does that make sense? Yeah. And the Russians from you guys right now. Nor will have plenty of time. And I know we have, Ah, handful of questions from our online audience. Let's take a look at some of those. All right, long one here. All right, So the idea. So Chris did ask the idea that people cannot afford what I dio is when I really struggle with I have lost a couple potential jobs this month because the clients were shocked that May illustration and design services cost more than a couple $100 for big projects. That would take me several weeks each to dio the potential clients walked away. How do we handle this? So this is a really great question, and there are a couple of things that happen here. So one is that you have to be strategic about the clients that you're targeting. So not it's true. Not everyone is going to afford your work, so you do have to accept that not everyone is your customer. But what can you do on your website on the way that you're interacting with people to help them understand right from the beginning that your ATM or upscale price point the other thing that you can do when you're doing things like illustration and design? You can think about how to target customers who can afford to spend what you want. So it's It's harder for me to go out and be like, OK, who's gonna buy this one of a kind necklace like, Where is she? There's ways to think about it, but it's a little trickier. If you're doing things like illustration and design services, you're now in a in a B two B business, right? You're working with other businesses, which means you have the ability to find those other businesses. So for this, it's really about figuring out how you can get yourself in other pools. And this also comes back to this idea that we talked about earlier of interacting with your potential customers right instead of your peers. So this may mean that you need to figure out how you can go to networking events or, you know, situations where you're meeting potential clients and customers who can afford your work. And honestly, that's going to mean stepping out of your comfort zone for a lot of people, like it's it's fine. You just you put on the big girl pants and you you show up and it's gonna feel awkward and you're gonna keep doing it and eventually you're gonna find those right people. They are out there. The other thing just to keep in mind is that you can publish other things on your website that give people clues as to what your design services will will cost. So obviously your design services in your illustration services are quoted on a case by case basis. But is there something else you can put on a rate for something? Something in there that tells people they can expect to be in a certain ballpark so that they're not asking you to do all this work and quote packages for them and then are shocked by the price? That's another way to address that. All right, let's take a look at our next question. Okay, so Eric asks. I'm sure learned criticism and creative blocks, one in art school. I just wanted to ask Megan about her thoughts on creative blocks on a non daring to really get out there and sell your work. So I feel like there's two separate things here, and I want to address kind of both of them. And, you know, the first thing is with creative blocks for me personally, the best way to get through them and we're gonna talk about some of this a little bit later today is to just think about like, continuing to make. So if this thing is stuck, make that thing. If this thing is stuff worked on something else, I have never gotten through a creative block by not making stuff. It's always been through the process of making that's gotten me through. But then so this other piece, which I think is really where the fear is coming in, is this, like daring to really get out there and sell your work? It's scary. I'm not gonna acknowledge that it's not. But what I am going to say is that it gets easier every time and then sometimes it gets harder again because you made something new when you love it so much, so gets harder. I'm gonna get easier again. And so we're going to talk about this a little later too. But for me, I always think about like, what is Ah, fear That helps me overcome this other fear. So in my case, I have a terrible fear of having to get a real job. I have never had one. I'm pretty sure I'm unemployable, mostly because I would not be able to show up at the same place every day. I don't even know what day of the week it is. I really don't. So for me that fear of having to get a real job Trump's any fear of putting my work out there and this fear of rejection. So thinking about what can motivate you will really help. The other thing to remember is that most people are probably nicer than your art school professors, right? Most people are going to say nice things. Occasionally, you're going to hear dumb comments. You're gonna let those go. It's fine. It happens. The other thing that you can do is like because of being in art school. You hear these comments and you immediately take them as a negative. We're talk about this later to this idea that you can actually just pretend anything as a compliment. So back when I was making that crazy welded wire furniture, I had made this other chair that was actually pretty close and shape to the trainer that you should sitting on. But it was all welded wire, and I had it in a show in Baltimore, and multiple people told me that it looked like a crab trap. And of course I was, like, mortified, but that I'm like, OK, well, that's like this came out of this idea of, like, surface versus structure. So, like, this is a thing where, like, the crab trap is a thing where the pattern, the structure makes the surface. Okay. All right, I take that. That's cool. That's that's the best association they have. So I'm gonna take it as a compliment, right? It requires a little bit of creativity in there, but if you can think about how to take anything as a compliment, it's gonna help you move forward. All right, let's take a look at our next question. Ah, I love this one so high Carson, Do you have any great systems for keeping track? Of how many hours you have spent on a piece? I typically have up to 12 pieces going on at once in different stages. So absolutely. When I This is especially true. When I was first starting out, I had to spread like, yeah, I to spreadsheet on a clipboard that literally was, like, time in time out What I did, how many pieces I was working on. So if you were working in batches, you keep track of that, so you might need to give yourself a little bit of a system. Um, you know, I know you work on paintings, so maybe on the back of ever canvas, you're like, This is number 1 to 4. This is number 125 This number 1 to 6. Just like a little note to yourself. So then, on that spreadsheet, you can say, OK, time in. I was here from 3 15 toe for 45 and I worked on numbers 1 25 1 27 and 1 28 It's not perfect, but at least it kind of gives you a little bit of that strategy and then you can go through back through your spreadsheets. I just keep on a clipboard. My studio go back through and you say Okay, I finished 1 27 Here's all the times I worked on, that kind of divided out from there. All right, let's take a look at our next question. All right? How much did your cost of living play into calculating your hourly rate? If you move house, can you? Then, for example, double your price is what we treat. Cost of living in the same way that we should take into account potential future product outsourcing. So this is this is a really great question, Michelle. And I would say you need to think about where you want to be within reason, right? So I live in Pennsylvania. I'm never gonna move to the Bay Area. Hopefully, Creativelive keeps writing me back so I can keep coming back. Really? You love it here, but I'm not gonna move there. So why don't we just set my cost of living to reflect that I'm staying in central Pennsylvania? I'm pretty committed. But that said maybe I want a bigger house or a bigger studio space in the next five years. So in that case, yes, you do want to think about that. If you're thinking about making a move in the next couple of years, you should calculate that in there because it's going to create challenges for you later on. But you shouldn't set your prices for a mythical thing. That's probably never gonna happen. So that's how I would differentiate that. But the same thing? Yes, with future product outsourcing. If you've designed a prototype, but you know you're going to outsource it later, then you can set your pricing based on the outsource cost. So be realistic about what's happening in your life. And if you are planning on making these big moves or big changes in the next couple of years, then you can use them into your pricing. I don't remember if we have one more question. One more. All right. So pricing considerations for repeats like photography, greeting cards, cast items how about for photo and field time? Okay, so make sure I'm understanding the whole question here, so some of this becomes into your idea of, like, billable and non billable hours. So if you're a photographer and part of your process is creating this work, and then you're going to sell repeats of it. You want to start to think in ballpark about like, how many prints you might sell, right? So if you are gonna throw out some numbers here and hopefully someone paying attention, right? So if you are out in the field and you're spending 10 hours, you in a shoot and you're thinking that you're going to get maybe three great photos that you're gonna turn into Prince, then you can start to figure out OK, maybe I can expect to sell 10 of these prints. Take all that math together. So how many hours divided by three worked out between each of those sets of prints? That's how you're gonna get that pricing. Hopefully, he everyday Nepal that one made sense for you for certain other types of products you want to check in. But there is also a what the market will bear part of it, and greening hearts are a big one. For that. I think you probably see this. There's Onley, a certain price that people are going to pay for greeting cards. That price may be higher than you think it's higher than what you could buy them for a target. But there is a threshold. So you do want to do a little bit more of that kind of comp analysis that we're talking about when you're pricing things like this now for things like cast stuff, anything that actually does have, like a labor component to it, whether it's your labor or someone else. You can handle that like we talked about, you know, thinking about their charging the labour. But is there any other labor that you have to dio? Yes, cast items And there was a lot of set up. Um, you know, I designed the items and then three d printed them and then made moulds from the three D prints. And then, um you know, I can pour as many as I need Teoh. But how do I account for the set up? So what I would say is it's the same idea of, and it's a little bit fudgy because you don't know how many you're going to sell, but think about a ball park. So how many hours did it take you to create all of the set up? Now, How What does that cost? Per, you know, multiple times your labor costs. Right now, If you only sold one and you had to account for all of that, what would the price be right? Then do it again. So if I sold three now, this gets distributed over three. What would that pricey do that for? A couple of numbers that feel reasonable. So a unit of three out of 10 a unit 20 a unit of 100 see what all of those prices look like. And then from there, you can look at your kind of your marketplace comp, See where you want to be And what that does is it gives you a number of Okay. I know I'm gonna be here. So as soon as I sell I've paid for all of that extra time.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Art School Rehab Class Workbook

Ratings and Reviews


This class was so good - it's not just for people who went to art school, but anyone who has (or wants to have) a creative-based business. Megan's lessons break down the overwhelmingness of roadblocks and gives you tangible tools to get past them, shift your mindset, and shows you how to focus. There were so many elements to this class that were helpful, but overall I think if you feel like you're stuck, you overanalyze every decision, and feel like you want to move forward but don't know how, this class is for you. Thanks Megan, for helping me work on a plan to move me past my hurdles.

Kiki B

What a great class! Megan has helped me to really understand what my business goals are and how to achieve them, and has given me heaps of confidence to boot. This is going to be a great year for my creative business!

Kim S. Joy

I have owned this class for awhile and just decided to start it.... well I should have watched/taken this class years ago! I did not go to art school but follow that mindset. This was amazing. So much to learn and unlearn. The pricing and raising your prices what just what I needed. Thank you Megan for another wonderful class.

Student Work