The Worth of Your Work

One of the biggest challenges that creative independents face as they build their businesses is pricing and invoicing. It’s uncomfortable. It feels made up. The general ickiness in deciding and then having to tell someone how much money they owe you (or will owe you) can seem inescapable. But with the right tools, and a little bit of time, the moment you hit SEND on a giant invoice can feel great and not at all nauseating.

Picture this. You’re at the grocery store. You fill your cart with the things you need. You get to the cashier. They ring you up and tell you your total. You fill with incredulous rage and then laugh maniacally while walking out of the store without your groceries.

No.

This has probably never happened because it’s ridiculous.

Picture this. You’re at the grocery store. You fill your cart with the things you need. You get to the cashier. They ring you up and then awkwardly look at the ground. They mumble your total and then immediately ask if that’s okay, as if you could somehow choose what it costs to import an avocado from California.

No.

This has probably never happened because it’s ridiculous.

Just like the grocery store, we price things based on what they cost us to provide. We look at our time, our overhead, the local market, how much we can work, and how much money we need to live. Our prices are not made up. They are calculated. Why is it, then, that we feel sheepish asking, like the grocery store cashier, for exactly what our work is worth? We expect that the client will laugh hysterically or fly into a rage, asking “Who, exactly, do you think you are?” Grocery stores don’t apologize for their prices and we don’t question them. In fact, I’d be weirded out if someone offered me a “choose what you pay” avocado.

Once you discover the value of your work, don’t sell it for less, and don’t project your discomfort onto your clients. You will be shocked at how many won’t bat an eyelash at your invoices, even if it feels like you’re asking for a small fortune. It’s tempting, but try not to think about what you could afford. It’s not helpful, especially when you’re first starting out and you’re living on Top Ramen and fried eggs. You’re not exactly your own target market.

With each successful project, your confidence will creep up, until before you know it, you’re having conversations about money with ease, communicating clearly and unapologetically.

Know your worth. Charge that. As for the ickiness, it’s just the bully of self-doubt. Ignore it til it goes away.

 

By | 2017-08-25T20:10:49+00:00 August 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments