Posted on April 05 2019
Value yourself—both monetarily and in the sense of your time. We’ve all been guilty at some point of undercharging, and that’s okay if we learn from those mistakes and don’t make it a habit. If you want to run a business for fun, do that, but if you're expecting the business to be your livelihood or to provide some extra cash as your side gig, you need to realistically charge for your time.
DECIDE YOUR HOURLY WAGE
Set yourself a realistic and acceptable wage. Don't know where to start? Research online for similar job titles and fields and see what those ranges are.
TRACK YOUR TIME
Keep track of every minute you are working on a project, from emailing and drafting to packaging it up to mail. Save this information within a spreadsheet so you can refer back to it.
HANDLE CHANGE REQUESTS
Did your customer change their mind about colors, or want to add something to the project? Explain the costs of these changes to the customer before going forward. Most people understand if they ask for more that they will have to pay for more.
STAND UP FOR YOURSELF
You are valuable and so are your time and talents. Get paid for them. Stand up for yourself and don’t perpetuate the underpaid artist (or whatever profession) stigma. Don’t take a job just to take it if you won't be properly compensated or aren't interested in it.
It's okay to say no to work. Whether you're overbooked, not being compensated properly, or just not interested in the work, it's completely okay to turn down a project. It might feel like losing money in the moment, but you're actually freeing up your important time for a better-paying gig and keeping yourself from becoming overworked.
I’ve said no countless times when people want to pay less or negotiate my prices down. Those jobs aren’t of value to me because I know they truly don’t appreciate the work that I put into my pieces. You should want to feel good about what you're creating and who you are making it for.
You are worth it. Value yourself.