Friday, 16 January 2015

Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Unless they are low! :P lol

I notice in the face paint forum there are a lot of VERY talented artists who are not charging what they are worth. Now I know it greatly depends on where you live for how much you can charge. For instance, you can't get away with charging as much if you are stuck in a small town. But if you are in a city, or even close enough that you do your business in the city, then ladies and gents you gotta start charging what you are worth!

"But Forest-Fairy!" I hear you say "People won't pay it! My clients will see my new prices and sh!t themselves, then find some one else!"

People will pay it. In fact, you will attract more well off clients too because some times a higher price can trick our brains into thinking a product is worth more. I've raised my prices 5 times in 5 years and I'm still going strong. As for clients leaving you. Maybe. *shrug*. You don't know that for certain, so why let a 'maybe' for a few clients keep you from earning more cash? Is it worth it? No. Will people be more likely to hire some one who is charging less? Yeah, some times. Bargain hunters will always seek out the lowest bid, and in most cases they get what they pay for.

"But it was on fail!"

"But Forest-Fairy!" I hear you say again "I'm a total newb! I've only been painting for like a year or two. I have no rainbow cakes, and my tear drops suck!"

To which I reply: Can you paint better then this?

"lol Rainbow Cat Beard"

Yes? Good. Start charging min $50 - $60 per hour. Because the "artist" that painted that charges more. (not kidding)

Think about it, you are providing and IN HOME SERVICE. You are getting off your butt, hauling your shop front (equipment), and going to their house, and the time of their choosing, to provide a service for them. Unlike where most shops where the customer comes to you, we are going to the customer. That sh!t costs money, so make it rain.

"But when can I start charging $100+ per hour?"

Answer these questions:

  1. Are your paints professional quality?
  2. Can you paint a minimum 10 full faces in an hour?
  3. Are your designs decent?
  4. Do you have insurance?

That's a heck of a good start if you ask me for charging $100/hr.

Ask yourself:

  • What REASONS does the customer have to book me?
  • What PROBLEMS do I solve for the customer?
  • What VALUE and BENEFITS do I offer the customer?

Fact is when it comes right down to the nitty gritties, no one cares about your fancy website, how long you have been in business, your previous customers, or your pimpin' clown car. 

"Screw You Ilea."

Sure they are all cool and can be symbols of experience or professionalism, but what problem do they solve for the client? Nothing.

Clients want END RESULTS. They want happy, smiling, entertained children. That is the main problem you solve for them! And there are loads of craptastic face painters out there charging more then you because in the end, all of you solve the same 'problem' for the client.

So the obvious question is: How can you solve it better?

As you add more to the value of your business you can raise your price even more. Do you dress up in costumes? Do you have a design book with all your work? Do you bring your own table and chairs (one less thing for the client to worry about! = problem solved!)? When doing a corporate gig or large event, so you have your own tent, banners, signs, decorations etc? That's already a lot of value right there, and I didn't even mention your artistic skill!

We are all our own worst critics. We look at other artists work and think.... "Wow... I suck." We have all done it, even when we are actually quite good!

I have an old binder of printed out 'ideas' I got from the internet. This was about 12 years ago back when digital camera's weren't as widely available, and images of face painting online wasn't the vast ocean that it is today. I used to use the binder for inspiration, and keep it under my table and try to copy the designs. I admired all those artists, and I KNEW that I would never be as good. Well, for the first time in maybe 10 years, I looked through the binder again, and this is what I said out loud when I opened it.
"Wow...... this stuff sucks."

90% of it it's contents is what i would consider very amateur today. I couldn't believe that I used to once look up to all the designs in that binder, or even try to copy them. No wonder it took me so long to paint stuff lol!

So, don't give up, don't envy others, and don't self deprecate. Even though the content that is available now online is WAY better then the stuff I printed in that binder, you never know how good you are going to get. You WILL get better, and when it comes to the business side of things, clients usually don't care who the better artist is, or who charges less. The only then they care about is who can solve their problem the best. A
nd not all of that has to do with your skill with a brush.

"Good god man!
There are people out there painting
rainbow cat beards and charging over $100/hr for them!"

So To Review:

Step One: Realize you are already awesome.
Step Two: Add value to your business.

Step Three: Profit.


  1. Ha ha loved it! Awesome article, I was cracking up the whole way through :-) What about PPF charging? I feel like I want to charge more but parents are used to paying very small amounts and don't care that much about the artistic ability, I'm just entertaining their kids. How can I justify a higher price?