what's it worth?

I just thought I'd share some thoughts about an ongoing conversation my friend claire and I are having about our creative endeavors. we're asking more questions than coming up with answers but I like that I've got someone to help me sort this all out. one of the questions we have is how to price our work. I know the math to add up materials and I (kind of) get the math to add up time spent (here's a great post on the actual math) what I struggle with is deciding the value of my work - its worth. my aunt libby said something really interesting on sunday as she was admiring my new bib necklace design: you can put any number of people in my studio, with access to all my paints, brushes and supplies and not one person would come up with what I've done. there's value in that.

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on about pricing, branding, etc and pretty much everyone says the same thing but for some reason it still hasn't sunk in. design*sponge has a great series on their blog called 'biz ladies' and one of their contributors, regina morrison, wrote about this. the last line of her post is pretty great "value yourself and your work. the right customer will pay what your product is truly worth."

a MUST READ is this post by tara gentile on her personal blog (she posts on design*sponge and etsy, too) the gist is don't "create goals & expectations  based on the market you think you're in instead of the market you want to be in." another of tara's I go back to re-read frequently is a biz ladies post with one section in particular that stands out " ... people want more than another bauble for their neck or a tchotchke for their shelf. they want something with meaning. they want an experience of your art that changes their perception or triggers a feeling or memory." 

not convinced yet? megan auman explains it pretty clearly in her post on "what your pricing says about your brand" where she talks about pricing & perception.

megan auman's 'sweet spot' graphic

this is hard for me to admit, but looking at this graphic I perceive myself as a hobbyist. I don't want to be and there's nothing stopping me (other than hours in a day) so why don't I perceive myself as an artist? no one has told me I'm not an artist - there's no ruler with which I've measured myself and fallen short. an even bigger problem? if I don't see myself as an artist, then why should you? (the words I do have trouble using are 'professional', 'authority' and 'leader' but that's for another discussion). in my office manager gig I've met some incredible entrepreneurs and investors. one of the phrases tossed around a lot is 'elevator pitch' - two lines to describe what you do/make to grab someone's attention which will hopefully get you more of that investor's time (or customer) and potentially their funding (or purchase). my tagline has always been 'hand painted & handmade' but I realize now that's not enough. maybe, if I come up a with a great elevator pitch, it'll be so good that I will finally convince myself that I'm an artist.

anyone else struggle with value and pricing? any suggestions for an awesome elevator pitch?