Scenario : you just picked up a job working with a client. The client tells you what they need, you tell the client your rate. That exact moment is when you need to decide if you will continue working on this job with this client.
There are many things that could happen in that moment, but more often than not, you will experience one of two things. The client will either shake your hand, agree to the price, and you will get started. Or, the option that I fear more than anything, the dreaded "bartering system."
"Well, I'm kinda broke at the moment, you think we can do $____ instead?"
"Man, that's a little steep, don't you think?"
"Well I don't have that money right this second, but you know I got you."
I cannot reiterate this enough: THESE ARE ALL RED FLAGS. THIS IS DISRESPECT TOWARD YOU AND YOUR CRAFT.
When you see these red flags, immediately drop the client and move on with your life. The reason I say immediately drop the client is because at that point, you will not get what YOU want out of the job. You will decrease your rate to land the job, then start doing work that you just, by nature, will not be as passionate about. Less money = less passion = lower quality work. It's as simple as that. And does that seem like an equation that will provide anyone a sense of happiness with the job? You're working for less money, the client is paying for lower quality work. Lose/lose.
So here's where the "lesson" for today comes in. Associate with clients who have a similar mindset as you. Surround yourself with people that respect you and your aspirations. You have been practicing your craft for years, possibly decades, and you deserve to be paid for all of that hard work. Humans are beings of routine and comfort, and typically will associate with like-minded people. If you do work for someone who acts like your prices are too high, or try to barter with you, any other work you get from that person will, more than likely, have a similar nature to it. Furthermore, people talk. If you allow one person to barter with you and get what THEY want over what YOU want, they will let their friends know, "Hey, I know this person that does X craft for Y price, but you can easily barter them to Z price to get it cheaper."
You do not want those types of people trying to work with you. Plain and simple.
Allow me to give you an example. Recently, I have transferred over to using this website for almost everything involving my business. In that, I have started drifting away from Etsy, simply because I like having everything streamlined over here. But in doing so, I have raised my prices in my print store. Once people have noticed this, I started getting emails and texts from people saying, "Hey, why did you raise your prices? I loved that you had such a cheap print shop!" Most of the messages I received were in a more accusatory tone, however, saying how I am only focused on the money. Well, yeah, I am. This is my job, my passion, and my career. Although I love creating art, I love money even more than that.
If people give you problems for having rates that accurately reflect the quality and amount of work that you're doing, or get angry with you for raising those prices, I have one thing for you to tell them.
Do you work a job, yourself? Maybe a part time or full time job. Yeah, so you get paid for that job, correct? You would be upset if you DIDN'T get paid, correct? Well what typically happens after 6 months or a year of doing work, and doing good work, and constantly improving? You ask your boss for a raise, right? You feel you DESERVE that raise, right? And you expect your boss to respect you enough to give you that raise. Well, when you run your own business, you AND the clients are your bosses. I'm giving myself a raise after years of improving my craft.
You have to be confident and assertive with things you want. And that's the biggest takeaway from today's post. Demand respect from your clients, respect yourself, and stay rock solid and consistent with everything you do. Set up rates that accurately reflect what you do for the client, and only work with clients that understand and respect those ideals.
I know that this mindset can benefit you in any avenue you use it in. This is not just a mindset for a job, this is a mindset for life. As always, please sign up for the newsletter to receive an email every time I post something here. And shoot me an email sometime, if you are here reading this, then I want to talk to you.
Thank you for being here, I appreciate it so much, and I hope you have a productive and happy day. Cheers!