St. John the Divine sold for 4 figures. Was I paid what I was worth? No.
Was I paid what the icon was worth to the collector? Yes.
Do you see where I'm going...?
Too many artists/photographers/creatives have the wrong idea about pricing for their products or their services. And they cause themselves unnecessary anguish in the process.
Too many artists take it "personally' that a client won't pay "what they're worth."
The artists confuse their self-worth with the price a customer or client is willing to pay for their artworks.
Let me just lay it out here...YOU WILL NEVER BE PAID WHAT YOU'RE WORTH...because you are priceless. (If I knew how to add a bunch of sparkling stars right here, I would!)
- You are NOT your paintings,
- You are NOT your photographs.
- You are NOT the wedding packages you offer.
- You are NOT the hand-crafted toys you sell.
- You are NOT the books you write.
You are a marvelous bundle of soul, heart, intelligence, talent, light, love, and laughter. None of those things can be bought. The essence that is the "glorious individual - you" is not for sale.
What the customer pays for...
Aha! This is what it's all about, isn't it?
Does the customer pay for your years of education? No....
Does the customer pay for all your expensive equipment? No....
Does the customer pay for all the blood, sweat, tears and hours you stood in the freezing rain to get that once in a lifetime photo? No....
The customer NEVER pays your worth. Your client pays the value of the item to them. Your client pays for your work according to the "outcome", or benefit, or value to them personally.
Okay, now you get it. The customer is NOT buying your personal value.
They just won't pay the price you have set for your work. This is a totally different problem. This is...
...a Marketing problem
How did I find (at least) two collectors who paid four figures for two of my icons? I knew who my target audience was and I went looking for them. Yes, I had to work to find the collectors.
People who buy our art works just don't drop magically from the clouds. We have to know them inside and out, we have to know what they want, where they hangout online, what blogs and magazines they read. We have to "be where they are".
One more time, we have to work to find our ideal collectors.
And the only value that matters to the ideal customer/client/collector is the effect the artwork has on them. You have to price your products based on the value, benefit, or effect they bring to those clients.
And that has NOTHING to do with your worth.
Wrap it up
- lovely head,
- your gorgeous heart,
- and your shining soul
out of the customer's wallet, checkbook, or credit card!
I think a riff on a credit card commercial will fit nicely.
"Beautiful icon? $1200. Photographic memory of that trip to Paris? $495.
Photo Walk-about...the details are falling into place
Date: Saturday, September 19th
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Meeting Place: The Artist Angle, 124 South Carroll St. Frederick, MD 21701
Complete Information, including tuition, coming soon.
This walkabout is for the beginning photographer or the person still somewhat baffled by what that DSLR can do.
Still trying to figure out what makes a good picture? This walkabout is for you.
Cellphones, point-and-shoot, or Big Name Camera - it doesn't matter what you use to take pictures, this photo walkabout is for you.
We'll meet at the Artist Angle for a brief discussion, hit the sidewalks of downtown Frederick for about 2 hours. To finish up the morning, we'll meet back at The Artist Angle and spend the last hour debriefing, discussing and reviewing.
Registration will open August 2, 2015.
Thanks for reading. I invite you to leave your questions, comments and love notes in the comment section below.
And don't forget to share on your social media and with your friends!
Expect the best. Anything else is an adventure.