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Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

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Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Forest-Fairy on Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:41 am

Unless they are low! Razz 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.


"It was on sale!"

"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 per hour.

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 Forest-Fairy."

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'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. And 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!"

So To Review:

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

Step Three: Profit.

Thanks for reading!
This is a copy / paste from my blog. To see me blog and more cool write ups in one place. CLICK HERE


Last edited by Forest-Fairy on Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:28 am; edited 2 times in total
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by fesspenter on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:33 pm

Dearest Forest_Fairy:
Amen, Sistah!
When I raised my prices...
I got better clients.
Our work is artistry.
We do not have to keep our prices low to let those who cannot afford us pay for our services.  We are a premium service.  As Forest_Fairy said... we go to THEM.
When you value your own work... your clients will follow.  I too, started at too low of a price.  I am always going to be striving to get better, and try new techniques, add value to my services.  
While I cannot possibly compete with the lovely Rainbow Beard Cat... or was it a Cat Rainbow Beard... or maybe a Beard Cat Rainbow... I am feeling pretty good about that.  

Going away to practice my Beard Rainbow Cat at eat cookies.

xooxo


Last edited by fesspenter on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : I am a Goofball.)
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by rthling on Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:13 am

I raised my rates this year. Now that I'm working full time at a day job, I don't have much time to face paint anymore. I figured I wanted to be worth my time.
(Not that I don't love it, but let's face it. We don't just paint for the love of it. We paint to make money, doing something we enjoy doing, which we happen to not suck at.)
I've gotten the "Holy Prices, Batman!" From clients before, and I've caved (hangs head in shame) and every. time. I ended up resenting the client and not enjoying the gig at all. Where's the fun in that??
But one day I risked it all with a rather large corporate gig.
The lady balked at my prices and I sold her their own company's line. "I know you can find a cheaper face painter. You know I can find a cheaper motor cycle, but it wouldn't be a Harley. When you want the best, you are willing to pay for it." (It was a Harley dealership, duh.)
I got that job. They had me for multiple events.
And she praised me for my business moxie.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your worth. Believe in the demand. And fill it well.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Forest-Fairy on Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:41 pm

rthling wrote:The lady balked at my prices and I sold her their own company's line. "I know you can find a cheaper face painter. You know I can find a cheaper motor cycle, but it wouldn't be a Harley. When you want the best, you are willing to pay for it." 

You are amazing!!!! 

Inspired!!!!
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by poopitypants on Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:27 am



So, this lady charges $75 for the first hour in my area.

I'm not amazeballs or anything, but even working with Snazaroo I could do better than that. This example of her work isn't even half bad- I couldn't lift the other pictures from her website as easily though ):

This really makes me feel bad for charging $45. That's standard for where I'm advertising though- Craigslist. The artists that I compete with there are about on par with my skill level from what I can tell, and they all charge $40-50 (two hour minimum on most of them). How about a case like that? I'm not really sure what to do. Keep working until I'm on par with the truly skilled artists that don't disclose their prices, raise my rates accordingly?

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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:20 am

Do you have any links to your work?

Website?

Craigslist is a stepping stone, not an island to live on. Work in developing a solid Facebook page if not a website. Get yourself in Yelp, Gig Salad, and Gig Masters.

But your biggest advertising is people seeing you in action. The most important thing you do at a party after the painting is to go around to the attending adults and ask them if they would like a 'party favor' and give them your card.

If that lady you showed work of is charging $75/hr i see no reason you can't. Give it a shot. Don't advertise your price outright, but put 'contact for rates and details' to start.

You have to also put time effort and money into your business if you want the best out of it. Smile
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Forest-Fairy on Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:40 am

Ok i checked out her website.

I don't like criticizing other artists, most of all beginners but she's NOT a beginner. Website says she has 15 years experience, but i dont see it. She's painting similar to how i did my first year when I was 12.

Her tools are partially to blame; saw mainly hog bristle brushes and aqua color brand paints (which i find super creamy). After 15 years i would expect better. Much like rainbow cat beard up there with her 30+ years experience, and she says right on her business card 'Vancouvers Best Facepainter'. Ha.

So what does this woman got that you don't got?
- A Website
- Time in the industry

That's it.

One of those things is easy to get. The other is her most valuable asset. Over time her network and list of clients has grown, its like a spider web / domino effect. To easily out do her you need only to have greater online presence and pound the pavement to get your name out there.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by missmollyhappy on Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:26 pm

I get a sizeable amount of clients from my Kijiji (Canadian Craiglist) page. I've never paid for advertising on it, I just refresh it about two times a week.

This is what my ads say:

Title: Kooky Clowns Parties! Balloons, Face Painting, and Magic! OR Kooky Clowns Balloons and Face Painting!

Description:

A fantastic way to keep your kids entertained with balloons, facepainting and a magic show at any event from birthday parties, corporate events, to weddings and more.

You can see more of our work on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/kookyclowns

If you are interested in hiring us for your event please send us an email at kooky.clowns@gmail.com. Please include the date and time you would like to book, the services which you would like, and the number of children attending your event.

Please email at:
kooky.clowns@gmail.com

Visit our facebook page at facebook.com/kookyclowns for more information and more photos of our costumes and work.


I currently don't have a website for my business, but I do have a Facebook page that I update whenever I try out a new balloon or face painting design, or have photos taken of me at events, etc. I try to post something once-twice a week. Facebook is a great way to display photos! People are familiar with it and know how to navigate it. (I plan on putting up a website shortly after I finish making my new costumes and offering more services.)

Note how I do not place my phone number anywhere on the Kijiji ad!! I was getting call after call of people asking how much I charge and then saying oh no that's too much and hanging up. As a student, this is a waste of my time. Half of the time when someone would call after getting my number from kijiji I would either be in class or on the subway.

Right now I have my number on my Facebook page, but you have to dig to find it, on my business cards, and on the first email that I send to potential clients. This cuts down on people asking me for my rates via phone, instead I get emails about it, and phone calls when a client has questions they would like answered.

Don't underestimate the power of word of mouth and your business cards! If you don't have any, invest, vista print is the cheapest place to get professional looking cards printed.

When children ask me if I can come to their party I say "oh I have something for you *hands card* now show this to your parents and maybe they'll invite me" kids love it because they get a card.

I also make sure to give 4-5 cards to the host when I leave (or more if it is a larger party with more parents around,) as well as keep a small stack on my face painting table, and ones in my pocket for easy access when someone asks for my card.

I take public transit to all of my events, this means I ride the bus in costume. It's great advertising! (Although not everyone's cup of tea...) I make sure to have cards in my coat pocket at all times so that whenever I bring up my job I can hand someone my card, or when I get asked for my card while on my way to an event.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by rthling on Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:22 pm

My cards have removal instructions on the back. It would be so easy to just tell the moms that it comes off with soap and water, but this gives them something to take home. My husband hands the parent a card with the reverse side showing, telling them it's removal instructions, and that the front has our contact information.
They love it.
Of course, at parties, he's not with me, so I just ask the hostess to put one in every goodie bag or give one to all the moms, so they have removal instructions.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Kal on Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:51 am

I love this post, but I have yet to find a paying market for face painting services here. Currently there are two girls running around dressing as Anna and Elsa and charging $120 per hour. That is all they do >Sad They are booking left and right. I get people that message me constantly about face painting, balloon decorating, etc. Then they go and book Anna and Elsa. I'm so pissed. I can bring the party! They just show up and look pretty. Grrr!
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Jody Rife on Tue Feb 03, 2015 9:14 am

I was drawn to this thread. I raised my prices last year and I'm wondering if that was for the better. I feel frustrated with the shock and awe of people when I say $$$ for b-day party. Truth of the matter is, I got that when I charged less,too. I live in such a small town. If it were not for up rooting my family, I really would consider moving. 70% of my jobs are at least an hour drive away it seems.

I was considering dropping back the price but think I have decided to hold out and see how this year goes.

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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by bubbleblossom on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:13 am

Well.... yesterday i discovered something disturbing. The going rate in my area for facepainting is $100 for the first hour and $70 each hour therafter. there are one or two who do $75 for the first hour and $60 each hr after, but they are far and few between and dont seem to effect the market much..

However... there is a girl... in MY area (yes... i say it like I own it lol) who is charging $25 an hour. seriously WTF? I looked at her page, some of her faces look cruddy. Others look pretty good, so i really dont know if shes good or not. she does look very young... she gets ALOT of bookings obviously.

is it normal for me to be extremely annoyed at this girl? Like... how is she even turning a profit? she cant possibly have public liability insurance?? mehh....

oh... and we are talking AUD... so... even worse lol
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by bubbleblossom on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:20 am

Kal wrote:I love this post, but I have yet to find a paying market for face painting services here. Currently there are two girls running around dressing as Anna and Elsa and charging $120 per hour. That is all they do >Sad They are booking left and right. I get people that message me constantly about face painting, balloon decorating, etc. Then they go and book Anna and Elsa. I'm so pissed. I can bring the party! They just show up and look pretty. Grrr!

Hi Kal...
are you sure thats "all they do"?
I only ask because I actually dress up as Elsa and Anna, and any other character my client wants from tinkerbell to monster high... and I charge ALOT lore then $120 an hour to do it. But I friggin rock the party. Games and activities, sing exactly like the character, hold coronation ceremonys, dish out prizes, etc etc etc. And also if they choose face painting over that kind of party package, they still get the character coming in, reading a story, singing the characters song (For example Elsa sings let it go with the kids) and then get down to face painting. For that gig though, I up my prices from $100 for the first hour, to $150 for the first hour. It takes me an hour just to become Elsa. From dressing to makeup and that damned wig... I deserve myself some extra cash hahaha.

IF those girls are charging $120 for one hour, to turn up, smile for photos and leave, then yeh, shame on them. But if they do what I do... they need to double their prices because believe me its hard work and I actually find the face painting jobs much more relaxing, easier to prepare and more profitable! (though I do love the other parties too, they are just alot of prep work and so on lol)
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Kal on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:13 pm

That's all they do Darlin'. I always thoroughly investigate before throwing out a negative comparison.

I mentioned the fun-sized characters because I'm too fat to dress as Elsa and my own children used to cry when I'd sing to them. But I have a son and daughter that could fit into any role and play with the kids while I face paint, twist or any other "classic" thing requested.

I can bring the party too but you're one heck of an entertainer bubbleblossom.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Forest-Fairy on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:58 pm

Jody Rife wrote:I live in such a small town. If it were not for up rooting my family, I really would consider moving. 70% of my jobs are at least an hour drive away it seems.

That's the one exemption that I mention at the beginning of this article.

"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!"

If you are stuck in a small town, you are SOL for having a decent rate for what you are worth. But if you can get work in a near by city, then consider having two rates. One local and one for the nearby city area which would be more.

@ bubbleblossom
It doesn't sound like she's in it for the money. She probably has some one taking care of her and buying her supplies, like parents or a boyfriend. If she doesn't she's going to find out REALLY fast that $25/hr won't pay for the gas, and supply use for a single party - and she'll run herself into the ground.



Kal wrote:That's all they do Darlin'. I always thoroughly investigate before throwing out a negative comparison. 

*face palm*


Wow.... way to 'entertain' girls. 

Well now this might not actually be a bad thing - just means they will be THAT easy to outdo! Time to start plotting. 

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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by bubbleblossom on Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:53 pm

kal- I hope I didn't offend you with my comment... Wasn't the intention :-(

oh bummer. So they are pretty much just like mascots. Come in, wave, smile for photos, leave... Thank you very much for your money. That actually makes me a little angry inside lol.... One that they are lazy and call themselves entertainers and get work over amazing face painters like you and entertainers that actually entertain like me... And two because people are shallow enough to hire them just because they look good. Mehhh.

On that note though, our town has a "fat" Elsa and she gets plenty of work. In my opinion she is not fat...she is healthy and curvy. She is bigger boned. I think lots of parent hire her because she is giving off a healthy body image to the children. I'm not a twig either. I have curves. I have to wear a corset under my costumes to jam in the leftovers from having babies haha but I scrub up okay. "fat" is in the eye of the beholder. Next to my best friend I look like a twig. But next to my sister I look like a whale coz she dang thi. With muscle and toning hahaha.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by jlirie on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:32 pm

"I mentioned the fun-sized characters because I'm too fat to dress as Elsa and my own children used to cry when I'd sing to them."

kal, you should consider adding stand-up comedy to your repertoire, you have such a knack for hilarious comments. i love reading your posts cheers
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by jlirie on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:42 pm

and as far as "fat" elsa, the animation for elsa is another unrealistic stick thin character like barbie. totally the wrong message these days, they should know better.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by bubbleblossom on Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:12 pm

Oh... Disney and hollywood know EXACTLY what they are doing. After all... Children must be conditioned into believing they have to look a certain way to be beautiful and accepted. Otherwise the makeup and high end fashion industry and half the fitness industry and plastic surgeons would go broke... sigh.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by Kal on Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:58 am

Oh bubbleblossom I hope I didn't sound offended in my post. I meant to pay you a compliment. That's the problem with comedians, we tend to sound sarcastic no matter what we say. Wink

I never thought of getting a corset. I still don't think I could pull off Elsa, especially if I were expected to sing. I could probably do a monster high doll. I'm actually trying to come up with a character for myself. I need a separate identity so kids will stop swarming me in Walmart.
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by bubbleblossom on Thu Feb 05, 2015 11:13 am

All good Kal. I have a tendency to unintentionally offend so I am a but paranoid about it haha.

Get thee a corset. None of these cute tummy tuck stretchy discreet thingys. I'm talking an all out lined, boned, Moulin rouge baby. Works wonders with costumes haha! Hmm... A unique character? How about something sort of anime inspired. Over the top pink or blue wiG, short bold dress with leggings... Krazy kal :-P
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Re: Never Feel Bad About Your Prices

Post by jlirie on Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:03 pm

steampunk fairy? doll it up with jewels, feathers, etc. (look up steampunk jewelry)
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