How do you price your work?
How Do You Price Your Work?
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked this question over the last six, seven years. Pricing can trip people up and it can actually stop people from pushing their art out into the world and selling it because they just don’t know the next steps to take.
In this session I share my top tips around selling.
What is someone willing to pay?
The biggest thing I’ve learned is that an artwork is worth what someone is willing to pay.
This is why you’ll see so many differences when you go looking at artwork. Some artwork is $50, some is $50,000 and maybe in your eyes that $50,000 is not worth it.
Maybe you would rather spend the money on the other one. So why is that one $50,000? It throws you into this turmoil of misunderstanding the whole concept of pricing.
Well when we sell, we have to hit that sweet spot of having something somebody wants and what they’re willing to pay for it.
This is the exciting part of selling, it can be an amazing feeling. It isn’t for everyone – some people don’t like parting with their artwork. But on the whole, it is a great feeling when it comes to pricing.
Take a look around
The first thing to do is step out and have a look at what’s going on around you. It’s so eye-opening when you go to galleries and art fairs and see what other people are selling their work for. And the reason for this is sometimes we sit in isolation or view the world through a lens that isn’t the full reality of what’s going on outside of that.
When you start to actually go out there and look and see what’s going on, you realize that there are so many different price points and so many different artworks. Some people have this perception that oils are the only one that can sell for a higher price point. It just isn’t true. So Doing that research gives you a baseline to work from.
Look at yourself
Then you have to look at yourself and look at the foundations. What does your work cost you to make? This is such a good exercise to know and to do. How much does it cost? What do you spend on materials? How long does it take you to make a piece of artwork? This gives you to know how much you need to be covering when you are selling your artwork.
There are so many ways to sell so don’t close yourself off if this method doesn’t fit. There might be preliminary sketches that you can sell for a high amount that only take you seconds – it might not just be the three month piece that you sell. It might be all the play work. People overlook that and think, well they’re not finished pieces but people will buy them. So having a look at what you create, how long it takes and getting a feel for that is the next step.
Then, the more demand you have for your work, the higher the price. So as a beginner, if you start out by selling at that price, and then you want that scale to be going upwards by adding, creating value, by creating the desire for what you have, by helping people connect with your artwork, building relationships with people, finding the purpose of your work.
People buy things that are selling. Those red dots really help people think “Oh right, this must be selling, this must be good. I’m gonna buy one too”. That’s what we all want, isn’t it?
One thing to remember with pricing – context is everything. If you price your work for $100, £1000, $10,000 – where you put that work matters. A $10,000 work might sell in gallery because they have the clients and customers that are looking for artwork at that price point. Put that same artwork in a market where maybe people don’t spend more than $100, it’s not going to sell. Putting your artwork in the right place is a part of this puzzle.
I raise this because I see people putting artwork in particular places and then they start slashing prices when actually it’s just not in the right place.
Be, Do, Have
So if you want to sell your artwork for $10,000 or a thousand dollars at the higher price point that you’re not selling at right now, a great tip is to ask yourself what do I need to Be, Do, Have to hit that number? What other artists are selling at that price point? How did they get to that price point? Why are they able to sell at that price point? You’re becoming a detective and you’re asking yourself ‘How can I get there? What can I do to my work and my professional practice and myself as an artist to start to raise my prices? How can I create more desire?’
One other tip I have is when it comes to pricing, having three tiers. So the entry price point is the cheapest item that people can purchase or a service. And then the high is the highest option that I have. This is something exclusive or a big piece and then in the middle of those two is your mid-price point.
If someone comes into your world and they can’t afford the big expensive piece, you don’t just lose the sale, you have options. You can then offer an alternative piece at a mid-price point or make it a little bit smaller, make a bespoke piece. So you’ve got options.
Back for more!
Once people buy from you it’s said they are 70% likely to buy from you again. So once someone’s bought from you, they might end up becoming that customer that buys the high price point artwork later. It takes time for people to trust and build rapport.
It’s important to review your pricing every six months. Don’t get stuck where you’ve just priced and then you just keep going at that level. You want to keep bringing yourself back to pricing. If you’re not in a good position to increase your pricing within a six to 12 month period, you need to ask yourself why. And you need to be pushing more to create that desire and thinking ‘How can I increase and give myself a pay rise?’ which is effectively what you’re doing by upping your prices.
Grow Into It, Don’t Go Into It
My mentor always says to me “Grow into it, don’t go into it”. You might want to sell for $10,000, but maybe you’re just not quite there yet. What step do you need to put into place now to hit that number? Don’t just go storming in. Grow into it gently.
More advice in The Hub
Once you start to really bring your awareness to this and you work on it and you price and you learn and you sell, you do start to get a guide.
There are formulas that we have in a lesson inside our Hub membership that we can give you alongside a whole course on pricing, but here are the basics in this and give you my top tips of what I’ve learned over the last six years of pricing and working with thousands and thousands of artists from around the world.. But for now just, just leave it with the basics if, if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
You can join here at https://uas.unitedartspace.org/hub/
Take care everyone,