Setting your prices when you’re starting out, or even when you’re established can be a minefield. What’s a good price? Will anyone hire a newbie at this rate? What about prices for quieter periods? I remember asking myself all these questions, (plus a billion more!) and giving myself a big headache in the process. I’ve written my thoughts on pricing down here so you can give the paracetamol a miss today 🙂
You can’t pluck pricing out of the sky. Mastering the art of pricing is tricky without a framework. You need guidelines that you set for yourself. Here are the ones that I used:
- How experienced are you? Are you taking the full-time plunge, or are you working your way up to making makeup/hair your full-time career? High prices when you’re a novice are a big no-no. You shouldn’t be giving your services away, but you need to ensure that you’re affordable so that you can get those enquiries in and then practice and perfect your skills. You’ll also get to meet clients and develop your relationship-building skills so use the opportunity to do as many makeovers as possible. It’s also far more useful for you to work on 2-3 large weddings at a slightly lower price, to begin with. You’ll be able to apply your skills to more than one person in one setting and you’ll experience the buzz of being part of the whirlwind wedding-day machine. Far better than agonising over a half-empty diary;
- You also want to make sure that you sit comfortably amongst your peers. Again, price yourself too high and potential clients may dismiss you, especially as you’re just starting to make a name for yourself. Too low and people may wonder why you’re so low. See if you can check out how much your fellow MUAs and/or hairstylists are charging and go a tiny bit lower. Don’t forget, at this stage, it’s better to under-price and over-deliver. Blow your client away with the quality of your skills and exceed their expectations with excellent service and special touches that show you’re willing to go the extra mile. It will make them feel that they’re getting superior value for money which will turn them into your biggest fans and promoters;
- Don’t rush to increase prices if your diary is half empty. Consider why that’s happening. Is it simply a quiet time for the industry? Are you willing to reduce rates for off-season work? Many couples now think outside the weekend wedding box, so if you have the flexibility then it’s worth considering off-peak concessions. This is also a great way to keep your portfolio fresh. Speaking of which, if things are a little quiet, take the time to make sure you’re on top of your own promotion and marketing. When your diary is 2/3 full for the year ahead, only then is it time to think about a price increase.
So there you go. These are the three main things that will help you create your pricing structure and once you get out there, and delight your clients whilst building your portfolio, you’ll start to get those all-important recommendations. Get your foundations right and in say 12 months, it might be time for a re-think! Don’t forget, if you need any in-depth advice, remember we can also run a one-to-one bespoke Business Review Clinic.
Good Luck! X