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Thread: quandry about pricing

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: quandry about pricing

    Kirk is right. One of the things that the "information age" and it's Internet brought was the belief that everything can be free, or almost so. Content in the form of music, videos, drawings, photos, technical writing, creative writing and more are easy to find and look at online. Many people have grown up downloading songs or books or hobby information (this forum) for free. They have come to expect it. They forget about their own work, and what they pay employees per hour, when it comes to creative "stuff."

    For 20 years people have gotten used to free Internet entertainment and content. But because the Internet has no credentials, and people have no taste, the quality of that content is quite variable. I'm a training designer. It's easy to find some free background music or clip art for my web-based training, but hard to find GOOD stuff (for free). The decorator is in the situation. They need their hotel rooms to be decorated, and have a vague notion of what they want (wetplates). But they are from a generation when everything is free, so they cannot fathom that it would cost as much as the lamps or furniture that has to be actually built (in China at $1.15/hr).

    Do not undercut your career by giving in and letting buyers get your creative content for almost free. It just perpetuates the false belief that a hotel room couch may cost $300, but a custom large format, framed photograph should cost $3.00. Your time and experience and creativity are more valuable than the average hack with a DSLR trying to "break in" (there is no career to break into - they're fooling themselves when they work cheaply) and off shore made plastic frame.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Re: quandry about pricing

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin J. Kolosky View Post
    If I was the decorator and you started dictating to me how you were going to do it I'd start looking for another artist.
    Instead of guessing on all of this set up a meeting and find out exactly what they want and what their budget is. Then decide whether you can work with them.
    The problem is most people ready to buy creative work have no clue what it will cost. I place training professionals (mostly Instructional Designers, Graphic Artists, and Online Training programmers) on contracts for a living. You'd be surprised how many clients call me, and say they want a very experienced ID, to create some very important online training, in a very esoteric field (like thermodynamics). They call because they cannot do it themselves (same as the hotel decorator). They know what they want. They just don't know what it will cost. Sometimes, they have an extremely wrong impression of what it should cost. I have to advise them that they cannot get the work done at that budget. They are often very surprised, but I explain what an ID gets paid, and how many hours of billable work their project should be. Like building a new house, or a ship, or a's all simple math. When a client tells me they need 3 one hour classes of online training built, but only have budget to pay an ID $20/hr, I tell them I cannot find someone that cheap. The going rate is $40-65/hr for that skill. They will have to A) cancel the project, B) find someone in India that will work for peanuts, C) get more funding.

    If a construction company is called to "build us a new office", and they say "our budget is $6,000", the same thing would happen: the builder would advise it cannot be done. Could they get some inexperienced kids in high school to try to build the office for the budget? Sure....but they'll get what they pay for.

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2000

    Re: quandry about pricing

    You may find helpful information in "Truth needs no ally" by Howard Chapnick.

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