3 Tiered Pricing Model

Old Time Feelings

One of the many issues we self-employed commercial artists face is how much to charge for our art. One usually factors in monthly living expenses, taxes (sales, income and business), vendor invoices, equipment leases, training, etc. You should also factor in how many hours per week you want to work. Mix in the requested usage (duration, exclusivity and distribution) stir well, add a dash of anxiety and presto you have a price. This is my preferred method and it has worked for years.

At this point in my career I want to simplify this pricing process so I hit upon a 3-tiered model. For photography it’s usage, licensing rights, production value and copyright ownership. For the market I service (and for my creative/licensing fees only), I’m considering three levels of commercial pricing to make it easier for my clients to digest: $2500/day for limited use, $5000/day for unlimited use and $10000/day for unlimited use and a copyright transfer. Of course out-of-pocket production costs and labor would be added to the final bill.

As the world changes so must we. It’s in our best interest to review and revise our business practices (including pricing) so that we afford our clients more opportunities to engage us. They need to feel like we are looking out for them as well as us.

Don’t be afraid to look at your pricing model, to ask pertinent questions of your clients and to dig deep to understand their needs and concerns. This will go a long way in developing your professional demeanor, your self-confidence and your long-term viability. Remember, it’s GREAT to be self-employed! It’s also a ton of hard and relentless effort.

Good luck.

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    Michael E. Stern
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