What do you charge?

fundraising-puppyWhat do you charge?

Have you ever been mad about something, and too polite to show how annoyed you are? That happened to me last weekend and the weekend before. The weekend before last, the Wollongong Handspinners and Weavers set up a stall at the local traditional crafts exhibition, and last weekend we had our annual exhibition.

When I saw the prices that some of the ladies are putting on their work, I was shocked and exasperated. $20 for a child’s handmade jumper? $5 for a pair of bootees?


“But I don’t know how much I should charge!” said the very talented woman who had made them.

What do you charge?

How do you price your work if you are an artist or a craftsperson, if you are a trainer or a writer? What are people paying for?

It’s not just your time and your materials!

Often, people say to me, “how long will it take you to write 500 words?” Then they expect to pay minimum wage for that slice of my time.

If I charge, let’s say, $1 per word, am I saying that the word “and” is worth a dollar? Of course not! If I wrote the word ‘and’ a thousand times, I couldn’t expect to charge $1000!

So when you set a price on your work, what are people paying for?

  • Your time
  • Your materials
  • Your education
  • Your years of experience
  • Your overheads – office costs, heating, electricity, taxes
  • Your expenses – laptop, internet, printer
  • Your advertising
  • Your business coach
  • Your skills
  • Your creativity
  • Your ideas that help them profit
  • The value your words bring in terms of new clients, business cudos, etc
  • The actual profit your words bring to the company in terms of new clients.

What if I write a great home page that brings in clients worth $50,000 to a business, how much is that worth? What if the flier I write brings them 100 new customers, and those customers each tell a few friends? What if I teach them to write a proposal that gets them a multi-million dollar contract? What if I help them to write the award application that helps them to win an award and get massive PR for their business? It’s not ‘only words’ and it’s not ‘only hours’, is it?

What are people buying from me? Well, depending on the type of writing they are buying, they may be buying:

  • enjoyment
  • inspiration
  • knowledge
  • confidence
  • new skills
  • the ability to earn more
  • help
  • entertainment
  • information
  • business success
  • new clients

…the list goes on

Setting a price for your work is always a difficult exercise, but this is one way to do it.

Ask these questions:

  1. What price feels too low?
  2. What price feels too high? (this gives you a range)
  3. What are others charging who have similar experience/skill/expertise/products to me?
  4. What is my outlay?
  5. How much time will it take? (include research, emails, everything…)
  6. What am I worth? (this is a very important question to answer)

Once you know the answers to these questions, setting a price is easier.

A gift for you.

Once you have decided that you are not charging enough, what can you do?

How do you raise your prices?

In Australia, it’s the end of the financial year, and this is often the right time to raise your prices.

I have 4 email price-rise templates that I’ll give you to send to:

  • your clients
  • your leads
  • your previous clients
  • those who need to renew contracts

All you need to do is email me at [email protected] and ask!


How do you decide what to charge? Email me, or tell me in the comments.

Posted in writing

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