When I started out making beats on my drum machine in between classes in high school, I never thought about the possibility of making money from the music I was creating. I was more focused on just making my music sound good, let alone calculate how much to charge for my creative time and content. As soon as I started to share my work with others, questions about how much I would charge to make “custom beats or tracks” would come up and I would freeze like a deer in headlights, not knowing how to answer.
This was always a tricky and confusing thing for me to think about and talk about with others, especially those who want to hire me for my services. I want to share with you from my experience how to have the right mindset about the value of your time.
No Matter what… Your Time is Valuable:
Do not let anyone convince you to believe that your time has no value. It truly does, and the first person you need to convince of this truth is yourself. If you won’t value your time nobody will.
Now granted at first because you might not have the experience that builds the authority to charge a certain price for your time, but when you give your time value you are letting everyone know how much you actually bring to the table.
People think the $2,000 Bottle of water taste better than the $2.00 one.
I was coaching a Local Dj who was struggling with making a decent living from his gigs. I asked how much he was charging and he replied with an answer I have heard way too many times. “It all Depends” here was my response “So you mean to tell me that I can tell you what you really worth?” Because that is exactly what he was doing. He would on average ask around $250-350 a gig, so I had him change his starting price to $800. That is more than double his stating price.
He gave it a try, and he was blown away with the response. His client was surprised and asked “Whoa! thats a crazy price, I usually get djs for like $200″ but here is the important part, he then would ask “You must have a great set, and show if your charging that much, what makes you different and is there something we can work out?” You see the added value he gave himself open up a dialog about the worth of his time.
But won’t I lose customers this way?
You will be tremendously surprised by the fact that when people see a higher price tag it means it is better to have, or something is unique and special about that item. Starting at $800 gave him room to give a “discount” if they booked early and in advance which could bring the price down to $500 saving them some money, and still making him more than he was usually making. You see this give more room to talk about getting your worth rather than giving the other person to power to value your time.
So now onto how much should out be charging at all?
This is now all just a numbers game. For instance. If you have a goal to reach 100,000 by the end of the year then break that down into how many weeks of the year you would like to work.
100,000/35 weeks = $2,857 a Week
Next break down the hours a week you want to work.
$2,857/30Hours a week = $95.00 an Hour
So If someone is asking you to work on a mix, make a beat, or even perform a set, base it on the financial goal you are trying to reach.
What’s my next step?
Write down what your financial goal would look like, make it something realistic, base it on your current work load but yet something you want to strive for. Then figure out how many certain services you would need to do to reach that goal. If you want to chat about some ways we can create a personal plan to help you make a living with your music