A couple of weeks ago, I hosted a free training called 3 Ways to Make More Money in Your Creative Business, and boy, was that a hot topic?!
One thing’s for sure; we have a whole lot of hang-ups around money, what we can charge, and how much we believe we can make doing what we love.
The belief that creativity and making lots of money don’t mix is one I’m on a mission to dispel. Not because I never believed it myself, but because I did for so long. As a card-carrying, creatively inclined Pisces, I grew up with the notion that my creative nature meant choosing between work I enjoyed and work that paid.
Even though, I maintained those deep-seated (and false) beliefs for years longer than I should have, a career in talent management saved me. Here’s how: because I wasn’t asking for money in exchange for my own creativity, but for the creativity of the bad-ass, top-level creatives I represented. I was able to ask for (and happily receive) what seemed like enormous sums of money. They were clear about what their value was, the kinds of projects they wanted to work on, and how much they wanted to make ($1,500-2,000 per day) and so it was easy for me to be clear too.
I saw first-hand just how many clients were willing to pay top-dollar for top talent. Money and projects were everywhere, there for the taking.
If this sounds like a thrilling prospect but feels a million miles from where you are right now, I want to tell you this; those high-earning creatives are no different from you. They all started somewhere, they all honed their craft, they advocated for themselves, and gradually charged more as the value they delivered increased.
The thriving creative business or career you wish for is within your reach if you want it too.
If you’re ready to ask for, and receive, the money you wish for, here are 5 ways to set yourself and your business up for financial success:
1) Always be working on your mindset
I know I sound like a broken record on this point, but if you skip this, all the wishing in the world won’t bring in the money you want to make. Your beliefs give rise to your thoughts, and your thoughts give rise to your actions. If your beliefs are all screwy, so is everything else. Tend to your garden and it WILL flourish. A great book on this topic is Jen Sincero’s, You Are a Badass at Making Money. Buy it right now!
2) Get clear about your numbers
If you attended my workshop, you will have received (and hopefully completed!) the nifty little worksheet to help you get really clear on your numbers. It’s easy to use, fun to play with, and will give you the all-important clarity you need to chart a path to a real goal. Didn’t make the training?
Download it here!
3) Review your prices
One of the first things I do with nearly all my private coaching clients is help them raise their prices. This act alone, usually recoups the investment of working with me within a decent sized project or two! Now, I know raising your prices isn’t as simple as just hiking up your numbers. If it were, you would have done it a long time ago. You need to get you mindset aligned with this new reality first (step one). Once you’re up to speed, and totally on-board with being a richer version of your creative self, you can raise your prices without all that internal friction.
4) Get comfortable ASKING for money
We’re going to go into this in more detail in another newsletter, but the only way to bring more money IN to your creative business is to get good at asking for money. Here are a few tips to get you started:
When you ask for money for your services, it is a fair exchange: your talent for their money. You a not “taking” something from them, but rather, you’re offering them a solution to a problem they really want to go away and will happily pay for.
When you undercharge for services, what you’re really saying is you don’t think they’re worth investing in. When you charge for the value your services deliver and over-deliver on your promise, you inspire confidence and trust in your clients. Oh, and they come back and refer you to all their friends too.
5) Get your business ready to receive money.
Following on from point #4, delayed billing, or a convoluted payment method (such as emailing invoices, asking them, only accepting checks etc.), diminishes trust you’re your clients and makes things unnecessarily complicated. Bill on time, make it easy for them to pay, and watch the money roll in.
There are certain things you need to have in place to be ready to receive the money:
- A separate business and personal bank accounts. If you haven’t already dedicated a separate bank account for your business income, do it now. If you don’t start thinking and acting like a business, clients won’t treat you like one.
- Start accepting credit cards. Yes, a small percentage will go to fees, but that’s the cost of doing business and you’ll make SO much more money when you do this, you won’t care about that tiny fee
- Have an invoicing and payment system in place. I’m always amazed by how many creatives are tardy with their billing. Make invoicing a happy part of your week and enjoy seeing that money roll in. I love Freshbooks for its simplicity. Yes, this is another small monthly subscription fee, but one that will ultimately MAKE you more money.
OK, now it’s your turn! What are your thoughts on making money? Have you overcome a challenge, and experienced positive results? Do you have a tip or strategy that worked for you that you’d like to share? Please post your comments or questions below, I’d love to hear from you!