Know Your Worth
I had a chat yesterday with a valued colleague who had recently had his worth questioned. Many like me who have been in the industry for years and have harnessed a range of experiences, professional development and practice; have so much to offer. But should that come at a price?
Too often in the arts, we are asked to give our time and more importantly our intellectual property gathered over years of investing our own career development. We take risks. We learn from our mistakes. We challenge the status quo. We collect valuable experience. We grow.
It is so important to value this when it comes to our creative careers. My husband who works in the IT industry often scoffs and the hourly rate a consultant in the arts is paid versus his industry. He knows what I am worth and encourages me to charge more. But as a consultant, I cannot charge the same as someone in another industry with equivalent study and experience. Why is that? It isn't something I have fathomed as yet.
Talk to people you know in other industries and get their perspective. Do they sell a product or service? How do they put a price on it?
I do know that some of this comes from within the industry itself - including government, organisations and individual artists. We need to stop setting our bar so low and thinking that people won't pay the right price for our products and services. The right people will.
I think our challenge right now is to invest our energy in finding these people who WILL pay and place value on our creative knowledge and experience.