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Business with Family?

We have all been there, a family member wants to support our work or simply needs our services. Then, instead of being excited about the new project we spiral into our emotions of “impostor syndrome”, murky feelings about money and even guilt! These feelings are valid and very productive if you know how to frame them for success.

Here is what to do:

  1. Identify your feelings. Are they productive or counterproductive? If you feel guilt, that is fine, it is actually perfect because you can identify it and call it by its name. Once you identify the feeling do not make your business decisions from this place, move over and make your business decisions from a place of power.

  2. Create a pricing matrix. List at least three levels or types of projects you offer, this can also be determined by size or material. Price each one for your ideal client in mind, a stranger off the street, not someone you have a standing relationship with. For ideas on pricing look at other artists doing similar work as you.

  3. Share your new price matrix with your family i.e. “Client”. If you are so inclined to give them a discount you can say: “These are my prices for the project you are interested in. Let me know if you have any question and we can go over it together.” IF, only IF you feel inclined to give a discount , which in not an obligation, you can continue the dialog and say : “… but I appreciate your trust, support and business so I want to give you the Family discount.”

  4. A Family discount NOT free: You decide what this might be. Keep in mind YOU set the precedence of how people value your work and do business with you. Do not do work for free. Undervaluing your work will have ripple effects in the long run. Even if it is 10% off, I guarantee you the weight of being given the “Family Discount” will feel good to your client. Depending on the scope of the project you can discount accordingly. If it is a small project charge “cost” (price of materials ) x 2. So if you spent $50 to buy the material charge $100. If it is a bigger project Do not go lower that 25% - 30%.

Keep in mind that when you undervalue your work, you undervalue my work and the work of other artists. Your work matters! As artists it is part of our process to establish our own value and educate people how to support and do business with us! You are a boss!

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