I love to think and write about the business side of hobbies. The mere mention of pricing will light up a fire storm in certain circles and it is great.
Each person making models, any models, to support a hobby, for a hobby, or create income for whatever reason needs to raise their prices in 2016 for this reason.
If a client looks very hard they should be able to find a dozen people to do exactly what you and I do. They can’t be lazy about it, a few good keyword searches should lead about anyone to a builder for X-Y-Z. A discriminating buyer may even price each of the builders for a their model to see who offers the best price.
If that is the case, you lose. You lose because someone will always price their thing lower. It is a race to the bottom and the winner goes out of business or burns out.
This is how we raise our prices and sleep well at night. Add value. Not trinkets and silly stuff no one wants. I mean real value. We go out of our way to separate ourselves from people doing similar work by redefining what we do and how we do it.
The first example is Lindsey Stirling. This lady started her career following a dream to be a professional violin player. If you didn’t know, professional violin players follow the starving artist mantra and the arena is very competitive.
So how did Lindsey separate herself from the pack? By playing violin on her terms and the dimension of dance to her playing. Was this easy? No, she was told by American Idol Judges she would never make it in Vegas and could not get a record deal. In 2015 Lindsey was YouTube’s 4th highest earner at a cool 6 million and she has traveled the globe playing music her way.
When record companies did come knocking offering her record deals she merely said, “No thanks, I got this”.
How about an example closer to home? Rockin H does not sell toys. EVER! You are welcome to sell toys, but I will not. I am happy to sell world class models. I am happy to sell you a memory. I am happy to sell you a memento. But I will not sell you a toy.
If a client is in the market for a world class model, the only place I have found to get it is Rockin H….. I redefined what I do. There are a ton of guys, many with more skilled than I am doing the same work I provide. Yet, my schedule is full and my work brings a premium.
Did anyone tell me I build world class models? No. Did anyone give me permission to market my company the way I do. No. The world we live in at this moment allows each of to define what we do in any way we choose to define it. Remember that last sentence.
Let’s go back to value. How do you add value to what you do? Answer these questions do you:
- Communicate well…even over the top?
- Deliver on time?
- Do you provide free gifts? (tips, tricks, favorite tools list, preferred vendors list, the gift does not have to cost money)
- Send a birthday card with a gift model?
- Provide pictures of the building process?
- Create tutorial videos?
The list can go on and on. And BTW– the list I just created…those items cost nothing but an evening typing or a little extra time. Value does not have to be expensive. It has to be…valuable to the people we want to attract.
In 2016 make it a goal to incrementally raise your prices. Or, do it quick and deliberately. Redefine what your work, offer crushing value, and sleep well knowing you are being the best at what you do.
Go get em.