How & Why You Should Raise Your Rates

Wedding season is coming to an end! If you’re in the bridal industry, it’s more than likely that you’re feeling burnt out.. But one area that shouldn’t feel this way? Your bank account! If you’ve ever been left wondering where your profits went after working day in & day out for an entire season, this is for you.

Winter for me is the season of commercial & boudoir + ALL the bridal trials, in addition to scaling JACQUIE. Cosmetics & updating basically everything business related. This means that my “off” season doesn’t allow for any downtime & I know this is also the case for other makeup artists/hairstylists in the industry, especially with the holidays coming up! So with all this hustle, our rates need to reflect our worth. At the end of the day, if we don’t value ourselves, how will our clients value us?!

Here are my top 5 “whys” behind raising your rates + a quick guide to getting started!

  1. Your products cost a lot more than you’re giving them credit for. For example, the average makeup application costs me between $15 & $20 in product alone (not including lashes or equipment like lighting). Even more shocking? My kit is worth over $8,000 & I spend thousands a year keeping it stocked.

  2. The entire industry is elevated when you raise your prices - i.e. clients come to know these rates as the new norm & are therefore more likely to value your services. Ultimately, we all win when there are standards set & undercutting is never okay. If you’re new to the industry, please assist or work for another creative first, so that you can enter your market with the experience you need to charge the rates you (& others in your industry) deserve. You will be doing yourself, your clients & others in the industry an incredible disservice if you don’t do this.

  3. Your time! Have you ever calculated your time spent e-mailing, travelling to/from, cleaning your kit & brushes, re-stocking, updating your website, planning content for social media, etc. etc.?! Makeup applications are not ever just a 45 minute service (& this applies to other industries as well).

  4. ALL of the other costs that go into running a biz besides product - to name a few: insurance, website hosting fees & design, photography, advertising, client management software, credit card fees, education (yes, continued education is SO necessary), utilities, rent, office supplies, the list goes on.

  5. Higher rates weed out those not serious about booking & those who are just looking for a “deal” (i.e. do not care about the artist or value of the service they’re booking). Your ideal client becomes much easier to find after you raise your rates, trust me!

How do you know you’re ready to raise your rates? Well if they’re below the average market rate in your area, there’s no question! Other indicators include: a booked out schedule, little to nothing left over after expenses (if you’re not keeping track of these, start yesterday!) & your costs to be in business increasing.

How to do it? Calculate ALL your business & living expenses, accounting for savings too, then divide that by the # of clients you realistically book, or want to book, every month. That’s your rate! You deserve to live your dreams & owning a business is hard enough as is. Put profits first, always (or frankly none of it’s worth it).

Now, to notify or not to notify your clients? I’ve never notified clients of rate increases because the nature of my work means that clients more often than not book during their initial inquiry. Therefore, I’ll leave this one up to you! One thing I’ll say though, is that you’re not obligated to announce increases & you’re also not obligated to honour your past rates.

Still worried? There are enough clients for every single creative in your industry! You should never run your business from a place of scarcity, I promise that you will not thrive if you do. When it’s time to raise your rates, you’ll likely have spent some time on branding as well (if not, do that stat). Knowing your brand & how to attract your ideal client (/who that even is) also means that you’re not competing with others in your market for the same clients. If you are, you need to narrow down your niche. The more niche specific you get, the more successful you will be. More on this later though!

Questions?! Leave a comment or get in touch with me by e-mail (hi@artistrybyjacquie.com) or on Instagram (@artistrybyjacquie).