“How much should I charge for face painting?”
This question crops up time and time and time again on Facebook groups. So how much do YOU charge? I bet it’s more now than when you started, but how did you come up with your initial rate?
Most people look around at what other face painters in their area are doing and charge a bit less, the reason being they don’t feel confident because they don’t feel good enough. The problem with this is good old undercutting and when we start out we don’t even know we’re doing it. So how much is enough? And do you charge everyone the same rate?
If you live in an affluent area you can charge at least five pounds per face at PPF events, multiply this £5 by the number of faces you can paint in 2 hours and you have your standard birthday party rate. Whatever you do don’t haggle or allow the host to cut down your time with the immortal words “they probably won’t all want to be painted anyway”, they always want to be painted and usually in the last few minutes. Whatever your location, you shouldn’t really be charging less than £3.50 a face – the time and money invested in developing and maintaining a professional face painting business completely justifies this price.
For adult parties that include glitter you CAN charge more – hen parties are great as the organiser usually has a good budget and wants the bride-to-be to have a spectacular time.
Corporate events can have a separate rate too, again, the budgets are bigger and the event is often on a grander scale than a kids party. Ditto evening events and obviously the big money-making times of year like Halloween, Easter Sunday and Christmas.
It’s also that time of year when we think about putting up our prices. Should we? Is it a good idea? Will we still get work? Should I charge extra for glitter and bling? Unicorn horns?
As a rule, a gentle price increase each year is sensible, after all, we absorb other price hikes into our business, for example petrol and postage costs. So how much is enough? You could start by adding a fiver to your party rate and see what happens. MOST PEOPLE WON’T EVEN NOTICE and those that do will be ok with it; if they are repeat clients they want you and your work so won’t object to a small rise. In fact, most people expect businesses to do this and if they’re still getting quality service they’ll be happy. So, what stops us? Concerns about competition and undercutting? Worries that we will be too expensive and not get booked? Here’s a New Year suggestion; try it and see. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
What pricing advice would you give? Have you made mistakes and learned valuable lessons? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your stories.