Why are you working so hard and not making enough money?

This question came up in another recent interview for my book-in-progress about creatives and money. I was talking with Monique Elwell, CEO of social media marketing start up, Conversify, who will be leading a breakfast roundtable at the next Creative Freelancer Conference (June 5-6 in Denver CO). Monique is also the business partner of Aliza Sherman, who will be speaking about online marketing at CFC.

Monique's short answer: you are probably not charging enough.

Listen to this 2 minute clip to hear Monique's take on how to figure out what to charge.

2 thoughts on “Why are you working so hard and not making enough money?

  1. Jim Schakenbach

    Monique had some interesting thoughts about billing more, but unfortunately a key issue wasn’t addressed — how to figure out what the market will bear. It’d be great to charge (using her example), say, $4200, only to find out through trial-and-error that the market will only bear $1100. Oops. Now you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place — do you backpedal furiously and go with a lower rate (cheapening your service), or do you lose the potential business while risking getting a “too expensive” reputation? Is there a good way to get around that?

  2. Ilise Benun

    Jim, it does take time (and yes, trial and error sometimes) to figure out what the market will bear. But I think there’s a difference between knowing what you must charge and actually charging it (and to whom).
    To my mind, the only way to prevent the type of situation you describe is finding out what the market (i.e. your prospect) will bear before you quote your price.
    But the true challenge goes beyond this to actually pursuing prospects who can afford your fees in the first place. And this is usually about smarter marketing.