Have you ever felt undervalued? Have you ever accepted a job, a gig, or a client for a much lower salary or price than you really wanted? Have you ever been shocked, stunned, or insulted when people try to put such a low price tag on what you do?
It amazes me how people really don’t see the big picture. They don’t look at what you really bring to the table. They often just want to get the best deal possible, regardless of your experience, talent, or background.
Imagine my surprise when I tried to re-enter the workforce in 2009 with multiple degrees and tons of experience and was told this: “So, Ms. Staehle, we’d like to offer you $28K ($3,000 more than what I was making – in 1985!)”. I thought it was a joke. It wasn’t.
I went back to working for myself, added drum therapy and drum healing to my list of services and then began hearing this: “We can’t afford to pay you to do a drumming event (or speak at our meeting), but it would be great exposure!” Seriously?!
Imagine calling a plumber or electrician but then telling him that you can’t afford to pay him but hey, if parks his van in your driveway that would be great exposure! He wouldn’t even show up.
It’s time to take a stand for your gifts and talents. It’s time to rise up and stop letting people define you! You have to know your value and what you bring to the table – and convey that effectively.
1) Do your research! What are others in your area earning? Job seekers can check sites like Salary or Glassdoor. For musicians and speakers, you can either ask around or you check booking agencies’ websites or with agents directly. Artists need to consider time and materials.
2) Explain what you can provide. I’m not talking about what equipment you’re bringing to the gig! What is your level of expertise and why should they hire you? What are some of the benefits to the audience or organization? Can you back this up with testimonials or videos?
3) Make an offer and stand firm! Sometimes people have no idea what fair price would be for your services and they need you to throw out a number.There is often room for negotiation and creative ways for event organizers to find the funds to pay you. If you devalue your services, resentment and anger eventually build. This not only affects your performance but it can cause you to want to quit.
4) Remember that this isn’t just about the money. It’s about valuing and honoring people and treating them with respect. You can’t put a price tag on that. Just remember who you are and that God gave you your talents for a reason. Don’t discount or dismiss them as not being valuable. You are worth much more than you will ever know.
Dori Staehle lives in the Raleigh, NC area and is the Chief Encouragement Officer and Rhythm Maker at Rock the Next Stage. She is a success coach for creatives and a motivational and faith-based speaker. Dori also offers drum healing and drumming events. She still does occasional booking through her other business, Next Stage Entertainment. Dori is also a best-selling author of the book Find Your Divine Rhythm: A Creative’s Success Formula.