Are you charging for your ideas or for delivering a product or service? The difference is subtle but can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Sean Low, President of The Business of Being Creative, spoke to us about the importance of selling your ideas — not your services–and getting paid for those ideas. While the costs of goods and services may rise and fall, your creativity and talent will hold value and increase over time as your experience and creativity grow! The challenge here, is how to make an intangible idea tangible to your brides (and get paid for it!)
Low kicked off the webinar with a profound statement. Most wedding pros focus on selling products or services that they package with all sorts of features. Low takes a very different view. According to Low,
You sell trust in order to earn the right to deliver and get paid for your artistry.
Selling trust starts with how you present your ideas. For example, a florist might mock up a centerpiece and present it to the client in her studio on a table dressed with all the linens, glassware and candles that go with the design. But the client still may not be able to envision how the room will look at the venue, under the lighting design, with high and low versions of the centerpiece, etc. Rendering the space in 3-D can help the client envision and value the concept in the proposal stage. You can use software such as AutoCAD or Google Sketchup to do this.
Now, how do you get paid for your ideas?
Low gave the following example. Suppose you plan to charge $30,000 for your services in two payments: a $10,000 deposit and a $20,000 final payment. Another way to structure that would be to ask for a $5,000 deposit, $20,000 after the client approves the idea, and the final payment of $5,000, which covers the cost of the materials and completes the transaction. If the client rejects the idea, you can both walk away, but if the client approves the idea, they can have you produce the concept or take it to someone else, but they cannot legally use the idea unless they pay you the $20,000.
Low advises talking to your attorney if you’re interested in structuring your contracts this way. It can be a very effective way of ensuring that clients don’t take your ideas without paying you for them. Low also advises not giving away too many of your ideas before you have a deposit and a relationship established. Spend time developing a concept for each client after you have a deposit on file.
Want to hear more? Watch the full replay here!