If you’re working as a permanent make up artist, chances are you are extremely creative person at heart and although this comes with many advantages such as seeing world slightly differently to everyone else, this can also be a burden because we often struggle to price our services, because how do you put a price on art?
I hear this over and over: "I’m not a business person, I provide services, but find it difficult to price then and furthermore, address pricing questions.” Therefore, we’d like to use this blog to discuss tackling pricing and dealing with clients who question value you provide.
Easiest way to begin understanding your top up service cost and to be able to explain it well to your clients is through breaking down where this cost comes from. It is likely you have already worked out your costs that involve, but are not limited to; overheads, products, tools, bills, licensing costs, continued education expenses, experience, location and target market. All of these lead you to a sum that is your price. From here you can either decide to charge one fee and include both initial service and top up or break it up into two chunks and charge clients per visit. Whichever way you do it, eventually there will be someone challenging your pricing and questioning your reasoning.
Since in our Knightsbridge based clinic we break up the cost of full service into two chunks (initial service and perfecting service), we also allow this to be paid in parts. We find most clients find it easier to afford the service and spread the cost. However, from time to time we are met with questions as to: Why is top-up treatment priced the same as the initial PMU appointment? Shouldn't this treatment be much cheaper, since majority of work is already done?
And in all fairness, it might be confusing to people who are not part of the PMU industry and are just looking to enhance their looks with this life changing service. On the other hand, equally for artists, it might get irritating after a while to answer the same question especially if you are struggling to justify it correctly. Should I drop the top up price? Should I include it in the initial cost and risk clients struggling to afford it?
To justify your top-up service pricing, take a look and respond to the questions below:
- Does your landlord give you a discount for a time you spent on your premises working with clients that come for a touch-up appointment?
- When the client comes for a touch-up appointment, do you still use the same tools you used on them in their initial appointment?
- Do you use less pigment during the touch-up session?
- Do you pay less attention to your clients' brows during the touch-up appointment?
- Are majority of your expenses still present during top-up service?
- How much time does it take? Some clients think it maybe just one stroke here and there, but do you spend the same time numbing? Predrawing? Going cover your work to ensure it is well saturated and therefore more durable?
I think after answering the questions above you will find that your overheads are still the same, you use the same products, tools and disposables, you pay the same amount of attention and provide same amount of expertise, majority of your expenses are still present and it doesn’t actually take much less time than initial session. I think explaining these factors to your clients makes it clear that you know what you are talking about, you know the value of your time and service and you have analysed these in great depth to ensure setting a fair price.
PMU and Microblading treatment is an invasive service, which should be performed with the highest attention to detail to avoid bad permanent work which will stay on your clients face for a very long time, to avoid any chances of infection or possibility of disease. To ensure this artist must assign an adequate amount of time for a touch-up session, they must use fresh single-use tools for the safety of their clients, artists must use the same amount of pigment to ensure good brow coverage. Sometimes touch-up appointment takes even longer if the client decides that they want a slightly different shape, colour or even technique used.
To better deal with this situation with potential clients is to manage their expectations. We find that presenting the PMU Brow service as a two-session service helps to communicate the costs and break down what it involves. It requires two sittings to create perfect brows, until then PMU work is incomplete.
- Full Consultation
- Brow mapping
- Managing client expectations
- Pigment and technical choice
- Initial brow design
- Consultation to assess concerns
- Healed result assessment
- Managing client expectations
- Action plan
- Complete brow coverage
You can either present it with a price for both sessions. Either reduce the price ever so slightly if they pay for both sessions upfront. Either they can pay for each session separately at the full price of each appointment.
Generally, it is not anyone's fault, we can only assess the current climate, and make changes in our practices to be better prepared for these situations and deal with them in a dignified, professional manner.
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