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How to price your work?

How do I price my work?”, “Am I charging too little?”, “Are my prices so expensive that I may not get clients at this rate?’ “ I provided a quote to a potential client, but she ghosted me”

Do you resonate with these thoughts and questions? I get you, my friend.

The first time I had to price my work was when a friend wanted me to make Diwali cards and said he wouldn’t get them unless I charged him for them.

And I was clueless, I was doing calligraphy alongside my full-time job and had no idea as to how I was supposed to put a price on my art.

Fast forward to almost four years of TBLC and working with numerous clients, I have finally found my PRICING FORMULA. And I’m sharing it with you because I wish I had these resources when I was starting out.


Now there are widely three ways in which you can price your work - Hourly Rate, Per Piece Rate, and sometimes, you can also go with an entire project fee.

From my experience in India, hourly charges don’t work too well.

So, for commission work that is purely based on my time and skill (calligraphy services like addressing envelopes, nametags, place cards, etc), what I do is set up an hourly rate for myself in my mind, then see the number of pieces I can do in an hour, and then I divide the former with the latter.

For example, if I’m preparing a quotation for addressing envelopes and my hourly rate is 2000/- INR and I can do 20 envelopes in an hour, my per piece rate would be Rs. 100

For certain types of orders like On-Site Calligraphy or murals, you can always go with a complete project fee. Remember to account for every little cost you may incur for the job!

Another thing to remember is that the price of your service is a combination of your

Expenses + Expertise + Time Consumed.

You want to consider your expenses in terms of tools, supplies, and vendor costs that you’ll be incurring, the time you require to complete the commission, and your expertise in that area (Of course someone with years of experience will charge way higher than a beginner)


Apart from what you charge for your services, there are a few additional fees that you should keep in mind. I've found them to be very helpful, and most definitely add efficiency and professionalism to your work.

  1. Rush Fee: A fee that is charged when the client wants the order done urgently.

  2. Cancellation Fee: A certain percentage of the total amount that will be charged if the order is canceled after confirmation.

  3. Minimum Fee: An amount of money that would be the minimum the client needs to pay to go ahead with the order.

  4. Advance Payment: Always charge 50% in advance before going ahead with an order.

Before going ahead with the project, these terms, and conditions should be clearly communicated with the client.

As small business owners in a niche field like calligraphy, it's essential to connect with members of the community and be transparent about your pricing to ensure fair rates in the industry.

We would love to know more about your stories and experiences in pricing work and if this blog helped you get some clarity, tell us in the comments below! :D


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