Ready to offer your studio services such as producing, singing, songwriting, mixing, or recording your instrument? Not sure how much to charge? Let me give you some things to think about to help you make that decision.
First of all, you’re welcome to charge whatever you want! It really comes down to how freakin awesome are you, and how busy do you wanna be?
Websites like soundbetter.com do increase your visibility based on algorithmic factors like, how many 5 star reviews you have, how often are hired, etc. so you can be seen and hired more! I only advocate for lowering your prices to help you build up your algorithmic points faster so your visibility goes up. Once you’re consistently booking gigs, raise your prices. Kinda same with Airgigs and other websites where an algorithm doesn’t matter, but people can see you don’t have many reviews, so they’re not sure if they can trust you to do an amazing job. Then you might want to lower your price until you have a good number of reviews under your belt.
The easiest way to figure out how to price your services is to find out what your competition is charging. If you’re not finding prices listed right on their profiles, screw it, send them a fake message pretending to be a client and ask their prices lol.
I encourage all artists to do our best to not keep knocking prices down just to compete with each other. Prices of services have gone down and down, while the price of gas and eggs keeps going up and up. So implore, once you are rockin and rollin, be confident in charging a premium rate. It actually helps your competitors in the long run, and we all win!
I can give you the juicy deets about how I charge ;) I’m a songwriter for hire. The going rates that I have seen for writing are about $400-700 on average, with some songwriters charging $1200 or more because they have major credits and don’t really have the time to take on many gigs.
Demo singing, without having to write the song, is certainly less. When I was just getting started, I was charging $200, and even $175 per song just to get some reviews going. Over time, many clients become returning clients, and the exposure stays consistently great, so you’re almost forced to raise your prices. I am now charging $350 for a full demo recording for a standard pop song length.
I encourage people to offer variations on their service to give them a bargaining chip. Mine is: leads only vs. including harmonies and adlibs. Some people can’t afford the full rate, so giving them an opportunity to still get a recording but with leads only really helps people out! The market fluctuates as well. When I’m super slow, I might lower my price behind closed doors, but when I’m busy, raise it. I do not list my prices on my page as set in stone rates. Some songs have a key change, or are extended cuts, or are Kpop and need separate parts for all 13 of their band mates! So I hold onto my freedom to change my prices based on the complexity of the project.
Add-ons to consider. You might want to offer an expediting fee for people who need a song song in under 48 hours. I personally charge $75 for this, but on a case by case basis if I actually can make it happen. If I have clients who have been waiting a while, I might not bump their project for $75 (because integrity). Another add-on comes from not offering too many revisions. Decide how many rounds of revisions you allow and let clients know that if more are needed you have to charge more. I usually just charge $50 if it’s nothing too complex. But when people are requiring more complex revisions, I’ve charged as much as $150, or full price to start over. Being clear on your revision policy also helps with efficiency; people will be more precise with their requests the first time if they want to avoid getting charged. Half the time, revisions happen because people are allowed to change their mind.
Bulk discounts could be a thing. Up to you. I did allow this early on, but it doesn’t make sense for me anymore because I have returning clients who have hired me over and over with no bulk discount. Ultimately once you’ve built up your service and clout, you will not need to honor discounts. You should be paid what you deserve to be paid for all the years and money you’ve invested into perfecting your craft.
Stick with me for more helpful articles on making money in music! Want music business help? I have a program to help music entrepreneurs devise an action plan to build their businesses! Hit me up for general consulting as well, and in the meantime, sign up for my email list below for updates, new music, new helpful articles, and free stuff!