As a workshop host, pricing your services can be a tough task! Many budding entrepreneurs and artists ask themselves how much to charge for an art workshop? In this article, we’ll share some hints and tips on where to start, what to include and how to fairly price your services.
How do you price your time?
Your qualifications, experience, and reputation in the field should definitely play a role in how much you charge. If you’re an established expert in your particular technique, customers will be happy to pay more for your workshops. For those just starting out, think about charging a little less initially to get some experience under your belt. This will allow you to fine-tune your approach to workshops and charge more in the future!
Remember that this shouldn’t just include your time of running the workshop itself. You’ll also need to factor in:
- Administration time
- Creating the workshop content and agenda
- Building downloadable resources and copy
- Promotion (such as networking, blogging, and social media)
- Travelling and travel cost
So, if you’re happy with $25 as your hourly rate as the instructor, calculate the average time that each workshop takes to create and run and make sure that this time is covered in your pricing for each student. ZipRecruiter data shows that the average hourly pay for Art Facilitators in the USA is $24.44, but can be anywhere from $18 an hour to $57 an hour for top earners. Take your availability into account here as well and remember not to overwork yourself!
What goes into a price?
When calculating the price for your first workshop, lots of artists use the following equation:
Price = Value + Time
So it’s not just about your physical costs of delivering your hour-long or day-long workshop, but also about the value added to your clients.
Learning a new technique, skill, or being tutored through creating a piece of art is valuable to many, so don’t be afraid to charge based on value delivered.
Covering your costs
Write a list of your costs for each session (it’s fine to put an estimate or an average here), and the frequency of payment for each to determine your total cost. Don’t forget that you also need time to set up and clean up which can easily add another half hour.
|Your time||Every session|
|Your materials||Every session|
|Materials per student||Every session|
|Event hosting software||Monthly|
|Rent or studio fee (if in-person)||Variable|
Don’t forget to factor in some profit! You’ll need to use either an average attendance level or your maximum attendance volume to consider whether or not your workshop will be profitable to run, with all costs considered. If the numbers aren’t working out, consider adding more attendees, pricing up your time, or investing in solutions that are cheaper and take administrative time away.
For example, class registration software can be used to take bookings, add reminders, automate your emails and manage payments and refunds. Instead of chasing invoices and bank transfers, you also make the process easier for your clients. They can pay by credit card, Visa, or Mastercard. Doing this automatically with software takes out a significant amount of admin time and helps you invest more time in promoting your workshop.
Remember also that, if you’re providing the supplies, it’s best to include them in the cost at retail price, but to source them at wholesale prices. This gives you some wiggle room in profit and also adds further value to your workshop.
Don’t sell yourself short
Undercharging for or undervaluing your product often means you end up selling yourself short. Remember that you have the skills, experience, and expertise to run your art workshop or tuition, so with everything above in mind, charge what you’re worth!
Here are some other reasons why selling yourself short is not doing you any good.
Lower prices attract lower quality customers
By being one of or the cheapest option, you regularly attract lower-quality customers. These customers are unlikely to value your time and are more likely to be no-shows. By charging a fair amount, your customers are likely to be more engaged with both the workshop itself and you as a person. On top of this, research has shown that many customers can actually be put off by low prices, thinking that low price = poor quality. So don’t shy away from charging what you’re worth. You can still sell out your workshop at a higher price and you will probably enjoy a better experience, too.
Competing on price is a race to the bottom
While art lessons and workshops are a competitive area — particularly online — charging solely based on what your competition charges (or a little less than this) is a slippery slope. By making your USP (unique selling point) price, you will end up entering a race to the bottom, which can often lead to losses in the quality of or your ability to host your workshop.
It takes just the same amount of effort to sell a high priced class
Remember that whether you charge $100 or $300 for the same workshop, it’s going to take you the same amount of effort to deliver the class. So don’t undervalue your time. As an art tutor, it’s important to charge what you’re worth!
Do not price your course based on its length
The length of your workshop shouldn’t necessarily dictate the price you charge — unless, of course, it’s over several sessions rather than a one-off. But, whether it’s one hour, two hours, or a three-hour session, don’t think of it as an hourly charge or that no one would pay a certain amount if it’s “only” one or two hours. Ultimately, your expertise, costs, and bills incurred should help you calculate a fair price for your efforts.
How to increase the value of your workshop
If you’re struggling to add value to your workshop to make it stand out, here are some pro tips on increasing its value.
Teach a specific type of class
Instead of going with a broad “art workshop” theme, consider teaching one specific thing. Whether that’s a certain technique or style of painting (more on that next), the works and history of Van Gogh, or a paint ‘n’ sip, try and stick to one central theme.
Teach art techniques
Sometimes customers can come away feeling a bit deflated or frustrated after a workshop if they haven’t got what they were expecting. While, of course, art workshops can range from covering art history to brushstrokes and painting methods, to cultivating ideas, it’s important to make the content of your workshop clear from the outset.
For example, if a customer is expecting to learn specifically about painting watercolors in your workshop, but they come away having learned solely about the different types of watercolor brushes with no opportunity to create art, they may leave feeling dissatisfied.
Create a private group for your course students
As your workshop is on a singular theme, it’s likely that your attendees will all have similar interests. Think about creating a private group for them to network and engage with each other both before and after the sessions. This can be done really easily via Facebook Groups or you can use another type of software that’s linked to your website.
Offer one-on-one or group coaching
If you have the time in your schedule, offer a range of flexible options for workshops. Some clients may prefer to have all your attention on a one-on-one basis, while others may prefer a group setting. Group coaching options also mean that groups of friends, family, or colleagues can join together which can be really fun!
Include downloadable resources
Downloadable resources and takeaways are a nice added touch to a workshop. Perhaps after it’s been completed, you could follow up with your customers and share resources that summarize the learnings of the session. Or, share further research that’s similar to what you’ve learned. These can easily be created in Word or Google Docs, saved as PDFs, and shared. Of course, they can also be used multiple times for each of your workshop groups.
Offer a payment plan
While it’s important to protect yourself with this option, payment plans can become a more affordable choice for many. Whether customers can pay an initial deposit at the time of registration, or in installments before or after the workshop itself, just make sure you have everything in place for easy payment, including cancellation policies.
Offer a completion certificate
Everyone likes to come away from learning something new with validation of their experience. So, consider creating a certificate for your learners once they’ve completed the workshop(s). Not only does this further legitimize your sessions, but adds a lot of value for your clients at a minimal cost to you. Tip: use something like Canva to create beautiful designs easily!
Hopefully, this article has given you a great place to start when running your workshop and has answered your question on how much to charge for an art workshop. The main thing is to remember to include all costs and the true value of your time — admin and all!
Last of all, don’t forget to have fun! Running a workshop and sharing your hobbies, interests, and expertise in your favorite topic should be a really fun experience. But also, make sure to charge a fair price to make it worth your while.