Do You Know How Much Is Your Sewing Skill Worth?
Do those long hours in front of the machine pay off in a financial sense? Are you satisfied with monetary compensation for your hard work and sewing skill? If the answer is no, how to change that? How to determine how much to charge?
These are just a few of the many questions about sewing for money that skillful sewers are wondering about. Putting a price on your hard work isn’t such an easy job, especially in something so delicate like sewing. Sure, pants will be pants you turn it, but every sewing project is different than another and unique in its own way. Then how to put a fixed price tag on it? By valuing your work, skill, time, sweat, and tears you have put into it while still following the market values.
It sounds very hard, but here are some suggestions that can help you determine how much to charge when sewing for money, and how to get fairly compensated for your work.
Find Out How Much The Competition Is Charging
The days when sewers were fighting for customers are over. Since it’s not the easiest job that requires constant learning, practice, and very hard work, the skillful sewers are a rare commodity these days. But they do exist, and they present your competition.
To conquer it, you first have to weigh your skill and service vs. the competition. This way, you can make an objective prize that customers will accept and feel like they are fair.
Overcharging is a path towards alienating the customers who could be coming back. Charging much lower than the competition can raise suspicion about your abilities and even attract the wrong kind of customers – the ones who will be barging for every dime and always have objections and endless modifications.
When in doubt, mirror the competition and see how it will turn out. This is a great strategy for starting and after a while, you will feel comfortable enough to tailor your prices specifically to your product.
Image credit: @Pixabay
Who Is Your Ideal Customer?
Try to answer the following questions:
- Which type of clients you will like to attract?
- Who would be your ideal customer?
- Why is your customer looking for hand-sewn clothes in the first place?
First of all, get rid of the illusion that ideal customers exist. But picturing such a customer gives you a direction that your business should follow. Are you in it to help people just to modify their clothes or to make them something unique? Maybe you wish only to create prom dresses and become the best sewer in the city in this particular area.
Depending on what you want to do with your sewing skills will result in the interest of the customers for your work. Learn who you want to sell to and then determine how. Tap into the reasons why your clients are looking for hand-sewn articles and master skills necessary to be able to deliver it to them.
If you’re still struggling to determine who your ideal customers are, take a look at this video:
When you decide to turn your sewing skills into profit, you should keep in mind that you will be working closely with people. People with problems, desires, unfulfilled dreams, and everyday issues they are waiting to get out themselves. Like dressers, professional sewers are the ones who customers love to talk with and open up.
But for sewers is a bit different because sewing clothes entails fittings where clients are exposing their bodies. Most people focus on the bad parts of their bodies while largely ignoring the best parts, and they will probably talk about them in volume. Here’s where you should become a part psychologist and highlight their good features as you help them to cover or disguise those aspects that make them insecure.
This brings us to the following point – avoid talking about bad health, poor luck, debt, and bad news in general. Even if the customer starts it, subtly change the subject to something brighter. Radiating negativity or being the energy vampire is a bulletproof way to put your client into a non-buying mood.
Always remember that clients are coming to you because of your sewing skills, and being a Debby Downer will set them straight out the door. A smile and positive attitude are worth more than a thousand words, so always greet you clients with it.
Image credit: @Pixabay
Learn When And How To Say NO
It is bound you will end up with difficult customers and failures sooner or later. Some people are just impossible to please and you have to draw a line somewhere. Still, that’s the reels catch. How much anguish should you endure before dropping a client and putting an end to its project?
According to the experiences of professional sewers, difficult clients usually fit in a similar pattern.
Here are some clues on how to recognize them:
- Bring magazine cutouts of outfits, demanding an exact replica
- Want you to sew impossible shapes
- Wrong shapes for their bodies despite your advice, and then complaining it doesn’t fit them properly
- Insisting on having a garment made in a smaller size than they could realistically fit
These are the characteristic of the personalities convinced that they know everything best, even if they have never sewed in a fallen button. They won’t take any guidance, advice or suggestions. The project is set to fail from the beginning so you have to learn to say no to a customer. Otherwise, you will end up with a client from heel which will cost you sleepless nights, time and nerves.
Image credit: @Pixabay
How To Find More Customers
Do your best and let your reputation preceded you. In this industry, word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing. Your sewing skills, quality, and service will speak for itself. Putting photos of your finished projects on social media networks will grant you more exposure and get more people interested in your work. Just be patient because a good reputation isn’t built overnight.
When new clients come, put out the red carpet for them. Make sure you understand exactly what they want so you can do your best in delivering it.
Now when you know how much to charge for your sewing skills, how to treat your customers, attract new ones and say no to the bad ones, don’t be afraid to start your own sewing business since there’s always a demand for great sewers. Begin small, apply these suggestions and you’ll be surprised how exciting the experience can be.