Did I even put this in the right category? I don't even know.</i>
This week I've been seeing just one person after another with prices that are waaay to low for what you get from them, sooo, this is a bit of a rant/guide-like thing... A few people have been asking me how to get more commissions and stuff so here you go.
This is addressed mainly at Point commissioners, but most of it applies to money commissions, too.
Pricing you work
What is wrong with having your prices low- firstly, in the event that you gain a lot of watchers you will be flooded with work eventually. It will happen even if you have decent prices, just more slowly. And also, you won't be gaining much of anything for the time and effort you put into your work, which can make you loose motivation after awhile.
Minimum wage- Okay, so I search up what minimum wage in my area is- 7.25 USD per hour. HOLY FUDGE. So convert that into Points and you'd be making 725 Points per hour if you charged that much. I'm not saying to charge by the hour, or as much as minimum wage, but it's something to consider.
Why bother charging a lot if you don't have a PayPal or bank account- I know it's not much fun when you can't spend your money in real life, but how about saving your Points on your earnings page? You can convert them into real cash when you do get your PayPal account! But be warned, 1OO Points now is equal to 1USD! dA takes 2O% of premium content and commission widget earnings for themselves, so to avoid loss, you're gonna have to bump your prices up 2O%.
Premium Content & the Commissions Widget- I vastly recommend using this method of being payed over just sending Points. Using a premium content download or commission widget, your Points will be sent to your earnings page, and will, after 14 days, be available to withdraw as either Points or real money. You can't do that with just sending Points.
So let's think about this:
- how many hours/minutes does it take you to complete your work?
- how much do you want/need to make from commissions?
- what is a fair price to not only you, but to the buyers?
- and furthermore, how much time and effort can you put into this without getting burnt out?
- what is your skill level?
- how many watchers do you have?
I am continually stunned by people asking 1 Point for something, and then fussing and being rude when something is sold for 1OO+ Points.
So stop undercharging yourself! You deserve to gain even a little bit for your work!
Not getting any commissions whatsoever? Well, if you have less then 1OO watchers, I doubt your work has gotten a lot of attention.
Join groups and get your art featured- Just make sure to unwatch them or your inbox will become a hellhole. Join at least 2O art groups and that many commission groups with at least 1OO watchers/members. You can start searching here: groups.deviantart.com/?qh=watc…
When you add your work to a group, all the watchers will get it in their inbox, giving you more pageviews, faves, and watches. :>
When you get your commission info up, submit that to as many commission/featuring groups as possible!
If you have some time to kill, you can also use GetWatchers's art viewer to get more attention.
Make fanart, do kiribans, enter contests, get yourself out there in the community- I don't recommend the fanart so very much, read this if you want to know why. Contests are good, especially if you win, you will not only get a prize, but your name will likely be out there. Commenting on people's art is a good habit to get into, but do try to avoid 'empty' or 'one worded' comments, as those aren't looked kindly upon in most cases, being sometimes considered 'spam'.
Advertising- Aside from joining groups and the above mentioned things, you might also try paying/asking for a feature. Do not beg. Do not comment or note people incessantly about your commissions, asking for points or features or ANYTHING. This is SPAM, even if your intentions are good, nobody wants random comments begging for things on their profile.
Art improvement- if all else fails, go look at some tutorials, ask for critiques, redlines, etc. If your art is better quality, you can have higher prices and you'll gain watchers faster.
NOTE: I don't recommend asking for critiques on your finished commissions, this may point out unnoticed flaws to the commissioner, and might mean more editing work for you. No, I'm not saying be lazy on your commissions, just don't ask for people to point out what's wrong with something you got payed for.
The actual taking of commissions
Yes, this does need a section. If you aren't properly organized this won't be fun.
Commission Info- you'll want a journal or deviation with your prices and examples in it. It's good to list all of the important things, such as:
- what you can or can't do
- how much time you take,
- what order you do things in
- what the price for extra characters, complex bgs, accessories, etc is
- as many examples as is tastefully possible
How to order- I generally like comments and not notes, but it's up to you. It's good to have everything [order-wise] in one place so you can check it whenever you need to. I recommend having a form all your commissioners fill out, here's the one I use as an example:
Type: (the type of thing you're ordering)
Payment method: (please check to see what is available)
Character ref: (any clear image that displays markings and such clearly is fine)
Details: (Important part! This should be filled with stuff you don't want me to miss!)
Schedules & the dreaded to-do list- I currently am using a sta.sh document for my to-do list, you can see it here. It's good to list how far along you are with something, maybe even what day you're going to be doing it. This way your commissioners will know what's currently going on and when their art will be done. Schedules are useful for you too, since you will know what you are doing on what day. It can be a bit stressful for me, and I end up procrastinating over things when I just have a huge list that has no order to it.
That's it for now, if you have questions feel free to ask them. Also, I could have no idea what I'm talking about so don't think I'm gonna be correct about everything in here. I'm probably not. Might add more later if I can think of anything...
edit1: fixed a typo and added something to the improvement area