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I think pricing yourself is one of the most difficult things about being a musician. Hopefully, this video can help. It describes the process of pricing based on the value you offer rather than the time spent creating. There are obviously many things to consider when setting your price. You need to think of how much your time is worth, how much money you need to actually live and keep a roof over your head, what the client’s budget is and how much value you’re bringing them. Putting all this together is no easy task and talking about money can seem quite taboo sometimes.
As an example, your per minute rate could be something like £100 per minute of finished music. This way, the client knows exactly how much they’ll be paying by the end of the project. If they want 30 minutes of mixed and mastered music, that’ll be £3,000. You also have to watch out for what kind of licence you might be handing over with your music. In an ideal world, you want to keep the rights to the music so that you can earn royalties off the tracks later on.
The other end of the spectrum is to charge based on the value you’re bringing the client. This can vary wildly depending on who is hiring you. If a 1-person indie developer wants to hire you for their first game, you’re not going to charge them as much as when a huge corporate company might want to hire you to write music for their next Facebook ad. Your music, in terms of potential revenue for the corporate client, could be huge, so you should be charging as such.
There’s the story of Picasso, sitting in a café in Paris when an admirer approached and asked if he would do a quick sketch on a paper napkin. Picasso said yes, quickly drew the sketch and handed the napkin back but not before asking for a rather significant amount of money. The admirer was shocked: “How can you ask for so much? It took you a minute to draw this!” “No”, Picasso replied, “It took me 40 years”