The Chicken Sticker

Happy 2018!

I know we are a month in already, but I'm just not the kinda person that goes all cray-cray excited at the beginning of the New Year. I like to ease into the year and see what goals feel right, and think about what I really want to focus on. I’m slowlying crystallizing my vision for the year and let me tell you, it will be #highvibe!!

With that in mind, today I thought I would share with you a short and kinda funny story about charging clients for our services. Funny stories raise your vibe instantly!

All of us at some point wonder if we are charging too much or too little. And as we power up into Supermavens, charging more and earning more, we can waiver with pangs of insecurity. There inevitably is a moment of “Crap, this feels a little uncomfortable. Can I really charge that much?” I, too, have those moments.

But then I remember the chicken sticker.

Years ago I worked at a design studio that specialized in food packaging. One of the clients was a mainstream grocery company so many of the projects were food related. I really had no interest in food packaging or design (I’m a vegetarian so I’m grossed out by many food products), but the job paid well and my co-workers were great. It was a paycheck and I tried to make the best of it. Le sigh.

One day a small project got handed to me one day by the Account Manager and she just rolled her eyes as she briefed me. I was to design a $1 off sticker to go on Family Packs of raw chicken meat. You know the stickers I’m talking about? They are usually red and yellow and super ugly and loud so they get your attention. We call them violator stickers in the industry because they are designed to ‘violate’ the package so you can’t miss it.

Anyway, I thought this would take me about three hours - max. It was going to be small and simple, and the grocery chain already had a look and feel for their pricing stickers so I wasn’t re-inventing the wheel here.

Well, the whole project - I will spare you the total yawn-inducing details - took about 20 hours. 20 HOURS. After a billion ridiculous client changes and back and forth emails it was a total of 20 hours of billable time.

This particular agency charged the client $180/hr for the services of me and those on the team (referred to as a ‘blended rate’).

20 x $180 = $3600.

So someone somewhere approved a bill of $3600 for a frickin’ $1 off chicken sticker. I kid you not.

And while yes, this bill was going to a large corporation, there still had to be someone that looked at the invoice and said “Yup, $3600 for a chicken sticker, that sounds about right”... W. T. F. I really want to know what the ROI on this damn sticker was, btw.

So if you ever wonder “Can I really charge that?”, remember the chicken sticker. Someone was willing to pay a company $3200 for a stupid sticker.

Just how did the company get away with this? They had built a very strong relationship with the client. They were gifted sales people. They hustled. They probably lied too, so don’t do that! My point is, you can never say “Oh, no one will pay that for such and such” because it is not true. You just have to find the ones who value what you have to offer. They are out there, I promise.

To your brave succes,

Alana