Pricing. The oh so wonderful topic that every photographer enjoys talking about and feels 100% confident in… No?
As a wedding photographer with a young family, my weekends are sacred to me. I always knew I never wanted to be “high volume,” but of course I wanted to make as much as possible per client to scale my business. Over the years I’ve learned a number of ways you can increase your client accounts while receiving raving reviews and not giving up more weekends! Hint: if your clients are spending more with you, it doesn’t mean they’re unhappy clients. The experience and value you provide just needs to match the price.
How you price your products and services plays a larger role in the sustainability of your business than you may think. Here are five photography pricing pitfalls that may be harming your business, and what you should do to fix them.
So many of you have dreams of being a full-time photographer, but you can’t afford to go full-time until you can’t afford NOT to. That means your part-time income from photography has to exceed what you’re making in your day job, so you have to go full-time or lose substantial revenue.
Truly successful business owners don’t sit and passively wait for money to roll in. They also constantly revisit their goals, their strategies, and their progress. Coming up with a business plan is not a one-time deal; you don’t just set it and forget it. This definitely holds true for photographers. Get in the habit of examining your goals, running your numbers, and measuring your progress. Depending on your results, either fix what’s broken, or set a new, higher goal. Implement. Assess. Analyze. It might sound like a lot of work, but I guarantee the first time you meet your monthly goal, you’ll be hooked.
Our goal this month is to round out your sales system with clever and desirable upsell options to entice your clients to get the most out of their experience with you (and to get you the most profit). A quick note about terms: In the strictest sense, upselling means selling the client a higher-priced product than the one they were considering. The terms cross-selling and add-on sales describe selling the client additional items beyond the one they were considering. It’s become commonplace to use the word upselling for all methods of achieving a higher sale. For the purposes of this article, we use the broader meaning of upselling.
For successful sales, you have to create a system that makes getting to your target sale easy and fun. This month, we focus on the role of your price list in making your target sale the easiest way for the client to buy from you. It is not just a list of every product you offer, but a systematic approach of presenting different items and offers that your clients can’t resist.
For the past three months in The Business Corner, we’ve been building your price list from the ground up. While it would appear that we now have a price list, there is more consideration that goes into price list design than simply listing every product you offer. What we have now is a list of items to sell, which we are now going to curate into a functional price list that sells for you.
For the past two months in The Business Corner, we’ve been building your price list from the ground up by first determining a retail value for each product you sell. Last month, we looked at alternatives to the cost-based pricing model, examining products and situations for which cost-based pricing doesn’t work (November 2018, “Your Dream Studio: Strategies Beyond Cost-Based Pricing”). One product we briefly discussed last month that breaks the cost-based mold is digital files. For this month’s theme of digital strategies, let’s further explore how to price and sell digital files.
People who are willing to work for cheap are taking away jobs from the rest of us, goes the common wisdom. By offering their services for very little, they are hindering professional photographers from booking jobs. But are they really? The short answer is no, cheap photographers aren’t cheapening the field. They aren’t taking your job. Why? Because they don’t know how to do your job.