All posts in Pricing

The Myth of “My Photography Pricing Has to Be Low…”

The Myth of Your Prices Have to Be Low“Everyone else in my area is priced so low, so I have to be priced low too.”

I see this time and time again, people lamenting about the other photographers in their town who offer $50 portrait sessions with all of the digital files included, and how on EARTH are they ever going to compete with that if they set their photography pricing any higher?!?

Easily.

You are not those photographers. Their business is not your business. You don’t know what else they have going on that allows them to charge such a low rate. They may not be making a profit at all. But you? You get to design the business YOU want to create! (Remember?)

Just because everyone in your area has low rates, doesn’t mean you have to. That is probably just the perception you have after seeing several people with low rates. Those photographers normally either end up building volume studio businesses or not surviving in business long at all. Some of them are hobbyists making a bit on the side with a full time job.

Personally? I don’t want to take any of those routes. I’ve never wanted a volume studio. It makes me exhausted thinking of doing 100 sessions a month. Someone told me at Imaging this year that they do 25 sessions a week and I wanted to cry. Not my thing at all. I also don’t want to have to take up a full time job so that I can afford to keep doing photography. Perfectly valid choice if you want to do it. I’d rather make a profit doing what I love, and only that.

There are likely other people in your area who are charging a lot more. Or the people in your area could be driving to other cities to hire more expensive photographers.

If everyone in your area is charging $50 for a session, you’ve got a great advantage if you charge more, because PRICE is perceived as being of higher value!

Target carries some nice, large purses. I’ve owned several of them over the years. Normally priced at $30 – $40, they do the job. They are large and roomy, tote my things around, and fall apart by the end of the season. I don’t expect much out of them because they were inexpensive. If they last two months? Well, I probably abused the heck out of them and got my money’s worth.

Kate Spade carries lovely, large purses. Leather, durable, handles that are comfortable for me to carry. Easily in the $300 – $400 range, they not only do a job, but they say something about me when I carry them. As a brand, they make a statement. I probably like things that are a little quirky, bright, colorful. I like classic pieces that are timeless and versatile and I can use year after year. Since they are leather, I can easily clean them. As long as I condition them, they will last.

There is room for both of these purses in my closet.

What if Kate Spade told herself, “I can never possibly charge $400 for a purse! I mean, Target sells perfectly good bags for $40?!”

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

You get to set the prices for your brand. You should know exactly what you need to make to turn a profit and to not burn yourself out. To build a business that allows you to be happy in what you are doing. This isn’t just a job, this is your LIFE. Make it what you want it to be.

Because I promise you, there are people in your area who are spending money on luxury items. Look at the large TV on their wall, the numerous game systems that they have bought for their kids (or themselves), the iPhone they have in their pocket, possibly with an iPad or other tablet device in their bag not 3 feet away, the designer clothes they are wearing, the brand of purse on their arm, and the luxury vehicle that they drive.

They will be glad that someone is out there that is more expensive, because they want nice things, and if it cost more, that is yet another differentiator that tells them that YOU are valuable to them.

What you don’t get to do is tell me how you simply can’t charge rates that allow you to be profitable because no one in your area will pay them. I don’t believe you.

* Of course, all of this requires you to take some decent photographs, and to do the leg work to build a brand. It isn’t impossible. It isn’t rocket science even. But it does take a bit of determination. I believe in you. You can do it! I’ll be talking more about resources that can help over the coming weeks — including Fight Club — the July 2013 Fight Club in Denver has ONE SPOT left, and I’ll be there as one of the coaches, helping the Fighters along their journey! Sign up for that last spot!

Preveal Sale & Giveaway!

Preveal App for Photographers

Now that we have talked about how I handle In-Person Sales Sessions, the timing could not be better to share with you that the Preveal app is on sale! Purchase it between now & May 24, 2013 and receive $25 off of the normal price.

Preveal brings the power of showing your clients their images on their walls to your iPad. With easy step-by-step instructions, your clients gather photographs of the places in their home that they would like wall art (or you go to their home and take the photos for them), and you can then show your clients exactly how the photographs will look in their home. You can show them a variety of wall gallery collections as well as showing them how single large outwork pieces will look. Ever had that client that wondered if an 8×10 print would look great over their fireplace? Now you can show them that it is too small, and what size will be more appropriate.

To go along with Preveal, make sure you get a copy of DesignAglow’s free guide for clients to photograph their home for the wall displays. The educational guide “teaches your clients how to take a well composed, properly scaled image of their home’s future wall gallery location.”

Not only is the app on sale, but Preveal is hosting a giveaway as well! You can enter to win a chance at over $1000 in prizes, including a chance to win a mentoring session with me! To enter, visit the Preveal blog and follow the instructions for the contest.

The goodies that are up in the contest that you could win?

Visit the Preveal blog to enter and win! But hurry, before the contest ends on May 24th! And don’t forget to pick up your copy of the Preveal App while it is on sale!

Review: The Easy Client & Money Manager from The Modern Tog

Easy Client & Money Manager

As we are about to spend time talking about workflow and In Person Sales, the timing of the launch of the Easy Client and Money Manager by Jamie Swanson of The Modern Tog couldn’t be more perfect! This easy-to-use Excel workbook organizes your money and your client workflow all in one convenient place!

I’ve talked to many photographers over the years that guess at what their sales averages are, how much profit they are making, or any number of profit related questions. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t start my photography business so I could spend time crunching numbers. That is definitely NOT my specialty!

When Jamie first talked about doing this with Excel, I was not so sure. Excel is not my thing, but Jamie is a spreadsheet guru. She has worked hard to create this system to help you keep track of the financials related to your studio. With the PDF, it is all laid out and easy to follow along and use. I’m converted! I can use Excel like this!

There are many other software solutions out there that do similar things, but this is a simple and effective option, and it is one low cost instead of monthly payments. You will receive the Excel Workbook, the User Guide (a super-detailed PDF) and several how-to videos will get you up to speed in no time! If you forget something, there are reminders throughout the workbook that help keep you on track.

It Isn’t Just About Accounting

This workbook is so much more than just a simple spreadsheet. You’ll be able to:

  • Keep track of each sale and expense in one easy place
  • Get a snapshot of your income & expenses at any time, allowing you to make smart business decisions
  • Make filing Sales & Use Tax reports a breeze, as you’ll have everything you need in one convenient place, right at the click of a button
  • Create invoices & track sales with ease all from within the workbook
  • Never forget important details about a client using the Client database
  • Track your client workflow so that everything gets done on time, giving you satisfied clients that refer you to their friends.
  • Keep track of networking efforts with vendors by adding notes & reminders so that you never forget to follow up
  • Easily track your business mileage and equipment sold throughout the year

There is also a BONUS Reminder worksheet, which will keep you from forgetting important things throughout your year, such as reminding clients when payments are due, avoiding late fees by paying expenses on time, and tracking client birthdays & anniversaries.

Normally $129, right now through April 18, 2013 you can get all this for only $89! Get your copy of the Easy Client and Money Manager today!

Purchase the Bundle with The Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook

The Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook is the perfect companion to the Easy Client & Money Manager as it will help you learn exactly how much you need to be charging to make your desired profit goals. No more guessing at what you should be doing!

Right now you can get both the Photographer’s Pricing Guide Workbook ($99 value) and Easy Client & Money Manager ($129 value) for only $139. That’s a savings of $89! After the launch period is over on April 18, 2013, the bundled price will be $189. So get them both now before the price increases!

Is the Easy Client & Money Manager Right for Me?

Do you dread dealing with the financials of your business? Have no clue where you are at financially? Then this is definitely something you should look in to using. Jamie has a number of reasons that you should consider it listed on the Easy Client and Money Manager page. Best part? It comes with a 14 Day Money-Back Guarantee! See the site for all the details.

Requirements for the Easy Client & Money Manager

This workbook does require Excel. It will not work properly with other software like Open Office. It will appear to work correctly, but the complexity of some of the formulas will be broken.

You also need to be in the United States; this version is optimized for the United States and its tax laws. They hope to release a version for other countries (such as the UK, Australia, and Canada) in the future.

Would I recommend it?

ABSOLUTELY. I wouldn’t be writing about it here if I didn’t. I will still be using ShootQ for my client management system, where I keep my contracts and client details, and ShootQ automates my invoicing. Where this fits in for me is tracking financial information; ShootQ only captures a portion of that for me. With this, I can track so much more and get a better snapshot of where my business is at financially. The Easy Client and Money Manager will be a huge asset to tracking your financials and your clients, and will make up for the cost with the huge profits you will be making in no time!

Disclosure: I was provided with a free review copy of the Easy Client & Money Manager. It is freakin’ AMAZING. This review is my personal opinion, I wasn’t told what to write. The links in this review are affiliate links and using them helps keep me pay for my gluten-free red velvet cupcake habit. YUM.