All posts tagged 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!

What Business Do YOU Want to Create?

What Business do You Want to Create?

I’m about to start a series on my workflow process, which will dive in to how I proof my images, how I do in person sales, and more. Before I start this series, I want to talk about one very important, crucial thing in your business: YOU.

Your business is like a blank page in a notebook. Full of possibilities and dreams, with maybe some anxiety thrown in for good measure. What kind of business do YOU want to create? What does YOUR dream look like?

I see it all the times in forums: we are so flooded with information on how everyone else does things, that we start to doubt ourselves. To question ourselves. Doing things that don’t feel right or genuine or true to who we are, all because we were told that was how we had to do it.

Pricing. Products that you carry for your clients. How to take photographs. How to pose. How to edit. You have been a consumer all your life. You have instincts that are strong, believe in yourself. Trust that you know what to do that is right for you.

“You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” – John Mason

This is my disclaimer post. Just because I do it a certain way doesn’t mean it is the ONLY way to do it. It is just how I do it. I’m not always right, and I’m always willing to learn new things. (Matter of fact, I know I’m wrong sometimes – see my previous post on how long I fought doing in person sales sessions!)

These are the things that work for me. They may work for you too. If you’re unsure of what to do, feel free to try them. If they don’t feel right for you, or they don’t work in your business, do not do them.

Your business is just that — YOURS. I’m sharing ideas here of what work well for me. I’d love to hear your ideas as well. I plan to feature other photographers in the coming months who will share how and why they do things as well. Some of them do things quite differently than I do them, and that is ok.

There are some crucial thing you must do in your business. Stay true to yourself. Be happy. Make a profit. Serve your clients well.

Trying to run a business that is a copy of someone else’s will only wear you down and cause you stress. It is like wearing cute shoes that don’t fit right and give you bad blisters and cramps in your toes. Really soon, you are not going to want to wear them any more. Running a business that way will have the same impact on you, it will soon make you hate it.

If something I suggest helps you out, fantastic! Consider this post my permission to use all that I’ve learned and to not use anything that doesn’t fit you properly. If you have learned something along the way, please share it with me as well!

Photo Credit: this lyre lark, cc license.