About Raising your prices…..Do it.
I know we are in a recession and by no means am I suggesting a blanket addition of 10% to all of your current pricing, but general laws of sales…if you want more money, raise your prices. Raising your prices is optional and it makes you a better company….if done correctly. It’s all based on knowing the right time.
Are you too Busy for your own good?
If so then you are likely too busy for your clients good and your business’ good, too. Being overworked is detrimental especially in a creative industry like photography. If you are constantly running around like a nut trying to fulfill all of your clients’ needs then there is a chance that those clients aren’t truly getting the best of what you can do. If you have more business than you can handle, the best and easiest way to work that number down to manageable group, all the while maintaing the same income, is to raise your prices. You will lose some, yes-it’s by design, but the ones who stay will be more profitable and treated better.
Your Competition is More Expensive…
This sentence is typically finished with ‘therefore perceived to be better.’ I can’t say for everyone how good your work is or has been. I can only say that if you have a strong client base with a significant retention or return rate then you likely have a desirable product. Desirable products maintain and grow in price. I take my family to Disneyworld every January. I first of all don’t know the price increase year to year, but I have my assumptions that it’s roughly 5-10% each January. I however continue to go because their product is at such a premium to my family. Sure I could take them to local amusement parks, or Universal Studio, but I have a relationship with Disney and a subliminal commitment to them. I know the cost of business goes up, so I accept their rate raise.
You’re truly worth it
I have been a professional photographer for years. I don’t shoot weddings, but I do go to weddings every Saturday.
I’ve been a wedding Dj for 10 years. When I first made the jump into the industry a great friend was in charge of booking my gigs. His company had the established name, I helped it to grow, but as time went on I realized the market could only afford to pay one of us for my DJ services so I set out to create my own DJ booking company. Sure I had experience, but I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s booking ability by advertising as ‘previously of So n So Entertainment’, so I entered the market basically as a new act.
The Wedding DJ market is similar to the Wedding Photography market because the cost to ‘get into the game’ is not that high so the competition is everywhere. Honestly, it would have greatly helped to have associated myself with a very well known agency, but I wanted to do it all on my own. I had to set a price for my Entertainment service. The logical choice would have been to enter the market at a price that most ‘newbies’ come in and gradually grow to what I actually wanted. I decided rather to present my service as the same price my friend was getting for me with his established name.
My first contact with a bride was the big test. She sent an email and asked my pricing. I stated the price boldly and with confidence, because I know what I can do and that I am worth it. I booked her in 5 minutes. I have a since created a wonderful part-time company for myself. I attribute my instant success in the DJ market to my confidence in the product I sell. (To this day I have never mentioned my association with the other company as a means to getting the sale.)
Lesson learned, believe in your work and they too will believe in it as well. If a client asks me if my photography is truly worth what we charge, I can honestly look at him/her and say Yes with confidence because I believe in the product. We are worth what we charge.
Your Game Is Flawless
There are tons of new photographers creating their companies and blogs each day. Many have a very nice reputation for creating wonderful pictures and they are renowned for their shooting styles. Yet, they quickly become infamous for their band end nightmares. Orders taking 4-6 months or longer, a tedious sales process and horrific final results. The highest paid professionals in any field will tell you that what they are most known for is only a percentage of what they are paid for. The value is in the entire product and not just the flashy tip of that iceberg. Educate, Enlighten, and Enthuse your clients and they will praise you from the rooftops. Be the photographer will the reputation for a flawless and pleasant experience and your price can be whatever you want it to be.
Kevin Redford is a speaker on the subjects of Photography, Generation Y, Social Media, Sales, and Marketing.Educational DVDs on the subjects of Senior Portrait Marketing, Senior Portrait Sales, and Social Media for Senior Photography are available by contacting Kevin at me@KevinRedford.com. Please add comment or Subscribe today!