When it comes to running a business, one of the most important things to keep it up and running is having consistent income. If you are basing your numbers off of what you think your clients want to see or around your competitors, you are setting yourself up for failure. There are so many different things that go into creating your prices so if this is something you struggle with, keep reading!
Think about who your target audience is. Are they looking for a more upscale experience or are they looking for a budget friendly session? Knowing the answer to these questions will help you understand your client a bit more and know what their best fit would be.
Don’t just make up the prices because it sounds good! You want to sit down and really think about how much it going to cost you and how much time it will take. When you are creating your offerings, go back and think about if it is budget friendly or an upscale experience. What can you do to really make that experience special?
Think about how much you need to make each month. How many clients do you want to take on each month? All of these factors will help you decide how much you need to be charging. If you are charging more for your services, you want to make sure you are offering more quality too. Whether that is through your work or the experience you provide. Be sure that you can show the client the value behind choosing you as your photographer.
Follow this simple guide to getting your pricing just right:
For Sessions & Products
Think about the time it takes to plan the shoot, communicating with clients on average, traveling to and from the shoot location, setting up, shooting, breaking down, editing the images, designing albums, printing costs, marketing etc. You need to be paid for all of that!
Keep in mind the gear and materials you need to do your shoot and edit your images with as well. Now add up all your own expenses per month - business and personal. These can be rent, groceries, night out, supplies. Whatever number you reach is the minimum number of what you need to make per month. Now you can figure out what your hourly rate needs to be. This will of course depend on how many shoots you have time for per month. Here is a simple guide:
Cost of running your photography business + Cost of goods + Cost of your time and labor + Profit + Taxes
Telling Your Clients
Be confident when it comes to talking about your prices. I know this can be a tricky thing to do but you are a talented photographer and your prices are there for a reason. You didn’t just pull these numbers out of thin air (at least I hope not!).
Think about if you want to put your pricing on your website. Sometimes it can be beneficial putting your prices out there, as it will narrow down the amount of people that contact you but never book. But, it can be hard for people to justify the pricing online without chatting with you first. They may not realize the value behind your service and just move on to the next photographer. In the beginning do what feels right for you, but know that chatting with clients in some way will always lead to more bookings!
Don't get products that you simply like the look of - get things that are popular, fit your brand (high end/ budget friendly/ fun and colorful etc.), sell well, and can be easily up-charged.
Create packages that group together your most popular products. If you know that your clients love albums and wall art, put together a package that includes both of those! If you offer them a small discount, they are more likely to buy that more expensive package then just purchasing one single item.
last minute notes....
Do raise prices if your customers say you're a bargain.
Don't raise all your prices at once.
Don't raise prices across the board. Do be discreet.
Remember, your prices and services can change as you get more experience. Pricing is one of the hardest parts of running your own business but it’s also what keeps your business running. Take some time to really figure out what the correct prices are for you and don't be afraid to charge what you are worth (even if you are just starting out!). And remember, you can always change your products and pricing as your business grows. Nothing is set in stone!