Pricing for your business can often be a challenging part of your role as the owner. When deciding on what type of pricing to use, there are two choices. You can create tiered wedding photography packages which feature your products and services. The second option is to create A La Carte pricing, which allows your clients to choose the products and services they desire for their wedding day. A La Carte can be a challenging pricing model to master but can help you increase your overall profit through add-ons from clients. So you can take a look at your current pricing and decide whether you want to make a change, here are 4 tips to selling your products and services A La Carte.
1. Create a Reasonable Starting Price
Similar to a pricing model based on Packages, the starting price of your basic collection for A La Carte is vitally important. If you charge too much for your coverage, you risk pushing a lot of potential bookings away. With an A La Carte model, you rely on post-booking sales. Pushing away clients who would have spent money, but did not book because of your starting price, is destructive. If you charge too little for your coverage, you open up the opportunity to not make enough money. Oftentimes, clients who are attracted to a lower coverage price do not upgrade as often, leaving you with less in post-booking sales.
2. Offer Uniquely Attractive Options
Each product or service you offer has to be able to stand on its own. With Packages, you can group products and services together, making them more attractive because there are several benefits to buying the combination. With A La Carte, you are not able to do this, and thus each item must be bookable on its own merits and price. You will know pretty quickly how appropriately each item is priced, as it will either be booked a lot or only a little. Set goals for each item, and then you can know which way you need to adjust, if at all.
3. Make Easy and Flexible Processes
Try to avoid making it difficult for a client to add a product or service to their base coverage. The benefit of ordering from an A La Carte menu is your clients can have exactly what they want, without having to receive items they are not interested in. However, there is a risk in this strategy, as the options might cripple the client. Make it easy for them to clearly understand what makes each product or service unique and distinctive, and even easier for them to add it to their base coverage.
4. Build Touch-Points
When a package is booked, every single step is outlined: What shoots you have to perform (engagement session, wedding, etc), and what products you have to fulfill (engagement print, wedding album, etc). However, with A La Carte, often the only thing which is booked upfront is basic coverage.
For you to make the type of income you need, and to provide your client with the products and services they want, you will need to offer them more items at a later date. This requires more touchpoints with the client. Do not expect them to just come back and purchase from you on their own accord. Yes, if they happen to, that is wonderful. But, you will need to schedule built-in touch-points throughout the lifecycle of your client. You can schedule one before the event and one right after so you can maximize your opportunity.
Tip: After you receive your images back from a post-wedding photography company, set up another touchpoint with your clients. This way, you can deliver their images and continue to encourage add-ons for them.
How do you know if you should use A La Carte pricing in your business? Here are a few things to consider:
- You are full-time: A La Carte requires you to stay in touch with your clients throughout the entire client lifecycle, from booking to pre-event to post-event. If you do not have time to keep in touch with your clients, then you risk losing out on valuable sales. Full-time photographers at least have a little more time (in theory) to invest in this sort of client interaction.
- You have non-referral-based clients: Clients who come from non-referral sources do not come in with as much trust in you as a client coming from a referral source. Because of this, having an A La Carte system allows them to book a minimal amount upfront, and not have to commit to anymore until they gain further trust in you. This will make them feel more comfortable, and could likely increase your booking percentage with this type of client.
When you choose a pricing model that is perfect for your business, you can begin to focus on spending more time meeting and booking ideal clients. Learn more about how to set up photography pricing for your business with our free Guide, The Keys to Pricing for the Wedding Photographer. We feature tips from wedding photographer, Vanessa Joy, plus how to know which pricing model is the best for you. Download it today!