There are several reasons you may have decided to be a wedding photographer – you love taking photos, you’re a social butterfly and love client interaction, or you love the idea of running your own business. Whatever the reason is, the more active you are in each aspect of your business (shooting, marketing, networking), the more likely you are to increase your profit!
Here at ShootDotEdit, we love providing wedding photo editing services to photographers – as well as providing you with tips that can help you grow and succeed in your business! The #1 way for you to create long-term success for your wedding photography business is to accurately price your services and products. Learning how to use pricing as a marketing tool is an essential part of growing your business, as pricing helps you guide your clients to make the right decisions! The more knowledge you have about pricing, the easier it will be to book your ideal clients who will refer you to their friends and family.
In our Pricing for Profit webinar with Bryan Caporicci, we discussed many ways for you to use pricing to accomplish your long-term business goals. Whether you focus on wedding photography packages or a la carte, here are the top 5 pricing tips that will help your business grow this year!
1. Know the Variables
Clients can sometimes be shocked at wedding photography pricing – often times, this is because they do not fully understand everything that they are paying for. To a client, they may think that they are just paying for the time that you are shooting their wedding, and they are not considering any of the time you spend before or after the wedding prepping and working on their images! Ensure that you correctly determine the labor costs that go into each and every session that you book and include that in your pricing.
Each hour that you spend prepping or consulting with a couple should be accounted for.
2. Believe in your pricing
Pricing for your business allows you to create reasonable goals that benefit you in the long-term, as well as assisting you in making your clients happy now. When you understand why you price your services at a certain rate, you will show your clients that you are worth what you are charging.
Remember that clients will pay what they think you’re worth. The more confidence you have in your wedding photography pricing for your products and services, the less likely that your clients will object. Think about it this way – when you call a business and book a service, you are expecting to pay them. Clients understand that they are requesting a service from you that will cost money, so make sure that your pricing is set the way you want it to be to book your ideal clients.
3. Set Realistic Goals
Though is it good to have confidence in your pricing, it is also necessary for you to be realistic about where you are right now in your business. Perhaps you are just starting out, or you are slowly growing your business. These are factors that will help you set goals to reach in the future. Decide where you want to be in your business to determine the steps you need to take to increase your profit.
The Cost of Goods method is a calculated equation that Bryan recommends, which requires you to look at everything that is part of your products or services, break down the labour and the material costs, and then mark up the price by an appropriate amount. Set yourself smaller, realistic goals on your path to your larger goal. For example, start by increasing your price 10% after shooting a few weddings.
4. Be the CEO
As a photography business owner, you are responsible for the day-to-day operations of your business. Essentially, when you are in “worker bee mode,” you are doing the photography, the editing, and the selling. As the CEO of your business, you can make critical decisions regarding the proper pricing of your products and services that will help grow your business. It is important for you to take a step back and look at your business from the point of view of a CEO – only you can make proper pricing decisions.
If you find yourself spending too much time on “worker bee” tasks such as editing, take the time to consider other options, such as outsourcing. Partnering with ShootDotEdit for photo editing services gives you the opportunity to spend time on other important aspects of your business that only you can do that will help you get closer to your end goal. Remember, when you have others help you with your business, this needs to be included in your pricing! Items such as outsourcing are considered a variable, so ensure that you make the proper adjustments when you make changes to your business.
5. Get yourself out of the way
When you are ready to update your pricing, you may feel as if the change is too drastic for your clients to understand – we get it, change is difficult! Adjusting with business trends is common in the wedding photography world, and allows you to sustain your success for the future. The main reason that photographers do not set prices that they should is because they are standing in their own way.
It is easy to make excuses for why you aren’t charging the right prices for your products and services – you may think that your clients will not pay the prices that you set, or you are afraid you may lose your clients. Remember, the goal is not to book every client that comes across your website – you want to book your ideal clients, and they will be willing to pay the prices you set!
“At the end of the day, when you tally up all of these excuses, the common denominator is just you.”- Bryan Caporicci
When you convince yourself that your clients will not want to book you because your prices are too high, you are missing out on opportunities to grow as a photographer and a business owner. Put aside your doubts and change your worries to curiosity. Make a decision to take control of your business by changing your pricing and the way you sell yourself and your services. Focus on wedding photography packages, or learn the steps to set up a la carte pricing.
In order for you to become a successful photography business owner for years to come, it is necessary for you to fully understand how to use pricing to increase your profit. 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!