September 19, 2017
The question every photographer kinda sorta dreads… “how much do you charge?”
At times, it feels overwhelming to consistently find clients who are willing to pay your prices.
After running a photography business for 6 years, specializing in birth photography, here are 5 ways I’ve found mamas that are willing to pay my birth photography prices.
First of all, what is your price?
Beyond knowing your cost-of-doing-business for birth photography (which is a whole other topic for another day) It’s important to understand a little bit of psychology behind pricing.
Is your price stuck in no-man’s land?
I’d argue that the most expensive photographer gets hired more than a photographer in no man’s land. (“No man’s land is when you’re not the cheapest, but you’re not the most expensive. You’re stuck in the middle; in “no man’s land.”)
Imagine this: You’re standing in Target, looking for a new set of bed sheets. You find 2 identical sets. Same color, same thread count, same size. One set is $20 and one set is $200. Which one do you assume is the better set of sheets? If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking “What’s wrong with the $20 one?” Most people assume the more expensive set is going to be better. Why else would it be more expensive? Keep this in mind.
Be confident in your price. If you’re not confident in your pricing, no one will be.
Here is a real-life example: My son was invited to compete on a competitive baseball team. I was so excited he’d been invited, and he was excited too. I was talking to the coach about how much extra it would cost. He was visibly uncomfortable talking about money. He stuttered and stammered over his words.
“Well, um, the annual fee is $150 there is a one time fee of $75 and the uh, monthly cost is uh… this much. (he pointed to a sheet of paper with a number of it, didn’t even say the price out loud) and uh sometimes you’ll have to pay $50 for certain games and….”
I, the customer, was so frustrated! I was thrilled for my son to participate, but the coach’s lack of confidence was making me second guess our decision. Plus, I was straight up confused about what I was paying for. Eventually I said, “I’m not too concerned with the price, I just need to understand what I’m paying for, and when.”
Be confident in your prices! State them matter of factly and without hesitating. I understand this will take some practice (it did for me), but the more confident you are, the more confidence that potential client will have in you!
1. To find clients willing to pay your prices, ask yourself “Am I worth the money?” And analyze your brand.
It’s easy for us to look at our expenses, on-call time, small salary, etc and say we’re worth the money. But what does the client see on the outside that solidifies in their mind that you’re worth the money? Look at your business through your client’s perspective.
2. To find clients willing to pay your prices, give them something valuable for free! No, I don’t mean give them photography for free!
When you offer people things for free, they feel the need to give back to you in return. Plus, it’s just good business to be kind 😉
Give them with something non-photography related that they want!
– a pregnancy or newborn checklist
– a local pregnancy resource guide
– a printable (who doesn’t love a good printable that saves you time? Surely it’s not just me addicted to pinterest printables!)
There are so many possibilities!
How about a cute nursery printable they could hang in baby’s room?
Or a coloring activity for the older sibling and pregnant mom to work on together.
All of these things elevate your brand in the client’s mind.
“Cool, but how do I know what they want?”
Start paying attention.
Pay attention to what your pregnant friends are saying.
Pay attention to common questions in mommy FB groups.
Listen, listen, listen.
You could also survey your clients, women trying to conceive or past clients. What were their biggest worries and fears when they were pregnant? What do they wish they’d done differently? Start making a list, and then give them what they’re asking for! If they’re asking over and over for car seat recommendations, give them a pros/cons list of the current car seat models out there. Or even better, how about a list of the “top 10 photos you must take on your baby’s birth day?”
Yes, creating these things take time and effort, but I believe what goes around comes around. You’re helping these mamas fill a need and they’re going to remember your generosity.