If you insist on selling based on price your customers will buy because of price

crease in price will decrease the perceived value. Many people assume that price equates to quality, which means they won't buy your products unless your price is high enough. You may remember the story about a riding lawn mower that I tried to sell several years ago (see page 34). In my initial ad, I set the price so low that people figured there must have been something wrong with it. As a result, I didn't get a single call. When I raised the price to $200, on the other hand, I sold it instantly.

Factors That Really Do Effect Pricing

There are several major factors that will affect your ability to have a successful pricing strategy in today's competitive marketplace. These include the quality of your photography, the branding and marketing that you are currently doing (or not doing), having a highly defined

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In Chatsworth Portrait Studio's price list, the portrait packages are clearly explained and there is a nice range of price points.

sales system that begins the very first second someone is exposed to your business and continues long after your clients order is picked up, having a complete understanding of your competitors' strengths and weaknesses, and having an unequivocal belief in yourself and your ability as a modern-day entrepreneur.

Price is where you get what is yours, where all those wonderful things you do for your customers is suppose to be reciprocated. When it comes to pricing, you have to be sure that your studio gets what it deserves—and nobody will pay you more than what you ask for, so be careful not to under price yourself.

So, how can you tell if you have poor pricing? If you constantly find yourself having to explain your price list, or if the price always seems to be an issue, or if you are always changing your prices, or—here's the big one—you always seem to be busy but you don't have anything to show for it . . . those are all bad signs. If this sounds like you, it may be time for a price list makeover.

Something that will help you with some of these issues is to work on your image through marketing materials, refining your sales skills and techniques, and most importantly by putting more emphasis on building relationships with your clients. This will lead to a decrease of price sensitivity all by itself. The stronger your relationship with your client, the less important price becomes. This is the magic carpet that will take you to where you want to be.

Learn to answer the pricing questions confidently and professionally. If you educate your clients, price is rarely an issue.

Some other things that will affect your ability to charge what you are worth are having an identifiable style, hav-

In Chatsworth Portrait Studio's price list, add-ons and a la carte items are clearly and attractively presented.

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In Chatsworth Portrait Studio's price list, add-ons and a la carte items are clearly and attractively presented.

ing a wonderful atmosphere in your studio, your personal appearance and your professionalism, your ethics and business integrity, the presentation of your products, your customer service, your reputation, and your ability to build friendships with people.

Building an Effective Price List

What does your price list alone communicate about the value of your work or about your business? Is your pricing clear, concise, and easy to understand? When someone looks at your price list, does it make their head explode with confusion?

There are some simple-to-implement techniques that will help to make your price list a much more effective sales tool—and that will, in turn, increase your sales averages substantially.

Research Other Photographers in Your Marketplace. You don't need to reinvent the wheel. There are plenty of great price lists already in the market, you just need to get your hands on them. It may be as simple as picking up the phone, calling some other photographers in the area, and saying that you want to get everyone together for a planning session. Have everyone bring their price list, some marketing materials, and a business card. There really isn't any secret way of making money in our industry. The more we can share with other photographers, the better we can become. If this idea doesn't appeal to you, how about calling some of your photography friends from outside of your area and asking them to do an exchange with you.

The purpose of this is not so you can copy the prices, but rather so you can get ideas for graphic design, layout, creative ways to bundle your prints together, or unique products that you can offer to your clients. It's part of the creative process.

Find the Best Paper Money Can Buy. The paper that your price list is printed on speaks volumes about the quality and value of your work, so don't cut corners with this part of your business. Once you have made that initial impression on someone, it's virtually impossible to change it, so do it right from the beginning. So, go down to your local print shop (not one of the chain office supply stores, but a regular old commercial printing shop). Ask to see their best line of papers. For prices that you present to your clients when they arrive for their sales and ordering session, how about placing them in a nice leather folio— like the wine list that you would get at an elegant restaurant. Talk about making a great impression!

Get Paid to Take Digital Photos

Get Paid to Take Digital Photos

Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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