One of the biggest questions photographers have when starting their business is if they’re pricing themselves correctly. Even seasoned professionals sometimes question whether their pricing is correct. Here are a few tips to ensure you’re pricing realistically and accurately for your services.
Pricing, like any other part of the business world, isn’t something that should be thrown together without much forethought. More often than not, successful businesses have invested a good amount of time brainstorming and coming up with strategic pricing. These businesses know how to price for profit, how to price competitively, and how to charge for what their services are worth. Here are a few ways to strengthen your pricing strategy going forward in the future.
What Is Your Cost of Doing Business?
If you haven’t taken time to discover what your cost of doing business is, you’re doing yourself and your business an injustice. You’d be surprised at how your living expenses plus expenses associated with running your business can add up month to month. A great place to start when building your photography pricing is first to figure out what your cost of doing business will be. There are many online Cost of Doing Business (CODB) calculators online, but my favorite is the NPPA CODB Calculator.
If you’re interested in learning more about your CODB, check out Getting Started With Pricing Your Photography Services.
What Are Your Competitors Charging?
Another strategy to use while discovering if you’re pricing yourself correctly is to do market research. Researching your competitor’s pricing is a great way to find out if you’re pricing properly within your local market. A key to successful pricing is to price yourself competitively, and knowing what the majority of your local market and what your photographer peers charge will help you understand if your pricing is within the right range.
By merely taking time to visit other photographer’s website within your local market, you’ll begin to see patterns in pricing that can help you understand how to price yourself competitively while also keeping in mind what your CODB is.
How Are You Negotiating?
Once you’ve settled on photography pricing, one of the most significant hurdles to overcome is what to do when a potential client asks for a discount. An essential aspect of any successful photography business is knowing how to stand your ground with your pricing. This means that you, as the photographer, need to work extra hard at conveying your value and the value of your services to your client. If a client asks for a discount, instead of discounting your prices, try adding value in the form of extra photography coverage, or complimentary photography products. Also consider negotiating with your client regarding a realistic service timeline that will fit within their budget, instead of offering a discount for a bigger photography package. Psychologically, giving discounts to your services gives people the perception that you are not worth what you are charging. When negotiating, photographers need to avoid this.
If you’re feeling unsure about where you’re at with your pricing structure and strategy, try taking a closer look at the above areas. Ultimately, good pricing is based on a strong foundation of knowing why you’re charging specific prices, and how they offer value to clients.
Lead image by Gabriel Peter via Pexels.