Having a successful business means you are often changing, learning, and creating a better path to success. In this video, I'm discussing four habits that I have seen with many photographers actively participating in.
Pricing Your Competitors
One habit that I've seen photographers admit to, is the method in how they get competitors' pricing. Photographers will call them and ask for their rates. I heard a photographer give this advice on the popular audio app, Clubhouse. He said, "call your competitors and pretend that you are a customer looking for a photographer. This will give you their rates."
After he shared his pricing tactic, I presented another method and shared my concerns. Calling your competitors and taking their time might seem like a harmless tactic, but it is unethical.
Calling your competitors to give them false hope is bad karma and not something anyone deserves, especially while many creatives are hurting during a pandemic. It's theft because you stole their time and you stole their trust in other people. This is one of the four practices that photographers should end right away! Let me show you a better approach.
A Better Method to Price Your Photography
Then what is the best way to price out your competition? How can you possibly get this valuable data as a new photographer?
My suggestion is to practice transparency with your peers. Call your competing businesses and introduce yourself as someone new in the area. Express to them that you would love their assistance in understanding the local market, and that you do not want to undercut anyone else in the community. That would damage the market and you would rather come in as someone who understands collaborations.
Most photographers would understand your good intentions and give you great respect. They would more than likely entertain the meeting because you spoke about coming in with respect for the market and the local photographers. It's in their best interest to work with you and help you succeed. Maybe a small fraction may reject the idea but the majority of photographers are incredibly kind and smart people. They will work with you, respect you, and they'll probably become a friend.
This is better than calling your peers and pretending to be a client. The video goes into three other bad habits that photographers should really consider stopping. I hope all of the other tips in the video help you have a smoother road.