Where are you selling from? Where are you setting your prices from?
This week we've been having coffees and chats with some other awesome business owners and photographers, a lot of those chats have been around fear and cost of doing business.
Even if your photography is not your main income, even if it’s just a hobby that you're building up, even if it’s not something you would spend money on, doesn’t take away from the fact that it is valuable. Undercharging for your work undercuts not just the industry but yourself. If you’re undercharging because you want to be affordable, that’s okay. But address why you want to be affordable, what is affordable? Who do you want to be affordable for? Who is your ideal client and do they actually need you to be $100 for 30 images affordable or could they actually afford $1000 for 10 beautifully edited images for the wall. Do you want to be affordable because you don’t see the value in spending money on photography? On having your families life documented in an album or on the wall in beautiful frames? Do you want to be affordable because it’s scary putting your price up?
If I can afford to buy a $5 coffee every day of a work week I can afford photography. Those $5 coffees add up to $1300 a year. But you don’t notice it because you value the coffee and it’s a small payment. Dominoes on a Sunday adds up to $2080. Hello fresh is $7800 a year. Don’t assume that people can’t afford to pay for photography, because they can and will if they value it, you just have to show them the value in spending that money with you. If you want to be affordable, don’t lower your pricing, add payment options instead. Both Genoapay and OxiPay are free for you to set up and allow your clients to get the goods now, but pay them off. Your photographs last them a lifetime, the iPad or iPhone that they put on interest free at the technology store lasts them 1-2 years, or maybe just a few months before they drown it and lose all the photographs on it because they never backed them up to the cloud.
It’s not about affordability it’s about value. Setting a low price is basically the same as saying I’m afraid to charge for my work and artwork. It’s the same as saying I’m too lazy to properly sell my work on the value of it.
Being a great photographer doesn’t mean you are great at sales or at running a business. And you need all of those things to have a profitable photography business. To help build the industry up rather than tear it down and to help build yourself the lifestyle that you might not even dream of having because it seems out of reach.
I encourage you to analyse why you’re pricing the way you are, why are you doing mini sessions and sales and discounts. Where does that action come from and how is it coming across? Does it come across as desperate? does it come across as low value? Is it driven because you are afraid to charge more? Is it because you’re afraid no one will pay more? Is it because you asked all your friends in your circle how much they would expect to pay and that’s what they said?
Then analyse what you what to earn, in the next 1-2 years, where you want your business to be, what gear do you want to have, do you want to have built a home studio, do you want to have a studio, do you want to be photographing less so you have more time with your family, do you want to be shooting less weddings? Do you want to outsource parts of your workflow like editing so that you have more time to focus on other parts of your business? Do you want to buy a home? Do you want to be able to afford a holiday every year?
$120,000 Turnover. This should be your minimum goal. MINIMUM goal, you can earn as much as you’d like! Broken down, $120,000 is $40,000 for tax and income tax, $40,000 to run your business, grow it and save for the future or your business and yourself, $40,000 to pay yourself. For a little perspective my turnover goal prior to Covid-19 lock down was $300,000 for the financial year with my portraits, families and weddings.
Then decide how many shoots you WANT to do per week. 2 shoots a week?
Divide your $120,000 a year in turnover by 2 shoots a week with 2 weeks off for Christmas. The average sale you need to be making is $1200.
That’s just 100 bookings per year. There are 500,000 people in the Waikato, over 1.657 million people in Auckland, over 180,000 people in Northland. You only need 100 of those people to book you! Now you know how much you need to charge. $1200 on average. You need to build your pricing list around getting yourself $1200 on average. That doesn’t mean everyone spends $1200, some might spend $2000 or $3000 or $5000 and some might spend $500 or $1000. You’re after an average of $1200. So you need to build your price list around making sure you get $1200.
Now what is the only thing that is stopping you from building your pricing and your business around that goal? Fear? Get a better excuse.