What’s the best pricing model? Should my pricing be on my website? How do I let people know I’ve raised my prices? I’m answering these big questions and sharing more about best practices for pricing your photography in today’s episode.
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About Kate Hejde
Kate Hejde is the host and creator of How You Pictured It Podcast and Dear Kate Brand Strategy. She helps photographers create a profitable business that fits into their lives. With over 10 years of experience running her own photography business, while raising three kids, Kate believes that business is not one size fits all and that you define your own success. Kate teaches through her podcast as well as through courses, group coaching, and 1:1 mentoring.
Today, we’re talking about some of the biggest questions that exist about pricing. In the photography industry pricing is an often talked about topic. But there are still so many questions and so many opinions out there. So what’s the right thing. We’re going to go over a few of the major questions that I see and how I would answer them. Number one is what pricing model is the best. This definitely has a lot of opinions floating out there. And the only real opinion that matters is yours. You get to decide what’s best for you, and it’s going to be different for everyone. There’s not one right pricing model. There’s not one that’s going to be the most profitable, no matter what, there’s one that works for you. So while in-person sales may be great for one photographer, it’s not for the next. And while all inclusive pricing or online sales and soft proofing might be great for one photographer, again, it’s just a, not for the next photographer. It’s really a matter of what your priorities are and what your ideal client is looking for. To help you figure this out I have a quiz for you. It’s available in the show notes. It’s called your Perfect Fit Pricing Model and asks you a few questions about your priorities and your preferences and helps you work through, which is the best pricing model for you and for your lifestyle. I’ll also add that this might change over the years. What you choose now for your business might not be what you choose in the future and that’s okay. Your priorities are going to change. Your values are going to change as you grow. And what you want to offer is going to change your audience might also change. So it’s okay to be flexible and choose something that’s just for now and know that it might be something different later on in your life and in your business. The number two question that I see is if you should have your pricing listed on your website or not. I do have some strong opinions on this one. So I’ll share those Personally, I have a starting price on my website and a “what most people spend”. I find that having a “most popular” or “what most people spend” amount tells clients what they can expect. I will tell you that when I don’t have pricing on my website, I get a lot of people who are one either not contacting me because they assume I’m outside of their budget.
Kate (2): 2:45
Or two. Get a lot of people who are contacting me that are not able to afford me. Because they expected the price to be lower. You’re going to have people assume on both ends of that equation when you have no pricing listed and it will limit who’s contacting you in a negative way and it will give you and influx of inquiries that aren’t the right fit either. As far as listing your full pricing on your website, I find that it can be too much and too confusing for clients to see. All of your pricing options and offers
Kate (2): 3:22
Most of us have pricing that’s specific to a type of session and may vary a little bit just depending on what the client’s asking for. When someone’s presented with every pricing option that you have every type of session that you have all in one place, you’re not narrowing down the offer and meeting your client where they’re at. So say you have a pricing page that lists your newborn pricing, your maternity pricing, your family session pricing, your senior session pricing; everything that you do all in one page. Your client has to weed through those things and look at so many numbers and it’s very confusing for them and a lot of people’s brains will just say no, when they get confused or overwhelmed. Your website should be set up so that it’s guiding clients to find the right offer for them and show that you’re the right fit. When you’ve got everything out on the menu, it’s a little bit too much for people to get through and too confusing. I liken this to going to the Cheesecake Factory and seeing that book that they bring you as a menu and having to sort through it. It’s so much, and it’s overwhelming. And honestly, I don’t like to go to the Cheesecake Factory because there are too many options. Whereas somewhere like In and Out you go, and obviously these are totally different price ranges, but at, In and Out you go and they have their four things on the menu. You knew that no, they do those four things great and you just make your choices. It’s quick and easy. On your website, you really do want to be targeting your client a little bit more with the information that you’re sharing and giving them what they need to know. They don’t need to know the pricing of a maternity session when they’re looking for a senior session. Finding ways to create a pathway for those clients to get to the pricing and get to the correct information for them is super important. I will add that I don’t have a specific pricing page on my website. I have services pages. So my portfolio, my information about that type of session and the pricing is all on one page for that session type. For example, I have a newborn services page that walks through the process of a newborn session who it’s for, how it benefits them and then gets to my pricing and explains the investment and brings them to contact me. I really want people to come to my website, find what they’re looking for and be able to understand exactly that without having to search around. to buy. I find that pricing included into a service page works the best. I also want to add that the word investment on a website is pretty and sounds fancier, but that is not what people are searching for and will not help you with your Google search. Use the word pricing versus investment so that people can find exactly what they’re looking for. This is something that. Really can apply to all parts of your website and SEO, Google searches. You want to use words that people are actually looking for and not the fancier version. Consider using the word picture versus image. Think about those things that people are actually typing into Google search and use those words. Then big question number three is do I make an announcement when I raise my prices?” I do not make an announcement that I’m increasing prices. Most people will not remember how much they paid for something last year to the exact penny and my price increases are usually not huge. When I’ve made big price increases. I am typically also changing my pricing structure. When I moved from all-inclusive to, soft proofing with collections and online galleries, for example, there was a big price jump, but clients could still come in at the price that they had been paying previously, They would just get less for that rate., so I didn’t make a big announcement about it when they did inquire from one year to the next, after that change, I would just explain that. I’ve had some. Changes in the way that I do things. And I want to explain to you what you get now. You always want to present this kind of information as the benefit to the client. Now you get to choose your images or. Now you get to choose how many images you’d like to purchase. However you want to phrase it. You want to. Present it as a, you get not, you have to. For me though, it doesn’t make sense to make a big announcement. That pricing is increasing and you should book your session now. Typically when a photographer is making a price increase, it’s because they’re already booking enough at their lower price. And it doesn’t make sense to fill your calendar with lower cost sessions. The last little bonus tip I want to give you today has to do with some of the things we’ve kind of already talked about with presenting things as benefits to the client. When it comes to pricing lists, we often see a list of features. For example. Your priceless might say this session is $850. It includes 25 images, access to my client closet pre-session planning and an eight by 10 print. Those are all features of what you’re offering. What’s missing here is the benefits. So a simple tip to make a big boost to your pricing lists and make more people book at higher rates will be to add the benefits to each of those features. Easy text to do that is the words “so that”. So instead of “you get 25 images”, you would say. “A gallery of 25 images so that you have memories of this time in your life” or so that we can be sure to capture your full story”. And then instead of just saying access to my client closet, it would be “access to my client closet. So that you don’t have to shop for new outfits just for your session” or “access to my client closet so that you get to wear something fun and new that we know will photograph great.” Adding those simple words, boosts your client’s experience and understanding of what they’re getting so much more than just the simple list of features. While it’s a really small change. It makes a huge difference in how your client perceives the pricing. Take a look at some of the packaging of products around your house and notice that they’re using this language too. There are other terms that you can use instead of, so that, but that is one of the easiest ones to use. Lastly today. I wanted to share with you that my course Soft Proofing Made Simple is out and ready for you. It’s currently on sale for $27 with the code “earlybird”. It teaches you exactly how to set up your systems for soft proofing so that you can cut your editing time in half and make more money in your photography business. With soft proofing, you will start by showing your clients a soft proofing gallery, letting them choose which images they want to purchase, and then fully retouching those. It significantly cuts out editing time and gives you the opportunity to upsell images. You can put this into place quickly, even with clients that you’ve already got booked at an all-inclusive fee. Typically, when you do that, all-inclusive rate, you tell a client how many images they’re going to get. And most likely you end up overshooting and have to cull down to that number or what typically happens is you end up over delivering. If you learn the soft proofing system, you can put those images into a proofing gallery and let the client choose the included number. And even upsell them on the additional images so that you’re cutting down on that editing time and getting paid for the work that you’re doing. Soft Proofing Made Simple is available at softproofingmadesimple.com. As a bonus when you purchase before July 7th, there’s a live Q and a call with me. I’m very excited about that call We can work through your workflows and processes and make sure that you’ve got everything up and running correctly and answering any questions that you have. An additional bonus that you get is all of my email templates, which makes it easy for you to put this system in place. You’ll find the link to the course in the show notes below and I will talk to you next week