28 Days of Portrait Photography

Lesson 22/85 - Day 13: Products & Price List

 

28 Days of Portrait Photography

 

Lesson Info

Day 13: Products & Price List

Today's challenge is all about the product and the price lists that we sell. It's about educating our clients and it is about presenting our price lists in a way that people want to come and spend money with us. It's about creating simplicity in a PDF and it's about creating product that people want to buy. It's about enticing our clients. Today, it's all about pricing our self, selling our self with price. Hi everyone, welcome to one of my favorite challenges. This is all about products and prices today and I've got some pretty big things to hit you with, with regarding pricing because, I put a call out on my social media regarding what you're all charging and I got huge amount of emails, hundreds in fact. I cross-referenced every single price list that you sent me and I drew an average sale from it, based on the average sale you told me you're getting. And that was $573, on average. So, I thought to myself, "Right, "it's not just a level of photographer that I'm working on "because t...

he averages went right up to $7,000, "it was just a cross average "of everybody that we're working with." Today, I wanna talk to you about starting price, right through to lifting your average. So, if you're already sitting at a high average, let's see if we can bump it up, and if you're struggling with pricing, let's see if we can set that in stone. And I've got some pretty strong ideas on what I think are an industry standard, in my opinion. What we're going to do is, I'm gonna take you through a normal keynote on product and pricing, I'm gonna show you what I do, what I charge, what I charge right from the beginning through to now. Not just, "Look at me, I'm so great, "I have an average of $3,300," because for many years, my average was 400 bucks. $400 was where I suffered for a long, long time. This is not about saying, "Look at me, I have a $3,000 average," this is about me saying, "This is how I raised mine, "this is how you can raise yours." This is the challenge today, I need you to work on this, I need you to kick out any money blocks, I need you to look at your products, I need you to simplify and I need you to set up a system. A system is really simple. This is where I'm gonna start with my price list. I realized when I was very young in business, and I don't mean young 'cause I was 32, when I started my business, but I realized that, I didn't really have a system. So, when somebody said, "How much do you cost?" I had no pitch and I really would go, "Uh, well, so, um, then, well, uh, and I, I have um, "so I can like give you a CD for $400." And I didn't have a system where I said, "Oh, I charge this much. "This is what I cost, this is my price list, here go. "I can email it to you, "I can give it to you out of my handbag," or "I can just tell it to you right now. "My images start at $275, framed on the wall "and I have a folio box, it starts at $1,200. "Everything that you buy includes a high-res CD "so that you can put it on social media, send it to friends, "print one out for grandma, etc." That became such a great pitch for me and I could flow with it so fast. I have recorded an entire challenge on language and pitching. Language, pitching, what to say, phone conversation, consultation, to teach you how to better say, what you do. But, I'm not gonna talk too much about language. What I'm just gonna say is, I need you to set this up as a system. My price list is not only so well known to me, I know its value. As soon as you set that in stone, you feel the value of it, you can deliver from a pure place of value, not, "Oh my god, now I have to talk about money," 'cause that is the hardest thing to do, is to talk about money and talk about your value and trust me, when you shift that, you can say what you're worth and you know you mean it in your heart. In fact, it's really easy to say. I also realized, back in the beginning days, I was hiding my price list from people. I was avoiding it and then when it came to selling, they were hearing my price list for the first time. This is my price list here. My images start at 7 by 10 at $275, my 11 by 16 is $450, my 16 by 20 is $675, and my 24 by 30 is $900. My 30 by 45 is $1,200. On my price list, as you can see, it says mounted and matted only, framing, add extra $100. The reason I did this was, I wanted to be able to offer an à la carte menu. An à la carte meaning, the cut comes out and you choose what you want on there, and the price that you pay is based on how many you choose, that is an à la carte menu. A lot of you are operating on a package menu and the rest of you are operating on à la carte. I find a newer photographer, operates at a package menu and a more experienced photographer, tends to operate on à la carte. Why do they do this? I'll talk about that very soon. I did not want to go à la carte. I was new in my business and I was terrified and I needed to know how much money I was going to be earning. So, when I said to somebody, I'm $400, and they said, yes, then that was all I needed to survive, was $400. I had a survival mentality, not a thrival mentality. I was always just looking for $400, because that emulated the wage I used to get and that meant that I was gonna be okay. Because if I got 400, I could pay my rent and eat this week. Never mind tax, putting money into the rest of my business, or buying a nice pair of shoes, I just had a survival mentality. When I opened up an à la carte menu, I still would get $400, because they would come in with their voucher and buy three 5 by 7s, until I took the 5 by 7s off my price list, then they stopped buying 5 by 7s and then they started to buy 8 by 10s. That tells me one thing, the only problem, the only person that had a problem with my price list, was me. Because if you never sell small prints, and you never offer cheaper packages, nobody ever buys them because they do not know. You're the only person who knows, and you can shift this price list whenever you want. Here is the most amazing thing, if you watched the release of 28 days in Vegas, when I talked about pricing, the biggest shock about that keynote was that, I have not changed my price list in 22 years. This is the same price list I took from the studio way back in Auckland, when I was an employee, when I was 20 years old. Why have I not raised my prices in the last 20 years? This is the crazy part. I can't believe that I haven't. I feel very comfortable with this price list and yes, there are photographers that are two times and three times more expensive than me, but I realized, I was not trying to raise my prices, I was trying to raise my average sale. When I was a young photographer, I worked for somebody else. My average sale was $1,800 in the studio. He could do a $7,000 sale with my work, he could do a $200 sale, but my average without doubt, on paper, was $1,800, without doubt, easy, easy, easy. As I left the studio and started my own business, I kept the same price list. I was doing the same work, I just changed to my garage. My average dropped to $400, why? Because I had a wage mentality. Straightaway, all I had to do was get that 400 bucks. And there I was, totally broke, back in my own business, earning a wage again, $400 a week. I learned some really valuable lessons about selling my work and one of the challenges coming up this week is sales. I'm gonna tell you the best sales advice that I got that put me from a $400 average to an $1,800 average in one day. I'm not lying, it is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Somebody said a simple phrase to me that simply blew me away and then, I learnt to get out of the way. I'm gonna teach you how to do that in selling. What I'm tryna do today, is teach you how to price yourself and how to create product that sells. A confused mind says, no, this is my philosophy. And what I mean by that is, the more information you give people on price, the more confused they get. When people call your studio or email your studio, they just wanna know one thing, how much do you cost? And I really hate it when people's sales pitch me on that. Like, when I ask you "How much do cost?" Don't give me the, "So, let me ask you a few questions. "How did you hear about us?" "I asked you how much you charge." "So, let me ask you a few questions about your wedding day." "Excuse me, I asked you how much you charge." Most of the population do this, "How much do you cost?" The truth is, is you have to answer this question but you have to do it in a way that's interesting, direct, honest and that follows through with visual communication. This is why I've been hassling you, and hassling you about creating your PDF price list. Because your PDF price list is something they will keep, it's something they will send to their friends and it is something they will like to look at because it's mostly images or even better, a showreel, or even better, it's both, a showreel and images. But, if you can get them on the phone, then half your battle is done, because you can talk to them and say, "Kate, I am gonna send you the PDF now "with my price list on it "and beautiful images for you to look at "and show your girlfriends so that you can see what we do "and how we do it. "Enjoy and, would you like to make a booking right now?" "When can we book you in? "Would you like to book your sitting with me now?" That is a direct question, that is not a, "Okay Kate, well, if you like my price list "and my photographs, maybe call me sometime." That is a "That's great Kate, "I'm glad you've got my prices now. "My images start at $275 Kate, on the wall, "my folio boxes start at 1,200, "what interests you? "Would you like an image on the wall "or would you like a folio box? "Who would you like to do your shoot with?" Move it on. Say what you need to say about money and then keep moving on, but don't fill that space. Don't fill that space with chatter and do not fill that price list with numbers. Because all they wanna know is, how much? I say, "Now, my images start at 275. "My folio boxes start at 1,200. "The best package I have, is $3,000 plus tax. "In that package, you get the full shoot, "hair and makeup, a location of your choice, "we help style your wardrobe "and you get a 20-page folio box "with a 16 by 24 wall enlargement, mounted, of your choice "and a CD of all of those images." That is my sales pitch. I've told them, they don't have to spend $3,000, I've told them my images start at and my folio start at 1200, but I said, my best package is. I've told her from the lowest point to the high point, and that's not even my highest point. If they buy more images, the sale goes up from there because the wall portraits are à la carte. But what I'm trying to communicate is, that they are safe within my price list. And then I always say very directly, and if I'm with them in person, I look them right in the eye and I say this, "When you come back and have a look at your images, "what you like, you buy, it's entirely up to you. "There is no obligation to purchase anything. "I'm gonna take photographs of you that you love "so that you want to own them. "What you spend is entirely your choice." So, there it is. That's that moment when I make it very safe for them to come into my studio and I'm laying out my prices but I'm doing it in a good way, a fast way, an honest way but not making them too confused. My visual price list, the PDF, I know I've showed this to you five times, but I'm going to show you again. Make it image-based, keep it simple. Try and stay away from trills and patterns and designs and textured paper. Just put beautiful images up with basic information, that communicates accurately, not only what you do, but how you do it, in a way that makes your clients so excited they wanna do it. And then on the last page or somewhere in the center, put your price list. But you can put, Commission start at, Portrait start at, and it's very, very important. I'm gonna go through this with you. What I wanna show you now, is how I started, and how I started pricing myself and how I raised my average. From here, the last page of the PDF, "How do you Dream of being photographed "call the studio on, for a style consultation, "let us personally design your shoot for you." Get them to call you. Questions and bookings, bookings and inquiries, call me directly. And remember, the more effort that you put into this pre-consultation, the better. You have already done, styling the wardrobe, the challenge and in that challenge, I gave you a PDF and in that PDF, I gave you three options for pricing. I said you can either say, my commission start at $900, and that is immediately saying, my starting fee is 900. You don't have to put any other price list, just put a beautiful makeover in photoshoot with super eyes, commissions start at $900. Or, you can list three packages, 900, 1,800, 2,300. I've always looked at that as small, medium and large, ma-dam. You'll find, most people will buy the middle package, so, price it accordingly, so that that's the package that you wanna sell. Or, most people will buy your smallest package. I have made my highest package $3,000, my most attractive package to buy, because that's where I wanna push people to. Or, you can put an à la carte menu, but instead of listing 275, for a 7 by 10, $460, I've just put, Wall Portrait start at 275, folio start at 1200. There's three ways to write how much you cost, but first, you have to tell me how much you cost. And this is where I think most people are struggling. Two areas, how do I price myself is the biggest one and the second one is, now I've priced myself, how do I raise my average? So, let's talk about that. I think what is really amazing about, how do I raise my average, no, no, not how do I raise my average, how do I price myself, is how much do you wanna earn? I will say that to people, when I say, "How much should I price myself?" And I say, "How much do you wanna earn?" And they say, "Well, I don't know what to price myself," and I say, "How much do you wanna earn?" "But I don't know how to price myself," and I'm like, "Well, how much do you wanna earn? "Do you wanna earn $400 a day "or do you wanna earn $3,000 a day?" You must price yourself on how much you wanna earn and then create the value and the package within that. Then the next question is, "But, what if my work's not good enough "to price it at $3,000 a day?" Can you hear what you're saying there? Then, it's not good enough to be $3,000, so, let's look at what is. How do we get you up to that level? Everybody that I learnt on and earned money on, pretty much, started out, I was earning money with real clients, so, I wasn't practicing for free. I was earning money on real clients and then, as my confidence grew and the value of my work grew, obviously, my average sell went up. I made it very, very clear, this is called what should I charge? I've put on here $400, $900, 1,250, $1,600, 1,850, 2,400, $3,000, $4,800. Interestingly enough, this was the track of my thinking as I started out, 'cause I started out at $400. There are a lot of photographers below me right now, below my starting rate, 250 and giving 10, 20 images. A lot of the price lists that I got sent, ranged around the 200, $250 mark; wrong, big epic fail there. You should at least come in in our industry at 400, at least. Nobody should be paying less than 400. Do you know what's gonna shock you? Is, I've just filmed the corporate headshot video challenge which you're going to love, because it opens a whole new marketing demographic. And 20 years ago in our studio, we were charging 300 and $400 for a corporate headshot, so 400 with the hair and makeup and 300 for a corporate look just for a guy, and they were getting three images, that was 20 years ago. Now, if anybody says, "Oh, but the market and the economy," rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. You know how much $300 was 20 years ago, and you know how much it is now. So, what we've done, is we have not changed our prices. We have gotten cheaper and dropped our value, and this needs to change today. And you need to start honoring yourself, your family, your income in every part of your professional photography business, by charging professional prices. And if you don't think you are ready to charge professional prices, do not advertise yourself as a professional photographer. Alright? This is vitally important right now, I need you to be able to charge and earn if you are going to start a business. And if you're not, go and work for somebody, go and work in a studio, go and work part-time in a studio, go and volunteer in a studio until you get good enough. Go and work your part-time job which you hate, but don't hate it because it's now paying for you to transition into a professional career. But do not tell me you cannot charge $ 'cause you're not good enough, because then you should not be, you're not ready to start doing that yet. You need to instead, design your price list which starts at $400, and while you are getting ready to design that and not putting it out there, keep practicing until you're at a level where you can. And if the next question is, "When do I think I'm at that level," or "when will I know I'm at that level?" I think you'll know when you're ready to charge professionally. I think you'll know. Everybody knows. And if it's validation you're looking for, you can go along to other photographers but remember, if other photographers are jealous towards your work or they're not gonna be supportive of you, they're gonna find it really easy to knock you down. "These are not good enough, "it's really tough out there, "so many people are photographers now." There are a million different blocks and I think, you just need to work through where you feel comfortable. And the only person you have to please is yourself by getting paid, and your client, by offering a service. You don't need to please the professional industry in the whole, who cares? Be more concerned about what you're doing and less concerned about what others are doing, that is the most important thing you can learn. I started at $400, and then I created a package that was 900. I did it like this, I said, "You can have 10 images for $ "or you can have the whole shoot for 900." And the weird thing about that is, is people would still pick the top 10 for 400 bucks. And I was like, "I'm offering everything for $900." And then I took away the $400 price list and I just said, "You can have everything for $900," and of course, everybody bought that. And then, I started to get a little bit smarter and say, "You can have 20 or 30 images for $ "or a folio for 1,250," and the best part was, that the folio cost $200, so I wasn't making any more money, I was just making more work for myself. And guess what everybody bought, the $900 CD, because they saved themselves $350. Then I got rid of the $900 CD and said, "You can have a folio box for $1,250," and that's what everybody bought. So, it took me many years to understand that. I was the one setting the price and I was the one setting the blocks. And as soon as you work your way through that, trust me, that changes and everything changes for you. So, go back to this question, what do you want to earn for what you do? Be smart and be businesslike. Do I want to earn $1,200 for a shoot? Then I must give a $1,200 service. I must provide a $1,200 tune around and I must give the quality of a $1,200 product plus more, so that my client is not only happy, they have paid for it, I've been paid for it, they are telling their friends about me. I realized that I could only do that, if I had PDFs and cards and stationery and basic things like that that I could put out there, so that people could see how professional I was. I learned how to do all of my own designing on Photoshop, in those early days, because I could not pay or afford to pay for a designer or a printer or maybe I could, I just didn't see it as a value or I couldn't create the income for it. These are the products that I sell and this is how simple it was for me. I realized that if I kept it really, really simple and I valued every one of my products, that I could sell what I do. The first thing I sell, is this, it is my folio box. As you well know, this is my Seldex, finao.com folio box and I've got that up on the slide but I have one here to show you. This folio box to me, is what I wanna sell to every single client. I made a decision a long time ago, no CDs. I want my work to be beautifully matted and presented in a gorgeous folio box. It is 11 by 14 inches and the hole is 7 by 10. Why is the image 7 by 10? Because that is the cheapest wall portrait size on my wall portrait sizes, on my à la carte sizes. Look at it like this, if this is the wall portrait size and I sell the wall portrait for 275, and I sell the folio box, these work out to be 200 each, then my client sees that they're getting the same size print for $75 cheaper per print. So, to me, this is value when I say to them, "This gives you the opportunity to buy more images "for a cheaper price "than it is buying them singly on the wall." But the best part about the folio box, is because they are individually mounted and I think, more modern than an album, also, more cost-effective and with a bit of productivity and a bit of profitability for you; I don't say that to them, that was to you guys. These can be removed and framed at any time, so if they wanna put them on the wall, they can, or they can stack them in a bookshelf. Seldex, print on their covers and they can print an entire image. I've got friends of children's photographers and they print the name of the child here and they sell a folio box to a family every year, and I went into one of those homes and I saw that she had colored folio boxes in her bookshelf with, Kate, written on it, and she had six of them. Kate, one years old, Kate, two years old, Kate, three years old. And it's a catalog of incredible portraits that they can keep as a keepsake. How I sell the folio box to women? When they walk into the studio I hand it to them. I'm gonna talk more about that, when I talk about sales, when I talk about product pricing and educating. It's about holding this product and looking at it, how beautiful it is, how solid it is. And I can say to people, "This is a keepsake for you. "You can keep this out and you can have these on the wall "for everybody to see, you can put them on an easel, "or you can keep them under your bed as a private keepsake "if it's a boudoir box." But that to me, is all I want to sell. I was less involved and less sort of, sorry. I was less interested in selling wall portraits and more interested in selling a folio box to everybody. And so, what I did was, I decided that I would offer the folio boxes with a wall portrait because if I did that, then people were more inclined to buy the folio box, 'cause they were getting a CD and a wall portrait. And then I put up two different types of wall portraits, this is it here. This for me, is a standard, 16 by 24 method frame. And in my studio, can you see that? In my studio, I have every size that I sell and I have them all around my walls, I have the biggest size. In my studio, I have 20, 30 by 45s, which is the biggest size, this is the 16 by 24. But in my sales room, I have all of the frames like this and they're empty, because I don't put images in them. I show the big images on the wall, and these, I just keep as a frame size for people to see, and they are all leaning up against the wall. My 16 by 24 is $ mounted, matted and wrapped in beautiful cellophane, so that they can take it to the framer. I can either negotiate and arrange framing from that moment or they can take it and get it framed themselves. That was a decision I made a long time ago to still get something on the wall, but not get the framing done. Then, I started to work with a framer, and that framer offers a really good discount to my clients if I send them there. I got a beautiful package, a recommendation package to a framer and that framer does great work for me, because I send him all of my clients. I then created this, and this to me, was just, ah, it was an idea one day. This is exactly the same size as my 16 by 20. It actually goes this way on the wall and what it is, it's a way of displaying multiple images on the wall, and I really love this. When I shoot the dancing series or the big couture series, I cut this hole out, these are 5 by 7. I get asked this a lot, so, I'll address the questions around this. How did you make this mat? I went to a framer, any framer in the world and I said, "I need a 16 by 24 mat with nine holes in it "that are 5 by 7." 5 by 7 inches. Then I get questions like, "Did you print the print as one print?" No, I print nine single 5 by 7s and I get the framer to mount them in. When I started getting a lot of these, I had to pre-order the mounts and the mats and so what I did was, I would mount them myself, and then I would put the mat over the top, so I would hang-mount them with tape, archival tape, and then I would wrap it in cellophane and get them to go and choose the outer frame. Just the same way that I did the 16 by 24. Anybody can cut this, it is not, I had a lot of people say, "I don't understand, "how do they do it, how do I say it?" You just go to a framer and you say, "Draw a picture," draw this picture up for them and just say you wanna create a mat. This framed portrait here, this 16 by 20, mounted portrait, is worth $620 for one print. But I sell this one for 2,000, and it has nine photographs in it. I decided a long time ago, that if my average now is 3,300, I did not want less than $2,000 for a shoot. Even though I have products priced less than 2,000, I make sure I'm driving, always my portrait sales to at least $2,000. Even though I'm now higher, that was my bottom point, that's where I, I didn't wanna go lower. This here, is the $2,000 shot, and if you don't buy a folio because you don't wanna hide your images, you wanna show them off, you want something framed and on the wall, this gallery print is amazing 'cause it can hang on the wall and people will stop and look at it for a long time, because it's nine great photographs in it. This is how I sell that. I show people the frame and then I say, "What would you like?" I'm gonna teach you all about, touch points, but then I would say to people, "What do you like? "Would you like something on the wall, "would you like a folio box?" This happens before I shoot them. Before I shoot them, they've given me a very clear indicator of how they wanna be photographed. Because they'll say to me, "I would love a big shot on the wall "but I'm thinking a very sexy one for my bedroom," and then I shoot for that. Or they'll say, "I love this series frame, "I wanna do a dancing shot like that," I will shoot for that knowing that when I show them and present it to them, that's probably, what they're going to buy. Those are my products and those are my prices and I just wanna go back to, what you think you should charge. There you go, that's how I started to get to how I wanna charge. I started to lift what I thought I would earn in a day, then when I started to earn that in a day, the 1,250 with the album, I realized that my profitability was low and I was still only getting one shoot a week. Then I thought, "I've gotta stop looking at this like, "how much do I wanna get in my hand a week, "and start looking at this like a proper business." This is where I started to take myself seriously in raising my average. And in order to raise your average, you must raise your service, your product and if you can, your prices. And you really need to get up, out of the 200, 300 and 400 prices. You need to knock off that bottom line and that was one of the hardest things to do for me, was to knock out that bottom line. Funnily enough, going back to this, 1,850, you can see the next jump up is 2,400, this was my mindset. I believed that this was where people were comfortable spending money. I keep jumping up in these increments and none of them make sense, there isn't a pattern there. But basically, I felt comfortable going from 1,850 to 2,400. And then I felt comfortable going from 2,400 to 3, and then I felt comfortable going from 3,000 to 4,800, that's a big jump, but by the time I got to $3,000, charging 4,800 was not a problem, not a problem at all. It was only me that had to get around it at the start. When I asked you all for your average, and you sent me all of your price lists, we collated this data in the last two days, we came up with an average of 573, my great friend Angela Carson, Angela Carson emailed me and she's like, "Put my price list up," and you're going to love Angela's price list, because Angela's price list start at around $1, and go up in to the 4,5,000s. She's a family portrait photographer in Michigan and Angela said, "I proudly, will show my price list." Her quote was this, "It has taken me 25 years to get my prices up to here. "I am very proud to show photographers "that it is possible to be respected by your clients "and still earn a great living at it." She is at a higher price-point than most people. You can check out Angela's website at angelacarson.com. Thank you Angela, because I think a lot of people, see photographers that are earning an average sale of three, four or $5, and I think they they probably, need to understand, let me think about that. It was one of the hardest things that I had to get my head around, as my average got higher, I shot less. Theoretically, I work less now, but earn the same amount of money. Only, if you were building a big business with staff, where you are keeping your numbers high and your average high, can you possibly do it the other way around. I know that there's a lot of photographers out there working 12 hours to do a shoot for $ and you need to change that. We all need to meet somewhere in the middle, and it's really great to see high-end, and it's really great to see high-end service that believes it, that values it and that knows it's real, so, thank you Angela, go and check out her website, you can see it on the keynote there. I wanna talk about raising your averages, and raising your averages have been interesting. When I go through the sales, one of the things that I learned was how to shut up and get out of my own way. The other one I learned, was how to close a sale, because I didn't know how to ask people for money. Basically, I did not know how to say, "Right, that's $1,600, "Rob, how would you like to pay for that." I didn't know how to say that. I got taught that and I got taught two other amazing sales tricks that completely work and none of them are salesy and none of them are pushy and none of them are hard-sell, they're all soft-sell. I'm gonna go through that in the sales video. Let's talk about raising your averages. Let's talk about what you can offer to get a higher price. For starters, go to a higher price-point, start at the $400 mark. I've given you the 400, 900, 1,250, start with 400. And if you're already somewhere between 400 and 900, go to 900 as your smallest package, and if you're somewhere around 900, go to 1,250. Let's go up one, because if you can just go up one level, and you do 10 shoots a month, then that's an extra $3,500 a month coming into your business and the only person that needs to shift that is you. Let's say, somebody says to me, and this happens all the time, "But what happens with my older prices, "with my older clients?" And I go, "What are you talking about?" So, your older clients ring up and say, "Hi Sue, I'd love to do a shoot with you," and you say, "Sure Rob, I would love you to come back and do a shoot. "What are you looking for this time?" And he says, "We'll just get a framed portrait like we did last time." And you can, you make a choice right then. You can either say, "Were they a good client? "Did they send you work?" 'Cause you can say, "Rob, my prices have changed "but I'm gonna keep yours at the old price list "and what I want from you, "is for you to give away five vouchers. "Are you able to do that" "I'm happy to keep you at the older price point "'cause you're a great client "and you could give my vouchers out to other people as gifts "like friends, family, because I'm happy to support you." Or you can say, "Hi Rob, yes, oh, I've got these new products "and now they're a little bit more expensive "than what I was when I sold to you "but now they're really amazing. "Let me show you when you come in." There's a really big difference between delivering that confidently and being like, "Oh no, oh no Rob, "I'm more now because I'm worth more, "and I wasn't very valuing myself back then and," no, no, no, bad energy, just say it, do it, get it done, move on. So, you make a choice, move them into the new price list, or keep them at the old one. How else I raised my average? I changed what I offered. I gave a CD with everything that was bought, and I did not ever, ever, ever, added on as it went on, it was simple. My folio boxes start at $1,200, 1,200, 2,000, 3,000. Can you see how big they jump up? Six images in a folio box for me at $1,200, 10 images at 200, 20 images at 2,000, 20 images at 3,000. At $200 each, that's what I'm pricing them at, that's what it costs to go in the box, so it stands to reason, every single box gets a CD. So, I offer three boxes. Every now and then, a client will say, "Do you do a box of 25?" And I say, "Well, yes, that would be 2,500." So, keep it simple. There's so many price points in between, 1,200 and 3, but I only name three of them. I just say, "There's a folio box for 1,200, 2,000, 3,000, bang-bang-bang. And I don't say it in a way that makes me nervous although there's a energy around it. It depends how many images you want, you can buy that with six, 10 or 20. The most important part is, is that I not only, am raising my average by adding on products, I'm making it more valuable for myself and my clients, remember Wallace Wattles, "Give more in the physical value "than the dollar value you receive." Why do we do that? Not for them, not for the client, because you could sit there going "And I'm gonna throw in a set of Ginsu knives, "and I'm gonna put in a pink, "and I'm gonna do a hard drive, and I'm gonna do a many," you could say a whole lot of things and your clients just gonna be like, "You're the one that has to believe "that there's more in physical value "than the dollar value you receive." That's about your shift in money and mindset. I do something called, the mother and daughter deal, and this significantly bumped up my average, and this is how I did it. I would advertise for a mother and daughter shoot and then I would get the mother and daughter to come in and 90% of the time, the mum was paying. And they were leaving with one folio box and one wall portrait. At $3,300, I think mum's very happy with what she's just paid for but little daughter's sitting there going, "What do I get?" Mum looks at her and goes, "You get the CD." And then I thought to myself, how can I make that better? So, I said, "How about I double this package "for an extra 900 bucks." $900 and I will double the box and double the wall portrait. What I then did was, I offered two folio boxes, two wall portraits and a CD. And that's how I did it, at $4,100. So, it cost me about $ more of money to double that package, but I made another $750 instantly from it. Really, really important. So, an instant profit, that was my upsell to the mothers and daughters. So, when you ask, "What if two girls come in?" Well, no, they're getting separate folio boxes, it only works when you are repeating the images from the mother and daughter shoot because you've already done the artwork, you're just hitting twice on the print. It's a really great way to upsell and push your averages up. So, I want you to think about how you can push your averages up, change your price, add more products, lift your service, but you need to do it in a way that it's not wordy, and it's not selly and it's not pitchy. It just needs to be simple and effective and don't pull it out at the last minute, it's not the, "And if you buy tonight, I'm going to double this," it's not like that. Be honest with people right from the beginning. "I have an amazing mother and daughter package for you. "My images start at $1,250, blah blah," keep it simple, keep it open, keep it honest. And if you are educating your client from the minute they walk in the door, then I swear to you, they will purchase from you, because if they're afraid of the cost, they will not go ahead with the shoot, if you've been upfront with them. And you get a very clear sense of who wants to be photographed and who doesn't at that moment. I wanna talk about this one here and that is, the mother and daughter deal, full package or à la carte. Let's talk about full package for a moment. If you're starting out, I suggest you start out at full package. I suggest you offer three packages only, and I suggest that if you are really starting out, that it be 400, 900, and 1,250. That is my suggestion to you. As a newbie photographer when I was learning, I could still put images on a CD and sell them comfortably for $1,200. My recommendation is, is you are probably going to get people that spend the minimum package or the medium package, more than the larger package, unless you make the larger package more attractive. But if you're going to start out, that's where I want you to start. If you are ready to move into à la carte pricing, then you need to have your images priced minimum, of 125. I do not wanna see $25 prints going out, $75 prints going out. You are wasting your time and you are pulling our industry down. An image should at least start at 125. My first images start at 275. 200 is the minimum for a beautiful portrait on the wall and it is time that you started to value your craft more and start lifting that up and putting that out there. From here, I've put this in the keynote, it's called, trade for prints. The whole point about trade for prints is this, as you're starting out, there are models that need prints, there are folio building that needs prints, there is business to business vouchers and this is how you need to work what you've got, to make it work for you. Trade for prints, if I photographed a model in the early days, I would tell her, "Trade for prints." That to me meant, that she could come in and be photographed and I would pay her in photographs. I did not say, "I will give you the whole shoot," I would say, "I will give you 10," or "I will give you five," or "I will give you two images," that's called, trade for prints. A lot of models on model mayhem will work for TMP, trade for prints, TFP, sorry, trade for prints, I'm getting my abbreviations wrong. And that's fine, you can trade out for prints, but the better way to do it would be, to do the gift vouchers, that I've been training you to make, do the gift vouchers, give them a $400 gift voucher and that means, that your first package, 400 or your first two images, if you're a la carte, that means they can get $400 worth of photographs. When they tell their friends that they did the shoot with you, they don't say, "I got it for free," they say, "I got a $400 voucher." They're telling their friends how much the voucher was, they're telling their friends how much the shoot was and it's really, really, really important that you do this. Business-to-business vouchers. When I started to network with other businesses, the best way to network to other businesses is, you are a business, I'm a photographer, let me take your business images, your corporate headshot, let me take your stock images, I wanna build a network of businesses, and that's how I do it. I would swap a database for prints. And you have to make it very clear who's getting what. You need to build a network not, not just give away free prints and never see them again, give away free vouchers. It's about getting businesses onside and because you're a photographer and you've got lots of resources, there are so many cool businesses out there that need you, they need advertising, they want your vouchers, they can give you their database. What can you give them, trade for prints? And make it very clear in your agreement, make sure you get it on email, "I would happily do your 20 corporate headshots, "if you would give away "500 of my vouchers to your database." Get the agreement on email, because that stands up in court and it protects you. Don't just be, like, "I'll give you this and I'll give you that," and then not get anything in return. It's a 50/50 exchange, make sure you're giving, make sure you're getting, make sure it's even. Friends and family. Do I charge my friends and family? Well here it is, I've never charged my family for a portrait or one of my best friends. Why would I do that, they're my friends and family? But there's this level of friends outside your immediate friends and family that are called friends and family, that people really struggle with, what to charge. And I always struggled with this, so what I did, was I created a friends-and-family price list and my friends-and-family price list is based on exactly, half of my portrait price. So, I would go, if they were a friend, I would shoot their folio for $1,000 instead of 2,000. I would still buy the beautiful folio box and give them everything they want but I called it, my friends-and-family price list, even though I would never charge my family, I would call, it friends-and-family. And every now and then, when I was gonna work for a business or I was gonna, I met somebody who wanted, I would say to them, "I could give you my friends-and-family price list "which is 50% off," and everybody would go, "Wow, thank you so much," and then I would get them on my side. I would still get paid, but offer a 50% discount. There's no such thing as a free lunch, we know that's true. So, get paid even if it's 50%. Honor what you do, honor what you create, honor what you sell. Value it and other people will value it too. And if you give them a gift voucher or a discount voucher and say, "Here's a discount voucher worth $500 off," you're still telling them that they're gonna give you some money, they're just getting a great deal. But that whole free, "I'll do it for free, "let me do that for free," it is no, no-bueno, no good. Don't do it, I don't wanna see it, I don't want you to do it, I don't want you to devalue yourself and I don't wanna see other people devaluing you. On the keynote right now, I have the gift voucher. This beautiful, beautiful gift gift voucher here we designed and the whole point of this gift voucher was to teach you how to giveaway a shoot. And there's so many ways for you to giveaway and market your shoots. I know I've talked about this a lot, but I really wanna talk about it, I really wanna talk about it more. You need to either charge a sitting fee, a make-up fee or you have a gift voucher or a free voucher. These are really, really important, all of them. Let's talk about breaking them down and how we can break them down. The first one is a make-up fee. As you're starting out, particularly if you're shooting boudoir and glamour, you need to include hair and make-up into your session, so, you need to charge a sitting fee. You can either get your client to book the hair and make-up artists directly, pay them directly and you can shoot it for free and then you're selling prints or you charge a sitting fee that covers your hair and make-up fee and gives you some money towards the shoot. I have never charged a sitting fee, even though it's on my price list. I'm gonna go back to my price list and show you. See my price list at the top says, Sue Bryce Photographer, make-up and photoshoot, $190. I sell vouchers, I sell discounted vouchers, but I have never charged a sitting fee. I do not need to. I feel like when I charged a sitting fee, that people feel like they've already paid and then they would come in to buy their photographs and I feel like they've already paid and they've only paid 190. So, I found it was better to tie it all in as one service, the shoot, followed by the sale. However, there's a lot of photographers out there right now that are going, "But I can't, "because I've gotta pay my make-up artist. "How do I pay my make-up artist?" You either get them to pay the make-up artist directly or you get them to buy a discounted voucher which includes prints or you get them to buy into one of your packages right from the beginning and then, you not only get paid, you pay the make-up artist straightaway. Those are your choices. Then you have, next slide is, make-up fee, gift voucher, free voucher. There is no such thing as a free lunch, so, if you're going to give away your gift voucher, it is not to have the word free on it. It is a complimentary photoshoot and a $100 towards portraits for me, because I want to give this to somebody and tell them that they are going to be buying images and that's how I educate them to do that. The voucher, it's never free, just don't call it a free voucher. However you get people in there, make sure you educate their price list, your price list right from the beginning. I know a lot of photographers that have been in business for 20 years and more and every single one of them says the same thing, "The secret to earning money is educating your clients." The secret to earning money in your studio is educating your clients. How do you educate your clients? Before you shoot, you view products. Before the consultation, you get an email, PDF email with your prices on it. Then you do a consultation, you talk about money and pricing again. Then they come in for their photoshoot, and before they're photographed, you show them all of the images and products that you have but you do it in a way that's "How would you like to be photographed?" Not, I'm telling you the prices of everything again. It's just all included. Make your pricing, make your value in the language of everything that you say. Make sure it's part of your system right from the get-go and when somebody rings you and says, "Are you available on Tuesday?" Say "Yes, but I'm $1,200." No, (laughing) no. Don't make money an issue. Say, "Yes, I'm available on Tuesday, I'd love to shoot you, "what service do you require from me. "This is my price list, what can I do for you?" And then you're saying, "What can I do for you?" And yes, there's a price tag attached to that but it's not the first thing that you're gonna hit them with. Recently, I've been shopping here in Seattle while I'm making 28 days. I can't believe how many businesses here say, "Do you want a bag?" And I say, "Yes, please," and they go, "It's an extra five cents." And I say, "Well, oh that's okay." I can't believe how many people say it like that, like I'm gonna say, "Five cents! "That's outrageous." Why would you say that to me like I can't afford it? Just say, "You can have an extra bag for five cents," or "Would you like to buy a bag today?" And then I might say, "How much are the bags?" "Five cents," not a problem. But don't say, "Can I sell you an extra bag, they're five cents?" Because I'm kind of like, "I think I can afford five cents today." I'm offended by that and I'm offended by how many people do it. Recently, I went to a beautiful spa and I paid $140 for a massage. That's a big thing for me, that's a lot of money to spend on a message. I also asked for another product and the girl said, "That's going to be an extra $80," and I remember thinking, "Does she think I can't afford it "or do I look like I can't afford it, "or why would you say it like that?" That does not build value to my client and it doesn't build value to me. I don't need to tack on the money, I just need to feel comfortable with it. Clearly, she felt uncomfortable with the money but unfortunately, it made me feel uncomfortable as a client. And I can certainly afford an extra $80 so, I was like, "Why is she speaking to me like that?" It's bad energy around money and if you learn to feel comfortable around your value, around money, around who you are, then you are open to receiving. I put this on Facebook this week. Most people tell me out there, that they're not getting what they want, but the truth is, is they're giving lots they're just not receiving. You have a left hand for leaving and you have a right hand for receiving. That is 50/50, you pay money or you pay a service or give a service and you receive money for it, thank you so much. And if you are not receiving from a place of gratitude, respect and value, then you will stop receiving. You will keep giving and the left hand will be going like this, and the right hand will be poor. So, until you learn what your value is and you say, "I am worth receiving this for the service I am offering, "I believe this 100%," you will not make money. It is that simple. Once you learn that that exchange is pure energy and it comes from you and it comes from value, it comes from your belief and you remove your fear and block around money, you will nail it every single time. You will offer service, you will get paid for it. I get tripped up on this now, I offer service and then I get too busy and then I do a crappy service and I don't get paid. I check that in myself immediately, I apologize to my client, I offer to reshoot, if they don't feel that I have delivered the quality of service that I say I'm going to. Nobody's perfect, this is something you're gonna have to constantly work on, but the more you work on this confidently, the higher your average sale goes. I call this touch points. I'm gonna talk about touch points when I sell, when I do the selling challenge, but I'm gonna tell them again to you today. The first touch points is when you're telling your client, the first time, how much you cost, and that is in the consultation. You either do a phone consultation, you do a one-on-one consultation, but you are going to confidently and openly tell them in an easy, simple, well-communicated way, what your services, what your experience is and what your value is. Then, at that consultation, they will then book their photoshoot. When they come in for their photoshoot, you are going to educate them on your product and how much it costs, but not by saying, "This is my product and this is $1,200," but by saying, "Which products do you like, "how would you like to be photographed?" "Because how I photograph you, "depends on what you like in terms of product. "Do you like the big dancing images? "Let's shoot something like that." Communicate that. Then, when they leave their shoot, you give them your price list, they leave your studio and they say, "Thank you, I've had an incredible experience." Or they don't, because nobody really has an incredible experience being photographed, they say, "That was really strange and uncomfortable, "and it felt like a Pilates class, "and do you think you've got a good shot?" "Yeah, I think I got a good shot. "I look forward to showing you your images next Thursday. "You've got my price list, you've got my phone number, "any problems with that time, just call me and remember, "if there is anybody coming to the viewing, "that is gonna help you make decisions on spending money, "make sure you educate them into the prices and products "that I have." Fourth touch point, when you come back in for the sale, they sit down and the first thing you do is, "Let's have a look at your images, "let's have a look at the packages I can offer you, "these are my beautiful products, "this is my prices, "these are your beautiful," (laughs gently), "these are my products, "these are your beautiful photographs, "this is my price list, what would you like to buy?" And then stop talking and let them spend money with you.

Class Description


Sue Bryce's 28 Days is the all-in-one portrait photography class that teaches you posing, shooting, marketing, selling, and everything else you need to know to run a successful contemporary portrait photography business. 

This series begins with two sessions of intense instruction on business, pricing, and overcoming your fears. Following the kickoff, Sue delivers short sessions exploring 28 different topics essential to any successful portrait photography studio. Sue covers flow posing, connecting with clients, posing and shooting groups, marketing to your key demographic, sales, and more.

In this comprehensive series you'll learn Sue's inspiring approach to styling, posing, marketing, selling and so much more!

Lessons

1Teaching 2 Photographers in 28 Days 2First 2 Years: The Truth 3Rate Your Business 4Year One in Business 128 Challenges 2Fear 3Price & Value 4Checklist, Challenges, and Next Steps 1Day 1: The Natural Light Studio 1Day 2: Mapping Your Set and Outfits 1Day 3: One Composition - Five Poses 1Day 4: Flow Posing 1Day 5: Posing Couples 1Day 6: Capturing Beautiful Connection & Expression 1Day 7: The Rules - Chin, Shoulders, Hands 1First Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 8: Rules - Hourglass, Body Language, Asymmetry, Connection 1Day 9: Styling & Wardrobe 1Day 10: Shooting Curves 1Day 11: Posing & Shooting - Groups of 2, 3, and 4 1Day 12: Posing & Shooting Families 1Day 13: Products & Price List 1Day 14: Marketing & Shooting the Before & After 1Day 15: Phone Coaching & Scripting 1Second Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 16: Posing Young Teens 1Day 17: Marketing & Shooting - Family First Demographic 1Day 18: The Corporate Headshot 1Day 19: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare 2Photoshop Video: Glamour Shoot on Location & Shooting with Flare 1Day 20: Photoshop - Warping & the Two Minute Rule 1Day 21: Posing Mothers & Daughters 1Third Weekly Q&A Session 2Day 22: Marketing & Shooting - 50 & Fabulous Demographic 1Day 23: Shooting into the Backlight 2Bonus: Shooting into the Backlight 1Day 24: Marketing & Shooting - Girl Power Demographic (18-30s) 2Photoshop Video: Girl Power Demographic (18-30s) 1Day 25: The Beauty Shot 2Bonus: Vintage Backdrop 1Day 26: Marketing & Shooting - Independent Women Demographic 1Day 27: Sales & Production 1Day 28: Posing Men 1Bonus: Pricing 2Introduction 3Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 1 4Photography, Style, Brand, and Price Part 2 5Marketing Part 1 6Marketing Part 2 7Money: What's Blocking You? 8Bonus: The Folio Shoot 1Photo Critiques Images 1 through 10 2Photo Critiques Images 11 through 27 3Photo Critiques Images 28 through 45 4Photo Critiques Images 47 through 67 5Photo Critiques Images 68 through 84 6Photo Critiques Images 85 through 105 7Photo Critiques Images 106 through 130 8Photo Critiques Images 131 through 141 9Photo Critiques Images 142 through 167 10Photo Critiques Images 168 through 197 11Photo Critiques Images 198 through 216 1Identify Your Challenges 2Identify Your Strengths 3Getting Started Q&A 4Rate Your Business 5Marketing Vs Pricing 6Facing Fear 7The 28 Day Study Group 8Selling Points 9Interview with Susan Stripling 10Emotional Honesty 1Sue's Evolution 228 Days Review 3Student Pitches 428 Days Testimonial: Mapuana Reed 5How to Pitch: Starting a Conversation 6Your Block: Seeing is What You're Being 7Your Block: Valuing and Receiving 8Building Confidence: Your Own Stories 9Building Confidence: Your Self Worth 10Pitching An Experience 11Pitching An Experience: Your Intentions 12Pitching An Experience: Social Media 13Final Thoughts

Reviews

Claude Bossel
 

Based in Switzerland, I am an advertising/commercial photographer since 20 years and I am still learning everyday. I have bought several courses on Creativelive, all are great and inspiring. This one is also fantastic, thanks to Sue and her incredible experience and wisdom, you will improve your personality, your attitude and skills that will bear many fruits in your business and personal life. I highly recommend anyone who loves photography or dream to become a full time pro to invest in courses like this one. Thank you Sue, thank you all from Creativelive.