Day 11 Bonus:"Pricing part 2"
There are a couple different methods of structuring you're pricing there's ala carte pricing where everything is priced individually and the client can go in and choose for themselves. Of course, based on your suggestions what they'll be purchasing and see each price individually and then there's package pricing and with packages we're going to put together a group of items and products that we feel will suit the clients and direct them towards what we want them to buy and that's a great option as well there's some pros and cons with that and we'll talk about those but that's the second option and then the third would be a build your own package system and we'll go through that and each one of those things but there's allah cards, packages and a build your own a fourth option that some photographers have used is a credit system and what I have found over the years and I have never used a credit system myself, so I cannot speak personally from this. But what I have found with working wi...
th other photographers who have used a credit system is that it becomes confusing for the client and sometimes they even feel like they're being a little bit tricked or deceived because they're not talking about dollars and it feels like you're trying to hide the dollar amount from me if I'm spending a certain amount for a certain amount of credit and in points and then I use those points to buy my product and so I'm not saying it the wrong option if that feels good to you and you're using it successfully keep doing it, but I'm going to go through the other three methods because those are the ones that I have used and what makes sense for me another method of pricing that of course is very popular right now are selling digital files only and, you know, I truly believe that if you are shooting and burning selling just those digital files that you are doing a huge disservice for your clients you know, digital files are fragile, they are not forever every hard drive has a fine ality it has a shelf life, a dvd we have no idea if in a year we'll even be able to play them you know it could be are a cassette tape in, you know, a couple of years, you know, right now even the new macbook airs and some of the new apple computers don't even have dvd players in them. So really be thinking about that an edge or educate your client in that way. But if you are our shooting and burning, you know, of course you've got a whole different pricing set for that I would encourage you that if if if that's something that you're going to continue that you at least incorporate the option of buying products from you something that is a finished product that your client can see touch and feel and enjoy forever you know and again educate them on the fact that digital files are not forever yes we all want them we wantto share them on facebook and share them with friends and family and so we want to make those digital files an option for our clients but we don't want that to be the final product so I'm gonna encourage you on that and and you know really if you're selling just digital files make sure that you're creating a nice sizable price point for yourself that includes the session in a certain package of digital files or maybe three options for packages for digital files and make it be worth your time and value not just for that session time really think through that entire workflow that you have even as a shooting burn photographer that you have invested in each and every client and make sure that you are pricing for profit and for that time value first let's talk about the ala carte system with ala carte your client is going to be choosing through your individual products everything is listed out individually that is the process that I use in my studio for all of our regular clients and what we tell our family clients when they call if they do ask her packages we let them know that we don't have any predetermined packages set up for them we want them to choose exactly what's right for them and then we can continue the conversation with leading in and making suggestions for what we feel is right for them and always always remember if you don't suggest they can't say yes and you know that is a huge uh point for me that really hit home for me the first time that I heard it and always always be willing to make those suggestions for your client a lot of times we just want to be told you know, this is what I'm suggesting to you you know that's why we hire people as interior designers and landscape er's and you know, even our hair stylists we want to be told this is what's gonna look great this is what I suggest and so think about that when you're working with their clients and make those suggestions so that's something that all a card allows us to do is to really customize things for our clients and what's perfect for them and we're going to make those suggestions so I'm gonna take you through our products menu and you're going to get to see the entire thing from start to finish just like it's presented to our clients I do send a pdf of our products menu to each and every client uh before they ever come in for a session I do want to send that without question they're going to get that product menu however they're not going to get it until I've had a really great and national comic conversation with them so if somebody calls the studio and they ask for pricing right away which happens a lot I'm gonna you know first come back to them with great we'd be happy to send you our entire product menu you know let me know tell me a little bit more about who we're going to be photographing and so we're redirecting the conversation we're learning more about their kids about their family and building the relationship and that's what we want to do first and then at the end of that conversation will remind them again we're going to send you our complete product when you take a look through everything and let us know if you have any questions and so the product menu is a real tool for me I want a pdf it email it to every single person I want them to look through it and you know but another thing that I will comment on is that you know we want this to be a really nice tool and we wanted to have a lot of information in it for a client but I don't want to ever ever rely on anything that's printed if I wanted to communicate it to my client I need to verbally communicated with my client so we're going to set up those systems and you know right phone scripts and write a plan so that we're communicating everything that we want communicated to the client so this is our products menu. So with this front page of the pdf it's just an introduction to the studio it's got the studio name on it and I always want to seasonally date my menus it's going to say, you know, spring two thousand thirteen or winter two thousand fourteen that way, if I want to go back and change it from time to time, I can do that and I'm not, you know, stuck with something that's been I've printed twenty five of were one hundred of, and I'm not stuck with that pricing until I'm out of those printed pieces and I also know that people will print thes they are less likely to print my menu because it's so many pages, but they may print it, but because I have it seasonally dated, I'm not stuck to it as you flip through, the first thing you're presented with is a living room with wall portrait's hanging and that's what I want my clients to think about through this entire process you have looking through the product menu is really the end goal for us with their session ist create something beautiful for their home, so I want them to think about that as their flipping through so their first presented with a wall concept here and the words say to a door every day, and I do want them to be thinking about that about something that they're going to enjoy every single day. They've also heard me say that to them on the initial phone call, I want to create something for you that you're going to enjoy every single day, so this is just a continuation of that conversation that we've already had next they're presented with just a little blurb about the studio, we want to remind them that we're going to design something custom for them and that that we're gonna walk them through the process, we're going to guide them through it. The next page presents the client with are different session offerings, and we've got a couple different offerings. We've got an offering in the studio and offering on location, so they're going to see that with our location sessions, I've got a starting at price, and I do want to always have that starting at price with anything that could be a variable. I don't want a list, all those variables, I don't wantto list a lot of rules, so it's not going to say within a certain mile radius or for every mile after it's going to be this much. Just a starting at is great for the client and then we can communicate about any differences that there might be a lot of times I might wave a difference if I know that I'm working with a client and they've sent me three walls that we're going to design and they're excited about all three of those concepts I'm not going to charge him or to travel a little bit further, so that becomes a variable for me that I could decide on and then we have our new it's my life story sessions and this session is going to include video for our clients and we're levying these new sessions and our clients are loving them so and we'll talk more about incorporating video into your sessions, but this has been a fun new thing for us, and we just decided that if we're going to do video for our clients, we want to make sure that there is that initial investment and so we are charging quite a bit for this we're charging them twenty five hundred dollars tio get video involved in their session and then with that they're going to get that slide show of the images that's going to include their video and they're still images that's going to be delivered to them as well as a thousand dollars in credit for an album and then a thousand dollars in credit towards their wall portrait and so they are getting quite a bit with this and they're even getting a little bit of a savings because we're including the session fee in this but it's an upfront way of saying this is the minimum that you're going to spend if you want us to invest the time with video without saying there's a minimum so that's the way we've chosen teo to do that next we're going to go into a visual of our design planner and this has already been verbally communicated with the client so this is the second time that they're being exposed to the idea that we are designing for their home we want those snapshots for them and it gives him a little bit of an instruction on how to do that as well as a list of different rooms in the house to kind of just job there ideas of where they want might wanna walk through and take those snapshots for me and then a continuation of that thought and we can also mail this page I don't ever male the full products menu but I can print this page and put that wall clean ruler on this page and mail that directly to the client if if we're going to go through that process we can also talk to them about just taping a piece of paper to the wall if we don't have a lot of time to get the ruler to them for instance if they booked a session for the next week or even two weeks later we're going to ask them just to tape a piece of paper to the wall or have something measurable against the wall if we've got some time, if they booked their appointment a month out, I'm gonna go ahead and nail on this piece of paper getting that wall clean ruler in the mail really is something that's fun for the clients and you know, it looks really professional and kind of, you know, gives them a task to do so they're gonna peel that off and stick it on their walls and it's just kind of fun, so that's a continuation of that, and then we go into the idea that we're planning and designing for their home. We're creating these custom concepts for them, and I've already told them on the phone that if we're designing for one room, we're going to do one outfit and one background or one location if we're designing for two rooms, we're gonna have them bring two different outfits and we're going to do to locations or backgrounds. So this again is just a reiteration of what we've already talked about they can read through that and it makes a little bit more sense and you know, they might get excited about maybe designing for two locations if they want to do to really specific outfit changes if our clients choose to design for four arm or rooms, which I'm going to just tell you rarely happens, but we want to put it in there, because we always want to put something in that our clients are going to believe that, yeah, somebody does this somebody designs therefore more rooms, and we also want to throw in some extras with this so that we are encouraging those people, too. Go ahead and choose four different spaces that we're going to design, because when they choose this, they're going to get free gift prince of every single pose that they order for the wall, and they can choose any size up to eight by ten, so we're gonna throw those in, and then we're going to do an image box of five by seven image box that includes their entire image set so all of their, you know, basically proofs from the session, and these are going to be all there, yeses and maybes from their session, we're not going to include their nose, but we don't even need to tell him that. It's okay, they're going to get all of those in an image box, and they're gonna get that for free, and they're going to get thirty percent off of any additional gift prints and their tabletop frames that they're going to order, so this is a really nice, inclusive package and, you know, I would encourage you when you're building collections, we'll talk about this when we're talking about building packages, but once you've got what you want the client to order that order it's okay to throw in extras and build more value for your package or for your collection, and while this isn't a package, it still is that, you know, kind of that package thought process where we're we're designing for four different spaces you're doing four outfit changes, this is going to take that session longer than an hour and that's okay, because we're goingto be profitable with that, but we want to throw in lots of value there so that we're encouraging people to purchase there. And once we've already retouched that image edited that image that's going to be for their wall portrait. I am so happy to throw in a cz many gift princes they want of that same image because that's a lot of value to the client, especially when our eight by tens are priced really well and really high and so it's a great value to the client, but it's not costing the studio any more money, you know, it's that another time to push and go in our rose system and, you know, a couple bucks to print those gift prince and I had those in for the client, so you know, think about those ways that you can build in value without draining the profit for your business next in the product menu, they're just going to see a custom print price list. I've got lots of sizes in here, and this is designed that way so that they are seeing a lot of sizes and they're not going to sit here. They're not going to stay and dwell on this page because there was just, you know, a list of words and numbers for them to look at. Unfortunately, a lot of photographers present their clients with only this list, you know, I'm probably not even this many sizes, but it's just a list of words and numbers, and so I want to present them with a lot more to think about a lot more to absorb and really focus on the things that we want them to focus on, which is designing for their home. And then we've got a campus gallery rap menu again, it's just a ala carte menu. And here we also let our clients know that if their purchasing three or more campuses for the wall, they could take ten percent off of their order, so we're encouraging those groupings of the campus is still talking about designing for the wall. Next, our clients are going to see one of our favorite products, and this is one of our favorite products that are clients over the years have really I loved that we do, and that's an expression collection, and this is a nine up framed piece of nine different expressions or face is that of a baby or a child, even a family we can do in these expressions collections, and I at one time had a client asked me, how can you go bigger with this? We'd always sold these in a twenty by twenty piece and a twenty by twenty campus or framed piece either way, but I had a client asked me, can you go bigger? And I was like, well, absolutely, we can do anything you want, and it was this client that actually asked me for the first time to separate these pieces into nine different pieces, and so now we absolutely show this in our menu, and you want people to see this as an option, and so, you know, by showing it, we're going to sell it. But even if somebody doesn't choose the complete nine different framed grouping, you know, coming back down to that twenty by twenty or thirty by thirty. Nine at peace doesn't feel like you know, it kind of lets him settle back down into something that it's like, oh, okay, that feels good and, you know, so you're gonna have those clients that want the best of the best and those other clients that need to see that somebody buys that best of the best so that what they're purchasing just feels a little bit better. We want to show them those classic traditional framing options, and then we're showing them the wild survey handpainted framing options, which we do lots where kids room and for nurseries and even play rooms in the house. And then we've got a couple different options for albums and albums air not something that I push with the client in the very beginning, but I let them know as we go, you know, when they say I'm gonna love everything, how am I going to be able to choose? Or they say that in the order appointment, I love them all. How am I going to narrow this down? We let them know you know what? We've got some great album options for you that will include olive, you're yeses and your maybes where we need them, so don't worry about that right now, let's plan for the wall. Like we talked about well choose those images and then all the other images that we that you love we can put into an album for you so we want to just show them that that's an option in the menu and then with the image box is kind of that same idea where we're putting together a collection of their favorite images and that's an option as well and then we're just reminding them that they can do those small prints and we've got tabletop frames for them we want to remind them about gifts and that we can wrap those for them and get send them to those ready to deliver to their friends and family we're showing them designer cards and all the print press items that we can do for them and you know, we've talked about that those air so important to me I want those out in my client's hands was our marketing pieces for the studio, so we're showing them those options and even with a list of all those different things that they can do with the print press items next, we're going to show them our boutique items, the jewelry from katori, the handbags that they can get and and then a whole list of items that they can add on at the end and we do want to make sure that these air add ons you know we're concentrating on all those other things in the beginning there wall portrait's are what's most important to me to sell and so that's what I'm concentrating on I want to add on an album which is a high end product I want to add on an image box which is a high end product but I also want to add on the boutique items even though we're not quite as profitable well we're not all is profitable with the boutique items I consider those pieces walking marketing pieces for us so I definitely want our clients to add those on so we're gonna show them the jewelry I almost always wear a piece of katori jewelry when I'm working with my clients because they see it and comment on it and so those are things that they want and then of course the handbags air fun and we honestly don't sell as many handbags as we used to but they're still offered and when somebody does by one especially you know if it's a grandmother those grandmother is where those handbags and go into their little groups whether it's a book club or you know, church, social or whatever and people see those and comment on those and they're great marketing pieces for the studio and then we end the menu to bring it all back around show them a wall concept with a family in a living room and just, you know, reiterating the idea of the custom design we wantto help them and hold their hand through the process. We want to create something custom for them and for their home, and so we want to remind them of that at the end of the menu, the last thing in the menu is our digital collection this again we want to promote as an add on for the client we do offer this as a bonus item and so they can earn up to fifty percent off of the digital collection. In my opinion, if they buy what I want them to buy, then I'm going to help them get what they want, which let's face it. They want those digital files these days, and so we've got a couple of digital collections available to them. They can purchase ten images for two thousand dollars or thirty images for three thousand dollars, and so we talked to our clients about archiving their their images. If there, you know, interested in digital files, we do want to remind them that digital files they're fragile, so we're walking them through that process but letting them know that if they do want to archive their images, these two collections are available to them. I also do give them an image box with their digital collection, so they've got a proof of everything that they order and they can see how it should look printed if they do print but I'm going to remind you that our clients are not printing their images we know this there has been research done on and you probably know it too I know for me my mother in law is always telling me, you know, she's she's the one running around at the point and shoot everywhere she goes and she used to drop that roll of film and the mail and a week later she'd get back oliver for by sixes and she has, you know, scrapbooks and boxes full of four by six is well, since the digital era came along, there are no more four by six is because she's not having them printed and you know this too you may have been a scrapbook er in the past and all of a sudden that's starting to dwindle off unless you're a die hard and you are creating those digital scrapbook pages, which can be another products for your client even if you know somebody is a scrapbook er you know, maybe you should offer a ten by ten scrapbook pages that you design and tarred well for people are are willing to pay it because people just don't have time to do it anymore so think about that when you're planning your digital collections um I do want to talk to my clients about archiving their images because it it sounds a little bit more like a good reason for the investment that they're going to make with digital files in my studio, so those were available to them. They're available for fifty percent off once they reach a certain spending level, and I'm happy to do that as an add on at that point, and then the menu ends with a final page and another wall design and other this is the dining room, so I want the clients to be thinking about different areas that they could be decorating and designing with their portrait all of these rooms that you're seeing in the menu, we're just built in preview these air, not actual client homes, these air rooms that were already built in preview for you and I have just pulled my images in and design walk concepts right there. So what this allows you to do if you're using preview are pro selector any software that's allowing you to design on the walls you can show clients options, you can put thes wall designs on facebook and on your way website on your block and just give them the ideas for designing and creating something beautiful for their home. And the goal with the product menu is to, you know, really get the clients engaged in the possibilities, so that's what I want them to think about, I don't ever want to present my client with a list of words and numbers and that's something that years ago I realized you know, in creating a menu and really it was when I decided that I needed to raise my prices and I thought to myself, you know what? What are the high end items that I purchase and how do I purchase them? You know, I would never purchase something without seeing it first especially something that I'm gonna spend a lot of money on we've got to see that product teo understand it and to get the value of it and so I began creating product menus instead of a list of words and numbers because that list of board of words and numbers doesn't mean anything if I'm telling a client and eight by ten is one hundred fifty dollars they're gonna go no, thank you, you know? But if we can talk to them about the value of creating something beautiful for their home that they're going to enjoy every single day we're building that value of the product and, you know, incorporating the interior design concept into your client workflow really changes the perception of what your client is coming to you for it's not just pictures anymore it's doing something beautiful it's creating something beautiful for them and when you become the interior designer, when you help your client with this process, they're going to trust you more and more to make those suggestions into you know, then do exactly what you're telling them this is right for this space. This is going to look beautiful here, and then they're going to say, yeah, I love that and the sail becomes much easier, the whole process becomes much easier. So that's the ala carte system and you've seen that entire menu, which, you know, I took you through every single page, so obviously that took a lot longer. Then what the client experience is going to be with the menu as a foot through on the pdf, but again, the goal with that is that they're flipping through and they're seeing those different ideas and yes, they can stop and read things if they want. But we also know that most people skim these days, they're not reading so again remember that anything that you want communicated you need to verbally communicate, so make sure that you're walking them through and hand holding them through the entire process. The pros of using an ala carte system are that your client can get exactly what they want and that's. One of the things that we communicate to our clients with ala carte is that no, we don't have packages put together, you're going to get exactly what you want. And you know, that makes the client feel good they don't feel like they're trapped into anything or they're put into a box of a package, but the khan of that is that you do have the extra work of walking them through what you want them to buy you have to do a little bit more education with the ala carte system because you don't want them to just look at the ala carte menu and have to make their decisions on their own because clients can't do that if you give them a list of words and numbers or even a beautiful uh products menu like thiss they're gonna look at it and, you know, trying to make their own decisions is not going to make sense for them. All they know is all they know and most people when they call the studio all they know our four by six is five by sevens and maybe blown up eight by tens, you know? So we gotta walk them through the process of what we want them to purchase and you know, so that could be a con for you if you don't have this system in place, but I believe that for me there are many, many pros too using the ala carte system because I can do something specific and custom for the client they're not trapped into the box of a package the next method of pricing is using packages and packages they're going to allow you to put value where you want the client to spend and so you are you know, kind of pointing them in in the direction of exactly what she wanted them to buy so that is a pro of using packages you khun build your packages to lead your client exactly to that average that you want them to spend so um think about that that's uh one little tip if you're building packages is to make sure that you're rewarding clients for where you want them to spend and so you're building the most value into that package right where you want them toe be led to another thing for packages for me and my business is any time I need clients to make a quick decision, I'm going to incorporate packages and so that's going to be with all of our special events it's going to be for many sessions it's going to be for our charity events so any time that for instance they're seeing their images immediately following their session I want to have packages in place because we're plugging them into something very quickly that does not mean that we're not spending time preparing the client before they see those packages they're going to see the packages available to them before I ever photographed them but I want to be able to very comfortably lead them into the package that I want them to purchase by building the value there and so one of the things that you might want to think about is incorporating digital files into the package that you want your clients to purchase and so don't build the digital files don't build the extra gift prince definitely don't build wallets into your packages where you want your clients to behind because they're gonna add those things on they're going to add on you no wallets are going to add on digital files but you can throw them in and to a bigger package where you know this is where I want them spence I'm gonna throw in those give prints any pose that they've already ordered I could add in those gift prince because I've already done all the work for them and I've built my my cost based pricing into that first print I had on those gift prints all day long um you know the same thing with the digital files if it suppose they've already ordered and their purchasing a print of that absolutely add in those digital files when it's at that price point for where you want them to spend so think first about the average you want to reach and planning your packages to get them there and then throw in that extra value at that place so that they're spending what you want them to spend and they're getting what they want so just a couple of tips with packages we want you to always playing your packages from the highest to lowest and just kind of psychologically thinking what that does is you're going to start with the highest package and you know, a lot of times we're calling that the whopper package that get it all the you know, crazy out there we really don't expect anybody to buy it package and the reason that's there is that psychologically we want clients to see that and think somebody spends that much money somebody gets that it could be an outrageous size it could be an outrageous you know, amount of money whatever whatever you don't think your clients will spend um and put that package there and how we say if somebody buys that top package when you're when you're a package based studio you need to raise that package and get it a little bit higher make it be something that you really don't expect people to invest in that works the same with weddings have that out their package so that when first presented with it and you want to start with that highest package first people will say you know heck no I would never spend that much money but somebody does you know and they're going to believe that you're worth that and that value is there and so that's kind of just that psychological beginning to packages and then you're gonna work down into that package that is feels really good and comfortable coming down from that top whopper package and then it feels get okay, I can I can spend here you're also going to put your value there you're gonna add in the gift prince you're gonna add in the digital files or whatever you want to add in to build that value but get there where you want them to spend and so your bottom packages usually just a lead in package it's something that you want to be able to tell clients on the phone when they ask about your package pricing or your pricing in general, you can say we have packages starting at x you really don't ever want to sell that bottom package that's just something that you feel good about saying this is portrait's weddings, whatever you know our package to be get begin at x and that's just a lead in for the client to continue the conversation and so you don't want to build any value there. You really don't really want to add much of anything into that bottom packages just that lead in yes talk to me further kind of thing and so we want to build our value into the middle into where we want our clients to spend there's a philosophy that says packages should be good, better best um I really feel like four packet or three packages sometimes isn't enough for the client, you know, offer them a little bit more and kind of that middle space where you feel like you know, this is a good landing space is what I want my average to be someone who lied my client right there. If a client's willing to spend your bottom package or your next package, you should be able to comfortably lead them into the next package by showing them the value that you have created there. Another thing with packages that you always want to encourage add ons, so never leave your packages within with an ending, you know you want to give them the encouragement to purchase more. So you're going to give them a discount, for example, and more of a discount as they moved forward in pricing so you might start it just a ten percent discount on additional items to your package with the bottom package and that move teo fifteen or twenty per cent, and then a twenty five percent and leading up tio even fifty percent with your top package so that they more they spend with you the more incentive that they have at the end to add things on. So now that you understand a little bit about the philosophy of setting up your packages, I'm going to show you what our special event packages look like. Now these air for our many sessions this is going to be for vintage valentine's and that type of event where we're doing it fifteen to twenty minute sessions and showing them there amid images immediately following so we want them to be plugged into making quick decisions we do send them these packages before they come in for their session so they can see everything right away and you'll notice that our bottom package the cheapest entry is one hundred sixty eight dollars, which is very inexpensive so that's going to be our lead in when somebody calls for a special event we're going to let them know that our packages start at just one hundred sixty eight dollars and that's something that doesn't scare anybody so that their plugged into that and then of course we're going to lead them into the packages with more value for them as we go along, I'm going to show you our packages that we have for our higher and events it's in another segment but this will let you kind of see the progression of building packages for these quickie events that we want them to purchase immediately following and make quick easy decisions. So starting with that philosophy of that lead in package that one hundred sixty eight dollars we're not building a lot of value there we're giving them the choice of two poses and a few units and I hate that word units but we're going to use it on the special events because people understand that and it's another thing that completely separates these quickie events from what we do day to day in the studio, so I'm okay with it for these events, I'd encourage you not to use that word with your regular studio sessions or even your higher end events because people kind of associate that word with, like, school packages or dance packages and that's ok for these type of quickie event, so we're going to use it here, we do show them on the next page what a unit consist of, and so you can see that here, and, um, I'll kind of walking through these packages, I'm not gonna walk there each and every one, but you'll see how we build up tio that top package, that whopper package eighteen hundred dollar package. I'm really okay if no one purchases that from a fifteen minute, twenty minute session. Um, we do have people that will purchase that top package because we've got a ton of value built there it's kind of that get it all package it's got unlimited poses there, but really what I want them to do is I want them to see that, and I want them to settle in at that twelve hundred dollar package that also has a ton of value built in and we've put those digital files and those top two packages so we know that's what our client really wants especially on these quickie sessions are super excited about having those digital files sharing them on facebook with their friends and that's that's great we want them to have them if they've already done what we want them to do so I wantto build them and only into those top two packages if they want to purchase them separately they're going to be very expensive and so that's building that value if I'm showing them on an all a cartman you were there super high priced than I can throw him in there in there for free in places where I've already in building albums and if I'm building an album that means I've already done all the retouching all of the work where I've built in that prophet and I can give them those for free so that's goingto help direct them there and show them you know, that's where the value is and of course with thes many events, we want to make sure that we're photographing images that they're going to love so that they can't settle land in that bottom package where there's just to pose is available so they're getting more poses with each level that there moving up with and so the more images that they love, the higher the package we can point them tio you know, you love ten images, so we're gonna plug you in right here. So that's, how we build those packages? We also want the higher value packages tohave wall portrait credit, bilton and I found that if you build in credit towards something, they are going to spend more money. They hardly ever stop. If it says that they're going to get a three hundred dollar while portrait credit, they're not going to stop at that three hundred dollars, that goes towards something so that's, why we want to do that instead of including a certain size like a sixteen by twenty when it comes to larger pieces moving through the menu, we do want to show them all the ala carte pieces and prices. We want to show them the prices because we don't want them to land there. We want them to see the value of these, and they are discounted from our day to day pricing, but when they get built into a package, it build the value of that package because they can see that all a carte pricing. One of the products that we always want to add with our many sessions are the storyboards, death strip storyboards, larger storyboards, either three images, five images, and we do that because with the events that just lends itself to that storytelling piece, and the storytelling piece for us is something with multiple images, and those are just great add ons those are things that we can really encourage people to do, and one of the things I've also learned to do is that if somebody does get excited about a storyboard, whatever size it is, I'm gonna offer them the second one at half price, and that isn't even listed on our menu that's just something that I can offer to them during the sales appointment. It's a quick, easy decision for them if I'm letting them know, you know, if you'd like a duplicate one of these for grandma or, you know, dad's office, we're happy to do that at half off if it's the exact same thing, so what that means for me, for profitability is I've already done the work it's finished, I just pushed go one more time in rose I'm gonna order the same frame twice for my framer and of course I don't have much profit built in there, but I've already paid for my time value and so I can offer it at fifty percent off and it's just a kn additional quick decision add on that's goingto raise that session average and last with our packages. We always want to show those press print item add ons I want people to have played a cards I wanted them to have, you know, with vintage valentine's we want them to have the valentine's cards that their purchasing from us you know, of course if they get to those higher level packages, they're buying digital files and they may not buy the round timecards from us they may do them on their own and that's okay, but I want to give them the option. What I found is that people that do spend more money in their packages aren't the type of people that are going to go and create their own valentine cards anyway, so we're still getting those add ons of the press print items, so I want to always show those and show the options and even for vintage valentine's, I don't want him to just think about valentine's cards I want them to think about just notes and greeting cards that they can use throughout the year, so we're going to promote those and the playdate cards and all the other things that they can do mommy, mommy calling cards and just give them those ideas because those make really easy add ons at the end, the main thing to remember when you're building your packages is to reward your clients for where you want them to spend the cons of setting up a package system is that you are a lot of times putting your client into a box you know we're telling them exactly what they want them to buy and sometimes we're leaving money on the table by doing that so do always remember to offer the add ons and give them an incentive for adding things on and another great idea when you're building your packages is tio just give an amount towards something in your packages and so with each level you could adam or more credit towards wall portrait so more credit towards an album or boutique items so perhaps that package a you're going you're going to say with that that they get two hundred fifty dollars towards their wall portrait's in package be you're going to say that they get four hundred dollars towards there they're wall portrait's and so on and so you're not ending it there it's towards something and so they can always you know spend eight hundred dollars on wall portrait's but they've got that four hundred dollars it's going to go towards it and they've already purchased in their package that's a way to not you know close that box and keep it open is to offer on amount towards something with each package level and then we have the build your own package system and this is the system that we use with our high school seniors and this has worked really really well for us with high school seniors we also do this with certain specialty kids sessions that we do, but I'm going to show you our senior product menu because we have really had a lot of success with this build your own package system with our seniors and our senior averages have actually skyrocketed with this, we used to do just packages with the seniors and yes, they were buying exactly what we told them to buy. But, you know, one of the things with packages also is that it's never perfect for everyone and that's one of the reasons why I like adding in that, you know, this much towards your wall, portrait's or whatever it is that main thing that you want them to purchase, but at the time we weren't even doing that, and so we were plugging them into a certain level of purchase, they were doing it, and I realized at one point, you know, man, we're leaving a lot of money on the table. I really think people would purchase more if we allowed them to if we just gave them the room to do it. And so we created the build a package system, and, uh, this works really well, this is exactly what we do with our regular portrait clients are family portrait clients, because we're leading them through the process in the same way but with the build a package with seniors were giving the clients the packages that they want and expect you know how moms that call for senior sessions are asking what our packages are and so we can say to them you know instead of having pre built packages for you were goingto let you build your own package so you get that same value but you're going to get exactly what you want and so those two things those two words air really great for a mom to hear yeah they're going to get the value but they're going to get exactly what they want and so we're gonna walk them through the process just like we would with our regular studio sessions but it's actually written down and on paper so its really easy for them to follow along and they know what the expectations are they know each level and when they go through each of the four steps that we have and I'll show those to you they're going to get twenty percent off their order so that's where that value comes in a lot of times when we're building packages we're looking at about a twenty percent savings for our clients and so that's what we're doing with the builder collection when they do each one of those things that we want them to dio they're going to get twenty percent off the order so let's walk through that our senior menu starts with a list of our session offerings and we've got a couple different sessions in the studio we've got a session with my second shooter that's two, eighty five we've got a session with me that's three, eighty five and then we've got our rock star session and we started doing this years ago when we were we were photographing and shooting video for almost all of our seniors anyway and creating a really special fusion video for them when they'd come in to see their images and there just came a time where is like, you know, yeah, this is really cool, but this is taking up so much time and when we had seniors that wouldn't buy that video purchase it at the end would be really mad and so we just decided we want to keep doing this because we love the product so much in our seniors do too, but we want to make sure that our time is well compensated for. And so we created this two hundred fifty, her twenty five hundred dollars rockstar session that includes photography and video which our clients love and they get that final product of the dvd slideshow and then they're going to get a thousand dollars in wall portrait credit and a thousand dollars towards her album, so they're getting a lot of value they're they're actually saving money just like that video session that we're including in our family menu they're saving money in the end but we know as a beginning that you know there are at least spending twenty five hundred dollars with us so it's worth that time and what this has done for us is it's created a lot of buzz there's not a lot of people doing this yet for senior sessions especially you know we live in a day and age and I know it's not just my town I know it's your town too where there are a lot of photographers that air charging fifty dollars for a senior session and just handing over all the images and so this is creating something that's way hein above that it's a it's a custom experience it's a special and exciting experience for me the student and we talked to the mom about that as well so we can get them excited about the whole experience and you know really um you know excited about even spending that much money with us because it's just something that's very unique and different and so that that twenty five hundred dollars session has been very popular for us we put it out there in the beginning because we thought you know, this was a way to get rid of those people who weren't purchasing the video session but for the last two years we've had very few high school seniors that have not purchased the rockstar session so it's been very successful for us the next thing that they're going to see in that senior menu is just analogue cart price menu, and this is just a very few select pieces, this isn't everything that they can order, and we let them know that I don't want our senior clients to be really inundated with a lot of stuff. I want to present those things to the mom and really again build something custom for them. Along with that ala carte menu, we've got the campus gallery wraps and the image boxes, so we just want to show those when the magic happens on the next page where we've got the build a collection system, and here we have step one is hang it up, that's going to be all their wall portrait that they're going to dio, and we're still including encouraging even high school senior parents to choose a special place in the home toe hang their senior portrait or a grouping of the senior, and we're talking to mom, and we're telling her, you know, this is going to be your choice, your daughter, your son is going to choose his wallets to head up to his friends and all of his favorites that are going to go in his album, that this is something that you are going to be able to see and enjoy every single day when that's a student is off to college, so this is going to be your choice. We want you to pick a very special place in your home that you're going to be able teo walk by and enjoy these images, so we want them to think about that ahead of time. So that's step one, and that really is step one for us that's the most important thing is for the wall, let's, hang it up, step two is set it out and that's going to be any of their smaller prints and either tabletop prints and that's for us. Anything up to eleven by fourteen, because we don't even want them to think about eleven by fourteen for the wall, unless it's in a grouping and then it's ok, step three is going to be mix it up that's any multiple image piece that we do, it could be a death strip or a storyboard or an image, polio or an image box. It could be any multiple image piece, and then step four is make the cover, and we do create albums for every single high school senior, and so that we want them to choose between three different levels of albums, and that is here on the next page, they've got three different levels, we've got the all star, the superstar in the rock star album so they can choose their and so that's gonna get them through their their four steps and when they do each of those steps are going to get twenty percent off their order so that's going to give them the value of that package and then in the menu we do want to present the ideas for their parties that are gonna happen the following year in may when they graduate and so we're talking to them about senior announcements we're talking about all the fun things that they could do for their parties and things that they're going to want to add, but we're not selling those at that time we just want to introduce the ideas we want to show them some things and they come in for their order appointment and make notes about the things that they're excited about and let them know that we're going to be contacting them in january and february of the next year so that they can make those purchases at that time. And you know that is just extra added revenue and times that were a little bit slower in january and february you know from images that we've already created already edited already delivered the money is done and so it's a really valuable time for the studio to be able to go back to those past sessions that we've already done and create extra income during those slow times and the money is for gotten at that point they might have come in and spent several thousand dollars, but we call him back in january it's like, starting over so it's just fun again, so I want to introduce those concepts to them, but I would never include those things into any packages that were selling for seniors, so I would encourage that to you that if you're photographing high school seniors, normally the timeframe for photographing high school seniors is the end of their junior year to the beginning of their senior year manticore assemble trickle into the senior year itself, but that's the main time, and so we're photographing them in the summer, and then we're selling to them again in january and february and, you know, so don't put those things in your packages. Those are things that you're gonna want to add on later, and then at the end, we've got a bonus schedule and this bonus schedule starts at fifteen hundred dollar price point, and you can do this at whatever price point feels good to you, wherever you you know, that kind of lowest thing that you want your clients to get to and go up from there, we're going to encourage them at each one of their spending levels that they can get an additional discount off of. More products that they can add on it the end and so we've got a little list of those bonus items, and they're gonna be things that I really don't want people to concentrate on throughout the process, but I definitely want them to consider adding them on at the end. So it's going to be anything from their cd slide show if they haven't purchased that twenty five hundred dollar collection or it's going to be a proof magazine, it's going to be any of those smaller items that I want them tio not really concentrate on but still be excited about, and they're things that especially with the girls there's, you know, all kinds of little things that the girls get excited about, whether it's dog tags for their boyfriends or an iphone cover or some of the little ten pieces that we have, and so I want those girls to get excited about those things, but then I want to let them know, you know what? We're not gonna worry about those I'm gonna show you how your mom can get those at a discount, and so I want to leave them to the bonus schedule, and that encourages those add ons at the end, that's how that build a package system, works and with that you know, the pros there, of course, being able to walk your client through exactly what you want them to purchase by building it into those steps, and you can do it. As simply is, you know, two steps that you might want to do, you might want to have them purchase a custom piece from you and then purchase their digital collection, make sure that there, purchasing that first product that you really want them to have, and then the digital collection comes next. It could be that simple for us. I wanted those four steps in there because I really want them to purchase from each one of those steps. In one of the things that I want you to think about. If you go with a build, your own package collection is that you want to go back, and you want to make sure that the very minimum that they can purchase at each one of those steps is gonna lead you to that average thatyou need tohave from each one of those clients. So go back through and if your minimum my minimum for me at my first step is they need to purchase either one sixteen by twenty or larger or a grouping of three or more eleven by fourteen or larger, and so if they're purchasing the minimum, which would be one sixteen by twenty. I need to put that price calculation in my step one step two is going to be that second price kept calculation that's gift prince so what if they only order one? You know, put that price there? What is that going to look like? Steps three and four so on so I want to be able to add in and add together all of those minimum price points and make sure that I'm going to get to my average one of the things that the senior menu is that we don't have wallets included there, so we know they're going to add on at least the bottom collection of wallets, so I can also add that to that price calculation and again make sure that I'm going to get to that average that I want my clients to reach where I'm going to be happy and profitable once you have your pricing in place, whatever method you're gonna use whether it's ala carte or packages or build your own package whatever method you're using, you're gonna want teo make annual adjustment. So plan a time on your calendar when you're going to sit down and you're going to re evaluate your pricing and think about what's working and what's not working where your client's getting stuck one of the things that I hear a lot from photographers is you know I can't get my clients to spend over x amount or you know, I feel like everybody's kind of stuck here. Well, usually if you really look at your pricing you can see why that's not why that's happening you know where are you leading your client? How is your pricing structured and is it structured toe lead your client where you want them to spend so sit down and you know, maybe in the beginning it might be for you that you need to readjust quarterly or you need to read it just twice a year. But once you've established something that's working for you even at that time you sit down and think everything through annually what products are clients buying? What are they not buying? What product lines are successful for you which ones you need to ditch so rethink those through and think about it is you're looking at your projections and making those annual adjustments once you've got your pricing established, you want to think how you're going to present your pricing? I let you know that all of the pricing that we present to our clients is just in a pdf we've kept it very simple and years ago when I decided to do this, we just called it going green we stopped printing things and kind of gave it an excuse to the clients we told them we're going paperless, we're going green and now I don't even I need an excuse anymore people are fine with getting a pdf I think most people are used to getting things digitally and you know through email through dropbox however you want to deliver it but we we'd let them know we're going to send over a pdf and I never have any questions about that I don't know when the last time I was asked well, do you have something printed I could take with me? You know people don't even ask that anymore, so we send it over on a pdf when someone's in our order room in our sales appointment room we're handing them an ipad when they ask about pricing we're handing in the ipad and they can flip through the pdf just like they would on their computer screen so it's giving them that high tech feel and ipad still you know it feels like something substantial instead of having to print a seventy five dollar album that I'm handing my clients which I used to dio you know now it's very easy to change things on my menu and it still feels really good and it's still that you know new high tech experience by handing them the ipad. If you're thinking about printing your pricing two hands your clients make sure that you have everything exactly how you want it because printing your pricing is an investment to make and if you need to make a change then you're going to, you know feel a little stuck and not able to make that change once you've made that investment in printing that pricing, you'll also need to decide at what point in the process you're going to present the pricing and I mentioned for me that I want to make sure that every single client has my pricing before they come in for a session, but I also want to make sure that I've had a conversation with them and really been able to build the value of what we do as well as communicate the real purpose of what we're doing and that is to design something beautiful and custom for their home. So once I've had that conversation that initial first phone call or we've talked about designing for their home and we've talked about doing something really special and unique for them, I've asked him for the snapshots I've asked himto walk through their home and take it snapshots of anyplace and consider hanging there portrait's and that whole process has been complete that is when I send them the pdf and so am I a believer of putting your pricing online? Nope, I'm not, um it doesn't matter if you are priced ten dollars for an eight by ten or two hundred dollars for an eight by ten your client cannot understand that pricing until they know the value of what you're doing and so I would highly encourage you not to put your pricing on your website unless in fact you are competing on price if you know you're the cheapest guy in town go ahead but most of us cannot compete on price even walmart has someone cheaper that will sell an item of clothing you can go to goodwill and beat wal mart prices you know there's there's always somebody that's going to be able to beat your price at one reason you might want to put a beginning price on your website or packages start at is to get that conversation going so the next question is when you've got your pricing establish you know it's time to raise your pricing you know how you're going to present your pricing and when it's how am I going to tell my past clients that I've raised my prices? How am I going to present this new pricing so want to give you a couple of options for you taking your pricing to a different place and the first thing is with your friends and family that's always an issue we all start photographing friends and family and doing it for free or doing itfor super cheap and we know we need to be charging them at some point but it's a really hard decision on you know do I give them my real praising? What do I do? I give you fifty percent off and so I would encourage you to create special friends and family days on your calendar and in the beginning you might need to do it once a month you might want to do it once every couple of months for me when I needed to really raise my prices I decided that I would put to friends and family days on my calendar every year I put one day in the spring and one day in the fall and what I decided was when I presented my pricing to my clients my even friends and family if they were weirded out by it or freaked out because I'd raise my prices I would let them know that I've got to friends and family days on the calendar and I would love to book them for one of those days I also let them know that they would see pricing more like they were used to seeing and so I found out really fast what clients and what friends and family members were willing teo, you know, wait until a spring date or wait until I fall date and if they weren't they could either pay my new prices or they could go away and that was okay too um now immediate family members I'm always going to photograph for free and that's something that I dont every year I photograph my brother and his family and I don't ever charged them anything I have sent him bills before so he knows what people would be charged because I think that's important too but your family is never going to understand what you charge I know you know my husband still after sales he'll he'll you know be like you you just you know got them to spend what on family fortunes and you know they'll never understand and so you know make sure you've got those day set aside for friends and family the next thing you can do is to create special events and we've talked a lot about themed events and different many sessions and ideas that you can use for creating special events in your business where you can pack more people in on a day and so you can charge those lesser prices because as a day and for your time value you're still being very profitable by photographing a lot in one day and so think about creating special events on the counter where if somebody is not really a fit for your new pricing or it's a past client that just isn't ready to go to that next step with you you can let them know we've got special events on the calendar that I would happy be happy to get you scheduled for and you're going to see pricing more like you're used to seeing just like you're going to tell those family and friends on those special days you've set aside for them the next strategy is to think about pricing your your prints as custom prince versus gift prince most of us, when it's time to take our pricing to the next level have been giving our client's paper prints, you know, it's, just the prince, the straight way they come from the lab and, you know, so I would encourage you, teo teo, present custom print pricing to your clients and get those those prices where they need to be using that costs based method as a base by presenting custom prince and delivering custom prince, you're delivering a different product of something that they're not going to be able to go in print at costco, walmart, wherever they're they're not those paper prints that they're used to getting so it's going to feel and look different it's gonna have more value to it, and then you can add on those gift prints, and those gifted prints are going to be from any pose that's already been ordered, so you've built that value and you've built that profit into that first print that custom print and once that's been ordered you khun ad on those gift prints all day long for even the prices that you've been charging, you know they can be super cheap if you want and it's a way for people to get those gift prints for aunts and uncles and grandmothers. Or a boyfriend for high school seniors at a much less expensive price and they would for one of your custom pieces so that's a way to kind of differentiate those in your product menu so that it makes sense to the client and then I really want you to think about presenting products instead of prices to your client. You know, we talked about sending out that list of words and numbers that doesn't make any sense to anybody you want to present images of your products along with your pricing and so, you know, think about it like this any item that you would consider spending a lot of money on you need to see before you purchase so think about that with your clients, especially because we have such a visual product, so show them those products in your menu and that's going to set it apart. So you're going to be sharing something different from them and remember if it's different, they can't compare, so when your client calls and they're scheduling their session, go ahead and get through the process and schedule the recession with them and then that then let them know now I've got some really exciting new things I'm can't wait to share with you I'm going to send you over a pdf of our new product menu and begin to call it a product menu instead of a price list so I'm going to send you over our new product when you take a look at everything, and if there's anything you have a question about, just give me a call presenting products first, is prices leads us right into presenting something new to your client, and that is a great way to be able to transition into your new pricing by just letting them know, you know? Hey, I've got some great new things I'm excited to share with you once they've booked their session, go ahead and send them over that new product menu, and and let him know about it, let him know we've got some wonderful new things I'm super excited for you to see, so take a look through everything, and if there's anything you'd like, tio, talk to me about any questions that you have, give me a call back, and we'll talk through those things, and I'm here to tell you, and I've worked with so many photographers through this process, and I will tell you that you don't have to really change anything new on your menu. You don't really have to add a bunch of new products or items that you're offering to your clients if it looks different than it's going to be new to them, and so presenting things with products and great images in your menu and set of just that list of words and numbers it is going to be something new to your client so you can also present to them the idea that you're going to be showing their images to them in person and we'll talk more about this and sales but that's also something new that your clients can get excited about with you if you're excited they're going to be excited too and so these are just a few ways to present that new pricing without feeling like I raised my prices and I don't want to tell anybody and it's clues is going to be so hard and everybody's gonna hate me so you know hopefully you've gotten some good ideas they're for moving forward in a very positive way with your clients we talked a little bit about minimums earlier but I want to just mention again I get the question a lot from people you know should I have a minimum I need people to spend x amount and my answer to that is if you feel like you need to put a minimum in place don't call it a minimum don't say to your client or having writing our minimum order is x because psychologically what that does in the client's mind is it gives him something to get teo and so if you tell me my minimum order is five hundred dollars, I realize that I've gotta work to get to that five hundred dollars so instead, if you if you need that minimum of five hundred dollars make your session fee five hundred dollars or six hundred fifty dollars and give them a five hundred dollars credit towards their order because psychologically again that's going to give them something teo now they've got that already set aside and they can work above that so it's five hundred dollars to spend and then of course they can spend some more, so it just sounds a little different in the mind of a client, so instead of a minimum, give them a credit if that's something that you feel like you need to establish from the beginning and then the last thing on pricing is session fees and usually session fees are pretty easy for photographers to come up with, uh typically that's one thing that your marketplace is going to expect that's something that is kind of universal that we're going to charge a session fee when we're charging that for our time now where the trap happens is when you're starting and you feel like wolf, I'm charging a fifty dollars session fee I need to give them all these things along with that and so that's the one thing that I want to encourage you to do is to set a session fee that's going to put a value on your time and then if you want to give away a free session whether it's a gift certificate through another business or, you know, just threw a model program, whatever it is, if you want to give away that free session as long as it's for that target client, if it's going to be the right client for your business in the future, give away that session and that's something that I learned long ago when I had a hair salon at the beginning of every semester, I had a hair salon on baylor campus and in waco, texas, and at the beginning of every semester, we would go out with free hair, cut cards all over campus. And what I knew was if I could get somebody in my hair salon one you know, it didn't even have to be a super great haircut. If we gave them a great experience, we made them feel special and made them feel at home. Then they would come back again and again, and hopefully we would have them for four years and balers a huge law school so many times you could have them for, you know, seven, eight years if we did our job right. And I really believe that in the photography business also, if it's the right client you know, what I want is to create a client for life. I want them to come back again and again. So I am happy any day of the week to do that free session for the right client, and we'll talk more about that as we go into marketing and and networking. But I want you to think about establishing your session fee as a value for your time and not including any product or digital files along with that. All right, that wraps us up for pricing. And I hope you feel a little bit better about establishing your pricing about what method you're going to use, whether it's, ala carte or packages or build your own collection. Hopefully, one of those methods resonates with you and, you know, bare minimum. Think about costs based pricing, what your cost are multiplying those times for to get to that, that rock bottom cost a sale that you're going to start with and raise your prices from there as you get busy and as you get more experienced and further into your business.