Packaging and Pricing


High School Senior Photography


Lesson Info

Packaging and Pricing

Hottest topic right? Everybody wants to know howto why price my work? Where do I go what's my price point how much do you charge? How doesn't matter how much I charge at the end of the day I didn't start where I am today I had to start where I was four years ago and I've progressively moved through it and so some tips do not sell or give away the edited images that cannibalizes yourselves if you're giving away the negatives right and I know this is a hot topic for everybody out there if you're giving away the negatives, you have no place to go once you've given them the negatives, how are you getting them to spend more money in your studio it's nearly impossible you are not going to get them to spend more money because you know there's somebody I used to help out and they're like, well, how I get them to do it is I show them this is a print you got at a local chain store and here's a print that I can get from a professional lap? No one cares no one's going to see that right no one's go...

ing to see the extra magenta in the picture they just don't care it's good enough so you've got to stop giving away those digital negatives you've gotta own the process and deliver an end and service for your clients we've got to use pull through techniques like online posting, right? So you're not allowed to come into my studio and we just take all your images and post them online it won't work that's good enough and then they won't order the next thing you know, you're chasing them down for orders. Ah, you so use online posting is a pull through facebook albums large prince these are all great pull through techniques we have to punish bad behavior. You've heard me say that all day. I'm surprised it hasn't come through on the quote, so that that's a I love that one bad behavior is buying off the ala carte menu. This is bad for your business if someone comes in and you see them gravitating towards your ala carte menu meaning okay, well, we're just gonna order for eight by tens and, uh, you know, a couple of four by six is that means your ala carte price list is too cheap, it's too expensive, so we are punishing bad behavior here. Packages should be the most compelling product on the page. That's got to be the most compelling item. Where are the packages? We've got to get away from the post game, especially with the seniors with the seniors, the postgame ride, we explained that before every different look or pose is your charging them for we do not do that if I showed my clients two hundred fifty images and limited them to five poses there would be a mutiny in my studio I see you got a question can you expand on that say you have a package that has, you know, three, eight by tens and three five by sevens so what you're saying when you say that by extension are you saying I don't care which six pictures you pick right? I don't care if it's the same post is not your eight by ten gets that you get three of those eight by tens that's what I'm saying I don't care pick six pictures and he saved you want size do not care do not care any six you want I just want to expand on the second half of that yeah because some of my packages might have twenty different uh picture size options in their twenty different ones yeah, they love that option that they have those options they love that this is kind of a little minutia but I've had this at every cell session whenever people look at your pakistan like and I want that but I really need this size to be different outside to be different you just have like a block of say okay, you know, four by six five best seven wallets they're all the same you get x number of those and then eight by tens of my fourteen to get extra for those and you figure out what you need is that kind of how you that we qualify those his gift prints okay right so that's how we how we do that on we're going to let you eight by tens and smaller all what we qualifies gift prints so if I say you get ten gift prints you get ten eight by tens or any variation thereof right that's totally up to you yeah and that's important because well you'll see how we build packages were going to reward them for that all right everything you sell in your packages everything must be on your ala carte menu everything you offer in your studio must be on your ala carte menu you have to associate value even if you plan on doing it for free you have to associate value so web gallery maybe that's included free and all your packages that needs to be what is the value of that's very very important so in the spirit of sharing pricing the world can come to a stop now because I just put my pricing on the board I know this is crazy as a mad man all the card pricing I hope everybody appreciates my willingness to share my pricing your ala carte menu this is foundational to your package structure so if you're charging ten dollars for an eight by ten you are losing money I'm here to tell you anybody who wants to have that conversation with me I'll have that debate all day long if you're charging ten fifteen dollars for an eight by ten yes, I understand you paid two dollars for it but you did not make a thirteen dollars profit you have to market advertise buy new equipment, pay for your insurance, pay for your travel pay for gas pay for your computers and the list goes on and on and on and on so if you're if you're selling eight by tens for fifteen dollars you might want to go get a job at a fast food restaurant you will make more money okay? I promise you we've got to stop doing that now remember thes air priced artificially high and I have my peers that or maybe in new york or l a that a charging double that triple that in some cases now when I go up to new york or l a my prices are adjusted so this is in the st louis midwest ah blue collar america this is r ala carte pricing menu all gifts sizes fifty dollars eight by tens four by six is five by sevens wallets wall portrait's lifetime warranty mounted so they're mounted on two millimeters styrene so we're not just giving a flimsy cheap print over were mounting it's a styrene clients love it, it screams high quality and you could see the prices here. I'm not going to read these to you. What I do want you to focus on is the pricing, the structure. So everything you're seeing here, everyone, what I want you to understand is don't copy my pricing and walk out of here and go ok in order for me to be successful, I have to price my gifts sizes at fifty dollars. No, you do not. What I want you to do is understand that this is a framework. This framework, by the way, is the same framework I used for my weddings. My seniors, families, babies, everything. If you buy an eight by ten, no matter what nick's you fall under what category you fall under my business that's the price you're gonna pay for it. I think you have to have consistency across your brands, but when I started out, a gift size was twenty bucks. We charge twenty dollars for an eight by ten four by six the framework is the same. Okay notice just because the lab's offer a print size doesn't mean we have to carry it now you remember we're talking about overwhelming your clients that's how you overwhelmed them the wrong way, don't give them a million print options, they don't need it. We get a three by five four by six what like oh my gosh like just know you get this in a five by seven eight by ten four by six while it that's it now you might be wondering why I'm not carrying eight by twelve soon we will be ok eight by twelve though that's what comes out of camera but unfortunately the frank the stores don't carry those frames now more and more they're starting to carry those frames and soon we will swap over our gifts eyes is to be the full frame sensor let's jump in the wall portrait eleven sixteen sixteen twenty four full frame right so not eleven fourteen not a sixteen by twenty twenty twenty twenty thirty thirty thirty four thirty forty fifteen thirty that's it the two most popular sizes we sell sixteen by twenty four fifteen by thirty those are the most popular size is out of our studio I don't have fish tails for you I can't make a sit here and tell you about how our studio is a million dollar studio and we sell twenty foot wall campuses that's not how we do it the average client will by sixteen by twenty four and a fifteen by thirty panel why is that important that fits in any home in america if you own a home an apartment anything those two sizes are not that big fifteen thirty is only about this big it's not that big. They got a wall or a couch or table. It fits right over there. In fact, it's sixteen by twenty four a single sixteen twenty four in a wall like this behind me is too small. They would need a twenty thirty with the other thing I want you to notice is notice the price bumps as you go from size two size it's, one hundred dollars price book. This is the framework I want all of you to walk away from. You don't have to worry about the actual prices. Noticed the simplicity in the pricing. The client understands that if I go from eleven sixteen to sixteen twenty four, which is a full size it's one hundred dollars price bomb sixteen, twenty four, twenty, twenty that's a half size in between, right, a square print well, that's a fifty dollar price bomb, so any full size price bump is one hundred dollars any half sizes a fifty dollar price. I've made it so simple for the client to understand this specifically on the fifteen to thirty this maybe inherent, but, uh, are you shooting for that? Because you just can't pull a fifteen by thirty out of out of out of any image, I mean, you couldn't do that in the fifteen by already when you're shooting tight middle wide, I am intentionally shooting a scene and we'll do this tomorrow where I am shooting it knowing I'm going to pitch this as a fifteen by thirty you have to shoot to sell you have to think about what you're doing with your image is great question let me show you the campus sizes notice the print a sixteen by twenty four print is three ninety five a sixteen by twenty four campuses six ninety five so it's a three hundred dollars price bomb to go from a print to a campus a fifteen let's do a twenty by thirty canvases seven ninety five twenty by thirty print is for ninety five how simple is that so now the client understands to go from a print to a campus into three hundred dollar price but it's simple so I've kept the pricing model intentionally simple for my clients to see um other things we have on here slide show to ninety nine so are an emotive psychos ala carte we sell two ninety nine fourteen day web gallery one ninety nine facebook ninety nine timeline templates ninety nine dollars so you know facebook has moved to a timeline we sell those templates so this is a screenshot of our facebook site we sell this temple it up here this banner image to our clients, we sell that for ninety nine dollars we have templates premade I've got like ten or fifteen that we choose from we dropped their images in and now they can use this with our logo of course in the bottom right hand corner on their facebook site ala carte ninety nine dollars but we build it into some of the packages so what we're going to do here and I've got twenty minutes I got to move fast is we're gonna build three packages from scratch and so I'm gonna go extremely quick here so that I can leave us at least five minutes for questions because I think when we get through this packaging and pricing they're going to a lot of questions going on but you guys here with me on the ala carte list simplicity keep it simple you don't have to have the same price I have but the framework is the same framework I used in oh seven so same framework I used today is the same one o seven just different price structures and when I told you earlier that my prices were changing every three months we were just bumping them up so give size was twenty then it was twenty five than it was thirty five then it was forty then it was fifty so we just kept moving that up and that framework stayed the same all right packages all everybody out there now this doesn't matter whether we're doing seniors weddings, families babies the framework is the framework is the framework it works across the board we're going to create three packages by the way not for not six, not eight now you're overwhelming them in the wrong ways we don't want to overwhelm him with pricing just make it really simple your base package we don't want anyone to book this okay my base package this is one today um I'm going off the top of head I apologize it's seven ninety nine I believe so this base packages seventeen ninety nine and when I started that base package was I think for ninety nine but the framework was identical so in this package it's a lower starting point small structured prince what do I mean by small structured prince? We might say in this package you get six eight by tens four five by sevens four sheets of wallets no mixing imagine they're structured were telling them what they can get. We offer a signature book a signature book this is from tindall photographic dot com this is about a twenty five dollar book that's your cost it has little slots in there for you to slide your while it's into and then it comes with a silver pen and there's a black matting around the image that the kid's khun sign on so it becomes like a little mini senior yearbook and they're putting all their senior pictures in there no web posting and that's it it is a very basic package nothing in it I want no one to book this guy's with me right? This is not where we want them to be notice no digital negatives bad no digital negatives no web gallery so if I have a client that comes in and goes well we you know, we just want them posted online so everybody can see sorry that would be what right? We're going punch bad behavior you can do it though, but it's one ninety nine right? So you can't just say no this is an important thing when a client raises an objection and ask a question you can't just say no, we don't do that if you say no we don't do that they're going to shut down and the sale is going to end well unfortunately it's not included in this package however, for one ninety nine we can get that post it for you, right? So now it's up to them and you'll see why that matters later. So remember this one seven ninety nine for me I would say depending on where you are in your career, you might offer this up at four ninety nine five ninety nine your cost of goods on this is about twenty five bucks to fault I forgot the signature book with the signature book you're under fifty dollars cost of goods so at that point you're selling a five hundred dollar package that's costing you fifty dollars in hard product that's pretty profitable right? All right middle package we might sell this today for eleven, ninety nine back in the day we were selling it for nine ninety nine now notice it's got a fourteen day web gallery so that's one of the poll four items we're using the web galleries of pull through larger print so maybe we're just offering a sixteen by twenty four print here ten gift print so now we're rewarding them with flexibility okay, we're giving hey pick any time you want you want ten eight by tens ten sheets while it's get whatever you want so the pole through here is the flexibility the larger print the web gallery we've given him ten sheets of wallets the signature book right that that tindall photographic signature book uh dvd slideshow that's the an emotive slideshow we're using the slideshow is pull through facebook posting so all their ordered prince and then of course their timeline templates were giving them that is well now let's see if you guys are listening what did I tell you? I sold this base package for seven, ninety nine now that parents going to come in remember what I told you about my parents they come in they do not come in thinking how can I spend more money without they come in thinking I don't want to spend any money we're gonna go with the seven, ninety nine now they see all these great images this is where the overwhelming part comes in I've got simple pricing overwhelming with the great number of images now they come in and they're struggling mom is going well I really want the entire family to see all these and gosh, I love those big prints seven ninety nine how much is the web gallery? One ninety nine so now there are a thousand dollars make no mistake mom is looking at this package going okay, I'm gonna get this and then she looks over to the ala carte menu and I'm gonna add the web well, mom you're at nine ninety nine for another two hundred dollars you're going to get not only the web gallery but there's sixteen by twenty for print that I know you want uh all the gift prints and you can do whatever you want with those the dvd slideshow and the facebook posting and timeline template what do you think happens every single day? This is where that land up here or higher they'll never end up in that base package everybody with me on how to make this compelling you've gotta have those pull through items in there so let's before we move on what are the pull through items in the top package? What would get me to the top level package campus album perfect those of the top two so the top package today we saw foreign nineteen ninety nine what did I tell you? My average client spends by the way two thousand ninety percent of our clients are here and add on its insane the biggest pull through that album that eight by eight album sixteen by twenty four cam is fifteen by thirty panel that's long skinny one we gotta shoot to sell we've got to think about that twelve gift prince fifteen sheets of wallets a thirty day web gallery that's a pull through dvd slideshow signature book facebook in timeline templates hey have you seen any digital negatives in here? No proof positive you do not have to add value by giving the digital aliens I truly believe and view giving away the digital negatives as our way of going I give up I don't know what else to get to give them so I'm just giving the digital negatives well now you have a framework now you have a structure I'm telling you used these pull through techniques and you will get your client spending more money I guarantee it it's simple questions wow let's let the fun begin citizen of my job I know I'm not sorry guys I'm not really paying attention your questions and like wow okay pull through items all right we do have questions though um see so people don't print images from the gallery themselves from costa that is correct they will not print on their own because they will have an option we post online using photo biz so we'll preview in studio capture their order and then we'll post online to capture family orders friends orders or additional orders but when they when they're adding images to their car those orders come back to us for fulfillment we don't let somebody else film without us I want I want quality control I want to see those images come back make sure they look correct and package them in our studio branding and packaging in that in the er or are we the web posting thirty days which wet images air on there are they the two hundred to fifty all to fifteen and they love every minute of more questions yes a question from sandy how do you deal with complaints that an eight by ten is the same price of before bicycle that was a typical objection remember what I said any objection you don't address correctly will stall yourself so uh why isn't eight by ten the same prices of four by six this is my truthful answer to my clients when they ask me that's why isn't it by telling the same price of four by six you know susie let's assume mom's name susie susie I think we both know that you're not paying for the piece of paper the piece of paper is probably about twenty cents what we're charging you for is the time effort on quality that went into not only taking and capturing this image, but presenting and delivering it to you as a final product. So and the truth is, I really don't want to sell you a bunch of eight by tens. You came to me for our word for your home. I really want to sell you some of these larger pieces for your home and that's the answer I give my clients it's truthful, it's to the point and there's no wiggle room, that message is delivered confidently. I'm not like, um, why why isn't eight by ten the same? I don't know, sal told me to do it like you can't can't be your answer. All right, you're freaking out over here, so what's mounted like due amount eight by ten to smaller or not mounted because I want them to be able to fit in a standard frame, but the eleven sixteen's and larger, all our wall portrait's we do mount on styrene adds to the quality. Yeah, I was going to say I've heard more like multiple times a photographer's mentioned about adding value, what you do, and I wouldn't even thought before you you've showed us all this that I do a lot of that anyways, but I'm doing it. On my dime on my time and not charging anything for it and it just shows me that I'm giving away more than I need to be and so I'm glad you broke in on this I did an emotive videos for free okay here you go check it all out I'm hosting and paying for the cost of everything and then now I'm seeing you know what I needed I needed pass it on a little bit yeah bingo man you're in business you're an entrepreneur we've got to put our entrepreneur hats on I mean we cannot just be here and be artist there's nothing wrong with being an artist but sometimes you gotta put that business hat on and think that way right there's nothing wrong with it everybody else is charging for their products or services if you and I hate coming backto weddings all the time but when clients rent a catering hall they have to pay for the chair the fork the knife this spoon the napkin nothing is thrown in for free so why would we do all this stuff for free that actually is costing us money where you'll find me very generous if you will around free is with my time not that I don't value my time but it's the easiest thing that I can do that's not costing me hard dollars and that to me is to give get with my client right? They see me well, he's being flexible, he's, giving us a little more time here and there. And the other thing. So but I don't wanna give away hard product man because you're devaluing it. How do you manage the pricing with the secondary orders from the family? Yes, that is actually a great question. What we will do in any of these packages is you could offer additional discounts. So, for example, in the top package, you could say all additional eight by tens. Fifty percent off all additional large portrait, twenty five percent off. And then that would be in your shopping cart. Now, the way we run, that is, I tell the mom I go, mom, just f y I any additional orders that come in? And the next week through the online web gallery, I will honor your discounted pricing. So you will. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. But they've got to come in next week so we can process it with your order. Because these air tied two specials are vendors are running right? So I'm not the bad guy. Our vendors of the bad guy, right? So we passed that on. We do a little deflection, but at the end of the day, we have to have a call action we have to have some artificial pressure and not just be they're calling them every day hey, you got that order? Hey, you got that order? I don't want to do that, so I let them be the pressure clarification question from m and from s tail photo so your packages do not include the sitting fee that is totally separate that is totally separate session fee whether it's family, seniors, babies boudoir is in fact just that a session fee. It covers my time and talent and should in fact cover your time and talent as an artist. And the question from eric later how do you handle a client that wants to customize one of the packages that you offer? That's an awesome question let's, take a look at this. So for example, let's, look at this top package when I want to see if you guys can figure this out on your own because if you can, that means bingo. My pricing model works let's say the client has a fifteen by thirty panel let's say they're here in this package and they go we love campus. We want to trade out that fifteen by thirty panel and get a fifteen by thirty campus how much would it be? A three hundred dollars bingo that's how easy the pricing model is way charging the ala carte price that's right for the upgrades the difference in that ala carte price that's how simple so in the beginning when we started off you got everybody here when I told you how many images I showed them you were like you don't overwhelm them yeah we do but in a good way instead I offer the simplest of ways you guys just figured it out with really no prompting that to get from that fifteen thirty panel and convert that to a campus was simply the price point difference of the ala carte price that's how valuable having a simple pricing model is to your business because now your client's going to figure that out in a heartbeat I think people are still struggling with the digital negatives yes of course digital negatives never ending debate all right question from fashion tv from singapore if someone is willing to pay the price for the digital natives how much do you suggest we priced them or should we insist I'm not giving them if someone offered you ten grand for the negatives when you give it to them yeah somebody offered me ten grand I might give them taylor I don't know you know that's a that's a lot of money she can hear me so I'm in trouble later no all seriousness if obviously there's a price for everything so what I try to do though is realistically if I don't think somebody offering me ten grand is really gonna happen so but what's my number one senior sail I told you guys it was a seven thousand dollar sale for high school seniors if I offered digital negatives it would never happen that sale would never happen so but let's say you just feel this pressure you're you're scared to death tio listen to me and my model and you're like you're you're on the edge how about this? If you're going to offer digital negatives, offer it as an add on in your top package only maybe that's a happy medium so maybe it's instead of you get to the top package at digital negatives ninety nine for ninety nine whatever you feel comfortable with and now they're in your top package but they'll spend an extra five hundred dollars but I am going to warn you one caveat there you will never see a sale bigger than this top package that's the risk you run so whatever your top packages you will rarely if ever get a sale bigger than that because once the client gets their digital negatives they think they've got everything they need and they're going to go do their own thing so it's uh it's definitely a catch twenty two you've got to do what's comfortable too for your business kill the a had asked about the fourteen thirty day web gallery thing and he he is asking you upload the images to a facebook album, then delete them after fourteen, thirty days or how's that work and a couple other people were asking similar questions. Yeah, I think there's some confusion there, let's, go back. So there's two things here, there's a web posting that thirty day web posting is going to be all two hundred fifty or all the images that we show the client that's what's going to go to this web posting for that we use photo biz that's, the site the hosting company we use. So we got a photo biz dot com, and we use that web posting gallery for facebook on ly the pictures they order are going to facebook, so that would be the one they used for the sixteen twenty four campus, the one for the fifteen thirty so in this case, we're looking at when we got twenty nine different images that could fill this package. If they got twenty nine different images, all twenty nine would be posted to facebook and that never comes down that's going to be on facebook until whenever, right, so that that album would be there would use the same pricing structure for families? Yes, family, two hundred dollars session fee, destination kind of same model, same framework, say framework, pricing wise, same I'd be in the same range if we were talking families I would go my family structure is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of like nine, nine nine, nineteen, ninety nine and I think it's like twenty nine, ninety nine somewhere it's somewhere in that neighborhood so the price jumps are different and the reason is simple my family's aren't gonna buy a whole bunch of wallets, right? So what's the framework is the same the ala carte prices even the same but what's in these packages is going to be completely different. So in this package I might have a thirty by forty two and a half inch thick gallery rap campus up in here, right? So maybe I ve got to maybe I've even got a wall cluster family families love like a four up wall cluster right for twenty by twenties so we know that from a family perspective we might change the product that's in there, but the framework is the same framework transcends all your different business lines. Can you tell us a little bit about your albums? Are you custom designing them or is it just blank or using template? What do you do for gamble? Thie albums air a little bit of both. We use templates in some cases and then we build them ourselves when we're building them ourselves in designing and it's a time for because we all have so many shoots coming through the studio, we don't wantto let an album wait in production for six months. That's disastrous for your business it's got to keep going. So if we when we're designing, we do everything in photo shop and then we're using tools from fundy. I don't know if you guys have ever heard of funding funding album builder, one of my favorite tools for album designs, and so we're using fundy in this scenario to design the albums in conjunction with some templates, even templates that are within his tools. So even his tool has the capability, so we'll get through no lie, a twenty page senior album, because that's all we do for seniors twenty pages, we'll get through that album design in twenty minutes or less, and so that is very fast, very efficient, and we get that out the door, and then when I have to, I'll outsource and let somebody else do it for us, right? We just gotta keep it going. No, I could be an image to an image and a half per page. So for a senior eight by eight, you're not gonna put four images on a page is too much. What we'll do in a senior situation is we will put twenty five to thirty images made ian in a twenty page album somewhere in that range, whatever looks good and then the other thing is no one's really asking how are you proving that right? So in order to prove these albums, we used a company called album exposure very, very efficient way of taking client comments, printing them out and making sure the changes are going through. So check out album exposure dot com really, really we've been using it for a couple of years love posting our albums up there we do for our wedding's seniors, family albums, everybody yeah, just real quick just declared you they don't have opposed to their facebook profile it's on your facebook business page correct? That's correct when we post the facebook, we're posting tow our business page and then they'll come tag themselves, which will automatically show, make it show up on their page, right? I'm not. I can't log into their personal page and get him out there because I'm not their friend, okay, so we've got these awesome packages where my pulling the numbers that I need to attach to the package is well, where you pulling or putting them? Well, where do I come up with the numbers? There are my package prices, yeah that's you've got to figure out where you're at with in your business so memory in the beginning when we were kind of reverse engineering out if you're saying to me okay let's just say for argument's sake I want to do twenty seniors at a thousand dollars average well that thousand dollars needs to be your middle package you with me so we were going to reverse this out so if you have twenty seniors and you want a one k average right, that means we need to get all these seniors in this thousand dollars range now some are going to be up here some are going to be down here so if I'm you let's do it what's your average what do you looking for? What am I looking for? What's my average no what are you looking for? Sorry I'm looking for I would I would be I'd go for a thousand dollars to be thousand dollars so I would set up your packages at six ninety nine eight ninety nine eleven ninety nine that's about where I'd start and I don't want anybody to believe for one minute not even you that once we put that out there that's it forever if it's one thing you should have gotten from all day is this thing is a living breathing document so we go with this and we tried out for two months how's it doing it's not working okay? Why is it? Why isn't it working right, we gotta keep this feedback going well. There's, not a lot of pull through where your clients ending up, well, they're ending up in six, ninety nine south. Why what's in there? Oh, well, I didn't listen to you, and I put my digital negatives in there, right? Well, that's, why there, that's, why they're there so, but this is where I would start for you and then start building value and pull through into that. Does that make sense?

Class Description

Join Sal Cincotta for his "take no prisoner" approach to the business of high school senior photography. In this photography business course, Sal digs into marketing plans, business plans, pricing, and packaging. Sal also shows how to create an ambassador program so that your kids are talking about you and advocating your business in their schools.

This business course also includes a series of live in-studio and on-location photo fashion shoots, showing you how to capture the most of-the-moment trends, poses, and backgrounds. Sal also covers why high school senior photography is at the core of every successful photography business. Seniors become brides and brides become long-term family clients.