Creating Your Ideal Photography Business

 

Lesson Info

Online Pricing Strategy Example

So this one, you shouldn't judge on the layout because probably, they had their branding all over this price list and they just pulled the important parts for us. So we're not gonna critique that at all. There are a couple of things that I really like about this price list. I like that it has step one, step two, step three, step four, step five. This says, here's what you're going to do. And any time we say to our clients, here's how it works, they say, oh, okay, great. And there's no ambiguity there, so I think that is a really great strategy, to lead them through the sales process. And it starts out with the session fees, which is great, that's always a good place to start. And so it outlines what is included in the session fee and that's great. So it has session time, customized art focused on photography equipment, editing time, ah, so here is where the photographer is saying, I'm a little bit nervous about charging you this amount for this session fee. But here's everything that I...

have to do with that money as a photographer. I have to make art, I have to buy equipment, I have to spend time editing, I have to do minor retouching, I have to pay for a gallery, so this is a little bit too transparent for the client. The client really needs to know that it's $300 for the newborn session. It takes two to three hours and that's really what the client needs to know. This is an internal thing, okay, this is what you need to know as a business owner. But keep it clean and simple to the bottom line, what does the client need to know? Because they don't have a lot of time to read through things. $300 for a family or children session, an hour and a half session, with snack breaks. Great, that says, I care about your family and I understand kids. That's a wonderful thing to put on there. And then $250 for headshot, it includes a half hour session and one digital file, okay, clean, simple, easy. I really like this about this price list. You understand what you're getting for that amount of money, there's no ambiguity. And then it says how to purchase. All products are sold separately, see below for spending incentives. Alright, so we have laid out the carrot, we're dangling it out here and saying, if you invest this much, you're gonna get a treat, free gift with purchase. Yay, okay, so if you have somebody that is motivated by that, they're like okay, where's the best deal, how much do I have to spend, right? Okay, so if it's an incentive-motivated buyer, the first thing they're gonna do is say okay, where's the incentives and it's all the way down here at the bottom. So they're gonna skip ahead and say okay $1,000, custom wood photo box. So, if that is in their budget, that's great, but you're saying this at the very beginning of the relationship. And we talked yesterday, how do you eat an elephant a little bit at a time? That is a big elephant right there, out there in the world, $1,000. So, that might not be, depending on how this pricing structure is presented to the clients, that may backfire a little bit. But if this information is held back a little bit, until a relationship has been built and they can see the value for this photographer, then this could be great. Setting it up saying, whoa, I might even spend $3,000 on this session. So depending on where it is in the process, where it's presented in that process, it could be a good or a bad thing. So the next step is choose your art. And so, I like the word art, I think it gives credibility and value. It says that what I'm producing is unique. It talks about the very first product as a custom wood photo box with 50 prints. Or 10 mounted prints, they're the same price. So it depends if it it's a quantity or a quality buyer. So you give them two different options for the same amount. And then it goes into albums, it starts with a small, medium, and large. I love that there are three options. The buyer is probably gonna go right to that middle option, especially because the prices of the albums are $300, $350, and $450. So what I would suspect is everybody is gonna go from the 5X5 to the 8X8, for $50, that's a no-brainer. Easy decision. From an 8X8 to a 12X12 for $100, that's a bigger jump in price. So I would guess that very few people go ahead and increase up to this large-sized album. So, and then the last thing here is wall art and there's three sizes, again, keep it simple. The photographer has chosen the sizes, there are three, the price jumps are uniform so it's $200, $250, $300. It's easy to choose, all the client has to do is pick whatever size they need. The thing that I think that could be better here is depending on what this photographer wants to sell. The first thing you put on the list tells your client, this is what I do best. So if what this photographer does best is the wood photo box with the prints in it, then this is great, it's well laid out. If this photographer were to prefer albums or wall art, I would move those to the top of the list. The next step, step three, choose if you want digital files. An art purchase is required, if you want the digital files. So they're throwing down the gauntlet, saying, if you want my files, you better buy something else. I think that's great. I think we are doing people a disservice if we only give them digital files that could get lost over time. Digital files, high resolution $700, low resolution, $ and it has a caveat, cannot print over 8X10, it's good for web sharing. So it gives them a recommended use. Then it says, if this is a special event, do you need invitations, thank yous, holiday cards? So they're saying, oh, by the way, have you even thought about these? I think that's a really good strategy because most people don't think about those things. They came in for a piece of wall art or for whatever reason they came in and oh by the way did you know we offer this? And then oh, by the way, did you know that if you invest $1,000 with me, you get a gift. So there's some really nice things going on in this pricing structure. So, I would guess that absolutely a client is gonna want the low res files. We're automatically at $400. We have a session fee that's $300. We've got $700 right here, built into this price list, no-brainer sale. That's what people want. So now it comes down to which piece of wall art or table art people are gonna buy. So you're looking at anywhere from $200 to $450 of additional sales. So this photographer is getting over $1,000 almost every, single time. See how they laid it out. So this price list works for this photographer, they are hitting that dollar mark almost every time, I would suspect. The price list is doing the work for them. It's easy to understand and I would guess that it's probably very beautifully laid out. This is a high-end studio, I think.

"If you're struggling to figure out the business process of photography, this class is one of the clearest and most concise I've ever seen. If you're experienced but the business side and pricing are eluding you, you will find clarity here. I own at least twenty CreativeLive courses and hands down, this one explains pricing and strategy better than any others I've purchased or watched live." - Julie, CreativeLive Student 
 
Join Kathy Holcombe as she shares techniques and strategies to develop the photography business you desire. Whether you’re making the leap from part-time to full-time or starting your very first business, the amount of work can be overwhelming. From what products to offer, how much to charge, how to pay yourself or the legal considerations - start ups often sink before clients are even booked. Kathy will show you the ways to grow your business from the start. This class will cover: 

  • Defining what product you are selling and how much you should charge to make a living 
  • Photography business basics and how to track your income compared to other businesses 
  • How to write and create your business plan 
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter built one of the top wedding portrait studios in Colorado, then jumped in an RV with the entire family and began traveling the country full-time, and added a successful commercial division. Together they have built multiple successful businesses and have honed in on the important factors that every photographer should consider when building a business. 

 
 
 
 

Reviews

  • I started my business a year ago with little formal technical photography education. It's hard to admit but I've been winging it, figuring out each small task that goes with photographing a session, editing one, and working with clients as I go. I may be doing things backwards, but now that I feel like I'm more comfortable in those small, specific parts of business, I need to figure out how to make this business sustainable and profitable. Kathy's class felt perfect for this time in my business to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of what I want to focus on and where I want to go (and how much I want to pay myself!). She uses realistic, specific numbers: something that's SO helpful and I feel like I rarely see in the photography community. And she breaks everything down in an organized and easy to understand way. The classes were easy to follow along with and Kathy's positivity and patient manner is inspiring and motivating. The fact that she used to be a school teacher is clear. Thank you so much Kathy (and the rest of the Holcombes)!
  • I am so glad I was able to attend this course in person and receive all the wonderful and practical information Kathy shared with us. I also really enjoyed the connections with other audience members and side conversations with Creative Live peeps as well as the Holcombe family. What an inspiration this family is--lots of practical info, but also a great pep talk to not sell yourself short and get out there and do what you love, but use sound business practice while doing it. Thanks so much for these incredible two days.
  • Fantastic course! Very helpful instruction and how-to guide for anyone considering starting up a photography business. Kathy was an excellent instructor, with a wealth of knowledge and experience. I gained a good understanding of the practical everyday aspects of running this kind of business, and how to create my own vision.