I think it's more of a, I want to speak to what you're saying rather than a question.
Last year I made negative profit and that was the first time I said, you know what, I'm not going to take any less than this amount. And we are into the year and I made a sales goal and I hit it and now I'm actually in the process of surpassing it. So yes. Because I did my cost of business and stuff like that. Basically it's like if I could tell all of you what she's saying is the truth. (laughs) So please do it for yourself, to believe in yourself, and go out there and get it, okay, thanks.
Thank you. Go ahead.
Yeah, as an individual who's just starting out my first year in business now, I have some idea of what my capacity is, of how many shoots I could do in a week or a month, filling that time. Do you have any suggestions or tips or wisdom about, I know what I should charge per if I could fill
Get that. Right. my calendar, but until I do?
Until you do, make a baby step. Just make...
a baby step. Like I said earlier, the most important thing is what? Moving forward. The culinary arts student is not going to walk out as an executive chef. You're just not. And you have to be okay with going through the process of saying, I'm going to stick with this thing until I get to that point. Rome was not built in a day. You do not get to 63-33 from five dollars today. Okay? The goal is to get to 63-33. And to know that you're worthy of 63- and that you're going to keep trying until you get there. That's what's most important. And once you get to $10 and a few people have paid $10, time to move it up to 20. Oh, you can pay 50? Wonderful, new price 100. But you'll get there but you just have to give yourself the space, as long as you feel worthy that you are okay with making, because right now, if this is just your growing business and you're blossoming and it hasn't fully full grown yet, it's going to take a little while. You have to water that thing a little bit. It just doesn't just pop up and blossom unless it's artificial flowers, okay? If not, you have to water it and nurture your business and nurture your pricing and make changes. This is, when I first started off, and I don't have it in here with me but this is a changing document all the time. Like, you have to be able to erase some things. Use a dry erase board and say, okay, I hit 500 today. Or I hit 1000 today. Or I hit 1000 this month. Be okay with that. I think what we have to stop doing is that we have to stop comparing ourselves to others because, like in my Facebook group, we're doing a Facebook, I mean, a pricing challenge and the challenge yesterday or the day before yesterday was to unfollow every person that you feel is a competitor and that you compare yourself to. Unfollow them. Just stop following them, because every time they post a mini-session, any time you see some of their work, you're going to automatically compare yourself to them and you're going to say, well, I'm not doing so well or oh man, that was a great location. Oh man, I didn't do so well. And you're dragging yourself down. If you took that out of your feed and all you see was positivity all day, well, guess what? You'll feel okay. But if someone says, well, I made $10,000 today, well, that's great. Are you the executive chef? Ask them. Well, how long have you been doing photography? How many clients have you had? How many times did your client tell you, no? Because people will only share with you the good stuff. You have to be very careful about social media. People only post their highlight reels. But they don't tell you the whole, full story of, I started out at $ or I started out at $25. They only show you a receipt from $10,000. So you look at that, at their highlight reel, and then you feel bad about your full story. The reality is that they had the same full story that you do but you didn't get a chance to see their full story. They only showed you a 15-second highlight reel and now you're feeling bad about yourself, yeah. So, this is where you can follow me. I'm on Instagram. Facebook, I must have been sleepy, but it should be Tomayia Colvin Education. It's Tomayia Colvin Education on Twitter. My Facebook group is Tomayia Colvin Education the community. Any other questions? Go ahead.
Okay, we were sort of talking about this before but I've recently updated my pricing to kind of similar numbers of what you were talking about today and I am nervous about my clients who have been with me for a while and I just really love them and I'm all in my feelings, so I'm scared of having, I'm afraid of having to get in and justify, this is why. Not so much having them be upset with me but I don't want to get defensive about, like, well, I haven't been charging enough so now it's time and pay up and you know what I mean. So I guess I'm wondering strategically, should I have been thinking about creating a newsletter to send out to everyone to say, this is where I'm at. Or making some sort of video where I explain what's going on to kind of put myself ahead of the questions. Do you have anything to say to that?
When the first iPhones came out, it was like $400. The new one is now $1200. We all still went and got an I, the 10 mac situation. No one sent me a letter to say the price was going up. We're justifying that we put a new camera in. They just came out with a new price. And I had to be okay with it or, what? Not, not get an upgrade. It's very simple. So, my clients, did I lose some when I raised my price? Yes, some of them paid me and they could afford it the entire time but I never asked them for the money. I never once asked so they never paid it to me. And we make perceptions about how much we think people have in the bank. Your clients will surprise you. They were just waiting on you to charge your worth but as long as you were letting them walk away with bologna sandwiches, then that's what they were going to pay you. If you decide to be roast beef, well, look at that. It's up to you. I mean, I wouldn't necessarily do a whole Facebook Live, hey I just learned how to charge my prices. (laughs) I wouldn't do that but I would perhaps say, you know, I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I'm looking forward to 2019. People expect price changes at the beginning of the year. It's totally acceptable. Like, yeah, oh my gosh, new rates. I'm offering new products, really? That meant the price went up. They didn't know. They just knew that you started offering products or you started offering hair and makeup or you started offering something, again, to get yourself out of that congested area to create an experience for your clients. Man, I can get hair and makeup with you? Yes, I have it all now, okay? Yes, oh, okay. So my session fee now? Oh, okay, yes, sure. And then I get to have things on the wall? Yes, because in 10 years I'm not sure where your disc is going to be and I'm afraid if I keep giving discs or if I keep sending you files via Dropbox then one day when the Cloud disappears then you won't be able to find your images and I really want you to walk away with something that you could have forever and I'm making sure that I'm doing that. I'm giving you my best, yeah.
So, I think the thing that's been the hardest for me is switching from an all-inclusive which was really under priced to, like, splitting it up
A la carte? So that they're paying for digitals. And clients seem to see digitals as free or, like, that it doesn't cost me anything. So that's specifically what I'm trying to speak to with them, is build the value of the digital file when for years they've been just getting them from me.
And getting a lot. I was way too generous with that [Presenter] Okay.
so I guess [Presenter] My thoughts on that?
Yeah, so, like, if you order a 4 x 6 or a 5 x 7 from White House Custom Color it's two dollars or so. Are you going to charge your client that? No, why? Because what's my magic number? My magic number was what?
Okay, so regardless if the sheet of paper costs two dollars, my Bachelor's degree wasn't free. My Master's degree wasn't free and for sure this doctorate is not free, okay? So my time and my talent is worth more than two dollars on a sheet of paper. You're getting my time. I'm taking time away from my family. I'm going out to your photo session. I have to email you back and forth. I have to talk to you. Then I have to deal with when you text me about a sneak peek. All of that costs. That's not just 50 cents. All of that goes into the price of what you're charging for your session and for your products. You just have to build the value there, that's it. They'll get it, I promise. They will get it. You just have to trust yourself because they can tell when you're nervous. So I'll say a price and I'll just wait. (whistles) Because before I would say 633 (whistles) Okay, okay, 400. Oh, I feel so bad, 250. If I say 633 or however much my total is and I'm quiet, then I give them the opportunity to say, hmm, okay. Here's my card. You have to give them some wait time and just build on it. They trust you. You are their photographer for a reason. They're choosing you every single time and I can almost bet that they're not choosing you just because of your price. They're choosing you because of who you are and the work and the quality that you provide to them. So you just have to charge for your worth.