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Portrait Startup

Lesson 13 of 35

Pricing Evolution

Sue Bryce

Portrait Startup

Sue Bryce

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Lesson Info

13. Pricing Evolution

Lesson Info

Pricing Evolution

Right now, we've got to hit this. This segment is about pricing. Now, I feel, in this moment, the two biggest issues that we are not confronting in our industry as educators is, "How much should you charge?" and "How much are you worth?" And it is a very gray, gray area because how much you think you're worth is often distorted and how much you can charge is up to you. So, you've got to first work within your own money boundaries and then you've got to work within your ego boundary of where you think you're at. Because this is where the go will contrast and compare to everybody online and you're going to feel not good enough. Now, the difference between Tammy hitting out her sales from the get-go, and me taking considerably longer, was I was afraid of money. I was afraid of selling my work. I was afraid of receiving money. And I was afraid of putting a price on what I did. That did not change until I decided to change it. That did not shift until I decided to do it. So, right now, you ...

are going to face, in the next hour, what you are not doing in your business. You're going to step two feet down on the ground at the end of the segment and say, "My name is __" "I shoot this." "My product is __" "I sell it for this amount." Now, some of you are going to transition overnight. Okay, we'll get a special group for you high achievers and we'll call it hashtag "she's gonna kick you in the face". (laughing) And then the rest of you are gonna transition slowly. Some of you are gonna take weeks. Some of you are going to take years. I'm a slow study. Clearly, I'm in the slow section. But I am happy to report that I made it. It took me longer than Tammy but I made it. And I'm proud to report that you can change that. So, what I first have to do is get you onto something tangible and something actionable 'cause I believe in the power of manifestation. So when I talk to people about that, because so many people say to me, you say things like, "I wanna sell 1000 photo shoots." And then you go and sell 1000 photo shoots. Not 1001, not 998. And it took me back to the very first lesson I learned, 2003, 4, I had just opened up my business. I was struggling, struggling, struggling, struggling, struggling to sell, make money. Pricing myself, not a problem. I took the price list from my first studio. So, basically, all I did was copied a price list and then not believed in it. And it wasn't working 'cause that's what happens. There's a disparity between what you're saying and what you're thinking and it's a disconnection to actually receiving money. So, there was a huge problem there. I went to, then, a business coach. And fast forward a few months, I hadn't actually let go of my old job. I was trying to make money on the side before I left the job. This business coach knew nothing about photography. He was a real estate business coach. So, what could he teach me about my industry? Nothing. Still I paid $1500 (chuckles) to go and get advice. But he taught me something amazing. He said this, "You are tied to a mooring "and you're on a jet boat. "And you are trying to power your jet boat "but your mooring is tied." And he said, "Until you back it up, get rid of the mooring, "you will not go forward." And think, "Fair comment." "What would it take for you to go full-time? "What would it take in your mind? "What is the money that you need to have "in your hand to take the step? "Actionable, tangible steps. "No dreams, no manifesting anything out of thin air, "but actionable, tangible. "How much? "What's your price?" At the time I was earning $400 a week as a photographer. My boss was selling up to $7000 average my portraiture. So, I figured that if I had five weeks wages and a camera- I didn't even own my own camera. If I had five weeks wages and a camera, I would hustle, and hustle, and blow that house down to get another $2000 for next month. I had no studio and no idea how I was gonna do it. So, he said to me, "I challenge you, Sue Bryce, "to go and cut the mooring. "I challenge you to come back here "in four weeks time with a camera and $2000." So, I went away and instantly I went into creative-mode. How am I gonna get $2000? I don't have a camera so I can't shoot for it. I can teach Photoshop. So, I advertised myself as a Photoshop instructor and it turns out nobody actually wants to pay you $30 and hour to do their retouching but they'll pay you $100 an hour to teach them how to retouch. Photographers are so awesome like that 'cause that works out really well for you. So, I went instantly and I started to book coaching for Photoshop and I was getting $100 an hour at night. So, I went into the studio. There's a Canon T & D, it doesn't even shoot RAW, and he's gonna sell it, $800. Now, this is 2003. I said, "I'll buy that camera off you "if you let me pay it off in retouching lessons." He said, "Yes." So, I paid off that camera to that guy, taught him retouching. And then I went and taught more retouching, and then I got a photo shoot. And that photo shoot paid me $800. Four weeks later, to the day, I walked back into that coaches room smug. I walked in, and this was me. I walked in like, "Hi, how you doin?" Sit down. He's like, "How's it going?" I said, "Yeah, really good." He said, "What have you got?" I said, "I've got a Canon T & D and $2000." And he was like, "Wow, look at you. No more and no less." "What?" "No more and no less than what I asked for." I was like, "I didn't think to ask for $5000." He was like, "Good lesson." "Son-of-a-gun. "No more and no less." Think about that when you think about your limits. No more and no less. You will get no more and no less than what you've asked for. Now, I believe in the power of manifestation but I believe it comes in tangible form. So, when people ask me, "How are you such a powerful manifestor of things?" I will tell you this, I decide when I want something, I decide that I want it more than anything in the world. I wake up every day and I have quiet time for 20 minutes and I think about that thing. And I think about everything I can do to get it. Not what's stopping me from getting it, everything I can do to make it happen. Then I get up, I have a shower, I get ready for work, and I set about my day thinking about those actions. And I look everywhere for two things: inspiration and opportunity. And inevitably, both find me. I'm thinking I want this. Wow, I just met a designer, and that designer just walked through my door. And I was just saying, "If I had a designer friend "I could do this." And then suddenly there's a designer there doing it for me. How lucky am I? Blah, blah, blah. Yes, I'm a lucky girl. No more and no less. I have learned the limits to what I wanna create come in the form of no more and no less. So, going back to tangible, actionable items. I'm gonna challenge in the fourth segment to own your path. But right now, let's get some concrete foundation on what you're gonna charge for it. Now, I feel like educators aren't telling you how much to charge and they're not telling you how to value yourself because it's a very hard thing to do. I'm not afraid of doing this. I want you all to be glamor photographers. I want you to be better than me. I want you to outsell me. I want you to have more successful business than me. I want you to have better sales averages than me. And I want you to actually have better images. I want that for you, otherwise I wouldn't teach this genre. One day, I'll be old and retired and you guys will be cranking. And then you'll be old and retired. And then you'll pass it on and pass it on. And every single day, somewhere in the world, a portrait photographer is doing two things: getting paid and making someone's life wonderful. Okay, so where do I go with the evolution of pricing? I told you in the last segment, we are no longer to see it as, "I have a block around money. "I have a block around charging myself. "I have a block around telling people what I cost. "I have a block around what I'm worth." We're gonna stop that now. Okay, now, we're gonna go with, "My pricing evolution has been very slow. "But now I'm becoming wealthy." If you read Wallace Wattles, "The Science of Getting Rich", it's a free PDF. You don't need to pay for it. It's a book that profoundly changed how I think about money. He said, "Stop making poverty a study "and start thinking about the world as becoming rich." Look at everybody as becoming. We are becoming something great. But stop going, "No, can't, no, block, no." And start, "My evolution might be slower than others." You know, I joked about kicking Tammy in the face. I'm gonna say it every segment of this workshop. (laughing) I laughed when I saw it tweeted but the truth of it is, at the end of the day, my evolution around money and pricing was considerably slower than hers. And yet I still made it. So, I'm okay with that. I'll joke about it but the truth is I'm okay about it 'cause I sorted it out. So, I want you now to consider that your pricing evolution is on a path. Now, all of you here are averaging sales between $1200 and $2500. You're about to go to the next level. When I talk to you nine over the next year, I'm gonna watch you go to the next level. It's gonna thrill me. I think about how I'm gonna now watch you guys go one more step and all those people out there are gonna go one step up. And you go one step up, and tide rises, all ships rise. And every single human being that represents themself on this planet as a glamor photographer who's competing with me, represents my brand, represents me as a glamor photographer, as a portrait photographer that honors herself with being paid. When you all value it, the world values it, and we'll become a household name. And then we'll be more like wedding photographers where people are looking for us, instead of piddling, piddling, piddling and hoping people don't judge us, because that feeling is quite crippling.

Class Description

When Sue Bryce taught her first CreativeLive class in 2012, she reinvented the category of glamour photography. That workshop inspired thousands of photographers to create a new kind of portrait photography business.

During this special event, you’ll hear from Sue again and meet nine photographers who changed the trajectory of their business and their lives thanks to inspiration they found in Sue’s CreativeLive classes.

In Portrait Startup, you’ll find out exactly what these photographers did to transform their fledgling photography operations into sophisticated, profitable businesses. You’ll learn about what it takes to build a profitable photography business and Sue will detail the Areas of Mastery required to run and sustain it. 

You’ll learn about:  

  • Cameras & Lighting
  • Studio or Location
  • Website & Portfolio
  • Marketing & Design
  • Social Media & Connection
  • Price & Product
  • Sales & Selling
  • Money Management
Sue will discuss the essential elements for building a successful glamour photography studio and you’ll get specific, tactical insights for doing it yourself.

Each of the guest photographers will share their own unique story of following Sue's business model and they’ll provide intimate details on what they've discovered and what worked (or didn't) for them. Sue will share the secrets behind her wildly effective Reveal Wall and share strategies that guarantee sales while keeping clients happy and eager to refer you to their friends.

If you want to build a photography business that celebrates the beauty inherent in all women, while running a business that provides for you and your family, join Sue Bryce and guests for Portrait Startup and learn how to build a business and life that you love.

Click here for the Complete Sue Bryce collection.


Sandra Sal

How glad I am that I have purchased this course! Sue is just wonderful woman, photographer, business person and life coach. This course is so informative, inspiring, educating and just AMAZING!! Simply a must have! Don't even think "should I get it" just buy it and you will be blown away! I loved every second of it and will keep re watching it many times more! Thank you to Sue, wonderful mentours and Creative Live!!

Laura Captain Photography

As a person that is new to portrait photography and to starting a portrait business, this class has been extremely valuable to me and well worth my time. It is also very helpful to hear from the mentors. I have a lot of respect for Sue, her work and her wisdom. She is genuine, has a passion for her work and has a wealth of information to share. I believe this class will actually allow a person to achieve their goals and build a business. I now feel more knowledgeable and more confident about pursuing a photography business. Thanks so much Sue and thanks to CreativeLive for providing wonderful online education.

Janice S.

i just finished watching this workshop. though i'd seen sue's name on the list of creative live workshops, this is the first one i've done. to me, she is effectively partnering life coaching with photography education. which is awesome. between being an ER nurse for almost 20 years, as well as arriving at my late 40s not unscathed, i can relate to much of what sue has said and would like to think that i'm in a better position to tackle the business of business ownership than i would have been 20 or 30 years ago. the other thing i noticed was hints of rhonda byrne. this may or may not actually be the case, but it seems like it. the power of positive thinking essentially. i loved the whole thing. though i'm not really close to implementing the business practices taught here, i wanted to watch the whole thing before moving on to her glamour photography workshop. i wanted to understand what i would be moving toward as i go through my technical education. i believe i will be adding 28 days to my class list too. thank you sue!