The Art of Pricing
Of course pricing too does speak to your brand a little bit, right? So I was like, well, yeah, I guess it does. I mean, think about it, how your price says a lot about you, doesn't it? So if you're cheap, people aren't gonna value right? Let's look at the go back to the grocery store. Not all places in the country sell wine in the grocery store, but in oregon and washington, they do allow you to purchase wine in the grocery store and it's shelved. Okay, I love wine. You shouldn't say that I'm here, but I don't know much about it, okay? I know I, like had fine for heather's over there cracking up with me. I don't know much about wine, but I know what I like. Okay? When it's a special occasion and I know I really want a nice bottle of wine. What do I buy? Not knowing about one their prettiest label closest to you. Maybe no one. A really nice bottle of wine. The most expensive. The most expensive bottle is obviously got to be the best, right? Get my point. The chief bottle down at the bot...
tom that's for buck chuck I might buy it just on a tuesday night, right, I just wanna, you know, have a little fun okay if I'm on a special occasion and I'm really trying to impress my husband and I want to make him feel good I'm going to go for the bottle the fifty dollar bottle of silver oak we're like a hundred dollar bottle okay more expensive means better in the uneducated mind okay your clients are not educated some of them are but most of them don't know anything about ta ra fi they just see a picture and they say whether or not they like the picture and usually has to do whether or not their kids smiling in it or looking natural or happy joyful right oh I like that when he looks so sweet and so him and meanwhile you're sitting there going oh my gosh it's so technically incorrect why did I show that? Okay you're saying all in your head what your client is not okay perceived value is an incredibly powerful thing how your client perceives the value of something has to do with a lot of factors it has to do with how the product looks how it feels sometimes the most simple things look the most expensive apple the iphone white box simple apple on top open it the cardboard really thick right when you open the box inside the phone is perfectly placed the charger cord is underneath and the little tiny manual was underneath as well okay it looks expensive it is expensive it must be right the samsung galaxy isjust is nice of a phone do you see my point? Same with, like the ipad in the kindle, you know, ipad and kindle have this little war going on with each other, same with the microsoft tablet with something called I don't even know surface. Yeah, because I'm not a piece ego, but I mean, think about it that those two products are priced way less than than the apple ipad. But yet the apple high pad is the top seller because it's deemed the most valuable, like the best product. Do you see my point so perceived value has a very powerful motivator in the consumer's mind, and when the consumer doesn't know anything about a product, they think the most expensive is the best. But how the product looks what's involved with it all have to support that notion, like if you open an iphone, it was a cheap, flimsy box there's a bunch of stuff in there, and it just didn't, you know, you wouldn't think it was expensive. You wouldn't think it was a good of quality, would you? There would be something subconsciously back your mind that said, okay, it's nice I spent a lot of money on it. But once you back that up with a beautiful quality product and all of a sudden it becomes very valuable client that's why I'm telling you when you look at products you're deciding what you want to put a product into your studio doesn't look expensive does it feel lovely? You follow what I'm saying and not all products are going to be like that in your studio there's going to be some products that are less expensive, but I'm talking about the things you really want to sell, okay, so what you're gonna learn in this segment is all about pricing those things, and the pricing really is an art and a science and so many photographers hate this topic and I understand it's because pricing is a hard core science, but it has this beautiful, subtle art to it like there's so many ways you can influence the consumer's mind just by how you price and package thinks and that's an art, but you also have to make sure your profitable, which is the science of it, which I think is what it's so frustrating for a photographer because they have to look at things from both mindsets they have to look at it from a business owners mindset and then also from a consumer's mind set which is challenging to put together to create something in the middle that works on both sides so what you're going to learn is why properly structure pricing will make you profitable what kinds of sales averages you need to make money you need to make money not me you okay how to structure that pricing I'm not talking oh twenty dollars for this fifty dollars for that I'm saying putting things together in packages or whatever to convince people to buy more okay that's the art how to meet your cost of good I wouldn't be a good teacher if I didn't talk up a little bit about cost a good then I know that those people hate doing that kind of legal business oriented but we've got a touch on it a little bit okay otherwise I wouldn't be doing my job why a good pricing pakis structure will encourage higher spending and then digital files for dummies how to sell profitably if you choose to do so there are many successful students out there who are not and they focus on a fine art feel and they just flat out refused to do it and god bless them I have so much respect for that I wish I could do it I can't the research I've done in my market says that I can't okay so you have to determine that for yourself in your own location and in the own specialization that you choose etcetera etcetera so the art of pricing shoot me now everybody hates the topic it's so just uh it's constantly the number one thing that photographers come to me for is help with pricing it truly is the number one thing people hate it, they struggle with it, they want to change it every thirty seconds and they never give anything a chance because it's scary and so you get insecure so you think you have to change it and you're just hurting yourself by trying rush to fix things when really you're just hurting yourself more and the other biggest thing I have with photographers to come to me they say I'm just starting out I'm not good enough to charge that much yet and I can completely understand those feelings of self self worth I mean it's insecurity it's hard and yes, you may need to learn some things and you may need to get a little better and I can certainly, you know, kind of direct you in some ways to do that. I have some wonderful ways that have helped me to get better, but you're always going to get better and it's kind of like this there's the staircase of pricing versus talent. Okay, there are plenty of mediocre photographers out there who are killing it, making a boatload of money they're mediocre I mean a really talented photographer who knows howto see would look at their work and go home okay it's ok and they're raking it in then there's tons of people out there who have all this art sense they see it, they're so wickedly talented just right off the bat and the poorest church mice what gift what's happening there? The guy he was mediocre understands pricing and profitability in business and marketing and branding the guy on the bottom doesn't understand that stuff even though he has more talent in his little pinky finger than that I will ever have in this lifetime it has nothing to do with talent. It has everything to do with how you run your business and how you think about profitability and how you protect that in your business. I'm constantly saying myself I have to protect my income I have to protect my income that is my first and foremost priority I have to protect my income. That should be your mantra. Okay? And if you do that then you will always make money. So when somebody comes to you and says, oh, I can only afford this much can you do it for that? Like the analogy yesterday when I go into the mercedes dealership and say, oh, I only have ten grand can you get me a car? No it's not gonna happen, you know, it's it's not gonna happen, so you have to run your business like a business that has integrity that stands its ground. This is no, I'm sorry. This is what we charge and it's such a brutal circle because the industry has actually this industry within us has this notion that these shooting burners are affecting the market. Oh, they're bringing prices down, you know, they're just they're just running for the rest of us, just like the big, the big mantra. Ok, I don't believe that I see what they're saying and I empathize with it, but I don't quite believe because I don't think the consumer is quite intelligent, I think we kind of know nothing that we're making it up, and I mean, there are there are definitely consumers out there say, well, so and so is down the streets charging less for it, but I'm always able to have an argument as to why my prices are more expensive. No, I can tell that consumer well, you're more than welcome to go to that person. Keep in mind they're training and expertise and find out their credentials if you really want something high quality so that you make sure you're getting a consistent product, okay, that's, what I'm going to say to that? A customer who goes well so and so charges down one hundred bucks down the street first of all I don't even want him as a client that that's just get get away from me I don't want to deal with you I don't wanna waste my time but I will tell them be careful especially in the wedding industry I mean you guys all know this one the and I get it so much when she comes back with her baby my wedding pictures the hook we should have spent more money we should have researched it more it's all I have left of my wedding I mean those mistakes happened left and right you guys have heard it I'm sure thousand times those of you who shoot weddings okay so when you say when they try to wheel and deal with you and negotiate with you obviously photography is not their most important thing on their wedding list it is no it has to be shot so they're not your client it's okay to say no to those people it really is so yes pricing is complicated so art and science and most photographers are out there her special those air beginning don't think that they're worth it well increase your skills print competition that improved my photography more than anything I've ever done and in such a short period of time and be ready you are going to get your handed to you I mean, they're gonna tell you exactly what your images lack, but wouldn't you rather have that than to just stay in this world that you think is good and it's? Not necessarily as good as it could be? Do you want to grow or not? So do things that will help you do that. Look at places like creative life, get all those little classes and watch them you buy the class, you never watch it, I'm guilty, ok? So but do you know? Don't do what I do? I do what I think, but seriously, get the education you need and grow and practise and practise and practise it. Tiger woods on game day at five a m in the dark is on the driving range, firewood he's like the most talented golfer around, and he is on the driving range at five a m the day he's supposed to go out, hit the finals the final round. If you have passion like that and you are practicing every single day, you're going to get better and then this ladder that we're talking about the whole talent versus pricing letter down here at the bottom there's this huge jump because you have to charge what you're worth, but you don't feel like your talents good enough. So the two have to meet in the middle and right when you're starting out it's a little bit a bit of a jump or what I tell people is set your prices at profitability set your prices at a value that will make you money and then while you're learning and growing you know offer a portfolio building discount so that your prices are cheaper so people can understand that you're growing and learning and trying to become a pro you will do is service to the industry by not bringing it down or at least that perceived thought of bringing it down you will do yourself a service because you'll be practicing on clients and then once you actually get to this good pricing level that you khun you end that portfolio discount you don't have that painful process of having been too cheap gotten too many clients and now all of a sudden you have to completely revamp your business raise your pricing lose all those clients and start over again that's scary that's carrying so many doctors have done it and it is a scary thing to do and we'll talk about ways on how to kind of combat that in a minute but first I'm kind of kind of digressing here are there any questions before we kind of move into pricing and and how to do that artfully and strategically yes so question right pricing is a scary thing it is is there a percentage like are you goingto show us a percentage that we can take of you know what we need to survive and where we should be at the end of the day with our pricing? Is there a magic number? Oh, yes, we're gonna pull out a spreadsheet good, and I am going to depress you. I'm going to make you a little sad. I mean that's going to hurt but it's important to do because you need to open your eyes, okay? So I'm going to open your eyes a bit with a spreadsheet and it's going, we're going to talk about what you need to make to survive. You know what you want to make to survive and then what you have to produce, that each session and the number of sessions you have to do to produce that, okay, so we're going to talk about break, even breaking even in your business and what numbers you need to break even and it's a general statement. It's not, you know, in depth, but at least we'll give you an idea and it's a good start.