Pricing and Sales for Photographers

Lesson 6/32 - The Buying Mind Q&A


Pricing and Sales for Photographers


Lesson Info

The Buying Mind Q&A

Clients what you shot and say look how beautiful it is okay occasionally one or two okay, especially moms I mean those have you had a baby you'll get there trust me, you have had a baby I mean, talk about water retention especially had pretty clumsy like me it's like you've got thirty, forty pounds lose you do not feel good and a lot of moms don't want to be photographed and sometimes I have to talk him into it and if anybody has a question, I can certainly answer how I do that but sometimes I have to talk them into being photographed and I'm sorry I've centimeter brain fart what was the question again when you're photographing if you show them or yeah so I'm thinking and so sometimes when she is unconfident I will take an image of her disco see your beautiful your mom this is the day you're like change and I mean I will have to say that this is the day your life changed a short tour and who hormones you won't remember being pregnant a week after the birthday e mean anything makes you ...

cry right? So and you know, I do tap into that because I feel it and I understand what it feels like to be there I know it I became a much better knew more photographer when I when I had a baby and I know a lot of you probably feel that way but yeah, I do show just to give them confidence sometimes that the images are gonna turn out you're gonna have a good session here. Okay. Okay, so excitement is truly now at their peak there are blossoms on the flower okay, water the seed give it like it's growing and now we have a flower to pluck, okay? The images will build that excitement even higher when they see those images for the first time that is when we're going to get to the top of the emotion mountain. Okay, so decisions at this point are now more likely in your favour of upping the budget than ever before. Really? Because I mean, imagine thiss apprehension that you've built up to I'm in a relationship it's almost like the moment you know when you get married you got a bed for the first time I mean that's where we're at you know, this is the high peak of the motion so guide it's simply now just a matter of guiding your clients through those decisions of what they want to do with their portrait it's really just the ideas that may be bigger than the original plan if they wanted to do a wall porter, for example I would show them one image I would show them three images and alter them five images together on their wall they never buy one they always by the three they go to the middle they don't go all the way the top okay I strongly encourage you to respect the budget should it be tight this is what I mean by soft telling and I know I'm we're talking about the client's psychological mind and how to influence it but at the same time I want you to know that this is about being having integrity and doing it with honesty and respecting their budget and helping them get what they can you know in your price range that you can afford to give them I mean I'm not changing I'm not talking changing your pricing I'm talking allowing them to purchase what they could afford within your studio and not pushing them further should the budget b type you do not want that client leaving unhappy you did not want that client looking those images on the wall in their house of going dang that was expensive no oh that's failure right there you want that client looking them is going oh yeah that costs a lot but who cares? Okay that's the feeling you want so respect the budget if it's really tight you have to respect it and be and be wary of that okay he's all about integrity not that authenticity yeah questions session and the projection appointment is no more than two weeks for me I try to do in the ten day mark I'd like to tighten that up a little bit but tiffany my city of tar for who also just got a thing for me I don't wanna cram her either so and she works on a part time basis so a lot of it's kind of scheduling and timing but if I could get that to seven days I probably would but I'm really comfortable in that ten day mark that's kind of how we try to do it so yeah when you're talking about showing clients images and the groupings of three year and that are you you're not actually printing out giant prints and then showing them okay pro select and we'll get into that tomorrow on projection tails prospect has the power to show images on their walls all have to do is take a photograph of it with a piece paper on it I could bring that photograph into the software calibrate the room based on that eleven inch side of the paper in half by eleven and then I can put their images on the walls on the right side in any configuration I want suffers very powerful there's a lot of other suffers out there in that pack it would kind of help you got you through those if you want okay, there is a time in the session to walk away when they are at that critical point of making a decision on how much money to spend walk out the door. Oh, email. I'm expecting upstairs. I'd like to give you guys a little bit of time to talk this over. Do you mind if I see you for just a second? The answer is always oh, yes, yes, please, please, we're fine. We're fine. They want to talk about it. Okay? They need to have that little discussion. So walk away, give them the break they need if you're in a coffee shop say I'm gonna go grab a cup of coffee which is like anything it will give you a chance to talk about things a little bit. Oh, they're always going to say yes because they want have discussion and they don't want to talk about a sensitive topic like money in front of you unless there's uber comfortable with you. Okay, so when that client at the moment of decision it's important to give them that minute, they need that it helps give them a little confidence and it doesn't make them feel so pressured. And I am not about a hard sell on about softly selling what they want and encouraging them up their budget because of what I believe that's all if they can't up their budget it's not a problem, the psychological strategy is key to getting them comfortable with this process, okay, so it is logical move, but it's also a very honest, authentic one that helps them I would want someone to leave if I had to have a discussion with my husband, I wouldn't want a little peace and quiet for a minute, so at this point we make decisions, pick the flowers now you get to pick the blossoms and put them in a vase with water and hope they last don't spend money, so when you return, chances are your client will have made some critical buying decisions. At this point, they may have more questions about your packages or whatever, but at least they will have feel comfortable a little more comfortable now that they've discussed things in case they have to sometimes it doesn't happen, sometimes clients don't need to discuss things at all. They're like, oh yeah, we know what we want, it just depends and you'll feel that moment and we're going to a live, stale session tomorrow with the family that were photographing today and obviously we're in a little bit of a contrived environment, so it'll be a little bit different, but I want you guys to be a fly on the wall in a sales appointment and see what happens and this may or may not happen in that sales appointment and it will be a little bit awkward just have an audience watching them as they talk, which we might actually send them out the door to talk outside in the hallway and we can take questions at that point, but it will be I think it'll be good for you guys to see be a fly on the wall actually see the sale session in process with a well done pre consultation. I think you guys can see the importance of free consultations now with it well done pre consultation, you won't have problems in the same room, they will go away. Do you see that? Now if you plan to see to the sale water, it let it grow all throughout the process from the first phone call all the way up into the order employment during form it's piece of cake okay? And what's nice about this process is that if at the pre consultation you realize they can't afford you and they're not gonna spend much money, you don't need to take them as a client instead of having disappointment in the sales room down the road always been two hundred dollars a failure. Oh, I mean, you know that feeling that won't happen to you anymore because you're reading about in the beginning and you're not spending all this time working on them only to have him easily sale okay, so at this point that the order employment it's really just a matter of taking an order the client usually has a good idea what they want with their and what their budget is before they come in and if they're going up their budget they're going to do it the sales appointment cause they love the images, they're excited and they believe what you believe simple is not so pick those flowers make those decisions if you don't do a pre consul your problems you're gonna have a surprise clients objections feeling overwhelmed all these things are gonna happen in the sales appointment and you'll either get no sale or a very meager one okay, the goal is when that, like I said before when the client leaves you they have tinges of buyer's remorse is a little bit like me, but when they get home the experience, the product everything will be worth it and that's why product delivery on that quick time skillets sunpoint if they're having any tinges of all our cars, that is a lot of money and you know I do it too I drop the ball, I don't deliver products, especially with fine art pieces and paintings and stuff like that takes a lot of time and a lot of creative energy they don't get produced quickly I mean, it doesn't take a couple months sometimes in fact I'm in the middle one now that's just, um have a creative block on it I can't I want to do such a good job like it's for this family here. I'm painting this portrait and I want to do such a good job on it. But I'm having trouble. I'm getting a little creative blocked, so sometimes it'll take a little bit more time. And that's when lily was longest that one's your client understands that. That it's. Okay, um, if you do all these things and endure your client to like, this was a great experience, you're going to have an authentic experience with them. They're gonna want to marry you. And you will have a client for life after lunch alive. Shoot with an unsuspecting family. I have spoken to her on the phone. Okay. I talked to last week. I kind of did a mini per consultation with her. She is a model. Okay? She is not my client. If she called me and talk to me on the phone, I would probably refer her down the street. Okay, so just keep that in mind, but she has a two week old baby. We're going to go ahead and photograph furs were those timely things. But when I want you to do is I'm going to be using a little bit of the pre consultation on the fly here in the studio. Go on, shoot the session and yeah, I mean, I'll talk a little bit about technical details but more important what I want you to note is how I speak to her what I say to her how I plant the seed of a sale in her head as we shoot the session okay, listen carefully to the information I'm trying to acquire from her and imagine I'm asking these questions to you how would it make you feel about the business? Okay that's kind of what we don't want to do and then this afternoon we're going to the proper complication in depth what to say how to say it, why you should say it how you should do it okay? Questions, questions, questions, online questions maybe you have a time we have a ten jim, what do you got? All right, so one of the things that megi said said, I'm loving this good at what you she would like to know what played to present your full pricing list before the sale session or only the base prices. When did they get the full meal right away at the consultation and I beat my clients over the head with pricing I mean, obviously I would like to sometimes but no I just shoving their face constantly can you afford me? Can you afford making is all over my website you can basically go I mean, I even sell my pricing of doctors and I really want it. So the whole concept is to make sure that there's no surprises so that when they get in the sales room, they know how much you cost and there's different schools of thought on this, so I'm really, really high end carriage trade photographers, I'm not a carriage trade, tyrone my average is probably right around twelve hundred procession, so I don't I don't I don't want to serve that crowd to me that's a little bit too much for me to handle. Personally wise, I prefer the more people in the middle of the road, you know, I'm kind of the nordstrom's of photography I'm not the target and I'm not the neiman marcus and I'm not the product, but I am nordstrom's I want provide you good customer service and it expected relatively expensive price that you know will be worth it. Okay, so pricing is right up front, the price tags right on there you will see it that way, there's no surprises and if they can't afford me, they won't look rather, have them not book, then go through the process and have a maker sale and sometimes will happen is if I didn't do my job right, they'll cancel the session if they see how expensively we could book the session we get him and I haven't really informed them as much as I should have dropped the ball to happen they'll come and go you know we looked really really can't afford this way we don't want to take your time and we need to cancel you know, ok it's only happened once or twice but you know I refund their session that's fine I'd rather get that done then then go through the work and have this tense relationship where they're just freaking out all the time because they can't afford it yeah you ever pricing on your website or just kind of like oh you'll spend twelve hundred dollars with me you know I have it it's what I do is like just called create your own collection so I don't really have, like set packages that start at this and go up to this create a collection starts at six hundred fifty dollars you're stealing there's no sealing the world is your oyster so sometimes second confused client because they're like okay, well what's the top they want to know what the top is because they know they're going to spend in the middle okay it's a classic buying psychology so I just say most of our clients spend between eight hundred thousand dollars on their session and they get everything including all the digital files it's true but they're not that's not everything you know, I mean, I get that you get a nice selection of images, including digital files from the session and a piece of art for their home. We have a hybrid model where we do create a collection, but I'm and it includes digital files, but it also includes a piece of art I'm very adamant about printing and educate our client's constantly on the value of printing and how transitory and easily corruptible digital files are. This is not archival, this is so when we communicate that message that kind of elevates the art too. So they want the digital files. I'm talking homes, they're twenty five to thirty five years old, they live in a digital age, they want the files, so, yeah, I'm going to give that to you. But you also want someone make sure you get a piece of art with it, too. That kind of divert beverage but does not answer questions. She would take another one from the internet before we go. I feel like I'm not going to do you have more questions when I have a client calling basically, just they just want to know pricing like a ballpark when I say something like, well, collection start at seven ninety nine. I find that the clock clients that do end up looking they come and they only want to spend the seven, ninety nine and they never spend more than the seven, ninety nine so you know, how do you consultation? Okay, you're doing a pre consult evidently not very effectively okay, no, we don't worry about it that's kind of why you're here the I usually can't say always but nine times out of ten when I've had you know that when I call that failure in the sales room like they didn't spend anything, I think back and usually because I made a mistake in the council I didn't do it well enough it wasn't thorough enough they fell through the cracks a little bit, something happened there and I can usually pinpointing go yeah, I didn't tell him I didn't show him complete pricing you know it's usually my mistake so and I I really encourage you to step back and look at your picture is a lot of doctors like to blame the client that's usually not the client's fault it's usually your fault you haven't communicated enough with them you haven't showed her all your packages and said, you know this comes with this and here's what we can do with yours and look how this looks show them their products with their images with the product in it, you know, and that's kind of why I'm a prospect advocate, because that software allows you to do that so I can show them what their images look like in the product. So there's, no question and all something oh, yeah, that looks really pretty. Remember your client can't see it. You can you have visual literacy? They don't they need you to plant that seed in their head in order to create something really beautiful for them. Does that follow? So probably the reason why you're selling that bottom packages because you're not communicating effectively the value of the art or the value of your purpose? Is that a problem we can get in more detail when we get into when we need to get into free consultations? All right, julia, great. We've talked about diving into the psychology of our clients, people online are talking about what about our our own psychology and kayla? Kayla tapley says, how do you make it ok in your own head that you don't need every client is really hard for us? They're asking amazing question have a cool that they do. I love the intelligence level of our community. Can you repeat the question, how do we be okay with letting go of that client? Are not needing every client. How how? How do you think? Well, I guess I can speak from my own experience of what happens with me is overtime, and initially I would take anybody. I mean, anybody who came in like, yes, please, I need the money, so I know I've been there done that got the t shirt, and then what happened was his overtime. I started to calculate the hours I was putting into all these clients and how much that was costing me and how much the good clients I was making more money on. So when when it comes down to business, it's really a cost analysis and we're gonna talk about this in products, and this relates very well to having good clients, too. When you pick a product for your studio, what does it cost you? How much can you sell it for? What's it's, perceived value? What are the pros and cons of producing it? And how much you gonna profit off of it? If you can't answer positively with those questions, you shouldn't carry the product same thing with a client, because that product will cost you more time and money to produce without making enough money on it to be worthwhile in your studio, same thing with clients. If you bring in a client who is, you spend the same amount of time on the same amount of effort and don't make the average is that you need to make on it's not worth your time and effort, and you're not profiting your business low cost, high dollar everything she cost you little and you should charge a lot. I mean, that's the basis of it. But I mean, essentially you should really think about what things cost and a bad client costs you money. It costs you a lot. It cost you a lot of motion, too. So I think want to get into the logistics of factual information that your logical brain goes, yeah, this doesn't make sense for me to have a client who's, not my client. Then, you know, especially as you start getting more and more of the qualified clients the unqualified client you like? Okay, teach you you're going to cost me more time and money than I do, I'm saying and this is a slow process. So when you don't have enough qualified clients, yeah, you want to take anybody who comes your way, but I guess what I'm trying to say is if those people don't spend money and you have to take them to survive, don't be disappointed. When you can analyze their mind set and realize that okay, this person may not be my client, but I want to take him anyway because I need the money just understand that that you're not gonna get this a lot of it that you really want and you may have problems with that client, so be prepared for that and understand that they're not your ideal client and that eventually you'll grow your business to the point where everybody's qualified, who comes in and those people who call him what walmart I don't need you I love you you're nice, but I need to make money is a bit yeah, okay, so on a side topic to this, if someone's just starting out, can they initially have a solid price list where they're going for that? Please talk? Can you talk about that? Can you tell? I'm passionate a lot of people are saying, but let's talk about that. I might have jumped the gun on knowing what the question was, what I'm so passionate about pricing, but I think I think I set your prices where you need them to be period to make the average is that you need to make if you're just starting out, do that be profitable in your numbers but then provide a portfolio building discount for a very short period of time that's what I did it work I sent my prices so my average is that three grand when I first started okay, I had a fifty percent for polio discount for six months the heart part is when the discounts about to expire and me it's scary it's scary point right there. But if you've marketed well during this process, people say how she's wonderful she's so worth it and yes, I need to take that leap but it's okay, another strategy for doing this wasn't so way you who was worried about raising your prices when I moved to bend bend is a lot more economically not is economically strong as portland is I mean portland's a major metropolitan area so I could afford to have a three thousand dollar average in portland and bend no, they're not going to spend that, okay? And you do have to analyze your market. What I thought was something like how doing all these rock star for doc rivers they start out super cheap, then they get popular then they got a ban on all these plants and build a whole new clientele oh my gosh, carrie, I don't want to do that. I don't want to lose all my old clients are you kidding me? So what I did was I developed to line the gem, so I'm jewel images with the gems line and the platinum mine the platinum line is the high end line this is the line we're going to get the customer experience you're gonna get the authenticity I mean your new office no matter what but you're going to get the high and experience this line is for the people walmart people who can't afford me who can't afford this line but they still want the custom experience because I remember when you first start out in your cheap and you're good but he talks about everybody wants to hire you the word of mouth is like viral it's crazy if you're really good and you have cheap prices oh my gosh so they market you and you get all these great clients right away because you're cheap you're good right? Well, what happens if you have two lines where you have a high end line and the cheap line thes people are talking about you but the people who can afford you and really appreciate the art they will buy this line ruth chris steakhouse has already know what that is. So god like a steakhouse for meat lovers let me tell you it's one hundred dollars a plate to go their easel let's think about this really rich man his fiftieth anniversary saturday night what's he going by the last take what's gonna order yes or the surface yes the highest thing on the menu okay, that same man it's a tuesday night and not a special occasion. What's he gonna order? He loves steak. T bone. Yeah, you might get the table. Okay. Middle of the road client, fiftieth anniversary. Saturday night. They like steak, but it's not there. Be all end all what are you gonna order? We were the way they play. They might get the t bone in rib eye or they might get the chicken. Right. Okay. Middle of the road. Client special occasion, let's say tuesday night really love steak what's he gonna buy he might get the t bone. Okay, the really low end client got dragged to ruth. Chris can't afford it. Not really interested in stake to the side salad or the suit. Exactly. Do you get my drift, it's about finding clients who love your art, who love photography? That's the foremost prequalification. Okay, have you ever had clients who drive in and like a beat up car, and they spend, like a thousand two thousand dollars and he's a mechanic and she's a stay at home mom, I mean, those people blow me away and like, you just drove up in a beater and you have no money and you're spending two thousand dollars with me that blows my mind. It happens, there's, people out there who have no money, but they love the steak and they love ruth, chris and it's. A special occasion. They just had a baby it's their fiftieth anniversary. They're going to get the surf and turf. Okay. Weddings and seniors, all these timely events. You have this advantage of using this technique here to your you have the technique to use to your advantage. Ok, so people who love photography, they're going to your client. People have money and think the tardis worthy are really your client. I've also had people drive up in range rovers who spent five hundred dollars, not that we know they have to get it done. It's their fiftieth anniversary, they're going to go to stay close, but they don't care. They get the chicken. Okay, do you see my meaning? Finding qualified clients is about that prequalification. They have to love photography. If they love photography, they'll spend it will spend money.

Class Description

In order to make money as a photographer, you have to know how to price, package, and sell your work. In this 3-day course, small business owner and award-winning photographer Julia Kelleher will teach you how to create a strategic sales system — without relying on over-the-top, hard-selling sales techniques.

Julia will help you identify new product and sales opportunities, including the importance of in-person and projection sales. You will learn powerful selling techniques by watching Julia conduct an actual sales session live, right before your eyes. Julia will also give you a comprehensive pricing overview — including how to create packages that encourage your customers to spend more purely by adding the right value.

By the end of this course, you will know how to predict your sales averages, forecast growth, and go from thinking about the next single sale to thinking about the next year of sales.