Segment 28 - Pricing for Your Market
pricing is one of the, if not the scariest, parts about the business. Most of us probably aren't. We're creative were maybe not as business minded. I myself hate math and anything to do with numbers, so pricing scares me just like it scares everybody else. But unfortunately, it's part of the business, and sometimes you got to do what you gotta do to make it a business. I mean, I hate number so much. I chose my major in college based on the fact that I didn't have to take any math. So So I get it. And I've been everywhere in this process. So I understand just starting out. I understand changing prices and losing clients like I get it all and we're going to go through it all. And, you know, again, I have to stress that what works for 1 may not work for another, and your market may be different than my market. So I think when it comes to this entire process, but especially pricing and products that really has to do with your market in my area, senior photography is, in general, something ...
people have to do on top of a yearbook photo so I have somewhat of a challenge there because they've already spent money because the parents are still going to buy the yearbook photo package, whether they really like the photos or not. And I hear it all the time. We don't really like him, but I have to buy a picture. You know, to me, it's like your kids, you. I buy my kid's elementary school pictures and they're awful, but I buy him because you got to write. So I feel like in those situations, the senior portrait sure that we are trying to provide is an extra expense. So not everybody is going to do it. Not everybody is going to be ableto afford it. Some are going to just rely on that yearbook photos. So knowing your market is really important on how you price now, other areas where they have to go out and find their own photographer to put a yearbook photo in there that might be somewhere. They may spend a little more money because they don't have to spend it on two separate sessions on, But what person doesn't want their photo in the yearbook, so they that might be a market where you could price yourself a little bit differently. Or you could all first something a little more differently because, like the question earlier that you you asked me about the yearbook photo when we had the ordering session. I don't have that as an option because that's not the way it's done. But if it is in your area, then yet you need a package that maybe has that yearbook photo. Maybe you call the high schools and find out the size exactly that they need to. You are knowledgeable and tell your client not have to depend on them to find out for you. And that's what you offer in your packaging. So I think the first step is to really know your market, and it helps in all aspects of this. But it especially helps in pricing, so determine what your market wants. What products the seniors won't what products to the parents won't. Usually and again, this is a generalization, and not every senior is this way. But most seniors want that is digital images and the sticky album. They think those were the coolest they are, you know, digital to them is the only way to communicate. So that is what they generally want. Um, and so knowing that and knowing this particular age group helps me determine Okay, how am I gonna give them what they want? How am I gonna give them these products? Okay, um, and then your other customer is your parent. And what do they want? And you saw earlier that Joe wanted wall prints? Um, and she definitely thought some other products were cool, but she really went to that. That traditional item of a wall print or canvas on guy lived in South Carolina, and we are very traditional. So most of my parents are looking for a while print that they can frame. To be honest with you, that is hands down. Probably the most important thing for a parent. Then I'll get some that won't came assist for sure, but that is is not as traditional. So I don't get everybody wanting that, um and then the gift prints. I do definitely get parents that want to give grandma and Grandpa, you know, aunts and uncles and anybody five by seven or eight by tens. Sometimes they'll come in and want a four by six. I try to explain to them, Although it's the same price for all of those in my packaging, I just say the four best six usually gets lost. You know, it's really small. If you're sitting on a desk, it doesn't have as much impact. So, you know, try to get them to go with 57 or eight button type thing just because in my mind it's gonna make a bigger statement. If a potential client happens to see it, then a four bath six, but typically there looking for gift prints while France campuses and then the girls are always looking for something digital. That's typical, Um, so you can guarantee that probably no matter where you live, that's going to be the case then dependent on your market. Maybe your market is more into something completely unique, like a metal print or a bamboo, or you know, these different things again. You got to know your market mind don't want. I mean, I laugh and joke. As with anything, fashion or anything else. It always travels to the south. Last it goes from north to south, west to East were the last ones to get on board with about anything, so mine are still very traditional. So I don't offer bamboo prints. I don't offer metal prints. I, as a photographer, think they're really cool. And that is something that you guys need toe distinguish between. Because what we think is really cool, because we do see all the labs and we do see all their cool products. Is your client going to think it's cool? Are they gonna order it? So remember your target market, which is both the senior and the mom when you are thinking about what to offer eso. We were talking a little bit about products here first, and then we'll sort of get more into the pricing. But I know a lot of people don't know where to start. When it comes to products, what do you offer? And honestly, I just jumped in and started offering stuff and then started listening to my clients and changed accordingly. And I don't know any other way to do it, because again, you've got to learn your market, and some of that is on the job experience. Some of that is building a package and seeing that it never gets purchased and then changing it up. It's sometimes doing some orders and realizing that you're constantly having to do a customized type package with the same type items. And so then you change and do that as one of your packages, because that becomes the most important thing. I know when I was doing families, one of the biggest things that moms wanted with those little tiny accordion albums. So I thought when I started doing seniors that maybe I would need to offer those little tiny according and albums. Nobody wanted those they didn't. They wanted that sticky album or digital's or the wall prints. They didn't want that. That was more kid friendly. I think I think Mom's loved it because they could show it off for their kids. But seniors didn't really love it that much, so I had to change. So you're constantly going to have to adapt. I don't think anybody gets it right right out of the gate, and if they're telling you they did, then they're probably exaggerating because you don't know right off the bat. All you can do is research your market. Try these things out, know that your the professional and you're gonna offer the best possible products for your client. So pick and choose things that you think are, you know, not only a good value, but something that you think will will be appreciated by both the senior and the mom. So when building your collections, obviously you've got to keep in mind. You're two different markets, right? We've talked about that a little bit. You've got to keep in mind those popular products that you think that these two different age groups and that makes it kind of hard because you're not only trying to appease one age group, you are trying to, you know, make a mom happy and make a senior happy. So maybe you have a combination of these popular things in your packaging, and that's kind of how I set mine up so that I can make both happy. So, you know, in in in the middle package and the top package, there are some digital's, but they're mixed in with some products, and then the mom is happening and the seniors happy. So think about collections and what you're gonna offer in terms of giving a combination. Now, maybe in your market, you only ever deal with the senior. Maybe that's true. I don't know. I doubt I doubt that is probably rare, but maybe this and then maybe your collections, your product offerings tend to be a little more trendy and hip. But again, it goes back to knowing your market and really offering. Um, you know what is going to be good for that particular market? Determine What do you want to offer again? You're the professional. You're the one that weeds through all these different options, and there are a ton of options out there, and there are a lot of really cool options out there, but you have to narrow it down for your client. You don't have to give them everything as an option. Do you ever go somewhere? And you feel overwhelmed by the amount of options there are. Just when you know in general, do you want your clients to feel that way? Probably not. So it's up to you to pick and choose. You know how many different options my overwhelm you. So think about that when you're thinking about you know what you're offering your client. Do you really want to offer him 50 different items or do you want to offer them the best possible 20 items? Do you want to overwhelm them and give them every possible array of I mean, gosh, there's tons of labs out there. They all do similar things. They all do different things. There are a ton of options, but your client doesn't need to be confused. But all of that, they don't need to be overwhelmed by all that again. You've built this relationship with them. At this point, they're trusting you to make the best possible products available to them. So pick out the best products that offer that show off your photos and then also pick out the ones that have the lowest cost of goods but highest value because it is a business person you want, you know, to make some money only thing. So if you buy that super expensive album, but you don't feel like you can charge tons of money for that, maybe that's not a product you offer at this time. You know the main like let's say the album costs $500 for you, and you may be wanted toe charge $1000 toward or whatever you might want to charge for it. And you don't think your markets quite ready for that? Well, that is not your best value of spending money on a product. Maybe you offer, you know, something different, Like the image box, which is, I think, $50 right? It's $50 then you can mark that up in your markup is a little bit more and you're gonna make a little bit more money, but they think it's just a school. Her Joe say that box was a definite alternative to an album because I didn't have an album out, you know, because I really I don't sell them that much to me. I think they're beautiful, but I think they cost a lot of money for us. And they take a lot of time and that costs money. So and I have not really found that my client ill goes for the album. That's not what they want. So why am I gonna offer something or push something that's gonna take me tons of time to design and all of that stuff? Hey, I would rather make my money somewhere else. Um, so I don't have all that work today, right? so think about that. When you're thinking about your products, it's your business. And maybe you love to design an album, so go for it. I don't so I don't I don't tend to offer that. I mean, I do truth be told, have an album sitting on the coffee table and girls sometimes pick it up, but they never, ever want to buy it. And that's fine about me because I don't want that extra work. It's not something I love to do. So I'm gonna offer products that are something that I personally would want, something I know my market would want and something that's not really going to take me a lot of time because I've already spent a ton of time, you know, through the whole process. And I've loved every minute of it. But you know, I want the ordering session. I want to be able to give them their product as fast as possible, and I won't have to sit there and design. Now. Granted, there are tons of different Softwares out there that you can use, and if that's your thing, I say go for it. But you know, just me personally, I'm just trying to make a point that you don't have to offer anything specific just because somebody else is offering it, or just because you think that you must offer it right. So think about those things in terms of products. We had a little bit of my products out here. Of course, I traveled all the way across the country, so I had a smaller sampling of what offer. But I had the most important things that are the most common to my clients, which are the different size prints. And I think those go kind of across the board. Everybody understands Prince. Everybody knows prints and about having the different sizes on display. You can really showcase why a bigger one is a better purchase than a smaller one in terms of your client getting more, you know, more greater presentation of their product. But then you may be getting Mawr advertisement for it because somebody else goes in that client Tom and sees this big, big canvas or this big print or whatever. It's going to make much more of an impact. So it works both ways, So having all the different sizes really helps you say to the client. Well, you know, I know you're thinking about an eight that Tim, but let me show you what it ate. About 10. Looks like I think this is actually about 10. You know, domain. So you can say, Well, let me show you in a bad tenant. But let me show you a 16 20 or let me show you, You know, whatever size you might want to dio. But then at the same time, don't push something that you are just trying to push because you want that. I'm honest with my clients. It's 16 by 2016 by 24 is a good size print to me. I don't need them to buy the 30 by 40. I don't even know who has that kind of wall space. I want to go to their house if they do because I don't know. It's a huge print. I think it's fabulous. I think it's beautiful, but I'm honest with my clients. Most of my clients don't have wall space for that kind of huge friends. If they do, then I want them to tell me and we'll work out a bigger deal, right or well, you know, pick a different size, But be honest about your your size is your offerings. Why you think they're good? Why you don't think they're good again? They're coming to you as the professional to provide them with that information. So really familiar. Familiarize yourself with, um these different sizes and why you would think they would work better. Like the story I told earlier I genuinely did order a canvas of my kids when I first started taking a photo of them. Oh, my gosh. And they're still hanging. I need take him down because they're the worst photos ever because I just started out, but I wanted to canvas and I thought, Okay, I'm gonna order to canvases one of each child and hang them up together. And I thought at the time, and 11 by 14 with humongous and I got him and their tiny and they don't fill up that wall space that I wanted him to. But I have that story to tell all of my clients and they go, Oh, yeah, you're right, you know, because when you don't know and you don't see sizes every day like we dio, that might seem big to you, but being able to really educate them throughout this process and telling them a story of when you genuinely did that, I genuinely think they look stupid because they're tiny. So I share that with them, and then they understand that. Yeah. Okay, maybe I do go with a bigger print.