THE TRUTH ABOUT PRICING {Business Tip Tuesday}

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I have read a million different opinions on pricing, the Shoot and Share or shoot and burn method vs. the print sale method, how to make more money, what you need to change NOW and so on. I can remember about two years ago really struggling with how I wanted to format our business. I read everything hoping someone could tell me the magic formula to make money and feel valued. I quickly discovered that there is NO perfect formula. I have had people tell me that the way I run my business is wrong and then people tell me they think it is great..My point.. not everyone is going to agree with you. I want to chat with you about pricing but also just how you can make more money! Here is what I believe matters most:

1. STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

Photography was always important to me even before I became a photographer. When I was the client… I wanted someone who would edit my photos that looked more natural, I wanted my digital files so I could make books and special things for family and not pay an arm and a leg, and I wanted them to reflect who my husband and I were. So as I business owner I find it important to stay true to myself. I am going to feel extremely uncomfortable in a business setup that I wouldn’t even buy from. I can remember being heart broken because everything I read said I had to sell prints and not give files to make ANY money and I was so close to changing our business to that. THEN I found Shoot and Share and I cried a river! It was everything I believed in but it still ensured I was being respected and valued as an artist. This may make some of you cringe but this is what is ME.. staying true to myself. I didn’t pick the Shoot and Share model because everyone else did.. I picked it because it was me being real with myself and it was what made my heart tick. If you don’t know what Shoot and Share is click here! So what kind of business model would you buy from? What are you comfortable in selling? And what do you believe? Not what does everyone else believe.. What do you believe?

2. EDUCATE YOURSELF

Spend the time AND money to educate yourself and grow. Do you want to make more money?? Well how BAD do you want to learn and grow? As bad as you want to make money? I have seen several photographers sit and complain that there business isn’t growing or they aren’t making enough money but they aren’t willing to get out there and try something new. I believe that challenging yourself constantly and always being willing to learn is absolutely KEY in making more money. I don’t educate myself just because I want to make more but because I want to give my clients MY ALL because I believe this is what I am called to do. If this is what I am called to then why wouldn’t I give it everything I got? As soon as you try new things, attend workshops, and get out of your bubble.. your clients and followers will take notice. Invest in educating yourself because it directly effects the value of your work. No more complaining that you don’t charge enough.. learn learn NEVER stop learning and let your education show through your work.

3. STOP COMPARING

Don’t look around at what everyone is else is charging and compare yours to it. As I always say.. no one can really put a dollar amount on me leaving MY child for a 12 hour day to shoot a wedding.. It is really up to me what I decide it is worth to leave her for an entire day. That may sound silly but it is the truth. Beyond that I have to know what my family needs to make a living on and for us to live a healthy balanced life. I could charge $1000 a wedding and shoot 35 weddings a year.. we would make enough but we would be exhausted and never have time for our family.. or we could charge $3000 and shoot 15-20 weddings a year.. make MORE than enough and have TIME for family. Doesn’t that sound healthier for my family Having a certain number of weddings is not what I am after. Having a healthy balanced life is! This is different for every family situation and every personal need. Do not sacrifice other areas of your life and let the balance wheel get all out of whack. YES you should live up to what you are charging to an extent and be putting forth that effort to GIVE the best you can.. but you can’t look around and compare others pricing to yours. You don’t know what their life looks like and why they charge what they do. There are so many factors in pricing and it is different for every business owner. Write down your costs for each session or wedding. Write down the minimum per hour that you need. Write down your personal budget and how much money you need per month or year from your business to provide for your family. Maybe this is the ONLY income or maybe it is just a pad.. It is different for everyone so therefore prices will be different too.

4. GIVE AN EXPERIENCE

I say this all of the time and I will say it again. Do you want to make more money? Quit focusing on just showing up to a wedding day and INSTEAD focus on giving them the best experience you can. Send surprise gifts, serve them in many ways outside of photography, be aware of their needs and life events. People will pay WELL if they know they will be taken care of WELL. People are going to talk about you and your business one way or another…”She is SO cheap, you should go to her!” or “She is the nicest person and really goes above and beyond and has become a great friend!”… Which one do you want your clients talking about? An experience is PRICELESS… it turns your clients into walking billboards.. and guess what.. you feel good because you know you served them WELL!

5. BRANDING AND PRESENTATION

Branding is a HUGE key to making more money. You can’t grow in your business or expect to make MORE if you don’t have brand that speaks that first. I believe if you take BEAUTIFUL pictures and have an awful brand you will book less than if you have an AMZING brand and website and just OK pictures. Branding and your website is a huge part in the presentation of your business. Your brand could easily set you a part $1000+. Don’t believe me… Ask around? Ask the photographers you follow what really set them a part or was the biggest difference in their business. No one is going to tell you they regret investing in their brand! Get your website, blog, social networks, email, contracts, forms, welcome packets, boxes, business cards, and MORE all matching and amazing.. I promise it makes the biggest difference in your business and how professional and even expensive your work is. (Shameless plug, if you are a creative and looking for a NEW brand we would love to work with you just send us an email at info@andrewandchrissy.com). Next week our Business Tip Tuesday is all about branding, be sure to stop back by!

Sharing, serving and celebrating,

Andrew and Chrissy