Youâ€™ve decided to venture into a new niche in photography.
First goal â€“ a new brochure to try and bring in clients.
But where do you start? What packages do you create? What prices do you charge?
The easiest way to find out is to head to Google and type in â€śyour new niche photographerâ€ť and pull up a few sites from your competition to find out what theyâ€™re charging.
Copy a few packages. Low-ball the pricing. And voila, your brochure is ready to go.
Yes, thatâ€™s how a lot of photographers do it. But that doesnâ€™t make it the right way.
You donâ€™t know how they came up with their pricing.
Hereâ€™s a glimpse into the â€ścopyâ€ť method of creating your pricing.
Photographer one decides to advertise his photography and creates a new brochure. He doesnâ€™t know what to charge so he heads online and â€ścopiesâ€ť his competition. They charge $1000 â€“ he low-balls it for $900. Photographer two does the same thing, only of course the price has now lowered to $800. Photography three – $700. Photographer four – $600. And so on.
Thatâ€™s how weâ€™ve wound up with many photographers providing a ton of service for $50. And of course we all know you canâ€™t make a full time living spending all day servicing a client for $50. So this photographer either has a full time job making the money they need to survive, or theyâ€™ll be out of business in weeks.
If you â€ścopyâ€ť pricing, you have no idea where that model came from or if it will work. And chances are it wonâ€™t.
You donâ€™t know the quality of their work.
By utilizing the â€ścopyâ€ť method, youâ€™re making a lot of assumptions. Do they print their work at a professional lab or at Walgreens? Do they use Shutterfly or a professional album company? Are they printing at home on a little printer? If yes, what kind of paper are they using? How do they present their final product to their customers? Are they shooting with a Canon Rebel or a Canon EOS 5D (and different levels of lenses as well)?
Chances are you just canâ€™t tell all the fine details by looking at a website.
You donâ€™t know their customer service skills.
Does the photographer have a VIP customer service program in place? Do they service the customer from the moment they walk in until the day they walk out with their final order? Do the pamper them, indulge them, and provide attention in every detail possible?
Or do they show up, hand over a CD on the way out, and never see the person again?
You donâ€™t understand their lifestyle.
One photographer lives in a 3 bedroom, 1200 sf modular house in rural America. Their idea of a good time is bowling on Friday night.
Is that your goals? Is that your ambition? Now Iâ€™m not saying there is anything wrong with the way photographer one lives â€“ thatâ€™s his lifestyle. But is that yours?
Are you comfortable modeling your business after someone with those goals? Or would it be better to choose your own path?
Who is their client and what are they doing to bring in those clients?
Some people like working with an average working class clientele that just wants a few photographs to look back on.
Some people like working with the â€śmillion dollar clubâ€ť clientele that demands a little bit more.
What business are you trying to go after? Did you copy the right photographer to achieve those goals?
Changed your mind yet about the way you came up with pricing for your last brochure? Good. Then its time to look at it from a completely different perspective. Take some time to think about what youâ€™re doing and where youâ€™re going with your business. Are you reaching out in an appropriate way?