Why Pricing Yourself According To The Competition Is A Bad Idea

You’ve decided to venture into a new niche in photography.

First goal – 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 “your new niche photographer” and pull up a few sites from your competition to find out what they’re charging.

Copy a few packages. Low-ball the pricing. And voila, your brochure is ready to go.

Yes, that’s how a lot of photographers do it. But that doesn’t make it the right way.

Here’s why.Why Pricing Yourself According To The Competition Is A Bad Idea

You don’t know how they came up with their pricing.

Here’s a glimpse into the “copy” method of creating your pricing.

Photographer one decides to advertise his photography and creates a new brochure. He doesn’t know what to charge so he heads online and “copies” his competition. They charge $1000 – 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.

That’s how we’ve wound up with many photographers providing a ton of service for $50. And of course we all know you can’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 they’ll be out of business in weeks.

If you “copy” pricing, you have no idea where that model came from or if it will work. And chances are it won’t. [Read more…]

8 Lies Newbie Photographers May Fall For

Is your client lying to you?

When you are new to the business world, its easy to want to trust everyone that walks through your door. Unfortunately not every client will live by the same ethics you do. Some clients are strictly out for “the deal” and will think nothing of trying to get everything they can.

Unfortunately, “lies” not only will take away the solid income stream you are trying to build to keep yourself in business, but it can also take away your self-confidence as a business owner, wondering who you can trust down the road.

Watch for these 8 lies you may hear from time to time. And if you hear these words coming from your client’s mouth, move forward cautiously.

Lie #1 You’ll Get A Ton Of Exposure From This

This has always been one of my favorites and I’ve probably heard this the most. People want the world given to them even when they don’t have the resources to pay for it. And since you’re just an “artist”, you get that, right? So why don’t you remain a “starving artist” and give me images for free. Then I’ll pass along your name to everyone I know and tell them what a great job you did. The problem is most people won’t follow through on telling their friends. And even if they do, chances are they will throw in a sentence or two about what a deal they got. Then any referral will also expect the deal when they visit you.

Lie #2 You’ll Have Plenty More Work In The Future

You may hear this one a lot in the commercial industry. A new company wants great photos of their current products, and expect to build on their success in the future. So they want a deal today, promising you their future projects – annual reports, model shoots, catalog projects and more. These clients mean well and you have to appreciate their big dreams. Yet in many cases these dreams simply won’t materialize. You have bills to pay. And because they are also a business owner, they should realize that too. If they want to commit to future projects in a contract, you may negotiate a pricing structure built on several shoots. Otherwise stick with your original pricing. [Read more…]