The topic of this post is photography pricing.
Happy Thursday, friends! I hope you’re having a great week so far. I know you’re probably really busy, right?
We’ve been busy behind-the-scenes as well going through all of the questions we’ve been receiving in our Facebook group this past week. We’ve noticed that a lot of photographers are struggling with pricing their packages.
Can you relate?
To be completely honest, I had something totally different scheduled for today’s blog post, but because our members asked for help with pricing their collections, we decided to share our best strategies for Packaging & Pricing your services as a photographer.
Breaking it ALL down: Our Best Practices for Pricing Your Photography Services
Pricing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, keeping things simple is always better. People like simple. A confused customer buys nothing. Organizing your services in collections is a very effective way to simplify your pricing.
Best Practices For:
- What your pricing guide should include
- The rule of 3
- Anchor prices
- A la Carte options
- What to include in your collections
- When to raise your prices
When a couple inquires with you, I suggest that you send them a link to a hidden page on your website instead of a one-page PDF. Why? The two experiences are completely different. A custom page on your website is perceived as being more of a high-end experience, while a PDF is less personal, especially if all it includes is your pricing. This makes your services all about money rather than connection. People’s buying decisions are highly influenced by emotion. The better you make them feel, the more likely they are to buy from you. Also, your clients will always have access to your updated pricing information since you can change the content of a website page, but you cannot change a PDF that was already sent.
2. What your pricing guide should include
- What Makes You Different
- Album Offers
- Call to Action
Your pricing guide should first introduce the future client to YOU (who you are, what you do, etc.). It’s important to establish that “like and know” factor before you begin talking about pricing. It makes you look more approachable and eliminates the money talk awkwardness when they get to your pricing options.
Secondly, your pricing guide should also include one or more testimonials from past clients. Thirdly, you should include one or two paragraphs that talk about what makes you different and why they should book you.
Next, you should introduce your collections. Up until this point, you’ve created a rapport with them, and talking about your pricing seems like the natural thing to discuss next.
I also suggest that you include a section in your pricing guide that offers more in-depth information about your wedding and parent albums. Albums can make a huge difference in your profit margins.
Finally, you must have a clear call to action at the end of your pricing guide. A call to action is essentially telling your clients what you want them to do next. Is it, email me back with your collection choice? Or you could include a link that takes them directly to your online contract for them to fill out.
3. The rule of 3
I recommend that you come up with a total of 3 collections. Too many options can make it difficult for your clients to make a decision. An overwhelmed customer won’t make a decision at all. You want to make things as easy as possible for them. Naturally, when you have three collections, the buyer will tend to gravitate towards the middle package. This brings us to #4.
4. Anchor prices
Your top collection should be the most expensive collection and include the most value. The reason for this is that it will act as an anchor price. Studies have shown that people are more likely to rely more on the first piece of information they receive. In contrast, your bottom collection should be a stripped-down collection that nobody desires. The purpose of this collection is to drive people to your middle collection. Since your most expensive collection acts as the anchor price, it will make the next collection look that much more valuable.
5. A la Carte Options
I like to include a very small list of a la carte options for my clients. Be cautions though! Make sure that the prices add up if your client were to recreate a collection with just the a la carte options. You want your collections to always be less expensive than the a la carte options. By doing this, they get to see the value in your collections which are always offered at a discounted rate so they feel good about getting more for less.
6. What to include in your collections
My best advice is to keep collections simple. A lot of the time, clients don’t know what they need so you have to let them know what they need instead. The must have items in each collection are: hours, second photographers, online gallery, and print release. Optionally, you can include albums or mileage on the wedding day. Make sure not to include prints or other products in your collections. This will start a back and forth bargaining process of “what if we don’t want a 10×10 print or canvas?”. Personally, I only include an album in my very top collection.
7. When to raise your prices
Here are a few things that might make you consider raising your prices. If your clients continuously book your most expensive collection, then that is a sign that you should make your top collection your middle collection instead. If you attend a workshop or take an online course, then your skill and experience is worth more, therefore you should charge more. Also, the more in demand you are, the more your services are worth. As a rule of thumb, I like to increase my prices by $500 every 3 weddings.
Bonus! Photography pricing best practices to increase your conversions:
- The negative $100 rule: a $3900 collection is more appealing than a $4000 collection.
- Drop the comma: $3900 vs $3,900. Studies show that by omitting the comma, the price becomes more desirable.
- Make retainer fees (deposits) a set number rather than a percentage. The easier it is for your clients to understand your pricing structure, the more likely they are to book. You don’t want to make your clients do math in order to figure out how much the retainer fee is. Eliminate the unnecessary step by having a set number.
And there you have it: Photography Pricing | The BEST Way to Price Your Photography Services! These are my go-to rules for creating a successful pricing guide. You want to include just enough information so that most of their questions and objectives are already answered in your guide, which means that it does the selling for you. Pricing is important, and if you can understand the psychology behind it, you can definitely master it.