Many photographers are no different and too often they're cutting prices to get the event. They're reducing prices to almost impossible-to-make-a-profit levels in order to beat the competition. If your prices are going so low you can barely afford to feed your family, then it’s time to change your business model. It will NEVER work!
My good buddy Sal Cincotta is quoted as saying, "Nothing can screw up your business model more than bad pricing!" Even better listen to his advice directly in the archived YouTube video from six years ago. I've shared it before, but his topic is so relevant and it's worth sharing again below.
So, what are you doing to sell your clients a complete “system”? What are you doing to hook them on your skill set and get them excited about the other products/services you might add. You've got so much more to build on when you create greater value, rather than trimming down your coverage to keep in line with a lower price point.
There’s so much for you to choose from when it comes to added value:
- Let’s start with things you can do without any outside help. Cliff Mautner mentioned a few years back about how’s he’s created added value by extending his hours of coverage. David Ziser has talked about contacting the bride and groom on their first anniversary, offering to do a free sitting in celebration of their special day. Remember, the younger the bride, the more friends she has who are likely to be getting married. Imagine the goodwill David is creating!
- You've got technology on your side with slide shows, along with hybrid and combining still images and video. The application is perfect for video thank you cards, holiday cards, save the date concepts, and the list goes on and on. Check out this previous post featuring Suzette Allen's graduation thank you videos. Is there any photographer who couldn't sell this product for a holiday card, engagement announcement, thank you note, even your own business card?
- There are albums, posters, oversized prints, canvas prints and more. I've repeatedly shared the link to Marathon's Bella Art Prints and albums. Each product in this relatively new line is waiting for your creativity in an application that gets your clients excited. For example, a Hollywood style movie poster for an engagement or birth announcement would be a unique product to present to a client.
- Frames can play a big role in your post-production presentations. For example, Michele Celentano refers to herself as a "full-service" photographer. She'll work with the client to decide on the size of the print and pick out a frame. When the finished product is ready for delivery Michele has been known to show up with a picture hook, hammer and level to hang the image in just the right spot!
- You’ve always got the ability to add additional prints, a website for the bride and groom, an iPad loaded with all your client’s images and this is only the beginning.
- And don't forget developing a frequent buyer club! We're all used to the points we collect on everything we purchase. Frequent buyer clubs don't have to be exclusive to the airlines or American Express!
This is a fraction of what you have to offer. Remember your primary goal is to exceed client expectations and make working with you habit-forming! Learning to accessorize each client's experience really doesn't have to be much more complicated than the kid behind the counter at McDonald's asking, "You want fries with that?