Last week we talked about whether or not to embrace the Digital Age by selling digital files (pssst..there’s a 25% off coupon code and link for flashdrives in there!) When determining your pricing there is so much more to look at than the print cost of the file. So much more than blindly copying and pasting your competitors pricing. (DANGER in that, how do you know it’s really working for them? Have you seen their books?) Pricing and money are kinda like dirty laundry. You work on your own and don’t want anyone else’s right?
Get to know the basics, understand your client’s psychology, and implement strategies to sell your prints. In the end you can achieve higher print sales, fulfillment as an artist and stability as a business owner.
Basics of Pricing
Just like anything else, you need to know the basics. Gotta crawl before you walk. Walk before you run. Go through the painful basics. By making an educated formulation of pricing you will save yourself time, money, and energy.
-Know your market & competitors- What can your market REALLY handle? And I mean truly handle. I hear so many people tell me their market is saturated with photographers. WAKE UP! Everywhere is. That doesn’t mean you can’t price appropriately. Remember, not every photographer in your geographical area is your competitor. Identify the true competitors and your target client.
-Know your target client – What are their demographics, occupations, socio-economic influences? Do you have a specific idea of who they are? Or is your marketing targeting a vague audience with hopes that your target client will walk in the door?
-Know your overhead- This is so crucial and pretty much one of the main reasons why you can’t simply look to competitors for their prices. Everyone has a different amount of overhead. In order to successfully maintain any business pricing should set so that even at the lowest sale you are breaking even. (I prefer a buffer, but as a general rule).
-What is your desired income? This also varies from photographer to photographer. Again, you don’t want to be working for free. Your time away from your every day life and family is worth something.
-Value yourself – People place more value in services and goods they cannot provide or create for themselves. Majority of your clients probably are not adept at photography, even if they are photographers, taking photos of themselves is difficult.
Psychology of Clients
One of the biggest aspects of running a business is playing psychologist. Okay so marketing specialist, but really it’s being a psychologist. It’s recognizing, understanding and implementing strategies that work with the psychology of clients in your favor. I’m not talking deceptive trade practices. I’m meaning working with whatcha got. This is especially true for the photographers who shy away from “contact-sport” sales.
-Placement of pricing – Identify the ways that effectively promote your brand and serves to lend value to the dollar signs attached. How is your pricing identified on your site? In your client guide?
-Creation of packages - Craft packages in a way that will steer your clients to purchase what you want them to purchase.
-Know your target client – Market to those that value photography and the physical product of prints and wall portraits
Making Print Sales
If your end goal is to make print sales there’s a few ways to guarantee print sales. Most of it boils down to the psychology and how you draft the pricing to work for you.
- Offer print credits – Allow your clients the freedom to select what they want. By offering print credits client’s feel more in control of their purchase, however, you are steering them towards making the purchases you want to make.
- Incentivize your packages- Craft packages in such a way that incentivize clients to purchase above and beyond package items such as through discounted pricing.
Don’t get overwhelmed. The most important thing is to ensure that you are effectively pricing for yourself. Pricing, like anything else, is not set in stone. As a business owner, you are THE boss. You can make changes as you see fit. And you should make changes as you grow as a photographer, gain feedback from clients and as the economic market changes.