One of the scariest things about running a photography business is figuring out your photography pricing.
Once you’ve done all the math and know how to profitably price your photography, the next step is to present and display your prices so that your clients see you’re worth what you’re asking to be paid.
Below, I’m critiquing the photography pricing list of one of my Simplified Photography Pricing Formula students, Ciera Kizerian.
It’s not often that I see such a well-designed photography pricing list. Ciera has chosen beautiful typography and created a clean layout. I love it!
The 5 photography pricing improvements I recommend for Ciera can help you, too.
These recommendations will:
- Encourage your clients to invest in the products that are your most profitable
- Eliminate client frustration and overwhelm
- Increase your clients’ average portrait investment
Let’s get started!
Improvement #1: Shoot for Three
There are several photography pricing strategies you can use when deciding whether to offer collections and packages vs selling your prints individually as a la carte options.
Ciera offers both options on her photography pricing list which can work, but it can also be overwhelming for clients.
One packaging pricing strategy I recommend Ciera consider is to ‘shoot for three.’
When offering photography collections or packages, choose your three favorite collections – at small, medium and large investment levels.
Ciera offers 35 collection options on her photography pricing list for her clients to choose from! With this many options, I believe her clients quickly go from excited to buy to overwhelmed and frustrated.
A client who is overwhelmed can’t make a purchase decision, leaving you with a pile of images they claim to love, but won’t ever purchase.
I would like Ciera to consider paring down her collection offerings by choosing her three favorite collections. Those three will be the only collections featured on her photography price list.
If her clients want something custom that isn’t included on the price list, it can be created specially for them.
Improvement #2: Show Don’t Tell
As photographers, we’re so close to our products. We forget that our clients don’t typically understand the difference between a stand out, metal print, bamboo panels, wood prints and canvases.
Our clients aren’t as visual as we are, that’s why they hire a professional photographer.
We need to show them what each product looks like on our photography pricing list. When they see it, they’ll know they want it.
By showing images of our products instead of just descriptions, clients can visualize how amazing their images will look displayed large in their homes.
I recommend Ciera consider adding an image of her artwork displayed on that product, like I have done here in my price menu for the canvas wall art section of my photography price list at Sarah Petty Photography.
Improvement #3: Move the Middle Up
No matter what you’re selling (ice cream, teeth whitening or photography) people more often choose to buy your middle offering.
Clients justify investing in your middle offering on your photography price list because they have ‘price anchored’ to your highest price point offering when they are first exposed to it.
The first price we see lingers in our minds, affecting later decisions and perceptions according to David McRaney.
So while that big product sticks in most clients’ minds as being too much of a stretch or just more than what they need, ‘price anchoring’ makes the smallest product seem inadequate and the middle product feel just right.
Sure, you’ll have some clients who are price conscious and will invest in your smallest product on your photography pricing. And you’ll have other clients who will always choose the largest product on your photography pricing list because they want to invest in what they perceive to be the best. But the majority of your clients will choose the middle option.
Instead of the largest standout size offered as 24” x 36,” I’d like to see Ciera add a 30” x 40” option as well as a 30” x 30.”
While Ciera may never sell those sizes, by offering them she is ‘price anchoring’ to a higher price point.
I’d also recommend removing a few of the smaller options, thereby moving the middle price up $125 for a 12” x 18” to $365 for a 20” x 30.”
Improvement #4: Price Like a Specialist
People value a specialist more than a generalist.
They’ll pay more to hire a specialist.
For example, when you need your teeth straightened, you hire an orthodontist instead of a general dentist.
The orthodontist is a specialist in straightening teeth, not all dental related issues. Could the dentist straighten your teeth? Possibly. But he hasn’t had specialty training like the orthodontist so the result likely wouldn’t be as impressive.
When I’m hiring a wedding photographer, I want to see images of gorgeous brides in his or her portfolio; not babies or high school seniors.
For this reason, I recommend Ciara consider creating separate photography price lists for each target audience she photographs: Families, weddings and seniors.
These separate price lists will encourage her clients to see her as a specialist without distracting them with photography niches they aren’t interested in.
Her photography pricing and products don’t need to change. But the images she uses in her price list should.
Improvement #5 Remove the Clutter
An important strategy to consider when learning how to price photography is to make it easy for your clients to purchase what you would like them to.
Small items like jewelry, ornaments and key chains are nice add on sales to increase your average sale, but when they are included in your photography price list, they distract clients from your larger more profitable products.
I recommend Ciera remove this page from her photography price list and instead offer these products AFTER wall art, collections and albums have been decided upon.
Overall, Ciera did a great job in displaying her products in a professionally designed pricing list.
I’ll next be working with Ciera on her costs of sales to increase her profitability on each product she offers as a student of my Simplified Photography Pricing Formula course.
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