We are PUMPED to have guest blogger, Jared Bauman share his wisdom business savvy with you all!
Jared not only has run his studio for over 10 years (he is a part of the 4% of small businesses who actually last and thrive over 10 years – amazing!), but his studio shoots over 200 events annually around the world, AND he founded ShootDotEdit (anyone want to outsource your editing??), AND he also makes time in his schedule to share his knowledge freely with other photographers. Jared is the perfect example of how to not only run a successful business, but a successful life.
We met Jared two years ago listening to him speak at our first ever photographer’s conference and have since grown to become good friends with this awesome guy! We have heard Jared speak multiple times at other conferences including the coveted WPPI conference in Vegas, and one of the best talks we heard from Jared was when he spoke on the science behind pricing and packaging your services.
Let’s face it, pricing is a challenge! I (Jody) remember during the first two years of our business it seemed like we modified our pricing every week! Anyone else our there feeling us on that?
So today, Jared has graciously agreed to share with us all some of his smarts on Pricing. Enjoy!
Pricing & Packaging Bootcamp
By Jared Baumann
Pricing. It’s often the last thing we think about as photographers. We focus on our website, our branding. We pour over reviews of the latest gear, and try to learn how to light for every situation. Email monopolizes our time, and fulfilling client orders takes up our off days. And yet, pricing is one of the most important pieces of our business.
Believe it or not, there is actually a science behind Pricing. Hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped each year into strategically positioning Fortune 500 companies and the way they present their pricing. We as photographers can glean a lot of information from the way these companies package their products.
From the beginning, you should set your goals BEFORE you construct your pricing. Do you know how much you want to work? Do you know how much you want to make? All of these things should be taken into consideration as you construct your pricing. Your goals are central and inherent in your pricing. Be realistic and practical, but focused and driven in your goals. These will be the backbone that will shape your pricing framework.
For example, if your goal is to make $50,000 this year from shooting weddings, and it’s a part time business, you wouldn’t want to charge $1,000 per wedding. It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to make this type of mistake when you’re overwhelmed.
Once you know your goals, it actually gets a lot simpler. Now your focus becomes finding a way to bundle your services and products in a way that makes distinction obvious. Effective pricing takes your goals and aligns them with your client’s wants. Your hope is that it is obvious to the client which package to select. Keeping this in mind, you can keep one goal in mind when constructing your pricing: Remove Confusion.
Believe it or not, Confusion is usually the main reason prospective clients don’t book. Think about it … by the time the pricing comes out, you’ve usually established a good rapport with the couple. The meeting has gone well, and there seems to be a great connection. You’ve talked a little about budget, and you know that you’re a good fit. The pricing comes out … everything looks good …. And then they never book. How could this be?
It usually isn’t even something the couple can put their finger on. But, confusion entered into the picture when the pricing was introduced. It might be confusion through the structure of the pricing, and they couldn’t find a package that suited their needs. Or maybe they were interested in an album, and there were just far too many options. Maybe they didn’t see an engagement session anywhere, it wasn’t in the packages, and they couldn’t find it on the a la carte list.
For couples, planning a wedding is a lot of work, and it usually comes on top of their social and work duties. Simplifying the process for them, especially at a crucial stage where decisions are made, gives you a huge advantage when it comes to booking. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when constructing your pricing:
– Have an odd number of packages. This gives your pricing a “natural middle” point, which naturally guides your clients towards certain options.
– Whenever possible …. Less is more! Reduce the number of options available.
– Don’t show them the whole menu. They don’t need to know how much every size of print costs, or the specifics on selecting their album cover. They’re just trying to decide if they want to work with you … save the details for later.
At the end of the day, your pricing should be nothing more than a tangible way to group and bundle your services. Your pricing shouldn’t be a roadblock in their decision, but another step in the natural progression of their decision. Keep it simple, and remove confusion at all costs. This will ensure you give yourself the best chance of booking the wedding, and working with the couples you want to.
Good stuff!! We hope that helps a lot of you out and gives you all some direction and focus with how to price!
However, there are probably many of you out there who just wish that someone would sit down with you, look at your pricing and offer their wisdom and insight… Well, we have just the solution for you!!
On Wednesday, November 9th, Jared has set aside nine and half hours of his time to do only SIX one-on-one pricing and packaging consultation sessions in San Diego at The Hard Rock Hotel! Jared has done other talks on Making a Six Figure Income and he is someone that can truly help you to construct your pricing in a way that sells! Click on this link for more information and to book your seat. (For those of you who will not be in out in San Diego, Jared also does these sessions over the phone. You can check out that info here :).
Below is some connection points to find Jared online – make sure to give him some love!
Jared Baumann Resources:
f: Jared Bauman
San Diego: Pricing & Packaging Consultation Sessions
Over the Phone: Pricing & Packaging Consultation Sessions