Inside: Raising your prices can be a very scary process yet it’s very liberating knowing you’ll work less and make more money! How to Raise Your Photography Prices is a guide to help you overcome the fears and charge what you are worth in your photography business.
Chances are when you first started out in your photography business, you charged way less than you should have for a number of reasons – fear, lack of confidence, had no clue where to start, just wanted to get people in the door, the photographer down the street was charging those prices. Whatever the reason, you’ll most likely need to change and raise your prices over time to support your growing photography business. Here are a few things to consider!
How to Raise Your Photography Prices
- Evaluate your current pricing and goals
Take a good hard look at your current pricing and your sales goals. Does it support your business and allow you to pay yourself what you want to make (this includes paying taxes)? If not, it’s time to raise your prices and set some new goals.
2. Small increases vs big jumps
If you’ve crunched your numbers to find you really need to double or triple your prices to get your business where it needs to be, you have two choices – increase your prices slower over time or take a big jump to higher prices.
Increasing your prices gradually over time will help your current clients ease into your higher pricing along with the people they are sending your way. Let’s say they are telling their friends they had a great session with you for $150 and bought a beautiful canvas of their family for $350. Then their friend inquires a month later to find you are now charging $500 for the session and $800 for the same canvas, it will definitely be a big shock. If you slowly increase over time, it’s easier for your current clients and potential clients to wrap their heads and wallets around your increasing prices.
If you take a big jump to higher prices, you’ll need to factor in the amount of time it will take to build up your client base again. Chances are you’ll lose a lot of your current clients. They might not be ready to pay 5x as much as they were before. This is ok! You will have priced yourself into a higher paying ideal client. Your branding, client experience and products will need to fully support your new higher pricing to attract the right kind of higher paying clients to fill your calendar.
You may have the fear of loosing your current clients but as Modern Tog says “If you want to keep your current clients, but still raise your prices, The slow and steady method is the way with patience required, but less risky”.
- Set a timeline
No matter which direction you go, create a timeline for your price increases. There are so many things in your business that will need to be adjusted for higher prices – your website, your price list, your invoicing system, your inquiry process to educate potential clients, your client goals, your business budget and your marketing strategy to support your growing prices to name a few.
- You don’t need to announce it to the world.
The only people that really need to be aware of your price increase is your current clients. They know you better than all the people following you on social media and they obviously love your work because they’ve paid for it before. Letting them know about your price changes is a great way to keep the lines of communication open and you can even schedule a few last minute sessions on your soon-to-be-old pricing to say thank you for letting me be your photographer and I hope you’ll stay with me through this price increase.
- No grandfather prices
Personally, I don’t recommend grandfathering current clients into your lower pricing structures as you increase over time. That can get very difficult to keep up with as the years go by. Not to mention, what happens if two years down the road, you fill an entire month with clients at their much lower grand-fathered in prices? You might not be able to cover your new higher business expenses or pay yourself or employees if you have them.
I know it’s so hard to tell clients that you love that your prices are going up but it’s part of doing business and what’s right for your business. Yes, you might lose some of your current clients. If they aren’t ready to grow with you and your new prices, that’s ok. You can still be friends!
Using these tips should help you raise your prices in your photography business when the time comes. You can’t be fearful of raising your prices if it’s what you need for your business to move forward. Just make sure all the other parts of your business – brand, client experience, marketing – support your increasing prices.
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GUEST BLOGGER is Brittany Griggs
The numbers girl for creative small businesses on a mission to make numbers a walk in the park so you can get back to what you love most.