I’ve never met a photographer that had a goal to be the cheapest.
I’ve never met a photographer who wanted to get the cheapest clients.
In fact, quite the opposite is true.
As I speak with photographers I hear things like:
I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m getting there.
I’m working towards attracting a different clientele, those that value photography more.
I put my minimum prices on my web site because I don’t want to deal with the brides who have a $1000 budget, they can go to a Craig’s-lister.
What I never hear is:
I wish my clients would spend a little less.
I really want to lower my prices so I can get more Walmart shoppers.
Nope that’s not what I hear. That doesn’t seem to be anyone’s goal.
So I ask a simple question: if you don’t want to be the cheapest photographer and you don’t want the cheapest clients, then what would ever make you think you should provide the cheapest products? People will spend because they expect quality. Quality of the images, quality of the service and quality of the products. It’s only when the your clients are convinced that you are worth what you charge that they will be willing to pay what you charge. You can’t attract a better quality of clients if you show samples of weddings where everything was done on a minimum budget. Even if you have great images, if what they see looks like people who didn’t spend much then they won’t want to spend much themselves.
I remember being at a Bebbinar (Jen and Steve Bebb) where Jen was doing critiques of web sites and image presentations. She noticed a photographer who had way too many images in her gallery, and she had a wonderful shot of Manolo Blahnik shoes buried thirty-some images in. She pointed it out and said, “Look, if you want clients who can afford these shoes then put this at the beginning. Clients with the money to spend will see that someone else with money to spend chose you, so they should too.” Think about it. Like-minded people do like-minded things.
Just this past weekend a photographer said he suddenly started getting most of his clients from Goldman Sachs and these people really wanted an heirloom album. If you don’t have the quality product to back up the quality image you are presenting to a prospect, the budget you are looking for might just as well be looking somewhere else.
Lesson: show the best wedding you have. The best dress, the best of everything. Show that wedding in the best album you can get. Make it special, make it quality and make it look expensive. Maybe your prices aren’t where you want them to be, but they will never get there if you do not look like your expectation.
Cheap products will attract cheap clients. They won’t expect to pay much.
Tacky products will attract tacky clients. They won’t see the value. Beautiful, high-end products will attract beautiful high-end people. They will pay your price.
If you haven’t read Sarah Petty’s book, Worth Every Penny, you should. It’s all about making sure that everything about your business is designed to say
I’m worth what I charge.
With a little help from gorgeous, heirloom-quality albums by Finao, you’ll be saying:
I’m exactly where I want to be with clientele that values my photography and the presentation I can create for them.