While browsing the net and in groups or forums I always see the question "how much should I charge?" The simple answer is there is no simple answer to this. Pricing yourself can be difficult to decide on however there are so many variables. Some factors to consider are, travel, pre-production, gear, time on the shoot, post production and delivery. All these factors need to be considered and tailored to each individual shoot because a base rate for a particular job may not be work for the next. Also included is a few other marketing aspects I think is very important for not only for photography but in any business.
How much is your time worth? I can’t tell you but I will tell you to go with your gut and nine time out of ten you will be right. Factor in a cost per hour for the shoot itself then you will need to factor in travelling expense, time in post production editing, any rented gear you needed for a specialty shoot and how it will be delivered to the client. It is important when giving a quote to a client to be straight forward with why it costs the amount it does. break it down so they can see where their money is going and what its paying for, tables are a good way I have seen and you can’t really go wrong.
Gauge your client, this may be easier said than done but you should be able to roughly guess how much they are willing to spend. Don’t profile people or rip off people if they are rich but work to your client’s budgets or how much you believe they are willing to spend for your quality work. A perfect example is a law firm has asked you to shoot a series of head shots. A large company will be more than willing to spend a decent amount of money for quality so deliver it. On the other side a lower income family may not be able to afford you so work within their budget.
How much is your client willing to spend? Ask how much are you budgeting for this? if you deem it to be lower then what you would like to charge you should never turn a paying client away. Rather than turning away business work within how much they are willing to spend. So an example of this would be "unfortunately I normally charge this amount however would you like to do this instead to work within your budget?" you can offer alternatives to the original job for a cheaper dollar value, instead of three locations maybe one quicker for cheaper. Still offering your service and keeping you and your client happy rather than a missed opportunity.
Up sell! I think this is often overlooked in the photography world. If proposed in a non forceful manner it can benefit both you and your client. Okay let’s say you are doing real estate photography pitch it to the real estate "I also offer this service .... I can include this in for this value if you would like?" this could be anything from a video walk through or an aerial fly over showing the house from above. Up selling can be used in any market! Weddings? Set up a photo booth. Photo prints or merch by buy one and get the second half price. Super easy to do guys just keep this in mind.
Over delivering is always a great idea to keep clients happy and ultimately if someone is happy with doing business with you they will more likely return in future. Don’t rip yourself off but over delivering can be as simple as adding extra photos in your delivery with a hand written note saying thank you. Alternatively if you’re selling prints add in a bunch of stickers, thank you and a few lollies. Hahahah I know what you’re thinking! 'Lollies but that's silly' but I’ll tell you why it’s not. Over delivering is all about standing out from the crowd and doing something different and I first saw this technique work when I bought shirts from a local band and upon opening it up I found a few chuppa chups! So excited and blown away with how funny and different I quickly took a photo of my shirt and lollies and then posted it to social media tagging the band and writing about what I had found. Then after posting I then searched their hastag to find numerous people had done the same! Free clever marketing, well actually not free but very cheap. I know personally is someone over delivered to my I would more compelled to return as a client or customer. Let me know if you try something like this and get good feedback.
So here are the key points you guys need to take away from this; gauge your client, work within their budget, up sell and over deliver. If you do these you can’t go wrong also if you have anything to add or have an alternative opinion fell free to leave a comment in the comment section below and if you enjoyed this please check back weekly for more!