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February 2017 archive

How Much Does A Photography Business Coach Cost?

Your photography business was your dream.
You may have read that your chances of success in the photography industry is very slim, and you may have seen many people begin a photography business and after a couple of years they have found it all too hard and found a “real job.”
The photography businesses failure rate is very high according to some statistics and Jodie Otte of Black Horse Studio in a recent article said that 95% will fail.
The stats of course don’t reveal the truth and the reality about what is really going on for you as a photographer who want to have a successful photography business.
There is a lot more involved in the “behind the scenes” truth about the lonely, emotional rollercoaster ride of creating and building a successful photography business that most business owners go through.
Success is an exciting unpredictable journey, and part of the journey can be filled with bad decisions and mistakes, lost money and often days of feeling worthless, and unloved.
Your decision to build a photography businesses, is a tough and courageous one. It can also be one of the few decisions in a photographer’s life that can fundamentally grow you as a person.
A photographer’s journey is generally filled with a mixture of positive and negative emotions, and here are a few of them that a photographer may encounter in their business life.
Excitement. The time you have been dreaming and working towards has finally arrived. The doors of your photography business are opening, the website for your new business is live and you launch into the unknown world of business.
You love taking photographs and starting your own photography business is your dream. You’re excited, as you visualise the floods of Newborns, Families, etc coming through the door. You are nervous, but you feel that your business will be a sure fire hit.
You have confidence and you just know that you have made the right decision.
When you start to get the first customers in front of your camera you experience a great overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.

You just know that you have made the right decision to “go it alone” even though a lot of family and friends thought you were crazy to do so!
Happiness. You are doing well, so you pay off your credit card, your business is finally in the black, and you are happy. You have achieved your goal of creating a profitable business and who you have become is a different person from who you were just three short years earlier.

Disappointment. After a while busyness becomes a trickle of low paying customers and reality hits you. Your excitement has been replaced by disappointment and a lot of questions. Why did they not book? Did I get this wrong? Have I set my prices too high? Was I too optimistic in my expectations? How am I going to get more sales? Is this really for me?

Fear. You can reach a point where you think that business is not as black and white as you thought it was. You have one or two bad customer experiences and doubt fills you mind. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but because your photography was good, you felt that people would happily pay for it.
You begin to doubt that you are not “good enough” to have a business.
Some poor sales weeks may drag into months and when the sales stay flat, and your initial disappointment begins to turn into fear. Fear that you’re not covering your costs, fear that you’re going backwards not forwards, and fear that this photography business that you have created, is looking more like a death sentence rather than a ticket to wealth, happiness and freedom. You don’t realise it at first but this fear can be helpful, as this fear is important, and it may be a galvanising force to find an inner strength and belief. Many photographers give up right here, when success could be just around the corner.

Inner Strength. Suddenly something changes, in your mindset and you decide to face the facts. You decide to stop avoiding the truth of your bad situation and you decide to confront the mess you’re in. Instead of repeating the same marketing strategies you used previously, that are now not working you start to implement new strategies. You start putting yourself on the front line and you even start asking for help. You make a decision to learn everything that you can about strategic marketing and selling.

I am sure many of you reading this will be shaking your heads up and down and agreeing that you have been through some, if not all of the emotions above and more.
You understand that your photography business is not an event, but is a long journey.

So you may have come to a point in your journey that you are looking at finding a photography business coach to help you out of the situation that you are in, whether it is in helping you through a bad period, or simply that you want help to accelerate your business growth.

The question is how much should you pay for a photography business coach?

It is important that the coach that you select has been the owner of a successful photography business, and has “walked the walk.” This will give you the confidence to know that they know what the industry is all about, and what it takes to create and grow your business.

The fees of a photography business coach will usually relate to the amount of experience that the coach has, not only in running a business, but how many years they have been coaching.

Like any form of expertise prices vary, and photography business coaching can cost from $250 for a single one hour consultation to the more intense twelve month photography business coaching priced up to $12,000. Some coaches charge a monthly fee, while others will come to your studio for a couple of days and provide you with the solutions to your problems.

Many photographers are part time coaches, and are offering coaching services to make a little extra money as their business may not be going too well.

They may charge for a short time program and you can expect fees of around $3-$4,000 for this type of guidance.
Whatever coach you decide on, what you should be looking for is a return on your investment.

A good photography business coach will help, drive, and guide you in increase your turnover and maximise your profit.

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Can You Do It?

I regularly read that our chances of success in the photography industry are very slim, and as a photography business coach I have seen many people begin a business and after a couple of years they have found it all too hard and found a “real job.”

The photography businesses failure rate is very high according to some statistics and Jodie Otte of Black Horse Studio in a recent article said that 95% will fail.

The stats of course don’t reveal the truth and the reality about what is really going on for photographers who want to have a successful photography business.

There is a lot more involved in the “behind the scenes” truth about the lonely, emotional rollercoaster ride of creating and building a successful photography business that most business owners go through.

Success is an exciting unpredictable journey, and part of the journey (including my own) can be filled with bad decisions and mistakes, lost money and often days of feeling worthless, and unloved.

As a photography business coach I believe that the decision to build a photography businesses, is a tough and courageous one. It can also be one of the few decisions in a photographer’s life that can fundamentally grow you as a person.

A photographer’s journey is generally filled with a mixture of positive and negative emotions, and here are a few of them that a photographer may encounter in their business life.

Excitement. The time you have been dreaming and working towards has finally arrived. The doors of your photography business are opening, the website for your new business is live and you launch into the unknown world of business.

You love taking photographs and starting your own photography business is your dream. You’re excited, as you visualise the floods of Newborns, Families, etc coming through the door. You are nervous, but you feel that your business will be a sure fire hit.

You have confidence and you just know that you have made the right decision.

When you start to get the first customers in front of your camera you experience a great overwhelming feeling of satisfaction.

You just know that you have made the right decision to “go it alone” even though a lot of family and friends thought you were crazy to do so!

 Happiness. You are doing well, so you pay off your credit card, your business is finally in the black, and you are happy. You have achieved your goal of creating a profitable business and who you have become is a different person from who you were just three short years earlier.

Disappointment. After a while busyness becomes a trickle of low paying customers and reality hits you. Your excitement has been replaced by disappointment and a lot of questions. Why did they not book? Did I get this wrong? Have I set my prices too high? Was I too optimistic in my expectations? How am I going to get more sales? Is this really for me?

 Fear. You can reach a point where you think that business is not as black and white as you thought it was. You have one or two bad customer experiences and doubt fills you mind. You knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but because your photography was good, you felt that people would happily pay for it.

You begin to doubt that you are not “good enough” to have a business.

Some poor sales weeks may drag into months and when the sales stay flat, and your initial disappointment begins to turn into fear. Fear that you’re not covering your costs, fear that you’re going backwards not forwards, and fear that this photography business that you have created, is looking more like a death sentence rather than a ticket to wealth, happiness and freedom. You don’t realise it at first but this fear can be helpful, as this fear is important, and it may be a galvanising force to find an inner strength and belief. Many photographers give up right here, when success could be just around the corner.

Inner Strength. Suddenly something changes, in your mindset and you decide to face the facts. You decide to stop avoiding the truth of your bad situation and you decide to confront the mess you’re in. Instead of repeating the same marketing strategies you used previously, that are now not working you start to implement new strategies. You start putting yourself on the front line and you even start asking for help. You make a decision to learn everything that you can about strategic marketing and selling.

You may even hire a photography business coach to accelerate your growth.

I am sure many of you reading this will be shaking your heads up and down and agreeing that you have been through some, if not all of the emotions above and more.

Understand that Success is not an event, it is a journey.

Sometimes we need failures at some part of the journey to drive us forward.

Here are some of Donald Trumps  massive failures. http://time.com/4343030/donald-trump-failures/

I hope your passion and drive will create the photography business that you had hoped for.

Be your own person, believe in yourself, get help, stay positive and walk proudly to achieving your goals.

This life is not a dress rehearsal.

Go for it.

You were born to succeed !

photography business coach

Bernie Griffiths

 

 

 

12 Things You Do That Are Holding You Back From Success

In the years I’ve spent coaching others as a photography business coach, I’ve recognized patterns in what we all do, myself included, that hold us back from success. Here I share 12 of the most powerful lessons I’ve learned along the way.

  1. You compare yourself to others.

Whether it’s starting a business or learning a new skill, you will look at others who are much further down the road from you and expect your results to be similar to theirs, today. Since you cannot see the struggle, the mistakes and the hundreds of little improvements they made every single day, you assume these never existed. By comparison you feel inadequate, incapable and discouraged.

Shift your focus instead to where you are today compared to yesterday to get a more accurate picture of the progress you’re making.

  1. You ask yourself the wrong questions.

You spend your time and energy wondering “if”—if what you’re doing is possible, if you’re good enough to achieve it, if it’s the right thing to do. These questions are unhelpful and suck all the energy and motivation out of you. Change these questions to how, who and what, such as, “How will I make this happen?” “What’s the first step?” “Who can help me with this?” and spend your energy finding answers that will help you move closer to success.

  1. You wait for others’ permission.

You want those you care about to approve. You create a story that their approval means you’re on the right path. You don’t want to disappoint. And so you end up stuck and paralysed by a flippant comment, or an unenthusiastic reaction. I’ll never forget my uncle giving me a pained look while telling me, “Why are you still in London? Come back to Malta with your family.” Ouch that really hurt, but had I listened, I’d be stuck in a dead-end job, living a life that was killing my soul. YOU know what’s best for you. Trust your gut and your heart, live by YOUR standards, and you’re much more likely to create a life that makes you happy.

  1. You wait for the “right” time.

You keep putting something off because it’s not the “right” time yet. You need to make a few more improvements, get more experience, learn a few more skills. You wait for the economy to improve, the weather to get better or for a sign that you should start. This is just your mind playing delay tactics and winning. The right time is now. Only by starting will you discover what else needs to be done or improved, never before.

  1. You expect instant results.

“What?!” your mind tells you. “You’ve put so much effort into this and no one has noticed?!! This is a waste of time, might as well stop now.” I vividly remember thinking this when I posted my first ever blog post. As the tumbleweed rolled on my site, and not even my mum left a comment, my blogging career threatened to stop just as quickly as it started. Be patient, be persistent and give yourself a realistic timeline to achieve the results you want.

  1. You don’t take action.

You make lists and beautiful plans. You re-write those plans and use the latest app to capture them a second time. You discuss your plans, visualize your plans, criticise your plans. You do everything but act on them. Your first step, as imperfect as it may be, will be much more useful than all the plans in the world. Your first step might actually change all the plans you made in the first place, so spend most of your time on acting, not planning, if you want to get somewhere.

  1. You create fake busyness.

This is my favourite one by far. I’ve spent hours tweaking my website, reading other blogs “for research purposes,” playing with new apps. Days have gone by where I’ve sat at my desk for hours being very busy at doing nothing. If you know you’re doing the same, take a step back and ask yourself where your actions are leading to. If they’re not leading to tangible results, then you know you need to be spending your time doing something else.

  1. You listen to everyone but yourself.

You’re new at this. You seek advice. The world and her mother have an opinion on the subject. You sit and you listen. You assume everyone knows what they’re talking about, that you have to follow what you read unless you want to fail miserably. The problem is, the advice is taking you in so many different directions that you’re paralyzed. By all means read and learn, and then let your own heart and instinct guide you. Trust that you will find your own best way of doing this, and it will be just right for you.

  1. You assume talent and not persistence in the secret to success.

“If I had any talent, this would be much easier. I’m not cut out for this.” When you start your project, you discover it’s a steep uphill struggle to get where you want. You make it mean you’re lacking in some way, that maybe you should aim a little lower or try something easier. Don’t buy into this mindset. Anything you do will get easier the more you do it. Persistence and not talent is the secret to success, so stick to it, keep working at it and eventually you’ll find yourself at the top of that hill.

  1. You’re not flexible.

You’ve got your plan and you want to stick to it no matter what. You assume this is the only way you can succeed. For years, I assumed that the only way to get fit was to join a gym. For years I paid huge yearly fees for a gym I never used. The goal is still there but my tactics have changed. Yoga, cycling and swimming have replaced the gym to much better effect. What’s your proverbial unvisited gym? And what could you replace it with?

  1. You do it alone.

You see asking for help as a sign of weakness, or maybe it doesn’t occur to you that you can reach out to others. You want to succeed on your own. You build an imaginary fortress around you as you work on your project. STOP right there. List 3 things you’re struggling with right now. Next to each one list at least one person who’s experienced something similar. Write one question you would love to ask that person. Now reach out and ask.

  1. You don’t know when to let go.

You’ve tried your best, you’ve changed tactics a hundred times, you’ve worked endless hours on this project for the last few months, yet you’re not seeing the results you were hoping for. So you work harder and faster hoping that somehow, someday, you will get there. Your project has become this dark cloud following you wherever you go. Any excitement or joy you felt about working on it has since long gone. You’ve invested so much in this project that you don’t want to let it go. Consider this, how do you feel about spending the next 12 months working on the same project? If you had to let it go, what else could you do with your time? Sometimes it’s OK to let go.

What will happen? For one, you’ll still be perfectly okay. But who knows, once you gather a broader mindset you might find the exact opposite of one of your old opinions to be true.

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Are Your Underselling Yourself?

Are You Too Cheap?

Working out pricing for a photography business can be a difficult thing to do.

There is heaps of online advice, and of course your photography friends always like to give you their opinion.

Here is an email I came across last week from Amy Fraughton from Photo Business Tools.

“I talk to photographers literally every working day of the month, and the one common thread that always comes up is their pricing…

And so in case we haven’t talked yet, the answer is YES, you are priced too low…

And not just because you have to figure in your expenses.

Not just because you want to value your time more.

One of the biggest reasons you need to raise your prices, is because your prices are telling your clients you are not that good… and in some cases, that you really stink!

I always use this comparison – if you went to buy a pair of jeans and there were 2 stores right next to each other that sold similar jeans, but one was priced at $20 and the other at $250, what would you think about the $250 pair of jeans?

They are definitely the jeans everyone wants to buy.

They are better quality.

They will last longer.

They will make you look amazing.

But do we really know if the thread is thicker, the fabric stronger? No, but we assume so because of the price.

It’s the same with everything from ketchup to diamonds… the price tells us whether it’s good or faulty.

I don’t know about you, but I want my clients to know my pictures are good. In fact, amazing!

If you are priced too low right now, I promise there are clients out there looking for a photographer in a higher price range, but when they see your prices, they don’t call you because it’s too low, and your low price is telling them you don’t have good work, don’t have good products, and your customer service is lacking.

So… be brutally honest with yourself… what are your prices telling your potential clients?

Are they telling them you are amazing?

Are they telling them you are so so?

Or are they telling them that you kinda stink?

It’s quite possible that your low prices are actually deflecting your ideal client…

It’s time to change that.

Make sure your prices are telling your clients that they are going to get amazing products with an amazing service!

And start attracting the right clients!”

What About Alternative Pricing?

There are a lot of good points in Amy’s article.

BUT, in my opinion as a photography business coach, it is not just about simply raising your prices.

In my role as a photography business coach, the photographers that I coach come from various levels of expertise, quality and experience, and so after a lot of “test and measure,” I have devised three different price structures, and we select the structure that suits the photographer the best.

Structure one is what I consider the “old way” and is based on the primary premise of selling various sizes of images. This is a simple structure that does restrict high sales, and is used by the majority of photographers in the marketplace. Expect your average sale to be around $600 with this price list.

My second structure is based on having four collections as it’s base, which gives the client a choice of prints and files, with additional extras like wall art, print boxes, and digital file collections also available. Average sales are generally $1,000 plus.

The third price structure is for a higher end photographer who looks for an average sale of $2,500 plus.The emphasis here is on wall art in all of it’s forms…canvas, acrylic, matted and framed, etc. To encourage high sales it also has a bonus gift incentive that gives the client a high perceived value gift if they purchase two or more of the higher priced items. This price list structure has led to two of my clients doing individual sales of over $9,000 in the past week.

When you revisit your pricing try and think a little more strategically and see if you can can come up with a structure it to encourage your customers to purchase more.

Need help? Feel free to email me ….info@aswpp.com.au

Changing Photographers Lives

“I just wanted to say a huge thank you for all your help this year.

We had another record month for December with 32 sessions booked in for next year.

I also wanted to tell you, I used your suggestion of a baby plan with newborn clients. I charged them $25 to add a 6 month and 1 year session after doing the newborn session. One family today came in and spent $3,090 for the 6 month session, so it is definitely working. Kate & Chris Beuchner Uber Photography

http://www.berniegriffiths.com 

Photography Business Coach

Pricing Your Photography For Profit

Do potential customers ever ask you the price of your wedding and/or portrait photography?

So expect it and get some solid strategies to reply to their request for prices, whether it be on the phone or by email.

How you reply to their request could be the difference between your business thriving and not.

Are you bogged down with trying to sort out your prices for your portrait and wedding photography?

Are you testing or guessing? Or are you testing and measuring?
Who ultimately sets your prices? Is it you or the customer?

It took me many years of test and measure to get my pricing formula right.

Are you pricing yourself to fail? If you are too cheap or too expensive you may be busy but with an empty bank account.

Ideal Clients Aren’t Always Looking For The Cheapest Photography Prices

What do we need before we can set our prices?……………………..we need products.

As a photography business coach I always explain that products are important when you set your prices.

7 Mistakes Photographers Make When They Set Their Prices.

1. Make price stand out more than their Branding/ Positioning.

Many photographers price lists I see make the price in the largest font and even sometimes in a stronger colour.

2. Make their price list too complex.

Price lists are sometimes so complex that even I do not understand them, never mind the general public.

3. Copy other photographers.

Other photographers prices bear no relationship to yours. Their products, photography, overheads, needs and wants are totally different than yours.

4. Set their prices and don’t adjust them regularly.

Once we set our prices we must check on what products sell the most ( our core products) and lift them.

5. Put a full price list on their website.

Should you put your prices on your website?

Hands up those who say yes you should be on the website?

Hands up those who say no?

6. Use a multiplication factor to wholesale cost.

7. Charge by the hour.

Some sources say that you should use a 5 X cost to price your products.

So a 5×7 inch print should be 5x cost…that would make it $15 on your price list. Are you kidding?

You can charge what you want right?

The perceived value of the product determines the price.

1. Perceived value can be the way that you have positioned yourself in the marketplace as maybe high end and expensive.

2. Perceived value can be enhanced with great presentation and packaging.

Example…7×5 loose and in ready to frame mount with acetate and ribbon.

3. It could be that it is printed on archival Art paper rather than on standard photographic paper.

4. It could even be the photography itself that is incredibly creative and has exceptional post production on the files.

SO HOW SHOULD WE SET OUR PRICES?

First we have to ask the question. How much money do you want to earn?

The answer for me was always “ as much as possible.”

Having this open mind, I always drove my business as hard as I could on a daily basis.

Set your initial prices to your own cringe factor.

Then with monitoring your sales, you can gradually increase your core products to a point where the market stops buying

Bernie’s Cringe Factor Method

Let’s Try it

We are finding out what the market can stand the market could stand.

With wedding photography you have a price that will attract the kind of customer that you want. Then by using an effective Album Planning process you increase that total sale by at least double.

YOUR PRICING SHOULD REFLECT YOUR…..

Experience
Talent and photography skills.
The facility that you work out of.
Your mindset.
Your location.
Positioning/Branding
Presentation of products.
Price is just one piece of your business jigsaw.

Getting it right is about “test and measure” and in going to the market, with it and letting the market decide.

In my years of experience as a photography business coach, I realise that there may be people that may look to find the lowest price photographer in their community, and if you feel they are your ideal client , then target them and market to them.

But as a photography business coach I would prefer you to find better clients than market to those who do not value your photography.

Every Success….Bernie

http://www.berniegriffiths.com
#photographycoaching
#businesscoach
#photographybusinesscoach
http://www.berniegriffiths.com

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