You are trying to sell something intangible…something that doesn’t exist until you press the shutter and take the photographs, so you have to build trust.
What is positioning, and why is it so important?
It’s about Defining yourself and your business.
It’s about being professional in every aspect of your photography business.
We live in a world where we are exposed almost every minute with thousands of images, messages, ideas, and other people’s opinions.
You need to define yourself and your business so that you will feel more comfortable in your business and will have a clearer direction.
What is special about what you do, how you do it, what you believe in, and what you produce?
What makes you different from everyone else?
Do you offer a special service, or have a unique way of taking the photographs that give all of your images a different look.
I know in the good old film days I used to use a square format Hasselblad camera but so did lots of other photographers, so I bought a Hasselblad X Pan camera, and I used to shoot panoramic images throughout a wedding.
In my advertising material and all of my displays, I used these photographs to give me a point of difference.
Do you have a specific genre that you photograph?
Maybe you have an unusual studio location like in a church, or maybe you are on a large acreage in the country.
The general public is more and more feeling that they don’t need a professional photographer.
Maybe it’s because of all the “selfies” and such being taken with phones – the style of photography people are looking for has changed.
Once you have your positioning in place, it is easier to choose the right products you want to sell.
With so many products available, like prints on fine art paper, framed collages of wall portraiture, boxes of matted prints, or silk canvas, you may find it overwhelming to try and pick the right products for your business.
Try to select Products that suit your Positioning and your Branding. In considering the types of products you should offer to your clients, it is also important to keep in mind the profit that you want to achieve. Could you maybe sacrifice a little bit of quality in buying a slightly cheaper product, for more profit?
You just need to source a product that your particular target customer wants.
When of the best suppliers I have found is Global Image Products. Their products stand out from the competition because they are price competitive, and also because of their uniqueness and quality. The Signature Portrait Box is the top best selling product for my clients, and the white gloss lacquer finish which radiates a rich quality is the most popular choice of the many portrait boxes available.
A lot of hard work needs to go into finding out what customers want, and this can be done by simply keeping a record of what each customer purchases, and then seeing what are the most popular products.
Are your customers price- sensitive?
So the big question is ….
How do you set your prices?
Well, now that we have Positioned our business in the marketplace, chosen the Products that suit that positioning, we can now go about Pricing the products that suit your positioning.
Your pricing should be an evolving thing – just like the rest of your business.
At present, you probably aren’t charging enough.
OK there you go again saying but Bernie my customers are already whinging about my prices, how do you expect me to put them up.
Put your Positioning up, which will put your perceived Value up, which will start to get you a different client that values your photography.
If you simply don’t charge enough, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to make a profit.
Another reason photographers are hesitant to increase prices is their lack of confidence when setting their prices.
They don’t believe that they are worth it.
And let’s be honest.
Some photographers are not worth what they are charging.
It is all about balance.
Be realistic in fulfilling the needs of prospective customers and don’t fall into the trap of charging a little less than your competitors.
It is not a very strong business strategy and can lead to disaster.
The key to charging what you are worth is to make sure you deliver on your offering, because If you charge a lot and under deliver, your business probably won’t be around for long.
Don’t compete on price but rather start separating yourself from the pack.
If you can create a Point of Difference, your odds of converting your leads and getting good sales are way higher.
Getting your prices right is a key component in making money in your photography business.
I am often asked if you should put your prices on your website, and I personally don’t think that you should. Not a full price list anyway.
I would have a products page with images of your products in situ, and a starting price for each of those products.
Give more value (whether perceived or otherwise) than price, and the customer will pay the price.
Your photography needs to be compelling and fresh and to stand out in the crowded marketplace.
The state of photographic art is under fire right now – and many photographers are wondering what to do about it.
The art of taking photographs is changing, and photographers are asking me what’s going on. It seems that clients are looking for VERY specific things, and it’s causing some concern in the photographic industry.
To run a successful business in today’s competitive environment, you have to acquire skills in all areas of your business. You have to be not only a photographer, but a psychologist, accountant, time management expert, Photoshop wizard, an advertising expert, and an advertising executive, to name just a few. That’s a lot of hats!
It took me a few years to realise that my photography was only a small part of my business, and that to create a comfortable income, I had to get customers. Then I had to learn what sort of photographs to take, that my customers found irresistible and that they would buy.
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