Know Your Value as a Photographer
Why It’s Important to Know Your Value
When you want to convince people of the value of your services, you have to first know your own value. Customers have many choices when it comes to photographers. Prices can vary a great deal, whether someone wants a wedding photographer, shots for a resume or glamorous shots for modeling jobs. Value is conveyed in many ways, such as the way you present yourself, the quality of your work and the prices you charge. When setting your prices, you could be making the mistake of pricing yourself so low that others don’t see the value in your work.
Know Your Own Value so Others Will Know it
Many photographers, especially when just starting out, assume that customers will always be drawn to someone who has the lowest price. This is certainly true for some customers, but certainly not all. You also have to realize that many customers are willing to pay a little more for superior work. It’s up to you, however, to convey to potential customers that you offer high value. First, however, you have to be fully aware of this yourself. Knowing your own value is the first step for building a successful photography business.
Presenting Your Services
Presentation is crucial for every type of business. With a visually-based art such as photography, however, it’s especially crucial. People who don’t know you are going to judge you based on how you present yourself. When they look at your brochure, website, ad or business card, they’re going to form an instant impression on who you are and what you have to offer.
When creating your promotional materials, it’s important to take the time to present yourself in the most professional and appealing way possible. If you want to convince people of your value, make sure that you convey your value in everything you do. This starts with your website and any other content that describes your services. Of course, it also pertains to your work itself. Do you have a portfolio that includes your best work? Do you have testimonials that help to build social proof of your value? Do you always put forth your best effort when taking your photos?
Set Yourself Apart
Part of knowing your value is being clear about what you’re offering to people. Don’t make the mistake of marketing yourself in a way that’s ordinary and generic. If you do this, you’ll have to set your prices low. If you’re exactly like a dozen other photographers in your area, there’s no reason for people to pay more than bargain prices for your services.
Even if you offer similar services as many other photographers, you have your own unique style and way of doing things. If you’re a nature photographer, for example, you may specialize in certain types of scenes. You may have a flare for creating old fashioned scenes for portraits. Or your look may be hip and modern. A good exercise is to write down a list of points that define your style or genre. If you can’t immediately think of any points that set you apart, you may want to give this some careful consideration. When you do something unique, you immediately add value to your work.
The Problem With Pricing Yourself Too Low
You naturally want to drum up as much business as possible. Setting low prices may seem like the best way to do this. If you’re business is new, you may have the notion of starting off with introductory bargain prices and raising them later. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to raise prices once people are accustomed to paying a certain price. This way of thinking can work alongside the tips I gave in my how to make money from photography article. You set your prices at the level that you want/need and you offer a discount to your first clients in order to build your portfolio.
In general, the lower your prices, the less value you are attributing to your own work. You may not see it that way, but others surely will. You may get clients who are seeking a bargain. However, such people will flock to another photographer who’s even cheaper the first chance they get. You don’t want to engage in this kind of race to the bottom.
Understand Your Value
Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve had your business for years, it’s always good to reassess your image, both the one you have of yourself and the one you convey to the public. Remember that it’s never too late or too early to improve this image. Your value is communicated in many ways, including the appearance of your website, your marketing materials, the way you describe your services and your prices.
If you’re trying to obtain more customers by setting low prices, you may want to rethink this strategy. It’s a trap that keeps you locked into low prices and an image that conveys low value. People always assume that prices are commensurate with quality. Naturally, if you raise your prices, you must offer people quality that makes them feel like they’re getting their money’s worth.
Determining and increasing the value of your service is something you can do in many ways. It’s more of a long-term goal than a quick fix. The first thing you have to do is make sure that you value your own work highly enough. Once you do this, it’s much easier to convice others that you’re special.
Knowing your value will help you to make more money from your photography. You can see my article on making money from photography here.