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The Photographer’s Pricing System: Get paid what you’re worth for portraits and weddings

Book Description

In this practical guide, photography pricing guru Alicia Caine takes the anxiety and drudgery out of the pricing process for portrait and wedding photographers, showing how to keep the process as simple and painless as possible.

Alicia starts by breaking down such daunting topics as managing your budget and expenses and determining how much work you can take on, and then explains the importance of understanding what your client wants and researching the marketplace. She shows how to reverse-engineer your pricing, create a pricing sheet, and present your pricing to your clients.

Focusing mainly on portrait pricing, she also explores how to achieve consistent pricing across your photography services, with a chapter on specialty sessions that covers the particularities of pricing weddings and mini sessions.

Along the way, you’ll encounter nearly 20 worksheets designed to help you move from learning the necessary steps and tasks to actual implementation, a key obstacle for many photographers. As an added bonus, Alicia provides an “Expert’s Guide” on how to get paid what you’re worth based on your expertise in a particular niche, which can potentially increase your value in the marketplace. In this special section, you’ll learn how positioning yourself as an authority on a particular topic can help you bring in more potential clients.

  • Features the friendly, approachable voice of photography pricing expert Alicia Caine, whose mentoring and coaching have endeared her to thousands of photographers.

  • Includes worksheets and a gross earning calculator (also available via download) to help you with key steps in the process, covering such topics as how to determine your hourly value, how to think about and set up collections and specialty products, how to figure out your costs of goods sold, and much more.

  • Incorporates lightness, fun, and compassion to help photographers more easily approach the challenging and often mundane topic of pricing. 

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Contents
    6. Introduction
      1. How this book can help
      2. Create the time to try
      3. Replace fear with hope
      4. Be patient with the process
      5. Build on a solid foundation
        1. Imperfect action is better than none
        2. Manage your time
        3. Resist the next big idea
        4. Ask for feedback or help
      6. Don’t get discouraged
    7. 1. Getting Started
      1. Setting realistic financial goals
      2. The important numbers: budget and expenses
      3. Assessing your work time
        1. How much time do you really have?
      4. Where you are—and where you want to be
        1. Is it going to be worth it?
        2. The problem with poor pricing
        3. It’s not pricing alone that makes you profitable
        4. Profits aren’t determined by experience
        5. What should determine your pricing
        6. Charge your clients not where you are but where you need to be
        7. Thinking—and charging—like an entrepreneur
      5. (Mis)handling gross earnings
      6. The gross-earning calculator
        1. Income
        2. Taxes
        3. Paycheck
        4. Cost of goods
        5. Overhead
        6. Marketing
        7. Emergency funds
        8. Education and growth
        9. Outsourcing
      7. Doing the math
        1. Your hourly value
        2. Maximum client capacity
        3. Session fee
        4. Minimum order requirement
    8. 2. The Ideal Client and Your Marketplace
      1. Designing your ideal-client avatar
        1. The price point of affordability
        2. Market to clients, not budgets
      2. Prequalifying clients: can they afford you?
        1. Pricing on your website attracts ideal clients
        2. The courage to turn away
      3. Four key characteristics of the ideal client
      4. How to design your ideal client
      5. Survey your past and potential clients
        1. How to conduct your survey
        2. Script and survey for past clients
        3. Script and survey for potential clients
      6. Your marketplace
        1. How to research your marketplace
        2. Making the most of your research
        3. Shifts you may need to make
    9. 3. Reverse Engineering Your Pricing
      1. Interpret your data your way
      2. Avoid archaic pricing models
        1. The sale trap
        2. Sell the luxury
      3. Reverse engineering is the best way
        1. Make the big leap
        2. Stop chasing unicorns
      4. Pricing and collections
        1. The psychology of collections
        2. Calculate the price points
        3. Collections as rewards
      5. Pricing à la carte and specialty items
        1. Pricing gift prints
        2. Pricing digital files
        3. Pricing for wall prints
        4. Pricing for canvas prints
        5. Pricing for albums
      6. Compile your price sheet
    10. 4. The Grand Reveal
      1. Build tweakable collections
        1. Test what works
        2. Add digital files strategically
        3. Create stacking collections
        4. Example collections without specialty items
        5. Example collections with specialty items
        6. Example digital-focused collections
        7. Fill your own collections
      2. How to present your pricing
        1. Show value through features and benefits
        2. Define your features and benefits
      3. Entice clients with website copy
        1. Repeatedly communicate your pricing
        2. Explain your benefits
        3. Describe a session
        4. Picture your pricing information
      4. In-person vs. online sales
        1. Weigh the costs
        2. Sell the benefits
    11. 5. Pricing Consistency for Weddings and Other Specialty Sessions
      1. Build from your current prices
      2. Three common wedding models
      3. How to price your weddings
        1. Consistent and simple
        2. Count your hours
      4. How to price your mini-sessions
      5. Marketing for mini-sessions
        1. Entice and sign a partner
        2. Get promoting and share the love
        3. Manage client expectations
      6. Build trust with consistency
    12. 6. Troubleshooting Guide
      1. Commonly asked questions
        1. How do I make the transition to my new pricing?
        2. How do I tell my past clients about my new pricing?
        3. When is the best time to raise my prices?
        4. Other photographers ask to see my price list all the time. What do I do?
        5. No matter what, my clients balk at my prices. What am I missing?
        6. Is it possible to have a business in a tiny town?
        7. How am I ever going to be sustainable and compete with photographers offering $75 sessions that include a disc?
        8. How should I approach portfolio building?
        9. Is custom framing worth adding to my line of offerings? How do I charge for it?
        10. Other photographers around me are so successful; how can I compete while building my new business?
        11. My clients push their time limits for scheduling and ordering during the holiday season. How can I prevent this?
        12. People love me when I shoot for free, but as soon as I start charging, they disappear. Am I not worth my prices?
        13. Is it really possible to go from new to booming quickly?
        14. Is this photography market really sustainable?
        15. Should I offer in-person or online ordering?
        16. How do I sell more using online galleries?
        17. All my friends and family want sessions. What do I charge?
        18. I posted my new pricing, but no one is calling. What now?
        19. What if a client asks for a discount?
        20. My clients constantly make special requests. How do I respond to them?
        21. I’m thinking of offering a baby plan. What do you suggest?
      2. Help beyond pricing
        1. Chapter 1 additional resources
        2. Chapter 2 additional resources
        3. Chapter 3 additional resources
        4. Chapter 4 additional resources
        5. Chapter 5 additional resources
    13. Expert’s Guide 7. Market Less, Get Paid More with a Niche That Fits
      1. Find your niche
        1. Plant a marketing seed
        2. Expertise worth paying for
      2. Solving problems, serving needs
      3. Keep your niche authentic
      4. Expand your opportunities, define your niche
        1. Niche worksheets
      5. Your signature system
        1. Create a signature system
        2. Your niche signature system example
        3. Don’t wait to begin the process
    14. Index