Don’t make the mistake of feeling you have to compete on price – there are a number of things your clients care about more than how much you cost and I’m going to share them with you!
It’s so important that you take the time to give your clients something to care about other than price. The basis for this advice is a quotation by marketing guru Seth Godin… “The reason it seems that price is all your customers care about is that you haven’t given them anything else to care about.”
It can be tempting to feel like we need to keep our prices as low as possible so that clients are more likely to want what we’re selling. We look around at other photographers and think, “That photographer is selling exactly the same as me for a much lower price, I’ll need to drop my prices or people won’t want what I do.” We hear back from an enquiry and think, “They’ve told me I’m too expensive, I must have got my pricing wrong, I need to charge less.”
The fact is that price is rarely the issue. Of course people have their budgets and occasionally these are immovable. However, think about all the purchases you’ve made in your lifetime. Sometimes you’ll treat yourself to something others might consider ‘expensive’ because you reeeeaaally want it. Sometimes you’ll pay the bare minimum for something others might consider ‘cheap’, because you’re just not that a*sed about it.
Two friends with the exact same disposable income will spend differently and will feel differently about their purchases. One will buy a car that the other thinks of as far too expensive and would never consider getting. The other will buy a coffee machine that the car buyer thinks of as far too expensive and would never consider getting. One will feel delighted with their new purchase while their friend thinks they’re nuts for spending that much money on it.
There will be a long list of items that each will buy that the other would deem ‘too expensive’, even though their financial circumstances are the same…. food items, clothing, décor for the house, holidays… each will have their own unique version of ‘too expensive’ and ‘too cheap’…. Because actually none of these judgments are really based on price – they’re based on the things each individual personally cares about and how much they care about it. It’s all about what they value, what’s important to them as a person.
Therefore, don’t make decisions about your prices based on what you think clients want it to be – because that figure simply doesn’t exist – it’s entirely arbitrary and subjective. Make decisions about your prices based on what you want and need to earn to sustain your business. Then show your clients why your photography is something that speaks to things they genuinely care about, things they genuinely value and feel a connection with. This is what will help people to see that you are worth investing in, this is what will make people choose you over others, irrespective of price.
But how can you do this? Here are 5 things that are so important to your ideal client – these are things they really care about.
1) Your ideal client
Ensure you have a crystal clear understanding of your ideal client so that you can speak specifically to them as a person, and their own unique needs. People need to feel that your service is designed specially for people like them, not just for anyone and everyone.
2) Your ‘why’
Show the deeper meaning behind what you do – we know you sell photos but what are you really selling? What is the reason you do what you do, what are you hoping to achieve, what is your mission? What deeper benefits do you want to give your clients with your photography?
3) Your values
What are your non-negotiable values, in business and in life? What core values will you share with your ideal clients that show you are the same kind of people, with the same priorities?
4) Your USPs
What makes you different from other photographers? What might make someone feel an affinity with you over the next person? Have a read of this article I wrote about USPs if this is something you struggle with.
5) Your beliefs
What beliefs do you have around photography and life that your ideal client might share? Don’t worry if they are polarising – if some might disagree with you, it only means that others will strongly agree – those people are YOUR people and these shared beliefs will magnetise them towards you.
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