Dear Female Photographer,
Thinking about lowering your prices? Wondering if it’s the only way to attract more clients? Hoping it will help you earn more so you can actually sustain your photography business?
Then you’re thinking like some really smart companies out there! Jet Blue, Ikea, and Walmart just to name a few.
All three of those businesses generate FORTUNES by offering up decent products at a low, low price.
If they can do it, you can do it, too … right?
Probably not. And here’s why:
Walmart employs approximately 1% of America. (source)
Yes … you read that right … 1% of Americans are Walmart employees, which officially makes the discount store the largest American employer. According to Wikipedia, as of January 31, 2016, there were 442 Walmart stores in the United States alone. While worldwide there are some 11,620 Walmarts, with a whopping 2.2 billion employees. (source)
So … yes. Walmart is generating huge profits ($36.7 million dollars every hour, to be exact!) with their low, low prices. It’s no wonder some entrepreneurs look to them as a model of how to sell deeply discounted items and still turn a massive profit.
But unless you plan on growing your photography business into a huge chain of studios with a team of employees, you can’t be like Walmart or any of the companies mentioned above. They deal in volume. If you are a business of ONE and plan to stay that way, then low prices will NEVER be your thing. Not if you want your business to actually turn the kind of profit that will support your family.
Since your thing clearly can’t be low prices and volume, what will it be? If you’re short on clients willing to pay the prices you NEED to charge in order to be a profitable photographer, then you need to keep working on YOUR thing.
Will it be AMAZING customer service that gets clients so happy that they tell their friends? LL Bean consistently ranks in the top 10 list of best customer service. People talk about them. NOT because their prices are low. But because they made a conscious decision years ago to do whatever it takes to make clients happy.
Read about LL Bean and other companies who rank in the top-10 for best customer service here.
Will it be AMAZING technical ability? Are you getting better and better as a photographer? Are you growing? Pushing yourself? Trying new techniques? Are you showcasing your growth on your Web site, blog, and social media? If so, people will notice and want to work with you.
Will it be AMAZING personal projects? Humans of New York was started in 2010 by Brandon Stanton, a photographer who wanted to amass 10,000 portraits of New Yorkers and plot them on a map of the city. The project evolved and today 16.7 billion individuals follow HONY on Facebook. Not to mention the fact that Stanton went on to travel the world and publish books. All because he started a personal project.
Will it be your AMAZING ability to share your work with the world? If you build a web site … they will not necessarily come. If you post on Facebook … your followers probably won’t see it. And if you haphazardly post on Instagram, people will unfollow. The photographers today who are gaining clients are the ones that know how to CONSISTENTLY and DAILY share content (both words and images) that truly speak to their target audience.
So what will your thing be? Once you figure it out and start working HARD to bring it to life, price slashing will no longer be a temptation.
You will never win the war on cheap. Someone will always be cheaper. But you … you could go on to be the best of the best at something so special that people can’t ignore you.