One EASY Thing You Can Do To Make More Money as a Wedding Photographer
by Sara Monika
RAISE YOUR PRICES REGULARLY - USE DYNAMIC PRICING
Too obvious? Well then how come I hear all too often that photographers raise their rates once/year? To me this doesn’t make any sense. Let me explain why.
I was there once. Afraid to raise my prices. What if I stop getting bookings? What if those that were referred by previous clients wonder why my pricing has changed? What if clients expect more from me at that price and I’m not able to deliver? But really, the deeper fear is what if I'm not worth it?
MY TRANSFORMATION STORY
About 6 years ago when I was watching an online workshop by Jasmine Star on Creative Live, she shared her journey to how she ended up booking weddings for $10,000. She mentioned that for her first wedding, she charged $1000 and from there, she simply ended up raising her prices by $300 every 3 weddings.
I liked that! It sounded like a simple approach that didn't feel overwhelming, so I decided to try that out for myself! Here I am 7 years later and my average revenue per wedding is now about 3x from when I first started (my first official wedding booking I charged $2000)! It totally worked for me!
As you consistently raise your pricing, it’s important to consciously work on your mindset in the process too, because we want to shake that impostor syndrome that we all have as artists/entrepreneurs.
Two thoughts that consistently help me feel confident about raising my prices are:
1. As I grow, learn and improve my craft, I deserve to get paid more for the increased value I bring.
2. If a couple can afford $X amount, they can also afford paying $300 more.
BUT SARA, $300 MORE MAKES ME FEEL REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE
Good! It’s supposed to feel uncomfortable! Every time I raise my prices I feel uncomfortable and I genuinely believe that’s how you should feel. As soon as you are comfortable, that’s when you book up too quickly, too far in advance, and miss out on the opportunity to maximize your earning potential.
Guess what. You are your own boss and you’re on your own journey. You don’t have to go with $300 if it doesn’t feel right to you. The most important thing is that you just START NOW. Simply begin to raise your prices regularly. Maybe every 3 bookings by $150! Or every 5 bookings by $300. It’s all up to you! The beauty in it is that whatever number you choose, you’re putting that practice in motion and you’re giving yourself the raise you deserve right off the bat. When you start noticing that couples are booking you anyway because you ARE worth it, then you’ll really start enjoying this game and choose a larger number.
BE AWARE OF SUPPLY & DEMAND
You don't want to be at the point where you are fully booked for a season a year out and are turning away weddings! That's a HUGE opportunity loss for making more revenue.
This framework helps keep me in line with that:
A year out from the next wedding season I want to be 25% booked.
9 months out, I want to be 50% booked.
6 months out, 75% booked.
3 months out 95% booked (there's always that opportunity for last minute bookings that I seem to get every year).
STAY POSITIVE + DON’T PANIC
The BIG tip is to not panic a year out if you're only 25% from your goal wedding bookings! Know that there are still going to be many inquiries that are coming your way that you will have the opportunity to book! As long as you’re staying on top of consistently marketing yourself through your choice of marketing, and you’re seeing a steady increase in interest over time, you’re good my friend! That means that you are priced accordingly to book weddings AND maximize earning potential for yourself!
IF WORST COMES TO WORST, USE DYNAMIC PRICING TO YOUR ADVANTAGE
Guess what. The ball is in your court. If for some reason it's the beginning of the year and you're only 50% booked for the upcoming season rather than 75%, guess what, just lower your prices back down again by $300. I have done at times over the years and I don't fret about it! It is what it is. Less demand is coming in right now, so in order to increase my chances of booking more, I can choose to cost a little less. Even if you have to significantly lower your prices by a little more like $500 or $700, that's okay!
It's not about ego and being firm, it's about going with the ebb and flow of supply and demand. As a business owner, you know from experience now that there are highs and there are lows on this journey of operating your own business. With that I mean times when it feels like you’re on fire and booking left right and center, and other times when it's literally crickets and you're like WTF is going on!? Just know that it's normal and the best tool you can have for those situations is your mindset and perspective.
YOUR MINDSET IS YOUR ULTIMATE TOOL TO MAKING MORE MONEY
YOU have control over how much you market. YOU have control over how you price yourself. YOU have control of the experience you provide from the very first touch point a potential client has with you! It's all in your hands to get more bookings and money.
I actually find that super comforting to know that there is a direct correlation between output and bookings. It's a beautiful thing and because of this, I am never in doubt that I can accomplish booking X amount of weddings at $X.
So don't end up being one of those people that blames their reality on outside circumstances or people. It's all you my friend. You're the one in the drivers seat and you have the power to create more money in your business!
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
So now I leave you with this. What is the story you find yourself playing over and over in your head that holds you back from raising your pricing? Think about it. REALLY think about it. Even better, write it down. Journal about it.
Message me and let me know! Admitting it is the first step right? 😊