Disclaimer: This was written for photographers but applies to all businesses! When I first moved to Saint Louis, I spent a lot of time networking with other businesses, finding the right clients, perfecting my business systems, and prioritizing profit. To the photographers who’d been around the city for a while, my boudoir pricing seemed to either make them uncomfortable or annoy them.
To be honest, that didn’t really bother me, though. I’ve always kind of did my own thing. Plus I knew my business systems and strategies were solid. I was very confident in that because of the work I’d put in.
I’d even had a $4K sale within a few months of starting my boudoir business. But later this same client told me she’d had a “free session” with another photographer in town, who told her the I was “good” but I wasn’t “worth that much.” He was basically shaming her for paying my prices.
For some reason, I randomly thought about this comment yesterday while talking to a coaching client of mine, and I have a few thoughts on it. So let’s talk about it.
First of all…. Your value as a person does not depend on your boudoir pricing.
My friend Haley preaches this all the time. She’s said it so many times that I swear I say it in my sleep sometimes. I want you to make a mental note of this and never forget it as well!
Your value as a person has absolutely nothing to do with how much money you make or what your service or business is priced at.
You are NOT “worth the price you charge.”
You as a person are invaluable. Just as you are, regardless of your business or what your boudoir pricing is. That doesn’t matter. YOU ARE INVALUABLE.
Secondly…Price your photography and products to prioritize profit.
You’re the owner of your business. You know how much money you need to bring in to keep your business open(and if you don’t, then email me so we can chat). It literally doesn’t matter what other photographers around you are charging. All that matters are your own numbers, your business goals, and your personal goals.
You have to know your numbers inside out. Make sure to price your services and products to prioritize profit.
Your goal is to KEEP as much money as possible inside your business so it stays healthy. If something like Covid-19 ever happens again, you won’t need to worry about the possibility of closing your business permanently if you prioritize profit.
Third… Community over Competition.
You’ve probably heard this phrase before. “Community over competition.” It’s the motto of Rising Tide Society, and I love it so much.
Four years after first hearing that “not worth that” comment, and the thing I’m still most irritated about is that the photographer basically tried to undervalue my photography. Possibly even tried to take my client.
Photographers, please realize there are more than enough clients who need photos in the world(and in your city, no matter the size), and there will always be more coming along.
Everyone will always think their community is “saturated.” Even though my home base is STL, I’ve lived in a lot of places the past few years. I hear the over saturated with photographers comment in every single place.
But if you’re nailing down your messaging to your specific client, creating a marketing plan that attracts the right client, and prioritizing profit in your business, then all the other photographers won’t matter. You’ll be one of the few taking this business thing seriously. You won’t have to undervalue other photographers in order to find clients.
Every photographer is not the right photographer for every person. There are some women you just won’t love working with. And then, there are those that become your best friends.
Basically, take your business seriously… and be nice!
Fourth… Put your blinders on.
What do I mean by “put your blinders on?” I mean quit following anything that could derail your path. Quit comparing yourself.
This is probably the best thing I ever did in order to grow my business.
Still to this day, if I see another photographers work, I instantly start comparing myself.
“I’m not good enough.”
“No one will ever want to book me.”
“I can’t make this work.”
Comparison is really hard, so I had to learn to put my blinders on. What I mean by that is I unfollowed all photographers and business owners that might take me off the path I felt I needed to take to achieve my goals.
Still to this day, I keep my blinders on. I won’t follow other photographers. I have no idea what the current trends are now.
We can talk about my feelings about photography trends another day.
I have no idea about other local boudoir photographers. I just do my thing. I stick to the strategy I have in place to grow my business. I pivot as the marketing strategies or algorithms change(because they do), but I don’t have any idea what’s actually going on in the local boudoir photography world.
As you grow in your business, you’ll probably get comments like I did. Maybe you already are. As you start prioritizing profit and your business growth and actually seeing your growth, you’ll get the haters. Put your blinders on. Know that there are more than enough women out there who need boudoir photos. And most importantly be nice.
And if you have any questions on how to grow your business, please email me. I’m here to help. 🙂
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