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5 Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistakes

5 Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistakes | Tracy Lynn Coaching | See more at tracylynncoaching.com/blog

5 Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Grow Your Biz

When you think of your dream business, you’re probably envisioning things like a flexible schedule, clients you look forward to working with, and enough income to help you pay the bills (and then some).

What you’re probably NOT thinking of is running around, location to location, photographing client after client, barely scraping by with enough money to JUST pay the bills. And becoming exhausted in the process — so much so that you never want to pick up your camera again. 

Owning a boudoir photography business is tough! But take it from someone who quit the safety and security of her dental hygienist job to pursue this full-time — it is doable

You don’t have to work all hours of the day and night just to get by. 

What you need is a game plan to grow. And it all starts with assessing your pricing. So let’s dig in! 

Here are five boudoir photography pricing mistakes you should avoid if you want to grow your business (and stop working 80-hour weeks). 

Pricing Mistake #1: You Take Advice Too Personally

I see A LOT of advice online about how to price your photography biz so you can hit it big. You know…that “million dollar strategy?”

Most of the time, that advice can help. But it’s not solid advice for everyone. There are so many factors that go into pricing your boudoir photography services, that it’s not fair to assume there’s a one-size-fits-all strategy to follow. This is a major boudoir photography pricing mistake I see. 

Take location for example. Photographers (like myself) in rural areas have a cheaper cost of living…so their services will be cheaper too. 

But someone living in the high rises of Manhattan is going to be charging A LOT more than someone in St. Louis because the cost of living is much higher. So their pricing strategy may not align with YOUR location, needs, and overall business strategy. 

You have to take advice — even the advice I give you *wink wink* — with a grain of salt. What works for one person may not work for everyone, and that’s okay!

Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistake #2: You Don’t Account For All of Your Expenses

Picking a price is less about just landing on a number that sounds good and more about creating a strategy/formula to figure it out. And part of that formula needs to include ALL of your expenses, which so many people forget to do. 

If you make $5K off a gig, you’re not suddenly $5K richer. You have to think about the cost of keeping the lights on in the studio, the equipment, hair and makeup, driving to and from the session, and even any help you outsource for things like admin or marketing support. 

Then what’s left is what you make. Not the whole sum. 

If you want a more accurate picture of what you make, there are really only two numbers you need to know: your revenue goal and sales average goal. 

FINDING YOUR REVENUE GOAL

Your revenue goal is based on your salary goal. You don’t want to just decide on a number, like $100K, just for fun. Instead, what is the number that you NEED to make to pay yourself the salary you want to make?

So let’s say you want to make $30K. Multiply $30,000 by 3.33 (because photographers pay themselves ⅓ of their total revenue on average). And that gives you a revenue goal of $99,900.

FINDING YOUR SALES AVERAGE GOAL

The other number you need to know is your sales average goal. To figure out  this number, you need to divide your revenue goal by how many clients you can see per year

For example, if you can photograph 60 clients per year, divide $99,900 by 60. That gives you a $1,665 sales average goal. So that would be the price you want to make PER session. 

Do you see now how you can’t just decide on a $100,000 goal expecting to pay yourself $100,000?

Pricing Mistake #3: You Don’t Have a Price List

As a boudoir photographer, you want to make sure you build a pricing list that focuses on that sales average goal. 

Like I said earlier, that $100K revenue goal just for the sake of it isn’t really a good strategy. Your sales average goal would be WAY TOO HIGH for most people to be able to afford (like, $20K expensive….yeah.)

So instead, let’s take that $1,665 sales average and use it strategically to build a price list that will sell to your ideal client. 

Here’s an example of how I would set up my pricing to hit a $1,665 sales average:

Everything — every package, every add-on — is centered around hitting my sales average  goal.

Boudoir Photography Pricing Mistake #4: Your Pricing is Too Visible

Talking about pricing to clients before they book a session can get tricky. What if you list a price and the end cost goes above it? What if it’s below and referrals are upset when they realize purchasing 3x the amount their friend did costs more? 

This is a big boudoir photography pricing mistake I see as well. Talking about pricing with finite numbers can lead to issues like miscommunication or misrepresentation of cost. 

Of course, you can have baseline fees, like a session fee, that doesn’t change. But for overall cost? Make sure you give a range instead of a definitive total. That way, people have some indication of what it might cost them when it’s time to book, but not too little information that they feel blindsided. 

Verbiage like “Sessions range from $X to $X, and clients spend an average of $X” can help keep expectations clear. (P.S. — this is what I use on my website, right above the booking button so it’s extra clear!)

Pricing Mistake #5: You’re Not Confident in What You Offer

Boudoir photography isn’t cheap. It just isn’t. We’re providing a deeply personal, elevated experience.

So yeah, it may run more than when you offered up low-cost headshots for back-to-school week in your hometown. And that’s totally fine! You deserve to get paid for your skills and experience. 

At the end of the day, some people aren’t going to want to pay for it. And that’s okay, because the right people, the clients you dream about working with, are out there, and they will find you and value your work!

But by using the tips above, you can land on a better price, one you KNOW you’re confident in, and one your clients are comfortable with.

Want Even More Tips to Grow Your Boudoir Photography Biz?

If you want even more inside tips and tricks for growing your boudoir photography business, then I’ve got just the thing for you! 

Inside my F-R-E-E download, Five Targets To Spot-Check In Your Boudoir Business This Year, I’ll take you through a checklist of all the things you need to check in on to hit your revenue goals. Find out more about things like sales average goals, marketing strategy, working with clients, and of course, pricing! 

→ Download the free guide here

tracy

Tracy Lynn is a boudoir photogapher for brides-to-be in the St. Louis area, and a mentor + coach for photographers looking to level up their businesses with better systems and processes.

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