Want to know what the biggest business struggle new boudoir photographers have? It’s not always about skill or finding clients. Actually, more often than not, I have photographers tell me that they really struggle with pricing — i.e. knowing what to charge for their work.
There’s a lot of information out there about how you should price your sessions — by the hour, per package, etc. — but in this post, I want to share what’s worked best for me and several of my photography students.
Because I get why it’s a struggle. Pricing is one of those things that you can never feel 100% about. But you CAN get to a number you’re comfortable with by using the tips I’m sharing here.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- How EXACTLY to Grow A Boudoir Business to 6-FIGURES in a Year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5-ZyrJKchU
- TLC Photography Pricing Calculator: https://tracylynncoaching.com/product/photography-pricing-calculator/
- TLC Pricing Template: https://tracylynncoaching.com/product/tlc-pricing-template/
- Why Do Most Prices End in 99?: https://bettermarketing.pub/why-do-most-prices-end-in-99-5aae32953792
- Five Targets To Spot-Check In Your Boudoir Business This Year: https://tracylynncoaching.com/marketing-strategy/targets-spot-check-boudoir-business/
Pricing Tip #1: Know Your Sales Average Goal
To make it anywhere with sales, you need to have a goal in mind for each session. I know that sounds a bit redundant, but trust me on this, working with a goal is so much more productive than going into your sessions without a clue about what you want to sell.
It gives you direction. Because once you know your sales average goal, THEN you can create a price list built around that goal.
And it’s easy to figure out if you know a few numbers: total revenue divided by the number of clients your schedule can handle.
For example, your revenue goal is to hit $75,000 and to photograph 50 clients per year. That means your sales average goal would be $1,500 per session.
When you know this goal, it’s much easier to price your offers.
Pricing Tip #2: Figure Out What Needs to Go on Your Pricing List
To figure out a pricing strategy that works for you, you also need to decide what you want to offer on your price list. Depending on your business level, you can lay out your offers in collections or packages, a-la-carte options, or even “build your own” style packages.
For simplicity’s sake, the examples I’m going to use here are just for an a-la-carte model. Here’s an example…
For a boudoir photographer, I think it’s important to have at least five album options. Let’s say 6×6, 8×8, and 10×10, then two really elevated albums. You might also want to add wall portraits, gift prints that are 5×7 and 8×10, and possibly even digital collections, too.
You would include all of that in your pricing list.
Now, you may be asking, why do I need all of this? Because number one — it helps you add variety to meet your clients where they’re at. But two — it helps them better visualize the value of what they’re getting.
For example, if ONE wall portrait is $999 and an album of 10 images is $999, they immediately see more value in the album because they’re getting “more” for the same price.
Marketing and sales psychology is a weird thing, but it’s real!
Pricing Tip #3: Use Some Strategy
When you’re talking about pricing, most people try to go one of two ways. Either they want to over explain themselves, or they don’t explain anything at all. As in, they don’t price anchor, show benefits, or what clients get out of the experience.
If you want to sell, it’s not just about the numbers. It’s also about how you present them. Here are a few ways you can do that.
USE THE LEFT DIGIT EFFECT
The left-digit effect refers to a consumer’s perceptions and evaluations that are disproportionately influenced by the left-most digit of the product price.
It’s like when you go out to eat, and you’re trying to decide between two options, and you go with the one that’s $5.99 instead of $6.50 because the first is only $5. It’s not $5, it’s actually $6 pretty much.
People tend to see pricing as the first number and associate a range with it.
So when pricing your offers as a new boudoir photographer, this could look something like listing your album as $1,599 instead of $1,600. It’s not any cheaper, but it just feels that way.
END PRICES IN NINES
According to research, prices ending in a nine or five tend to attract more people toward a product than other numbers. I’ve heard a few photography educators doing this too, but nines have always worked well for me.
And I feel like it just feels more cohesive when I see it in my pricelist.
Want to read more about this? Check out the article here!
REMEMBER YOUR SALES AVERAGE GOAL IS JUST THAT
You know that sales average goal I mentioned earlier? Well, remember that it’s just the average. Not the minimum. That goal is the middle-of-the-road album you want to advertise. It’s your happy medium that most people will gravitate towards.
It’s okay if they don’t buy that price point offer, or they buy more. But having the average works out better in the long run.
Pricing Tip #4: Tell People What’s Included
Clients need to understand the investment they’re making.
My sessions include a session fee of $299, which includes hair and makeup, four outfit changes, and the session time. And then albums range from $699 up to $4,999, with the average client spending around $1-2,000, depending on their price point.
And I let them know these prices ahead of time too.
Why? Because people can visualize what they’re paying for a lot better when they know what goes into the session versus just giving them a flat price with no details.
Create a Pricing Model That Supports the Life You Want to Live
If you get just ONE thing out of this episode, it’s that pricing is strategic. We’re not just throwing numbers out there for the sake of it!
I mean sure…you wanted to photograph beautiful clients, and create art, right? But if you’re also ready to give up your 9-5 and go full-time doing something you love, you have to treat this like a business too, and make smart business moves.
If that’s truly your goal, don’t just throw your price together with random numbers. Put the time and thought into building your price list with your ultimate goals in mind — like building a business that puts your life first (and not the other way around).
If you need help with this, well, you know I’m here! In my free guide, Five Targets To Spot-Check In Your Boudoir Business This Year. I will walk you through exactly what you need to look at in your business if you want to hit your first or next six figures, in the easiest way possible, this year.