‘Your clients are a mirror image of what you project into the world.’
Now, I don’t mean all my clients are short bald and kinda funny looking.
Let me give you some examples.
If you talk about digital files on your website and over the phone and in email and in person and in price lists then your clients will focus on it, too.
If your prices are on your website and really low then you’ll attract people who don’t want to spend much. You’ll then think that no-one wants to spend much because you’re only attracting those people.
It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re constantly worried about price then clients will pick up on that.
If you show a certain style of photograph on your website then you’ll attract people who like that style. If you don’t want to do that style any more then don’t show it.
It helps to look and act like the market you’re going for.
If I was about to have a consultation with a wedding couple who are getting married at The Ritz then I wouldn’t turn up in jeans and a T-shirt. I’m always dressed smart for client consultations because you have to look and sound successful to be successful. The expression I often hear is “Fake it ’till you make it!”
Always sound busy. So, if a client asks to book a session don’t say “Great, I have any time on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday” because it will be obvious you’re not in demand.
Pricing tends to be the biggest stumbling block for most photographers (heck, most business owners, period), so here’s my advice on getting over the hurdle…
…Set your prices a little outside your comfort zone. Not so high that you’re getting panic attacks, just a bit.
Let’s take weddings. If you currently charge £750 and £900 makes you a little uncomfortable then start there – not at £1500. If you’re earning an average of £150 for family portraits then aim for £250 initially.
As you start to get booked at the higher price you’ll grow in confidence and your pricing thermostat will steadily move upwards. Keep bumping up the price until you stop getting booked and then go back to the sweet spot.
Ultimately it’s all about valuing your skill and your profession. If you don’t value your photography, then your clients won’t either because your feelings will seep out in your words and body language.
There are generally two reasons you don’t value your photography.
Firstly, it’s that you’re not proud of your work. That’s ‘easy’ to fix – improve your photography.
Secondly it’s because you’re not getting paid enough to survive, so you don’t think people value what you do. Again, gradually push the price up and improve your service and you’ll get to a price point that brings you clients who value you. And in turn you’ll value your skills more. And with that new confidence you’ll be ready to push onto the next level and the next.