Photographers are creative souls. Often sensitive, and most of us share the deep desire for people to enjoy the work we produce. This is something that can be so personal to us that it can actually hold us back.
Have you ever found yourself thinking ‘I’m not sure I’m good enough to increase my prices’ or ‘I wouldn’t pay that price for photography so why would my customers?’. Maybe you think you will find it so difficult to find new customers if you charge more that you just daren’t do it – or you raise prices only to offer discounts left right and centre.
This self-limiting belief is so dangerous to your business and more importantly to your mindset.
So how do you shake it off? There are plenty of strategies you can use, but here are some of our favourites.
Ignore Your Competition
For every minute you spend worrying about someone else’s business, you are not worrying about your own. Stop comparing yourself to others with no idea what lies behind their business model. You don’t know what they need to earn (if anything), how many clients they have, how much debt they have, what their work/life balance is like, what their business costs are. You cannot look at one factor (price) and make a decision on your own business from that. Worry about yourself and no one else.
Stop Worrying About Your Work
We all know extremely talented photographers who struggle to make ends meet. On the flip side we all know very average photographers who make a very decent living from their work. Price is not as tied to the quality of work as you would like to believe. What it is tied to is how you make the customer feel. Compete on quality of service and you’ll win every time, though you do need to be ‘good enough’ – your images need to be of saleable quality. Technical training is excellent to increase your confidence and keep your creativity flowing but it’s not a necessity to increasing your prices. Comparing your work to other photographers work can be restrictive to your own growth and creativity.
Make Informed Decisions
Do you think you live in a deprived area? Thinking ‘people around here will not pay more than this for photographs!’? The news is there are pockets of wealth everywhere. There are people who value photography everywhere. I built a thriving photography business in one of the most deprived areas of the country with high unemployment and average earnings lower than the rest of the country. You need fewer clients when you increase your prices and you can reassure yourself they exist and will travel to you by checking out FACTS at the Office of National Statistics (ONS) This page gives you lots of useful information for your local area including housing, average ages and the economy. You can use this page to find postcode areas local to you where you WILL find your ideal client. You can also use the ONS to find birth rates for your area just in case you had the thought there were not enough newborns to go around!
Surround Yourself With Positivity
This might be the most important strategy of all. I’m not talking about people blowing smoke up your nether region. I’m talking about having a great support network – either on or offline who will lift your spirits and who aren’t afraid to tell you to ‘get a grip’. I have a very small but amazingly supportive facebook group of people whose opinions I respect. It’s a place which is always positive, even when people are having a little wobble. If you don’t have a group like this, I strongly recommend you get one or make one!