Dear Tired + Broke:
First, I want you to know that you aren’t alone. Trust me when I say this, but I understand. I started my business in a village (not a town or a city, a village) of 1,200 people and a lot of cows. I had zero connections, didn’t know a soul, and here I was trying to craft a high end business in a place where a wedding venue didn’t even exist. It’s scary, it’s frustrating, and it’s defeating. The truth is, your clients probably don’t live in your area, in fact, I have never photographed a single wedding in our entire county since beginning my business four years ago.
I know your frustrated, so here’s the good news: you clients don’t have to live where you are. Sounds scary, right? The truth is, I started looking at the map and saw that I am in between three cities (a lot bigger than my village) and so instead of wasting my breath, trying to hustle in a small town, and convince people to open their wallets a little wilder, I started advertising to the neighboring cities. This does mean that for every wedding I can expect to drive at least an hour but it opened so many more doors! It’s actually been a giant blessing because I get to enjoy my small town life while shooting bigger city weddings!
What you need to remember is that not everyone is going to be your client, so even if you raise your prices (which you should) and you hear “no” four times and “yes” only once, you’ll know that you’re worth and you need to find more “yes” people. It might mean a total brand shift, it might mean a whole new list of clientele but those price shoppers will always be price shoppers and that’s okay! People invest in different things and it isn’t your job to convince them that professional photography is worth a greater expense if they don’t believe it. Speak to the people who know, who understand that quality photography comes at a price (but is worth every penny!)
Photographers often take the defensive approach instead of really working on seeking the people who will help them get to the next level. Instead of screaming to the masses, speak directly to your ideal client (the one who will pay the elevated prices) and give them everything they want and more. The transition will include growing pains but it will help you get hold of your life again and work your way up! You don’t need to make dramatic changes, they can be gradual, but you need to know the value of your time and the expense of doing business to make sure you are only saying “yes” to profitable shoots and business decisions!
You’ve got this!
Ps. You’ll want to get your hands on my FREE Profitable Pricing Guide that will walk you step by step through your expenses, cost of doing business, and what you need to charge to be both profitable and meet your income goals. I revisit this a few times a year to make sure I know I am working to where I want to go!