So the subject for today's video is – should you include prices on your photography website? I’m going to kick it right off with the most enormous YES I think I have ever given. Yes, yes, yes you SHOULD address price on your website in 2017. Why? Well have a watch of the video below and I’ll tell you…
Ok so there are still some people who have not managed to drag themselves out of 2005 and they are out there giving photography business owners like you OLD advice. Yes – advice from 2005 is OLD – I know that makes you feel old. It makes me feel old too.
They’re telling you NOT to list your prices on your website. They’re telling you that because there was a time, not that long ago, when it was ok to do this. In fact, it could actually be more than ok. It could actually work pretty well if you knew how to lure your customers in with lots of other great information and imagery.
But that time is over. And we all need to properly drag ourselves into the present day if we want to win over our potential clients in 2017. First, here’s the reasons why you NEED to publish your prices on your website. I know you might have objections – I’ll deal with them at the end…
1. Your potential client EXPECTS to find a price there!
We now live in a time when your potential client is used to being able to look online and find ANY piece of information they want in just a few moments. Whether you like it or not, that includes your pricing. And you’re the same – you too expect to see what things cost on a website. More so than you ever did before. Simply because you’ve become accustomed to having that knowledge at your fingertips. We even want a ballpark idea of price for things that can’t really be priced! We’re drowning in online information and it’s all so readily available that when we can’t find the information we want quickly – we just move on in seconds because we know that we’ll find it somewhere else. And when it comes to photography – there are plenty of other sites to move onto thats for sure. Do you know how many enquiries you are NOT getting simply because you are not sharing prices on your website – I reckon that number would frighten you.
And by the way, if you’re NOT like that. You are in a tiny minority. This IS the consumer of 2017.
2. Your integrity is questioned if you’re not willing to share your prices
Yes – it is. Remember this is new. Ten years ago you could keep your pricing off your website and no one would have questioned your integrity. They would have given you a call and asked you. But now! Now your potential client is sooooooooo much more savvy. When they don’t see a price on your website they know EXACTLY what’s going on. They know that what you want them to do is phone and ask. And they know that if they do that you’re then going to try to ‘sell’ them the experience and bowl them over with your charm before landing the price on them. And they don’t like it – they’re not stupid. When you don’t share your price – they don’t trust you. And trust is probably the most important feeling you want them to have towards you and your business after looking at your website.
3. Having prices on your website saves time and pre-qualifies your clients
I don’t know about you but anything I can do to cut down on the zillion emails in my inbox can only be a good thing. And I’d definitely rather not speak on the phone to someone for 15 minutes only to learn that they can’t afford or aren’t willing to pay my prices. And that goes both ways. I don’t want my potential customers to have to phone me and become all excited about this photo shoot they’re going to have only to have their hopes crushed when they realise its way out of their budget. What a waste of EVERYONE’S time! And what a shame for them! Clear pricing on your website saves time and prequalifies your clients.
4. Sharing your prices positions you in the marketplace
This is huge! There is masses of competition in the photography industry now and if you don’t carve out your unique little place in the market then you’ll struggle. Yes, of course you do this by creating a great brand and marketing your little socks off but sharing your pricing is also an important part of this. Particularly if you’re more expensive. This is a great positioning tool for you – so use it. Those who’re looking for high quality or luxury – they’re looking for a price tag to match. They don’t want to choose from the middle. So show them what you charge – it’s part of your messaging!
So do you still have some issues with publishing your prices to your website? I get it. It’s hard when there is such conflicting advice out there.
1. Don’t publish your prices – you’ll scare people away before you get a chance to show them how fabulous you are and how much they’re going to love the experience.
Ok let’s blow this one out of the water quickly. You should be showing them how fabulous you are on your WEBSITE. You should be telling them how much they’re going to love the experience on your WEBSITE! If they’re not getting that vibe from your online presence then you have some work to do there. This whole idea of leaving information out so that your potential customers have to either phone or email to ask you for it is just yuk now. People hate having to do this. It frustrates them AND they know EXACTLY what your strategy is. In 2017 your online presence should be as honest and transparent and authentic as possible!
2. Other photographers in your area will copy your pricing OR will use it against you.
If other photographers copy your pricing then good luck to them. Because hopefully your pricing comes from a very thorough cost of doing business exercise AND hopefully you’ve used an accurate formula to mark up your products. In that case your pricing literally can’t be replicated successfully by anyone else. It’s completely unique to your business and anyone who tries to copy it without doing the work that got you there will fall flat on their face. So get that thought out of your head asap.
But what if they use it against you? What if they undercut you and compare their cheaper prices to your more expensive prices? Yep! That may well happen. Almost every supermarket ad you see now is telling you that their prices are cheaper than their main competitor’s prices. Does that mean that their competitor will go and take all the prices off their products so this can’t happen anymore? Of course not! They accept it. That’s life. All you can do is make sure your online presence showcases your awesomeness and your worth in such a way that your competitor making a price comparison is almost laughable.
3. You will confuse your potential clients by showing them all your prices before they can actually see the product for themselves.
You’ll only confuse them if your pricing is confusing! I’m a big believer in keeping your pricing as simple as possible. But if you still think it might confuse people then you can go with a ‘starting from’ approach. Prints start from… Framed wall art starts from… Digital packages start from…
When you weigh up the pros and cons of putting prices on your website there really is no question about whether it should be there. Yes, there are SOME photography businesses out there who can get away with not having prices on their websites. Photographers who are in EXTREMELY high demand or serve a very affluent clientele probably won’t be harmed by not sharing their prices. In fact, in some cases it can very much go in their favour. But let’s face it – that’s not the case for most of us so we really need to take action and make sure pricing is super clear on our websites. As in have a tab called ‘PRICING’ in your main menu and get a page dedicated to it as soon as you possibly can.
OR you can take that 2005 advice and leave price off your website. At least you’ll never know how many enquiries you’re missing out on. Because that would hurt…
Before I go, if pricing is a never-ending headache for you in your photography business then don’t forget to check out the Togs in Business’ membership. We talk pricing a lot and there is an epic, in-depth pricing course in there that will have you sorted in no time. Check it out!