Building on my Looking Back post about my business growth over the last year, I have to say the defining moment first started when I picked out Sal Cincotta’s The Photographer’s MBA from the Chapters bookshelf while waiting for my husband to finish browsing wherever he was. I fell in love with the book at first sight and when I finally started reading it I began my journey towards transformation. I had never really understood pricing. I was stuck in a “competing by price” mentality. Why would someone pay $$$ for my work when another photographer is charging $$ or even $ for the same thing? Why would they pay more? Why should I charge more for prints…isn’t that being greedy… I mean it doesn’t cost me that much does it?
But when I read this, my whole world changed! "You're a limited resource." Suddenly I realized that I only have so many hours in the day, I can only photograph so many session, so many weddings, and that my most valuable asset is me. Its ridiculous to run a business based on a limited resource that competes solely on price - so stop doing it!
Then last June I discovered Sarah Petty’s book Worth Every Penny around the same time I invested in a fabulous workbook by Design Aglow. Going through both of these radically altered my perception of value, client experience, and the value of the level of service and client satisfaction that I wanted my clients to have. There’s no way I could provide and maintain that kind of client experience while charging WalMart prices. Not without burning out and going broke. The Pricing Guide was a genius investment because it helped me take these concepts and actually break down what I needed to charge to make an actual living and produce a client experience I could be thoroughly proud of. Finally, here was something that could take these abstract administrative business-y concepts and convey them in a way my artsy-feely mind could grasp and run with!