So you've came to point when you want to start charging people for your work (Yay!) but what do you charge?! How do you find a price that works for you and your clients? You worry about being too cheap, but you also don't want to be too expensive because you want anyone to be able to afford you.
Here are a few reasons you don't want to be too inexpensive:
- You'll potentially have lots of clients but your workload will be overwhelming! (Don't forget about editing and all the other little things that come along with a shoot!)
- You'll be able to build a client base but your client base will expect your rate to always be low.
- You'll make money... but not enough money to break even, for a long, long while.
So when it comes time to figure out or restructure your pricing, here are some ideas that might help! These have worked for us and hopefully they can help you, too!
- Figure out how many hours you spend on every session you do. Maybe you do an hour shooting, two hours editing, an hour email correspondence, ordering/delivering products, etc,...
- Take the number you are considering charging for a single session and divide it by the number of hours you will be working.
- Example: You spend a total of four hours on a session and charge $50 for the session. (50/4 = 12.5) That's $12.50 an hour. BUT, don't forget 30% taxes/overhead = $8.75 an hour. Dude. No. Just no.
- Find that number that makes it worth getting out of bed. Or find a number that makes it worth spending your time away from your friends, family, your reality TV!
- Look at your market andcompare pricing. If you are in a lower income area, and charging top dollar, you might not be booking anyone.
- When the time does come for raising your prices, do it in small increments as not to scare your client base away.
- If you are too busy, you are probably too cheap!
Pricing can be complex and challenging, but it's something that you need to figure out. Find what works best for you!
Hopefully these tips can help you find what works for you!
If you have a topic you would like us to discuss on Talk Shop Thursday, shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org!