It’s true that most couples have a budget in mind when planning their wedding, so they’re likely to shop around. And wedding photography can be a competitive business. If you want to beat out your competition and still make a profit, sell your client on the experience you’re going to offer, not your price.
Most women start dreaming about fairy tale weddings when they’re little girls and their dreams just keep getting bigger and bigger. It’s going to be the most important day in their life and they’re more concerned about the results than they are the price tag.
That’s not to say you can demand any price you want. You still need to keep budgets in mind and know what the market in your area will bear. But, instead of lowering your prices to compete with that big photography studio, give the bride more for her money. There are a lot of things you can do that won’t add to your costs too much, but they’ll make your package much more valuable.
When meeting with your clients show them the only thought in your mind is their wedding. Eliminate all distractions and give them your complete, undivided attention. Ask questions, answer questions, be animated, show excitement. Brides look forward to planning the wedding almost as much as they look forward to being married. Make it fun and easy for clients to deal with you and develop a personal bond.
Being on time for meetings is imperative but it’s even more important that you respond promptly to questions and emails. Brides can get so-so service from anyone, but if you give them exemplary service, they’ll send all of their engaged friends who need photographers to you.
Sell the Experience
Remember, it’s critical that you create a great experience with the couple during the initial meeting. Allow the couple to share their excitement for their wedding and build up the experience by showing them how hiring you will only adding to the amazing experience of their wedding day. Talk more about the experience with them than the technical aspects.
There are all kinds of extra services you can offer that won’t cost you anything other than time. For example, start at the consultation by offering refreshments. Offer great referrals to other vendors. You can offer the couple wallets of a favorite image to go out with their thank you cards. You can also offer help online to create wedding slideshows, set up Facebook albums, or creating small, branded jpegs for clients to use on social sharing sites. Take a look at what your competitors are offering and see what services you can add to make the whole experience even more memorable for the bride and groom.
Learn to think outside the box – Pay attention when you’re having those first meetings with your clients and you might hear them mention something that you never thought of offering. Be prepared and be ready to think fast. Is it something you can do? Can you do it without hurting your business? Will it add to the value of your package without hurting your profits? We have booked several packages over the years by giving a client RAW files. Now we feel pretty certain that the client will never do anything with them (and we don’t want to see it if they did!) but for a few individuals, this is what they needed in order to feel confident about the purchase, and it doesn’t cost us anything. By being flexible to their concerns, we were able to book the job, instead of saying no.
Stay on your toes and remember the best way to sell your wedding photography is to sell the experience, not the price.