Pricing Your Photography: How to Use Sales Psychology to Create Value

As photographers, it's our job to sell our services and convince clients that our artistic abilities and products have a value worth paying a premium for. It's important in creating a strong brand based on value, instead of a brand that is perceived to be “cheap.” How do we do that? How can we create the message of value for our services?

When considering how to price your photography, one of the subtle things you can do to suggest value in your services is the specific language you use to convey ideas and concepts. This is especially important when it comes to your pricing. Using mass market, consumer terms will give buyers the impression that your brand is cheap. On the other hand, use terms that indicate something of greater value, and you will be giving clients the subtle message that your services and products are of value.

This is something that you should think carefully about, as it should be applied to your brand consistently to create the right impression in clients minds. The language you choose to use to describe your services and products should fit with your brand and be used everywhere-on the phone, on your website, on your blog, in conversations with clients, on your product guide, educational handouts and  most importantly on your pricing.

Photography Terms and Language to Consider

investment                        instead of              cost, price or rates

commissions begin at   instead of              prices or rates start at

complimentary               instead of              free

creative fee                    instead of              session fee

capture the wedding     instead of              shoot the wedding

collections                       instead of              packages

photographer                 instead of              second shooter

artist                                   instead of              main shooter

images/photographs    instead of              shots

gift prints                           instead of              5×7's

handcrafted album        instead of              11×14 album

First edition prints            instead of              proofs

These are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing. If you want more ideas, I recommend checking out the Tofurious Guide to Creative Pricing. It's filled with many tips and tricks to create perceived value in your services and help you understand the psychology behind sales.

Depending on your brand and style, you would want to use words that are associated with your signature style. For example, if your style is more fine art, use words associated with art and artists. If you brand is affordable and fun, use language that will give that kind of a feeling. Think of some of your favorite brands and the type of language they use in marketing and product descriptions. With Apple for example, language is clean and the focus is on easy, simple technology that makes life better. St. Regis is all about refined elegance, and that message is clear from the moment you walk through the doors.

Being clear and consistent in your marketing will bring together all the different parts of your brand into a single cohesive message, as discussed in How to Take Your Photography Marketing from Bad to Great. Sometimes it’s the subtle things that make all the difference. When it comes to pricing your photography, don't cheat yourself by quickly throwing together something that sounds good without thinking carefully about it. And if you did that in the beginning, it's OK, with the slow season upon us, this is the perfect time to revisit your pricing and see how you can make some subtle changes to the language and packages in order to sell more of your services next year. This is just ONE tip you can use to put together photography packages. If you are interested in more ideas just like this, check out the Creative Pricing and Packaging for Creative (Photographers) Professionals below or read my review here. It's packed with dozens of great tips like this that will help you earn more with your sales and have a more profitable business.

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