A can’t-mess-it-up way to figure out PRICING - Find out what you should be charging!

0 comments / Posted by Elena Ringeisen

There are a million ways to figure out pricing - there are whole books on pricing and figuring out what exact amount you need to be charging. Here is a fool proof way to figure out your own pricing. Best of all you'll just need to answer a few very simple questions. Lets keep this simple! Pricing shouldn't be confusing and you should know exactly how much you need to be charging in order to reach your business goals. 
Answer these questions and figure out exactly what you need to be charging (So if your not good at math - grab your calculator!) 
Absolutely do not feel like figuring out the numbers yourself? take a look at our pricing calculator that will do these steps for you as well as price what your prints and collections need to be. 
Ok lets get started! 
What are your monthly expenses? This could be subscriptions, gas money, tax money, overhead, insurance. The list keeps going. Some have a ton of expenses, and some very little. List yours below! 
List them here;
  1. _________________
  2. _________________
  3. _________________
  4. _________________
  5. _________________
  6. _________________
  7. _________________
  8. _________________
  9. _________________
  10. _________________
 
TOTAL: A(monthly) = ____________ 
Lets ADD all those expenses up and write the total above. 
Now lets figure out what your YEARLY expenses look like. 
A(monthly) x 12 = A (yearly) ___________ 
 
Next we need to figure out how much you want to make per year. There is no right or wrong in setting this number. It needs to be realistic, but also make you a little uncomfortable. Don't pick something that seems easy to achieve. Pick a number that is going to motivate you and something you can work towards every day. 
Write it down here: B = _______________
 
Now do the math; A(yearly) ___________ + B ___________ = C ___________
You know what C is? yep - the total amount YOU need to make a year to reach your goal! 
 
Ok now the fun part starts. We take that big number and we're going to break it into little chunks. 
___________  ÷ 12 = D ___________ (D = how much you need to make PER MONTH in order to hit your big number at the end of the year) 
How many sessions do you want to shoot per MONTH? Again - pick something realistic. Shooting 30 sessions isn't realistic. Think about it weekly and then times that by 4. How many sessions can you do per week and deliver something great to your clients? How many sessions can you shoot a month without burning yourself out. Really think about this number because it's going to matter a lot!
Answer; E ___________
Time to do some math again; D ___________ ÷ E ___________ = F ___________ 
 
You know what F stands for?!? That sweet number right there is how much you need to make PER SESSION. See how easy that was?! Now you know what you need to work towards. How much you need to make per session.
Now just for fun i'm going to write two different examples below so you can see how this whole thing works. Maybe you'll notice something interesting in the two things ;) As you can see I only changed ONE number in the examples below. Sally has to shoot half the amount of sessions to make just as much as Sue. (this is where the whole work smarter not harder comes in). It's ok to charge more for good quality work. By charging very little for your service you will end up burning yourself out and won't be able to deliver something amazing to all your clients. 
 
 
SALLYS PRICING
Expenses TOTAL: A(monthly) = 500
Lets ADD all those expenses up and write the total above. 
Now lets figure out what your YEARLY expenses look like. 
A(monthly) x 12 = A (yearly) 6000
 
Next we need to figure out how much you want to make per year. There is no right or wrong in setting this number. It needs to be realistic, but also make you a little uncomfortable. Don't pick something that seems easy to achieve. Pick a number that is going to motivate you and something you can work towards every day. 
Write it down here: B = 100,000
 
Now do the math; A(yearly) 6000 + B 100,000 = C 106,000
You know what C is? yep - the total amount YOU need to make a year to reach your goal! 
 
Ok now the fun part starts. We take that big number and we're going to break it into little chunks. 
C 106,000  ÷ 12 = D 8833 (D = how much you need to make PER MONTH in order to hit your big number at the end of the year) 
How many sessions do you want to shoot per MONTH? Again - pick something realistic. Shooting 30 sessions isn't realistic. Think about it weekly and then times that by 4. How many sessions can you do per week and deliver something great to your clients? How many sessions can you shoot a month without burning yourself out. Really think about this number because it's going to matter a lot!
Answer; E 8
Time to do some math again; D8833 ÷ E 8 = F 1104
 
Recap. If Sally wants to make 100,000 a year, she needs to shoot 8 sessions, and make $1104 of each session. 
 
 
 
SUES PRICING
Expenses TOTAL: A(monthly) = 500
Lets ADD all those expenses up and write the total above. 
Now lets figure out what your YEARLY expenses look like. 
A(monthly) x 12 = A (yearly) 6000
 
Next we need to figure out how much you want to make per year. There is no right or wrong in setting this number. It needs to be realistic, but also make you a little uncomfortable. Don't pick something that seems easy to achieve. Pick a number that is going to motivate you and something you can work towards every day. 
Write it down here: B = 100,000
 
Now do the math; A(yearly) 6000 + B 100,000 = C 106,000
You know what C is? yep - the total amount YOU need to make a year to reach your goal! 
 
Ok now the fun part starts. We take that big number and we're going to break it into little chunks. 
C 106,000  ÷ 12 = D 8833 (D = how much you need to make PER MONTH in order to hit your big number at the end of the year) 
How many sessions do you want to shoot per MONTH? Again - pick something realistic. Shooting 30 sessions isn't realistic. Think about it weekly and then times that by 4. How many sessions can you do per week and deliver something great to your clients? How many sessions can you shoot a month without burning yourself out. Really think about this number because it's going to matter a lot!
Answer; E 16
Time to do some math again; D8833 ÷ E 16 = F 4=552
 
Recap. If Sue wants to make 100,000 a year, she needs to shoot 16 sessions, and make $552 of each session. 
 
So now you know how much you need to make per session. It's time to sit down and make a game plan on how you're going to get that much each session. Your packages should reflect your pricing strategy. There are so many different things you can offer to your clients. You can sell digital files, prints, products, albums, a mixture of both. Once you have your pricing figured out it's time to figure out what you want to offer to your clients to make that number a reality. 
 
If you found this helpful I would love for you to share it with your fellow photographers! 

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