Many photographers out there struggle with feeling guilty about charging what they're worth. More than likely you know the feeling of having to put a price on your service, art, and time, wanting to charge what you’re worth but having a hard time coming to terms with not coming across as greedy to potential clients and fear that others won't see your worth. The struggle between wanting to build a strong business with an income you can live on, doing what you love while at the same time wanting to give your clients everything they want for next to nothing because you LOVE what you do.
Because here's what makes it hard: you got started pursuing your passions not because of the money, but because you love what you do.
The truth is that many photographers out there are valuing their client's feelings over their own business goals.
Here’s the thing, if you calculate how much you need to charge to reach your income goals, that number you might end up coming up with MIGHT very likely be out of someone's budget. It might even be out of many peoples budget. That number might be higher than you feel comfortable with at the moment, and the idea of someone paying those higher prices for your services might be terrifying for you.
The goal of this post isn't here to tell you that you need to raise your prices; raising prices is easy. I want you to realize one thing; You are worth every penny.
Stop being scared of charging what you are worth!
Calculate your numbers like a strong business owner. You put in so much heart into your business when you’re calculating how much you need to charge, use your head and a calculator. Put your heart aside just for a little while, so the numbers behind getting your business to become sustainable long term is in your future. Stop overthinking pricing and putting other people's feelings above what you are worth.
I can promise you this;
By charging what you are worth you will;
Come across people who can not afford those prices. And that is ok! What someone else can afford doesn’t have anything to do with your worth. You might even find people who think you are worth every single penny, but you still won’t fall into their budget. Accept that not everyone will be able to book with you.
You will come across people who save up for months to finally work with you because the investment is worth it to them. Working with people who believe you are worth it is one of the best feelings you'll have as a small business owner.
You will find people who think you are CRAZY for charging those prices. You might even make a few jaws hit the ground. Be proud of your pricing!
You will find people compare you to others based on prices alone. And you'll have no problem wishing them good luck if they would rather work with someone else simply because they have lower prices because you know deep inside that there's a reason they reached out to you. That they contacted you because they love your work and see the quality in what you offer.
You will learn that not every client is meant to book you. And that’s alright. When clients look for their dream photographers, they look for one with the right style, the right location, the right price, etc. Sometimes those things don’t line up so don’t ever be offended if someone ends up not booking you. And you'll notice that by being more strict about your pricing, and what you offer, you become more true to who you are as an artist and start attracting your ideal client more. In the end, you know that not everyone is meant to book with you, but those that do turn out to be dream clients to work with.
You will start to manage your time better. You’ll quickly see what things waste your time and the things that are worth pursuing. Knowing how to manage your time correctly will also help others, not take advantage of that good heart you have. I get that at the end of the day when you pursue the thing you are most passionate about it’s hard to make that a business. To separate wanting to do it all the time for free, for everyone, and give everyone a piece of your heart. And turn it into a business where you are spending valuable time doing something you love while also bringing an in income that you can depend on. It’s a difficult thing to switch to.
You will find those dream clients more often. When you work with people who don’t question your worth and genuinely understand the amount of work you put into your craft, it validates what you knew all along;
YOU ARE WORTH IT.