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What's YOUR Excuse? Photography Pricing Excuse #3: "“Someone told me I was too expensive so

If you are charging under $300 for a full portrait session, chances are you feel this way and have gotten several messages like this one. You give a potential client your prices and they respond that you are too expensive. They may have been rude or even tried to get you to match someone else’s price like this one that one of our reader's submitted:

Reader Submission: "When I was priced lower, I received messages like this constantly and I rarely got any bookings. And when someone did book me, they generally treated me like dirt, showed up late, and never said thank you. I raised my prices and now charge $850 for 15 digital images with the option to purchase additional packages and I am booked solid!! My clients treat me better than I ever could have dreamed and I'm able to contribute to my family's finances." (Photographer and client's information removed for privacy.)

I bet their hurtful response felt like a slap in the face. Especially since your prices are so affordable in the first place right? After all, you are new and WAY cheaper than everyone else. And you aren’t even charging enough to cover your expenses yet. Shouldn’t they be appreciative that you are willing to work your butt off for less than minimum wage… or even for negative money after expenses, just so that they can have some cute photos? Really your prices are generously discounted so why are these potential clients being so rude to you? It's BECAUSE your prices are so cheap. I'm going to repeat that. IT'S BECAUSE YOUR PRICES ARE SO CHEAP.

The lower your prices, the worse potential clients (and actual clients) will treat you (not always but most of the time). It seems to kind of go against common sense but its true. Cheaper prices, especially those below a profitable and sustainable standard, attract rude potential clients like honey. They are an invitation for potential clients to tell you that your prices are too expensive (no matter how low they are) because lower prices often subconsciously teach clients to treat you like less than a respectable professional.

Take Kate Spade and Walmart for example. Look at how some people act in a Walmart. There is an entire website dedicated to people acting crazy, drunk, and rude in Walmart Stores. Look at the news reports of the shenanigans that go on in Walmart Stores. Better yet read the Walmart Employee Horror Stories thread on reddit and look at how disrespectful customers can be to them. If someone saw a $100 purse at Walmart they would probably go on and on about how overpriced that is for a purse from Walmart. Heck I would probably roll my eyes and put it back no matter how cute it is. Now look at how people behave in a high end boutique like Kate Spade. People often walk in, see a $300 handbag and excitedly purchase it without even batting an eye. And when someone walks in, checks a price tag, and realizes they can’t afford it, they typically look around for a minute to be polite and say thank you on the way out of the store. They don’t go up to the sales girl and tell her that the store is overpriced.

Or look at the way people treat products from both of those stores. If you had a $300 Kate Spade handbag and a similar looking purse from Walmart, which one is probably treated better? One is probably sitting on a shelf and the other is probably on the floor. Chances are, the Walmart bag has a stain or two and pen marks on the inside. If something happened to the Kate Spade handbag, they would most likely be upset. But if something happened to the Walmart bag, they would probably be like “Oh well, it was cheap”. If you had to drag one through a muddy swamp, which one would you take?

As a business owner, YOU set the standard for how clients and potential clients view you and treat you. Most established photographers will tell you that they were often told that they are too expensive back when they were priced too low but once they raised their prices to a professional rate, all or most of those rude comments disappeared. When you price yourself professionally, your prices tell people that you are a professional and that you deserve to be respected.

And chances are, that random person on the interwebs probably doesn't have any idea what real photographers charge in the first place. Don't take pricing advice from ANYONE other than established photographers who are running long term successful businesses that pay them a livable salary. I could go tell the folks at BWM that their cars are too expensive but that probably wouldn't get them to lower the price.

So what should you do? Run your CODB and set your prices to a profitable standard and people WILL start treating you like the professional that you show them you are. This Blog will show you how to do that! (It's easier than you think!)

More from the What's Your Excuse Series:

Coming soon: Because my husband makes enough...

Because I'm not selfish...

What's YOUR Excuse, What excuses do you see often? Tell us in the comments! Blogs you might also like:

Your Photography Business is not a Lemonade Stand...

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