Running a small business is no easy task. It's messy and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time. But no matter what, it's definitely a journey worth taking. As a mom of two littles,
I know the daily struggles, and I'm here to walk this journey with you. If you're ready to feel empowered, encouraged and on fire for the things you truly love, then you're in the right place. I'm Rebecca Rice, a pizza loving hot chocolate drinking family photographer and educator and this is the business Journey podcast. Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the business Journey podcast. I'm your host, Rebecca rice. And I teach family photographers How to Grow A life of financial freedom through a thriving photography business. Today, we are talking all about pricing and whether or not it's time to raise your prices, I get this question all the time from photographers of like, how do I know if I should raise my prices? So today we're going to be answering that question. Now before we get too far, I wanted to let you know about a free class that I have just for you guys. I did this class for the very first time about a month ago. And the feedback was incredible. So I wanted to make it available to you guys. It is a class all about posing families. So it's called the keys to effective family posing goodbye, awkward and stiff. So if you know that posing is your weakest link, and you you just struggle with knowing what to do, maybe you freeze up and stall trying to think of what to do next, this class is for you, we walk through all the keys that you need to know to be able to pose your clients confidently. And let posing not be your weakest link for one, but also have your clients feel super comfortable and natural. And bring out that real like genuine emotion whenever you're photographing families. So it's completely free. You can sign up today at Rebecca rice photo.com/posing-class. And we will link it in the show notes for you to check out if you would like, let's get into our topic today all about pricing. Okay, so pricing is one of those things that obviously there's two sides of the coin. There's some people that are like, am I price too high? I'm not booking, you know, what do I do? And we may do a podcast episode on another day about that. But today, you know, we're going to be talking about how do you know if it's time to raise your prices? I feel like there's no like black or white answer to that of like, you should raise your prices every, you know, six months bla bla bla by this much. I wish that that were the answer. And that it was as simple as that. And I could give that to you. It's not quite that simple. But I want to give you some like guidelines that you can use to know when it's time to raise your prices. So the very first thing that you know, you need to think about if you're wondering if it's time to raise your prices, is if you are not profitable than it is 1,000% time to raise your prices. Because here's the deal. We have our photography businesses to be profitable, right? We're not doing this as a charity, we're not doing this as a nonprofit, if you want to have a nonprofit photography, business, that's amazing. I'm probably not the best teacher for you, because I teach people how to be profitable. You know, I know some people that that would be an awesome ministry to be able to serve families like that I was in full time ministry for nine years. I love that that's awesome. That's not for me, I have my photography business, to be able to contribute to my family and things like that. And so I want to be profitable. So if you're not profitable, then it's definitely time to raise your prices. Now, how do you know if you're profitable or not? You need to run what's called your cost of doing business or your C O D. B, if you've never run your cost of doing business before, it's a pretty simple equation. But you absolutely need to run it because if you've never run it, odds are you're not charging enough. Most of the time when I'm you know teaching photographers, and they've never run their SEO dB. When they do run it, they're like, Oh darn,
I need to raise my prices. They just didn't know, we don't have time to go through the whole like equation and stuff today. But I do have a YouTube video that walks through that it's called how to price your photography to be profitable. And we'll link it here in the show notes so that you guys can go watch that and it like walks through the equation and you can see me write it out and all the things that step number one is make sure that you're profitable because if you're not profitable, you need to raise your prices. Now the next way to know if you're ready to raise your prices, if you're fully booked, and I would say for like two or more months as a family photographer, fully booked looks different for everybody. So let's just preface with that because, you know, when I was a part time photographer and a full time youth pastor, I had a lot less time to devote It's my photography business. And so fully booked for me, you know, looked very different from somebody who did photography full time that they had, you know, time during the week to do shoots or whatnot. Another thing to know is not everybody wants to shoot the same amount. So maybe you only want to shoot two weekends out of the month, instead of shooting every weekend or for me, I would only shoot on either Saturday or Sunday. I didn't like shooting on both days during the weekend because I wanted to save one day for my family. And I never shot like during the day, I would only shoot in the mornings or the evenings. So I was very particular with my time, especially when I was working part time, fully booked for me looks very different that I don't like to shoot Saturday and Sunday. So for me, if I had one of my days, my weekend days already booked, then I was booked for that week, you have to decide for yourself, what is fully booked to you. And I would suggest laying it out on a calendar and deciding, okay, how much do I really want to work. Because if you don't want to be working every single night and whatnot, then block off time and say, Okay, I'm only going to book this many days. And then when you're fully booked or fully booked, don't open up extra days. Like I know, it can be really tempting for me, you know, if I have a session scheduled on a Saturday, and somebody inquires, it can be really tempting to say, Okay, I have this Sunday open. But I don't want to sacrifice that. And so you have to be like really intentional, once you set the days that you're going to work, stick to it, and don't just like keep adding to it. But you have to decide what's fully booked for you. And then when you see yourself fully booked for like two or more months out. So you know, right now, when this episode is going live, it is May. And so if you're fully booked for all of may and all of June, then it may be time to raise your prices, because obviously the demand is there. And so you need to control you know, the supply and demand. If there's less supply, then demand goes up. And so you need to raise your prices to kind of combat that as your price goes higher demand is naturally going to get a little bit lower, because you're breaking into a different market. As you charge more, you're gonna get fewer inquiries in, which could be the goal, it just depends for you. And so if you are fully booked two or more months out, for sure, raise your prices, because you have so much time to still book even more months out. The third way that I would tell you to know if it's time to raise your prices is if you want to increase your revenue. So maybe you say, okay, Rebecca, I'm not fully booked. But you're booking fine at your current rate. And you want to see yourself making more by the end of the year. So if you want to increase your revenue, you need to increase either increase your prices or increase the number of bookings that you're getting. And so that's a good time to raise your prices. That's typically how it was for me in those early years, especially whenever I was, you know, working full time. And photography was my side gig. I wasn't necessarily booked out months and months in advance. But I wanted to see my revenue increase. And so I was still raising my prices at that point. So I know some people raise their prices, every X number of bookings, or every X number of months, that could work for you, what I would do was I was raising my prices like $50 every season. So fall came around, I would raise my price by $50. When spring came around, I would raise my price again by another $50. And I would just do that every fall and spring until I like really found a sweet spot for me and my clients. So I raised and raised and raised until I felt like there's a point that bookings slowed down so much that I didn't want it to be that slow. So then I went back down to the previous price point, and I just stayed there. So you have to really experiment and see what that price point is for you. And you know, go from there. So like in the Dallas market, whenever I was living in Dallas, I think the highest that I charged was $550 for a full session, and 285 for minis and so I you know tried going for it. Like for mini sessions. For example, I tried going into the $300 range for minis and it booked okay, but it wasn't quite hitting the goals that I was wanting it to. And so I jumped right under 300 at that 285 And that was like the sweet spot. So I just kept it there. So you have to decide like what that sweet spot is for you. It takes trial and error, right? You have to raise your price a little bit and see what happens and then raise your price a little bit and then see what happens. If you were under that first one where you're not profitable, don't raise your prices by $50 Until you become profitable, that needs to be like an overnight shift. So
if you need to raise your prices by $200 to become profitable, do it overnight. And you know, you may say, if I can lose clients doing that, yeah, you probably will. But that's okay. Because you're reaching a new market of clients. Some people ask, Should I announce what I raise my prices? No, don't announce it, just do it. I am just under the school of thought that people probably won't notice. They don't pay like that close attention to you. And if they do, like most people won't care that much. So you'll have a couple people that might in throw fit. But for the most part, you know, I've raised my prices several times. And for the most part, people don't say anything about it. It's your business, you can do what you want. And we're doing a whole episode here in the next few weeks. Let me look at my, I guess it's next month we're doing an episode. It has like pricing q&a. So if you have more questions about pricing, then let me know DM me on Instagram at Rebecca rice photography, and I will add it into like the pricing q&a, but all that to say, you know, you need to raise your prices to be profitable. If you're fully booked, or you want to increase your revenue, then those are really good indications that it's time to raise your prices. So this is gonna look different for everybody, because everybody has different business models, and just everything's so different. Like I said, it's not like a cut and dry answer. But you need to, you know, try things and see what works. Now, I will say, especially like, I've noticed this in the wedding industry more than families. But occasionally you do find yourself in what's called a pricing dead zone, where you find yourself too expensive for people that are wanting, you know, lower cost, but not expensive enough for people that really value photography and want to pay more that when they see your price. They're like, why is it that low, there's probably reason I'm not going to book with them. So as you're raising your prices, if you come to a place that you start, like not booking, don't just assume that your price is too high, you may be in a pricing dead zone. And by raising you know, another 50 or $100. For you know, family sessions, it may get you out of the dead zone or for like weddings, raising another $1,000 or 1500 could get you out of the dead zone. So keep that in mind when you are pricing don't just assume that your price is too high. If you stop booking you could be in you know that dead zone. It's less common in family photography, way more common in weddings. But that's not to say it doesn't happen in family photography. So take that as you will again, if you have any, like other questions about pricing. DM me on Instagram, I'm very active in my DMs and I would love to like chat through some of those things and potentially add your question into our pricing q&a episode that's going to go out next month. Because I really want to like serve you however I can. I know this episode was like short and sweet, but just wanted to be able to answer that question of like, is it time to raise your prices because I do get it all the time. So I hope this was helpful for you. And we will see you back next week. Same time for another great episode. See you later.