“Charge what you are worth” seems to have become the universal advice on pricing.
Facebook groups, ads, podcasts, some days no matter where I look, there is a conversation to be had on this.
My opinion? This is bullshit.
OMG! Did I really just say that?!
Now, there is very little that makes me happier – professionally – than seeing my clients doing what they love and enjoy being rewarded for their gift and hard work. I love seeing their confidence grow as they can finally stop worrying about paying the studio rent and their sales become consistently higher.
But this has got nothing to do with charging what they are worth.
First of all, like a client of mine said today, it’s a bit of advice that doesn’t really give you a precise idea of what to do and how.
It has no practical meaning whatsoever.
Most importantly, though, I believe that reinforcing the idea that our deepest worth as a person is, in any way, connected to the amount of money we charge – or make – does far more harm than good.
We already see and experience every day the effects of this way of thinking.
From a business perspective, this framework makes even less sense. Firstly, it introduces an emotional element into pricing, with the result of making us even more neurotic about it.
“I struggle with my self-esteem, I know I am not charging enough…
but I have also just started, I look around and I don’t think my work is as good as other photographers charging as much as I do!
So am I too expensive?? Maybe I should charge a deposit instead of a session fee…
No! Maybe I should ask other photographers… but I know what they are going to say!
They are going to say I am too cheap!”
Do I even need to explain why this could be a slippery slope?
As if we were not already dealing with self-doubt, self-worth and self-esteem (or lack of it) on a daily basis.
Secondly, it distracts us from other important and rational elements we should consider – for example, how aggressive we want (or need) to be in our market.
Do we need to gain “market shares”? Or do we need to differentiate ourselves from the competition, instead?
Are we consistently selling products we want to sell?
And so on.
How to price your sessions is a matter for another post but the point is: instead of trying to put a price tag on your value as a person, start asking yourself what price makes sense given the lifestyle you want to have, the amount that would feel good to you and where your business is right now.
In other words, know where you are with your business and life, know what the next step is, and know where you ultimately want to be. Have a strategy to get there and price yourself accordingly.
Pricing is a practical matter that does not need to be any more complicated than it already is – so leave your worth out of it.
Hi, I am Giulia (weird, uh? It sounds like Julia – but it’s written with a “Gi”) and I am the founder of Grow Your Photography Studio.
I am known for my no-BS, hands-on approach to helping newborn photographers get more clients and grow a business they actually enjoy running. I believe marketing should not be a “necessary evil” and that taking action is the first and most fundamental step toward success.
Need more hands-on help? Book a marketing call with us
Need help with your pricing? Check out our Perfect Pricing Blueprint