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You are listening to episode 7 of the Level Up Your Wedding Film Business Podcast. If you’re anything like me, you might spend a good amount of time asking yourself this question: how do I know if it’s time to raise my prices? In this video, we are going to be talking about the 4 things you should do before you make that price jump.
I’m your host, Taylor Petrinovich, and at the core of this show I want you to feel inspired to take your business to the next level, and I want to give you tools and practical advice to help you along the way. Let’s Level-Up together.
If you’re plugged in to the wedding filmmaking community, which I hope you are, you might see a lot of discussion on social media and in Facebook groups about pricing. It’s a pretty hot topic, and for good reason. After all, even though being a wedding filmmaker is a passion for a lot of us, it’s still a career. Which means it needs to be sustainable if we want to keep doing it long term.
So how do we make this into a sustainable career path? We need to make enough money in order to live the lives we want to live. It’s pretty simple. And the first thing that needs to be considered is how you price your services. Pricing can be a funny thing. Most people tend to fall into one of two categories: they either live with a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset.
The scarcity mindset is not a fun place to live. This mindset is driven by fear, and by the feeling that there is only so much to go around, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. This mindset tends to breed some ugly feelings, like jealousy + sadness.
On the other hand, there’s the abundance mindset. People who live with this mindset always believe there is enough to go around, and that there’s room for everyone at the table. There’s always more available to you if you were to seek it. It’s all about the possibilities.
You might be thinking: ok, great Taylor, but what does that have to do with pricing? Well, at a very basic level…everything. Because before you start raising your prices, you need to make sure you get in the right mindset. You need to enter into the pricing game in a place of knowing that the possibilities for you and your business are endless, instead of a place of fear.
A few episodes ago I talked about how the wedding videography is not, in my opinion, an overly saturated market. There is enough work to go around, and I believe the same is true about pricing. There are going to be clients at each and every pricing tier who are ready and willing to spend a certain amount of money on their wedding film. You just need to position yourself in the right way to make that a reality for yourself.
But here’s the thing: in order to increase your prices, you also need to increase the value you bring to your clients. This can be either in tangible value, or perceived value. The first three steps in this episode expand on the idea of increasing your value. So let’s dive in.
Here are the 4 things you should do before you raise your prices.
Number 1: Hone Your Craft
Before you go raising your prices by several thousand dollars (which I recommend against – slow growth is much better! We can talk about that more later), you need to ask yourself a question: has the quality of my work gotten better since I last raised my prices? If the answer is yes, then that’s amazing. You can start working on the second step in this podcast episode. But if you are unsure, or if you answered a resounding NO, then take some time to practice, learn some methods and strategies, then reevaluate after you feel like you’ve improved a bit.
Increasing the quality of your work is the most important step of adding tangible value to your clients. A few great ways to improve are to take an online course, soak up as much free content as possible, and to attend a live workshop. Keep making progress bit by bit and the quality of your work will keep improving as well.
Number 2: Add Value To Your Clients
You can provide tangible value to your couples in more ways than just a superior product. This is an opportunity to get creative, and to really serve your couples.
Think of ways you can add value to them. Is it giving them a few pieces of advice for their wedding day in the form of a blog post? Is it referring them to vendors you know and trust? Maybe it’s building up an amazing experience for them, like getting to know them and sending them a small gift after they book with you to show them that they matter to you. The main goal here is to make sure your clients feel like they matter to you. That they aren’t just a number on your spreadsheet. It’s important for them to know that you are invested in them and their wedding, and that they can trust you with a really important job – documenting their wedding day.
Number 3: boost your branding
The overall look and feel of your brand can play a huge roll in the types of clients you get.
A huge part of why branding is so important is the idea of perceived value. Your branding is going to give your client some sort of emotion. It’s either going to make them feel like they are getting a bargain from an amateur, or it’s going to give them a warm and fuzzy feeling inside, knowing that they invested in this area of their wedding and that they can trust you to do your job well. Even though you may be delivering the same product, the way your client already feels about you and your business is going to determine the way they feel about the product. If your brand gives them a higher perceived value, then they will value the product more as well.
If you want to start attracting a higher-end clientele, be sure to put yourself in their shoes. I’m going to get real here. Are you likely to spend thousands of dollars on a product whose logo looks like it was designed by a 12-year-old? Probably not. Or are you making typos and grammatical errors in your website copy? Do a thorough audit of your brand from top to bottom to make sure it’s on par with your ideal client.
Here’s a Tip: Don’t be afraid to spend a little bit of money here. Explore the idea of hiring a branding professional. There will likely be a large Return on investment in this area. If you can’t afford to hire a branding expert, at least be open to investing a small amount of money in apps and programs that can help you give your brand a little facelift.
Number 4: establish know-like-trust
Know, like and trust is exactly what it sounds like. First, your audience will know you. That means they will see you around on social media and will be familiar with you and your business. After some time, some of these potential clients will start to like you. It’s important to note that not everyone is going to like you.
You might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s ok! You can only take so many clients per year, likely somewhere around the 20-25 mark. So all you need is for 20-25 potential clients to like you each year.
Then, once a percentage of your potential clients know you and like you, you will start to build trust with them. The best and most straight forward way to build trust with an audience is to be consistent, be clear, and communicate. In everything you do: in how often you show up, how you show up, and in the quality of your content. Did you know that it takes an average of 5-7 touch points in order to make a sale? That means that your clients need to see and experience you and your brand 5-7 times before they feel ready to make a sale. The easiest way to do this in our industry is through social media – specifically Instagram. Make sure you stay current on Instagram and post often. Use your stories to show behind-the- scenes of you shooting or editing weddings, and don’t be afraid to show your face!
Showing up in potential clients’ feeds multiple times will help to establish that know, like and trust ideal.
Here’s a bonus tip:
You may be tempted to increase your prices quickly. But I will offer you one piece of advice: this career is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time raising your prices, and only do so a little at a time. If you raise your prices too quickly, you run the risk of shocking the market. They may not be willing to pay your new prices because it seems to have been such a big jump, and all you will hear is crickets.
The method that I used once I started trying to climb up the pricing ladder was to raise my prices by $100 at a time. This slow growth allowed me to make small changes in my business and keep incrementally raising my prices to reflect that growth.
Raising your prices can be scary. Maybe you’ve been rocking the same pricing model for several years, or maybe you’re new to the business and are looking for any information you can get your hands on about how to level-up in this industry. Well, friend, I’m your biggest cheerleader. I know you can do it. You can accomplish those goals you have for the new year and beyond. And I want to be here to cheer you on and help you achieve those goals.