When should you raise prices in your photography business? This is a popular question for many photographers. Many photographers start at a lower price point and raise prices over time. But how do you know when raising prices is right for YOU?!
The thought of raising your prices is both exciting and scary. It means your business is growing and your earning potential can increase. However, it can be nerve-wracking knowing when and how you should raise your prices.
3 Signs You are Ready to Raise Your Prices
Before making a change, here are three common signs that indicate you are ready to raise your prices in your photography business. If you can relate with all three – go ahead and start planning your next price increase with confidence!
1 | You have more experience.
Gaining experience is something that will come naturally over time. The more you shoot, the better you get. Every session or client interaction will be an opportunity for growth and learning. Be diligent in applying what you learn as you go.
As you gain more experience, the quality of your work will improve. When you can offer a higher quality experience and product, you can charge a higher price for your services with confidence.
2 | You have a consistent stream of bookings.
When you begin booking months in advance or feeling overbooked, this is a healthy sign that you are ready to raise your prices. You my friend, are in demand! This is a great “problem” to have and an easy one to fix. Raising your prices will help you balance your workload and allow you to bring in more money per session and diffuse the overwhelm from burnout.
3 | You have invested in your business.
Whether it’s investing in new gear, better software or investing in your education — investments warrant higher pricing. All of these investments will contribute to you offering your clients a higher quality experience and product. You can easily justify a price increase when you are improving what you offer.
If you can relate to all of the above, you are probably ready to raise your prices. You might be wondering what is the best approach for doing so? With the right strategy, you should be able to raise your prices seamlessly.
When is the best time to raise prices without losing bookings?
Timing is important when it comes to raising your prices. Many photographers will use the change of seasons or calendar year to make updates. While this can work for some, there is a better strategic approach.
Plan to update your prices when you are in high demand.
If January and February are naturally slow months you as a portrait photographer, these are NOT the months to implement a price increase. During this slower time you want to book the leads that come in.
The fall season is typically the busiest season of the year for most photographers. If you find yourself having to turn away clients during this season, this is a great time to implement a price increase without the risk of losing bookings. This is a high demand season.
How much should you raise your prices?
There is no right or wrong answer here but generally speaking, you should consider raising your prices at least 10%. For example, if you charge $500 for a standard session, expect to raise your prices at least $50. In most instances a $30-$100 price increase could be expected.
If you find that your prices are significantly lower than where you ultimately want to be, implement a gradual plan for increasing your prices. Apply smaller, gradual increases over a period of time until you reach your goal price. This approach will help you to retain your client base and avoid sticker shock along the way.
With any increase, there is the risk of pricing yourself out of the range of some clients but this is unfortunately part of the process. If inclined, you can offer a discount to returning clients to mitigate the difference.
Pricing is an art and will vary for every photographer. Take the time to assess your business, your clients and find a balance that works for you. Your photography business is a business and you need to be profitable. Make sure you are protecting your time by pricing yourself appropriately and knowing when to raise your prices.
Have any pricing related questions? Comment below and I’d love to help!