It always amazes me how many entrepreneurs are trying to grow their businesses by pricing services and products lower than the competition. It’s also a mistake many photographers make. In a market that is quite saturated and where we have to compete against large organizations that offer a complete package of services, it’s about time we realize that competing on price isn’t working!
Many photographers explain their low rates with excuses like: “There’s another photographer in my town. If I provide better services at lower prices, brokers will choose me.”
While this sounds like a reasonable strategy, they will not win this battle in the long run, for several reasons:
It leads to a price war
If you lower your prices and thereby gain customers, how do you think your competitors will react? In nine cases out of ten, they will likely lower their prices, too. The result is a “race to the bottom”. Prices will decline continuously until no one makes a profit anymore. That is clearly a lose-lose scenario!
It leads to unsustainable liabilities
More services for less money might sound perfect for your client. But ultimately you’ll end up taking on too many projects just to earn a reasonable living. You will lose the motivation to work. This will inevitably and eventually lead to customer dissatisfaction as the quality of your work and service decreases. You have to make sure you don’t end up in those circumstances by charging reasonable rates. Not just for you but also your customers.
It’s not good for relationships
You don’t want your customers to choose you because of your low prices. You want them to work with you because of your expertise, the quality of your service, and your personality.Competing on price is killing a sustainable relation with your clients!Click To Tweet
When your clients choose you for a photo shoot, it’s important they give you the job because of these characteristics; they’ll come back to you again and again, instead of leaving you to choose a photographer who offers their services at a lower rate.
You can choose the clients you want to work with!
Remember, if you discover that a potential client is just interested in your rates and not in the work you do, he or she will go and fast track to another photographer that is willing to work for less money. And one thing is certain; many photographers are willing to work for almost nothing.
Customers who opt for your expertise, your knowledge, and your service; who appreciate the added value and are willing to pay — they’re more loyal than bargain hunters.
Business is not just about money. Is your rate the most important thing to your customer? Then start searching for new clients and say goodbye to those who don’t explicitly choose you because of the quality of your work. Customers like these have never made anyone happy.
By determining your value and developing a good plan to reach your target audience, you will attract customers without having to compete on price. With the right strategy and a full range of services, you can grow your business. I know it’s not easy in a competitive market, but it’s certainly possible.
In the end, it’s your excellent service, pleasant personality, and a full range of services that will help you grow sustainable and profitable collaborations and relationships built on mutual trust, instead of the final invoice.
Tony Tremblay says
I’ve work for stock photos websites and since they are all in competition for price, it’s less and less interesting for us photographers to submit our work there.
Thanks, Tony! so many people keep competing over price! I know it is hard not to fall into that trap but when you want to grow a business, you need to approach clients in a different way than the competition does! It is not the easy way but it is the most sustainable one!
This is so true in many fields, not just for photographers! Thank you for your clairity …
Thank you for your compliment Sannie. I know by experience how hard it is not to go with the flow and do what competitors do. But since I stopped comparing myself and telling my prospects the benefits of working with me, my business started to flourish.