There were a ton of great comments to the Want to talk Price Lists post from Monday.  I’m working through responses to them but I want to address this one from Jessica quickly because I don’t want anyone to think that I’m advocating hiding your prices from your prospects:

“I absolutely hate it when a price is not given for any service or product online. I don’t need all the details but I need a ballpark, so I offer my clients the courtesy of the same. I like your idea of maybe presenting it differently though. Maybe a collection for the do it yourself bride (digital files, loose prints for scrapbooking?) and a collection for the indulgent too busy bride (albums, printed framed photos, ect). Curious to hear more about your idea…”

Jessica Shepard

I’ve got a ton that I want to say about Jessica’s comment, but I would agree upfront that you don’t necessarily want to frustrate a client by hiding your prices from them.  I’m not a believer in this, because in fact your pricing can help your clients understand what they should purchase, where your value lies, etc.   Going forward, we are going to be using pricing to our advantage.  So in no way would I advocate hiding your prices.

Many photographers seem to be afraid of their pricing.  Its like you know you are too high and you’re trying to connect with them, or build some rapport or any of the other sales buzzword-type comments before you hit them with the price that you don’t think they want to hear.  This is what I’m trying to avoid.  I want to help us get over this dancing around the price, or negotiating around a bunch of different options and making too much of our preliminary interactions about price and getting the price to where THEY want it to be.

So, I don’t necessarily advocate posting a price list on your site, because I don’t think the menu-approach really helps to convey value.  I also think that organizing your options by price tells the wrong story.  For many photographers, I don’t even think a price list is a relevant or intelligent choice (more later).  But I do think that clients should have some idea of the ballpark that your are playing in.

So, brainstorm with me.  What ways can we communicate/indicate our general ballpark without dwelling too much on the actual prices?  In a perfect world, your ballpark price should precede you.  In fact, it would be great if people believed that your prices were HIGHER than they actually are.  Like I said, there is more coming, but let’s talk a bit about how we can get a general idea of our pricing out there ahead of us…

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– trr