Today, I’m starting a blog series on a topic I’m passionate about: How to Elevate Your Business to a Luxury Level.
It’s personal, because if you know me, you know how passionate I am about my family and pursuing work-life balance. When I set out as a business owner, one thing was important to me: create a business that is centered around a model that will allow time with my family. Quite naturally, this lead to my journey of pursuing an elevated, luxury service, allowing me to capitalize on the income I could make with the time spent in my business.
How does a wedding photographer rise above the average market-price for their service? Is it education? Is it experience? Is it that the photos themselves really are that much better?
The answer is a definitive NO.
And I know this is where I’m going to offend a lot of people (I’m sorry!). So before I continue, let me preface with saying that those things ARE important. Valuable. SO good! But, when it comes to the ability to charge more for your service, I don’t believe for a moment it’s founded on any of those elements.
So, what is it?? What allows some businesses (whether photography or not, I believe this exists across the board!) to charge double, triple, fives times the amount of their average market??!
“But wait Charity, are you really saying that a logo and special fonts and colors are the reason some brands can charge more than others??!”
I’m saying a feeling, a perception, and a curated experience are the reasons brands are able to elevate themselves, stand out, and charge more for their services.
I know because I did it.
4 years ago, I had my first son. I found a price-sheet I had from that time. I was starting at my average market price. I knew, quite suddenly, my time was far more valuable.
So I set out on a journey. I wanted to break into the luxury market.
And then it got really, really rough. True story.
I found myself with no clients. I did’t know it at the time, but I was in the dead zone–the price-point range specific to my market that was too high for the budget-friendly couple and too low to attract a true high-end client. I didn’t have the perception of reaching that client-base, so I didn’t.
So then I got smarter. With the encouragement of peers who had insight into this dilemma, I took a risk and upped my pricing to a starting point that was more comparable to the competition in that price-bracket. And I booked it.
What??! Come on, there had to be more to it??
And yes, there was! I got so intentional, so focused on curating a brand message that would speak to a higher-end client. I curated my work in a way that I knew would speak to them. I rebranded (I found an amazing branding strategist who I could barely afford–I got the bare minimum: a logo, colors, font choices, a business card and stationary–and I nurtured that in a resourceful way to reach the clients I dreamed of working with.
And you know what?? It worked! Within two years, I was booking a starting price-point that was double than what I had started. Once I got out of the dead zone, I could comfortably increase my pricing as my brand and work continued to grow and improve, only giving more authority to the price-point and the service I was offering my clients.
And I did this shooting 10-15 weddings a year for my entire career. Which all goes to show, it’s really not about quantity or 10,000 hours of experience (which, DOES matter! That is valuable! Please, don’t hear me wrong and skip over learning your craft. Read the disclaimer below.) It’s about intentionality. Focus. And working the best possible way with the resources you have.
So, the natural next question is, how do you craft and curate a brand that allows you to not only stand-out from the crowd, but to charge more for it as well? I created something for you friends. “5 tips to Elevate Your Brand Right Now”. Download it HERE OR by clicking the button below!
Disclaimer: I wrote this blog post for the professional photographer who has spent time developing their craft and gaining experience. If you are new, please, go back and invest in your craft. Simply learning a style and skill is foundational to growing a successful business that serves its clients with integrity.