Ladies, sit down.
I canít tell you how many photographers Iíve had ask me if they should raise their rates (and itís not my gentlemen clients asking me for this permission.)
Iím afraid to ask for more.
I donít want to upset my existing clients.
What if they say no?
I donít want to miss out on an opportunity.
These are all valid concerns. We all have them. In fact, this is something Iíve been working through in my own business. Last fall I did an audit of how much time I was actually spending on my clients and it was about double what I was charging for. I raised my rates because I realized that I was giving my clients twice as much value and twice as much time as I had estimated when I originally priced my services.
Do you know what the response was?
ďYeah, I was wondering why you were so inexpensive.Ē
Whenever I have a meeting with a client there is prep time and post time. There is time I put in to emailing, coordinating, scheduling, going back into the notes from our last meeting, looking at their new work. And after our meeting, making notes, updating our shared documents, sending recap emails and next steps, and sometimes sending really cute, encouraging postcards.
I imagine a lot of that sounds familiar. Are you nodding your head?
I actually love all of this peripheral labor. It makes me a better consultant, and Iím going it charge for it. I know I am creating value and Iím not going to apologize for value, so Iím not going to apologize for asking for that money, honey! And neither are you.
I want you to take audit of everything you are doing for your clients and assignments. How much time goes in to planning, emailing, phone calls, pitches, paying your makeup artist, retouching photos? Think about the time that went into creating the promos that got you the job in the first place, the student loans youíre paying off, the coffee thatís keeping you going, your internet bill. Tally it up, sister, you are working hard.
Raising your rates does not mean you are greedy. Raising your rates tells people that your value has increased. Raising your rates means that you are leveling up. Your clients are going to want to be a part of that and if they donít, they are not evolving at the rate that you are, and maybe itís time to find clients with bigger budgets.
You do not have to apologize or even explain to your clients when your rates go up, it should be obvious. (Also, please stop explaining yourself in general, itís an unnecessary waste of time that dilutes confidence.)
Know your value. Charge for it.
If there is a job that you really donít want to miss out on, tell (and show) your client precisely why you will make it worth every cent that they put in to you. Let them know that the return on investment is going to blow their minds.
I sent this note to a client last week:
Your manifestation powers are waiting for you to release your resistance.
When we let go of those tiny things (and tiny jobs) that we are clutching so tightly to, our arms can swing wide open and make room for us to catch something really big.