The pricing formula isn’t a deep dive into what you should charge for your collections, a la carte menus or products, but there is a free resource available for you here. The pricing formula is more of a general guidepost for income goals, boundaries around frequency of shoots. If you need a deeper dive into your cost of doing business and specifics to your business you will find your invitation to the Pricing Made Easy One Day Workshop here. It’s time to get intentional about how frequently you shoot, how much you want to make and the steps you’ll need to get there.
Does it ever feel like you are just working for pennies? Maybe after you price yourself and you feel confident in it you realize it’s not enough? As creative entrepreneurs sometimes we focus on the actual time shooting and forget all the other things involved that take up your precious time. Self awareness on where you are with your income and expenses is a great place to start. If you notice you spent too much time on that one session, communicating with my clients and shooting the session, deciding where to go do all things, editing, presenting all the things then you’ll know what needs to change. Good news, you don’t have to work for minimum wage.. I mean you are your own boss remember?
Just because you like what you do and are grateful to do something creative doesn’t mean you have to work for pennies. Maybe it’s time to stop and ask yourself, what do I actually have to show for it? Did I actually make any money after I count for what I’m going to have to pay in taxes? Did I factor in the overhead costs that I have? Is this worth my time, really? And truly, well, if you have asked yourself that and you suspect that maybe you have not priced yourself right and need this pricing formula.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been doing this a long time and just looking to refine your systems, make more money and save time or if you are a beginner. In the beginning there is definitely an element of hustle as you are working to make a name for yourself and you put your name out into the world and get people to know you and your work and recognize it. You can use this pricing formula no matter which stage of your business you are. You’re still going to want to make sure that you’re not doing this thing for pennies.
You are in control of the direction of your photography business and what it looks like. You’re taking time away from your family and you want to make sure that it is worth it. We’re in the fourth quarter and you really need to do this at the end of every year or at the very beginning, like in the very beginning of slow season, right after Christmas.
Analyzing and evaluating how fall went will help inform what needs to change. Were you busy enough? Were you too busy? Was fall super successful or are you exhausted and have no money to show for it? Come back to this every single year so that you can, you can know what changed.
What changes in your family or business or even your health do you need to account for? We are not just photographers, but we are moms, wives, friends and daughters. It’s time to plan your pricing in a way that leaves you excited to work with clients rather than feeling dread and mom guilt. We do a lot! It is time to decide our non negotiables and prioritize what matters to us.
Step 1.) You need to track your time so you can allocated your time and our energy for it and know how much you need. Get a blank calendar. If you downloaded the workbook mentioned above, then you’ll have one right here that you can fill out. But I want you to just take a look and think for a second about what your ideal month would look like.
This time inventory is going to let you know how much time you have left for your business after showing up to your family and yourself in a way that you desire. No more leaving yourself and your family with the leftovers! Use the calendar to create realistic and attainable goals for your time and when you will shoot, edit, meet with clients and do back office tasks. Take into account the time that you need to care for your family, your children, your spouse, your home, contribute to your community, maybe your church.
It can be tempting to keep adding sessions and money and forget the fun. Did you get to attend a pumpkin patch with your family and be present and not stressed at all you have to do? Add in what you want to do in that season and don’t forget about your hobbies. What do you want to do? What would your most desirable calendar look like in a month or your schedule? How would it look like? What would you be doing in it? When would you be doing it?
How many sessions are you currently shooting and how do you feel? Maybe you are able to have the amount of time to do 4-5 sessions, but you are losing sleep and feeling burned out? Decide how many sessions you can do and think of the other responsibilities and the things that you have in your life. Now, these are all the things that you want to know for your own self. Okay. So first of all, know how many sessions you can shoot in a month or on a weekly basis, or however you want to do that. Write down that number.
How much do you want to make? This is gross profit before expenses before taxes. Write down that number. Next, add 25% because that’s what you’re going to, you’re going to allocate for your taxes because you’ve got to pay income taxes. let’s just get that round number and write it down.
What do you want? What’s your audacious goal. Okay. And then add 25% next. I want you to divide that figure by the number of 12, obviously it’s 12 months and then also by 52 weeks. And then finally, how many sessions can you shoot in the week? So you’ve got your yearly income goal is X amount of dollars.
Your monthly income goal is X amount dollars. This shakes down to what your weekly income goal is now divided by the maximum number of sessions that you can. So what does that 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, like how many sessions can you shoot without burnout?
You are in charge of what you make and when you work. Decide how you want your business to fit into your life while prioritizing what is important to you. Write down how much you want to make, add 25% for taxes and then account for expenses. You can do a specific CODB activity in the Pricing Made Easy Workbook or for now estimate at 30%. How much do you need to make per shoot while figuring out this pricing formula?
Now that you have how much you need to make per session you can divide it by 52 to get your weekly revenue goal. You can even divide this by 7 and get a daily goal if that is helpful for you. If this sounds at all confusing be sure to download the free workbook. Stop throwing spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks and figure out how much you need to make in order to live the life you want and have the time you need. Pricing doesn’t have to be a number picked out of the dark, or based off the photographers in your town. Those photographers don’t pay your bills and you don’t know their stories. You don’t know if they are paying their taxes, providing the amazing experience that you are or any of that. Be realistic with your numbers, but decide them without looking at others.
If you need a mentor to guide you through this IPS journey and finally make more while working less then send in your application for the January mentorship. The mentorship will start January 12th and walk you the entire process. You can apply for the mentorship here.