We’ve heard it time and time again. The majority of photographers that come to us in need of a rebrand tell us that they want their new brand to attract higher-paying clients because they’re tired of the bargain shoppers. You know the ones, they message you on Facebook and ask how much you charge. Or maybe they inquire through your website but once you follow up they ghost you because you’re out of their budget. Why does this happen over and over to photographers, no matter how beautiful and professional their work is?!
(Not sure WTF branding is? Download our free guide for photographers here!)
Here are some questions to ask yourself when approaching how to reasons your brand may be attracting bargain shoppers (+ ways to start attracting those high-end clients instead!)
We’re just gonna say it. If you’re offering your photography services for a wide range of clients like weddings, families, newborns, maternity, pets, corporate events (or any unlikely combination of those), you’re likely deterring your ideal client.
Picture this: let’s say your dream client is a high-end, classy bride, who is planning a really traditional and beautiful wedding. There are plenty of her out there. But if she’s searching for her dream photographer and she sees maternity and newborn photos on the same website as wedding photos, she’s not going to resonate with that. It’s too soon for her to see babies! She wants to see gorgeous, emotional wedding photos. She wants to read website copy that speaks to her EXACT situation and the needs + struggles that come along with it.
So, long story short,, if you haven’t niched down your services, now’s the time to start thinking about it! The more specific your brand’s specialty is, the more often you’ll attract your dream clients. Not to mention, really niching down gives you the opportunity to raise your prices, too! Bye-bye bargain hunters!
This goes hand-in-hand with #1. Once you’ve really honed in on what specific type of client you’re going to serve, it’s important to make sure that this is clear across the board. While messaging is super important, we want to focus on talking about your aesthetics here, because that’s what’s instantly going to gain attention (and then the messaging follows suit).
Let’s use the same example as before. Remember that classy, traditional bride we dreamed up in our minds? What descriptive words would you associate with the experience she’s looking for in a wedding photographer? We’re thinking something like: upscale, classic, attention-to-detail, personalized, luxury, and chic.
Do this exercise with your ideal client in mind; what descriptive words would you use for the type of experience they’re looking for (i.e. the type of experience you want to provide)? Then ask yourself if your brand aesthetics + website align with these words.
If you’re feeling a little stuck, here’s another way to test that out: Share your site with some close friends, business connections, or even in a Facebook Group that you trust. Ask people to tell you what words they would associate with the look and feel of your brand + website. Get them to share some descriptive words; the emotions they feel associated with your brand’s aesthetic. Do those align with the feelings you WANT your brand to communicate?
If not, you may want to consider it.
By giving a peek at your price range, you can start to weed out some of the clients who are only looking for the least expensive option. We typically recommend adding these details to an “Experience” page of sorts, so that you can lead into the pricing by first showing off your process and your unique client experience. Warm things up by communicating to potential clients what is so special about working with you, then show them the nitty gritty details like those “starting at” prices.
You can also add your prices again within your contact form. On your website, you likely have a form for clients to use when inquiring with you. We recommend customizing this form so that you can get all the necessary information from your potential clients, but this is also an opportunity to remind them of what they’re inquiring for. (Especially if they happened to skip over the investment section of you site, which is sadly quite common!)
Try adding a required question to the form that asks what package or service they are inquiring about. Then include a dropdown menu of options with your service offerings and their starting at prices. While this won’t work for everyone (we still get questions about our pricing after potential clients select the specifically priced packages when reaching out!) BUT it does definitely help decrease the amount of bargain hunters in your inbox. Little wins anywhere we can get them, right?! 😉
If you’re still stuck and trying to figure out why the bargain hunters are coming to you, reach out to us and book a brand and website audit! We would love to help you get those dream clients booking you at the prices you deserve!
And within a month I had already booked 5 weddings. (I had ONE wedding the year before....one!) Based on my success since then, I could ultimately see my business double in bookings again this year. It's been amazing!!"
- Christy McKee - Wedding Photographer