Stop Making This Mistake When Pricing Your Photography | #42

Mar 25, 2023

Pricing hourly is the wrong way to go about it.

Your time will become directly tied to how much you can make.

If you charge 100 bucks an hour and a typical project takes 10 hours, you’ll make 1000 bucks.

On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with this. If I charge 1000 bucks a project or 100 bucks an hour, it’s all going to even out in the end right? Well not exactly.

Like anything in life, the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it. The more efficient you’ll get at it.

By charging hourly, your time will be directly tied to how much you can make.

Let’s look at two photographers. Photographer A charges 100 bucks an hour. A product photography shoot takes him 10 hours from creative direction to getting the final edits. At the start as a beginner, he’s making 1000 bucks per project.

Photographer B doesn’t have an hourly rate. Instead, he tells clients he charges 1000 bucks a project.

Like photographer A, he’s making 1000 bucks per project. Over time though, both of these photographers are getting better. Photographer A is getting more efficient at how he works, so a few months down the road his projects only take him 5 hours. He’s only making 500 bucks a project now.

Photographer B Also has gotten better and his project also take him 5 hours. But he’s still pulling in 1000 bucks for the same project.

Unlike the photographer that charges hourly, photographer B isn’t getting punished for getting better. Because he’s gotten better and more efficient over time, he’s able to make more money, twice as much as photographer A.

Now you can say that photographer A should just raise his rates. But how are his current clients going to feel when he doubles his rates on them? He can explain his process and how he’s improving so he has to charge for it, but then he’s at a serious risk of losing that client.

Clients don’t care how you get the final assets to them. They just want the result. They’re not paying you for the process. They care about results.

When you decide to charge per project, I recommend you create packages with a set amount of photos/videos/bonuses bundled together at a minimum price point. If you want to make at least $2k for every project, set that as your base package and go up from there.

Use these principles and watch your income skyrocket.

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