As a fellow creative and business owner myself, I know it can be so hard and even uncomfortable to navigate how to price your creative services. When should you increase them? How should you do it? And what happens if a client doesn’t want to pay the increase!?
I can tell you that most of us, myself included, tend to err on the side of not charging enough, and I think it’s time to charge what we’re worth (or at least enough to make a good living, right??).
Maybe it’s the fear of losing the sale or the project. Or perhaps we don’t really know how much we are spending on projects to know how to accurately price them. Or maybe we are dealing with impostor syndrome — been there.
No need to stress…I’ve been through this before and have some simple tips to help you raise your photography, videography, and/or content creation prices!
Before you increase your prices all willy-nilly, you need to figure out how much it costs you to produce your product or work. Once you have that number, then you want to add profit to it!
Start with your fixed costs (things like studio space, phone, etc.) and add your variable costs to that number (props, models, etc.). Divide your total in fixed costs by the number of shoots or projects per year you’d like to do. Add this new number to your total in variable costs.
Finally, calculate your profit. You’ll want to take what you make (revenue) and subtract your fixed and variable costs. What’s left is your profit, aka what you can pay yourself and invest in your business. If you divide your costs by your overall revenue, you’ll also get your profit margin.
The goal is to have a 30% to 50% profit margin. You may look at your number and realize you are already pricing yourself way too low! Let your profit margin guide you on increasing your rates. What would you have to make to have a 30 to 50% profit margin?
Make that your new price, whether it’s for new clients who will be onboarded in the future or for current clients who will need a contracted price increase.
Everything goes up
Did you know that the world inflation rate increases by about 3% every year? So, if you have never increased your prices over the years, you have been losing money! Just like the price of gas, milk, and other commodities, brands and businesses expect the cost of services provided to go up as well.
If you’re a sole proprietor or LLC, you’ll also want to increase your rates to accommodate for your own cost of living!
How to sell your price increase
Worried about telling current clients about your price increase? Not sure new potential clients will want to pay your new rate? Focus on the value of what you’re offering and find new ways to sell your services.
Think about offering tiered packages at different price points. Your least expensive package can offer clients the “basics” and higher priced packages can solve multiple problems for your customer with lots more added value.
With a variety of package options, you can be sure to hit multiple price points for what your client is looking to invest — and keep current clients happy.
Build your brand
As your reputation and brand grows, you will be able to charge more for your products and services. Here at LISH Creative, the rates we started at are not the same as what we charge now. We have done the work and helped big-name brands with their photography and videography, so we can confidently charge our rates.
At the end of the day, you want your results and services to speak for themselves! Your reputation is part of your brand, but there are other ways to build trust and authority in your space.
You might want to focus on growing your social media presence, creating resources that showcase your expertise, or even speaking at summits and events that are relevant to your work. Over time, your brand will attract people to your services without you need to hustle or sell your packages at a discount. Just keep doing great work and putting your name out there!
(Oh, and don’t forget to be consistent with your branding! You want people to know that you understand the value of branding.)
Sell your services as the solution
People pay for solutions. When you increase your rates, you can let people know that you are offering the solution — be specific! Let people know that you’re increasing your rates because you’ve grown your team so you can take on more work. Let them know that you’ve invested in your skills and now you’re offering something new, like YouTube video ads for example.
And when you’re using your new prices with a new potential client, make sure that you make your solutions very clear. They might need help growing their social media engagement, so let them know how your packages and pricing help get them those results (i.e. your equipment, your planning process, your creative design, etc.). Show your customers how you can help deliver the solution, and they will trust you as the expert!
I also recommend letting new and current clients know how you’ve invested in your skills, team, and services. This shows them that you’re continually working hard to serve them more, and they’ll be at the cutting edge of new trends and strategies. That’s worth every penny!
Get clear on your pricing
As creatives, we sometimes try to avoid the numbers. That changes now. I want to help you confidently increase your photography, videography, and/or content creation prices! That’s why we created Slay the Flatlay, the course that has everything you need to improve your:
- ⭐️ Content planning
- ⭐️ Concept development
- ⭐️ Shoot planning
- ⭐️ Prop sourcing
- ⭐️ Camera settings
- ⭐️ Lighting
- ⭐️ Stop-motion basics
- ⭐️ Pricing
- ⭐️ … and more!
As an added bonus, Slay the Flatlay also includes a plug-and-play spreadsheet to calculate your fixed and variable business costs to effectively price your services and to ensure a profitable business.
Want to increase your prices confidently? It starts with Slay the Flatlay!