How to Create Great Photography Packages
One of the most challenging decisions a professional photographer has to face when they put out their shingle and open up shop is how to create desirable photography packages.
What should you offer your clients so that they will invest in a photography package of your work and what are fair prices? These can be tricky questions when you're first starting out, so let's take a look at some handy tips to help you get started.
We are going on the presumption that you've already thought out your pricing and decided just how much you need to charge to be fair to both yourself and your clients.
Know Your Client Base:
It's critical to know your client base to know what they want, what they like, and what they're willing to pay. Of course, sometimes you might decide to introduce something new and experiment a bit with pricing as well as what you're offering.
How do you get to know what your clients want? Ask them and show them! Sometimes people don't know what they want until they see it. That's why it's always a good idea to have samples of your work and your product offerings when a prospective client is interviewing you or you're doing a reveal of images.
Don't forget to demonstrate various sizes of photos as well. Most people need to see something for themselves to get a full grasp of what its scope.
A la Carte:
A la carte pricing is a way to allow clients to piecemeal their selections into a package. Items and/or sizes are priced individually and, typically, there's no discount offered. However, you could decide to offer a discount if a client reaches a certain price point. It's up to you, but remember not to shortchange your talent and the number of hours you put into your work.
If you are offering a la carte pricing, keep your descriptions clear and straightforward so that people understand exactly what they're buying. If they don't understand, or they feel like there isn't enough transparency in your pricing, they might not order at all or order fewer items than they actually wanted. Most people see value when they feel the pricing is straightforward.
Number of Packages:
How many packages do you want to offer? Two? Three? Is there even a right number you should have? It depends on whom you ask. Generally, people skip the most expensive and the least expensive and look at the middle offerings.
That means you should offer at least one package in the middle of your price points, but you should consider offering at least two middle packages to give them more options in the middle range. Remember that people will use your most expensive and your cheapest to judge the "value" of the other packages.
High & Low:
Set your highest price high enough that it catches the attention of those clients who inevitably want to buy the very best, but not so high they'll scoff - especially when they compare it to your other prices.
You should do the same in reverse for your least expensive packages. Set the price of your cheapest package low enough to attract someone on a budget, but not so low they'll question the quality (and value) of that package - and that you'll lose money on it.
Let's assume you're offering four packages and corresponding price points. For the sake of clarity, let's say your most expensive is Package #1 and the cheapest is #4. The #4 package is the entry point for clients, and it should be the lowest price you can offer while still turning a profit (albeit a smaller profit).
A lot of photographers then identify the package they feel will be the most in demand and price it just slightly above the average of what they need to make per photo session. If that popular package happens to be #3, then it will be close to #4 in price, while still earning you money. That way if someone purchases either of the two cheapest packages you offer, you will make money.
What Packages Offer:
Clearly, your cheapest Package (#4) offers the least, while your most expensive (#1) offers by far the most. Package #4 will be the most basic package containing the minimum amount of work to make it worth your while.
Package #3 would be your second to cheapest package with a small jump in both price and offerings. A client should look at what it offers and see it as a good value for a relatively small increase in price. There should be enough "extras" with package #3 that they will want to make the jump in price.
For package #2, you will once again offer more while increasing the price. The client should take a look at #2, compare it to #3 and feel like they're getting good value for money with what it offers. It's all about perceived value compared to price.
Finally, package #1, your most expensive, should be the granddaddy of them all. It's the deluxe package offering enough that people will want to pay substantially more than Package #4. They should see what's offered and feel like it's worth the investment because it's the best possible package even if it's worth more.
Most experienced photographers will tell you that they didn't get it right the first time. They had to make some adjustments both to what the packages offered and their respective prices. It's pretty typical to need to make adjustments as you get to know your clientele and their expectations.
It's no different than needing to change the products you offer as clients' tastes or purchasing habits change with time. The key is to be ready and willing to make the necessary changes to keep clients engaged and satisfied while still being able to earn of living off of what you charge!