It’s 2016, not 1999.
The argument for not displaying prices on your website goes like this:
“I’m an artist, not a number. I don’t want people to focus on my prices, I want them to engage with my images. I know I’m kind of expensive, but I’m worth it. They just need to meet with me and I can wow them enough so that they’ll want me at any price. But if I put my prices on my site, they’ll never call in the first place. Better to leave that information off my site.”
Wow, talk about being detached from reality! Here’s what the potential client is thinking: “Okay, gotta find a photographer for my wedding. I’ll just Google ‘San Francisco wedding photographer.’ OMG, 127,988 results! Okay, I’ll click on this first one and see…”
ONE HOUR LATER…
“Well, I’ve found four photographers that are on my short list. Let’s click on this next photographer, Sally Smith. Wow! Her images look great! How much does she charge? Damn, can’t see any prices! Should I call her? Nah, lunch break is almost over, I’ll just click on the next photographer…”
Humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish.
A 2014 study (sponsored by Microsoft) used electroencephalograms to study the brain activity of 2000 people and concluded that the average human now has an attention span of eight seconds. Compare this to an attention span of 12 seconds in the year 2000 (a 33% decline in 14 years!).
Oh, and the average goldfish has an attention span of nine seconds.
If you don’t list your prices, there is a near zero probability that the potential client is actually going to bother calling/emailing to get the information. It’s simply too much effort when one short swipe of the finger takes them to the next photographer.
Does that mean photographers without prices on their site have zero business? Of course not, but those photographers that still get business without prices are well established with big reputations already. They have enough of a following so that the reputation is enough to get the phone call/email.
Does that describe you? I didn’t think so.
That’s why you need to put prices on your site.
Here’s how to do it:
Those photographers that are afraid of putting prices on their site are correct about one thing: too much pricing information is almost as bad as none at all. If you put an item-by-item, full list of your exact prices, then potential clients might start comparing you line-by-line with other photographers. If that happens, you can never win because there will always be another photographer out there with a better deal.
“These two photographers are pretty close, but Joe Blow Photographer includes a parent album with his packages and Sally Smith doesn’t — let’s go with Joe Blow…”
To prevent that from happening, just give basic starting pricing on your website. Here’s my recommendation:
Include the price for your lowest cost package and a reference point for your more expensive packages. For example:
Wedding packages begin at $2400 for 7 hours of coverage. Album packages begin at $3700. All packages include your high-resolution digital image files.
That’s it. You don’t need anything more.
Just include your session fee and lowest cost print. For example:
The portrait session fee is $250 with products beginning at $50. That’s it.
The benefits of including a pricing page?
You won’t get passed over by viewers frustrated with your lack of pricing information, and…
The inquiries you get will be qualified, which saves you time and results in a higher booking rate. Your time is precious. Why waste it dealing with someone with an $1,800 budget when your starting price is $3,300?
Include a pricing page. Done.
Laurence Kim is a photography business coach, author, and instructor. You can find out more about him and his courses at his portfolio. This article was originally published on Medium and republished with permission.
Want more information on how to price your photography? Find it here.