Pricing is a hot topic in EVERY service industry. Pricing photo organizing services, especially if you have never billed for your time, is a tough subject for many people.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind as you develop your profitable photo organizing pricing strategy:
#1 Get out of your own head
We all have a “money story”. My mom is thrifty, my dad is not. I’m in the middle. I’ll be honest, I would not pay the rate I charge for someone to organize my photos, however, I would pay for someone (and I did when the kids were growing up) to clean my house. It’s how we value the service and our time that makes us willing to spend money. This is likely the mindset of your ideal client too. Put aside your belief about how you would spend your hard-earned money (this is NOT about you) and instead focus on the value of the service you are offering to your ideal client.
#2 Build in a Buffer
Build-in extra time for unforeseen problems when working on a project. It’s the “Murphy’s Law” of billable time. It is far easier to go back to the client and tell them it didn’t take as long as you had anticipated, rather than having to attempt to bill them for additional time because you underbid the project.
#3 Track the time you “give away”
This is normal when you are in a learning curve acquiring new skills. This time you “give away”, however, is time you are tracking it’s not something you tell the client. Let me clarify. If you are taking on a project of scanning scrapbook pages (for the first time) and you are not certain of the best workflow; the time to document & finetune your process is on you. You do not bill the client for that nor do you discount your rate. If I am working on a project that requires me to refresh my skills that’s on me. It’s so I can be more efficient with the client’s work.
#4 Have confidence in yourself
Being upfront with your sessions/hours/package time puts your client at ease. Don’t talk in circles or sound wishy-washy. If they want you to give them a quote over the phone based on the number of printed or digital photos – tell them “that’s not how I work”. You have already gone down that path of underquoting and over-delivering…it’s time to change the way you value your time and expertise! Saying “no” to the wrong client opens up a lot more opportunity to say “yes” to your ideal client.
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3 thoughts on “4 Tips on Pricing Photo Organizing Services”
I bill on an hourly rate. My rate is published on my website, and I have a sliding scale for 4 hrs, 10 hrs & 25+hrs.
I’ve had potential clients call asking for an estimate. I’m hesitant to do that because their description of their photo collection, and what I see when I get to their homes are sometimes two different things.
Do you have guidance or words I could use to either get a better description, without sounding intrusive, or to convey what I do and why it’s worth it?
Great question Amira and I love how you really already answered it. Have you said to them (in the most delightful way), “the description of your photo collection, and what I see when I get to your home are often two different things.” Most people find this humorous and totally acknowledge it. It gives you room to have a more candid conversation about pricing. And if they don’t budge and want a quote it’s likely not your ideal client.
Here is another thought: By having a sliding scale I think you are opening up that question. What would it feel like if you just had one rate – $75 an hour with a minimum of 4 hours? I’m not saying that question would go away, it’s just that now you might eliminate the idea of estimation because you have one rate versus three rates.
With that said, it doesn’t mean a client will never ask that question – or a similar one. For example, I picked up some additional photo boxes from a client I have been working with for a few months and she asked me “how long do you think that will take” I said, “let’s start with 4 1/2 day sessions and I’ll keep you informed of my progress.” And she said, “Sounds good!” No one said you have to answer the question with exactness. If you do have an inquiry and you shift to one rate you can say, “I’m not sure, let’s start with 8 hours and I’ll focus my time on your top priorities and we’ll see how far I get.”
Does this help?
Yes! That helps a lot!
Thanks for your quick response
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