This is part two in a three-part series of how to find clients in your new business. Click to read part one.
Before you can call your guinea pigs, there is something very important we need to talk about.
It’s the elephant in the room.
One that can squash your guinea pigs/new clients before you even get started.
We need to talk about photo organizing pricing: introductory vs. regular.
Now is a very good time to figure out your photo organizing pricing strategy. Step 1: use the Income Calculator. This is often the first obstacle that shows itself in new business. You know that you want to charge. You know what you dream of earning in your new business. But…
…what if people won’t pay.
…or what if you’re not worth it.
…what if they find someone who charges less?
A whole lot of “buts” get in the way of determining your photo organizing pricing. Your goal should be to provide extraordinary service to every client. That has nothing to do with most or least expensive. It has to do with quality service.
Making money is necessary. You need to price your services competitively in the market you live in. Billing for your expenses AND your time is mandatory.
That’s where the guinea pig strategy comes in. It’s your beta test to help you figure out your pricing. It’s also the best opportunity to communicate what your prices will be. And what your introductory prices are for your guinea pigs. It’s the perfect time to give these special pigs an extra deal!
Your introductory rate could be 20% off your regular rates. Plus your cost of any supplies and materials.
Or you could offer to let them pay whatever they could afford. Not recommended
Or you could tell them they can wait until you are finished. And then pay you whatever they think your services were worth. Definitely not recommended
Or it could be free. Noooooooo
The point here is to customize your introductory offer based on regular rates that you say out loud. The guinea pigs need to know the value of your services with a dollar amount from the very beginning.
It could be a package of 10 hours at $50 per hour which is $500. When people buy a package or block of time from you, they get 20% off which means the package will be $400.
You ultimately decide on the introductory pricing based on your relationship.
Here’s some sample dialogue:
You know the new business I just started? I need a few guinea pigs to help me in this start-up phase. While I know my rates will be competitive and fair, right now I want to work out my systems with people I know, like you! Will you help me?
Now, stop and listen. Watch their body language. Don’t overwhelm them. Answer their questions. Assure them that you will keep things simple throughout the process.
“I’m so excited you are going to let me work on your ________ (fill in blank with project related to your services.) For you, I’ll do this at an introductory rate of ________.”
Once they say YES, what’s next?
Schedule a specific time for the next step. You have your calendar in front of you, right?
Here’s the conversation when setting up your first appointment:
“Let’s schedule the first step right now. What’s a good day when I can come over and get all your pictures in one big box/off your computer/from the wedding? I’ll sort them organize them and then make a couple of surprises for you. Promise it won’t be hard and you will LOVE the end result.”
If your guinea pig has control issues, then change the conversation to this:
“I’ll come over, sit beside you and walk you through each step. I’ll help you make decisions about the pile/the box/what’s on your computer.”
Be sure to set some urgency to start working immediately. You are not offering for them to be a guinea pig in 6 months or a year. You need their help right now.
“I need to do it in the next week or so. Once I get the business going, I won’t have the time to help my relatives/friends. Take advantage of me now! If you can’t, then I’ll ask someone else. But I’d rather do it with you. I’m only doing this with 3 people so I can do all my research and create the best packages for new customers.”
Next week you will be ready to put all this into action. Stay tuned.