I originally posted this on a private Facebook forum, where it got a lot of discussion — so what do you think?
I've been watching people asking for feedback on their price lists — asking if their pricing should be online, asking if everything should be shown upfront, and these discussions make me think about the real problem with price lists.
The way I see it is, most price lists make it sound like photographers sell USBs full of images, or pieces of paper — even boxes full of pieces of paper — and the problem with that is that paper isn't worth much…
So people think, "That's a lot of money for a piece of paper".
And we all know a USB isn't worth much either.
Here's what I think we need to sell ... FEELINGS, EMOTION, EXPECTATION, DESIRE.
So if you can't put that in your price list, you need to show people. Allow them to see, and feel, what you do.
No one wants to HARD SELL, but what makes people want to BUY photography is feelings like these: "I'm beautiful." "They're beautiful". "He loves me". "They're in love." "I care." "I won't ever forget this." "This is important." "What a day!" "Remember them?"
"Tell my story."
"Make me beautiful."
"Show how much we care."
That's what you do for them.
Helping people experience those feelings is why we get up in the morning. Isn't it?
Kodak didn't sell pieces of paper, they sold memories: "Remember forever."
How you do it is a whole other subject, but if your client isn't emotionally connected to those feelings, if they can't desire what you're offering before they look at your prices they'll never properly value what you do.
The paper / print / frame / album is the chocolate box that helps create desire. It's not what you should be selling though. You need to invest it in those feelings.