Let me guess, you’ve probably gotten an inquiry before with them saying “We’re just price shopping” or “Just curious about your pricing”.
And although that is totally normal in a service based business and you’ll never get rid of that 100% completely, there are ways to flip your brand around to be a service that people come running to without question want you hands down no matter what. And I’m going to tell you how right now.
Are you attracting price shoppers?
Today’s topic is a favorite of mine (do I say that every post?).
Only because it happens to EVERYONE in the service based business industry. People want to know the value of the service they are receiving, and we as photographers or service-based entrepreneurs are no different.
BUT the difference that we’re going to talk about in today’s post is that there IS a way to help decrease the amount of price shoppers you receive.
Making you a high in-demand service that people come running to without question.
I reflected back and thought about what my biggest shifts were as this happened for me. And although I have an entire free training that goes more in depth on exactly How To Attract A Flood Of Hot Inquiries Willing To Pay Premium Prices So That You Can Book Your Highest Paying Weddings (Without Working 24/7) and so that you can Stop attracting Ghosters & Penny-Pinchers, and learn my proven Elevate & Accelerate™ method to consistently convert leads into premium paying clients… I’m still going to cover some things that I didn’t have time to cover in that training – lucky you!!
1. Set boundaries to be respected
Setting boundaries in both your personal life and business is crucial for your success and sanity as an entrepreneur. Your mind is already racing in a hundred different directions and you’re attempting to wear all the hats.. so why allow things to happen that are outside of the boundaries you set for yourself?
Because what you allow is what you attract in your life. Not only boundaries for your clients and potential clients, but for you as well! Boundaries are personally what keep me sane.
They’re like making promises to yourself that only you can either keep or break – and when you break them for yourself, you break your trust with yourself too.
I personally NEED boundaries in my life. For myself, my sanity, my marriage, my family, my business, everything. And things have changed for me since becoming a mom.
Whereas before having Hazel I would shut down work hard at 5 when Trent got home most nights, but now, if I need an hour to work in the evenings because I’ve been with Hazel all day, Trent is so helpful with helping me make that happen.
So my times with my workday has changed a little bit, but what hasn’t changed is my ability to know when to shut it down. I never push myself to do things when I’m not feeling like doing them.
I respect and allow myself to either work or rest when I need to, and listen intuitively for what’s needed. But if you’re wondering how the heck you can set boundaries for yourself, here are some ideas:
This is a big one for me, and is also done in several different ways. First is HOW do you want your clients and potential clients to be communicating with you? Once you figure that out, it’s up to you to clearly communicate and set that expectation with them.
For example, I personally do not text or message my clients – I only communicate about their project specifically through email.
I’ve learned from past mistakes, and have walked many students through the same mistake as well. Take it from us!!!
You can still give your clients a good and personalized experience without texting and messaging them! And then once you figure out how you want to communicate with them, you need to set boundaries on when as well.
Because if you feel like you need to respond to everyone the second they email you, you are going to quickly run yourself to the ground my friend. Trust me, I’ve learned by experience of doing that myself.
And this is exactly why I don’t text my clients about work specifically:
- I will read it and not respond, or it will go unread because I’m waiting until I have the capacity to respond and then just forget
- So I can be more organized and keep all form of communication in one place (I prefer email)
But the more clear you can be around the communication expectations, the better experience you’re going to be providing to your clients, and the more organized and sane you will be because of it!
Along with communication expectations comes having set office hours. Like i said before, do what works for you depending on what season of life you’re in right now.
The most important thing is to make sure you’re doing it at a time that fills you and inspires you to connect and doesn’t feel draining.
If it feels too draining, cut your time in half by checking email twice a day instead of tackling it all at once, or checking it every other day, etc.
You set the rules of your own business, so do what feels right for you in the least draining way.
Keeping your schedule promises to yourself
Both when you’re working and also when you’re taking days off too! But sometimes, if it’s set on my calendar, that is what I’m doing.
So if you are struggling to stick to a boundary or promise you’ve made for yourself, try putting it on your calendar as a blocked time. That way you are more likely or willing to actually do it and keep that promise to yourself.
And when you have promised that task or time to yourself, keep that promise with yourself and actually do it. Set the boundary of not breaking promises to yourself.
This will allow you to build trust with yourself and help you create that boundary.
The last boundary you can set is the type of service you do
It’s common when you’re just starting out in your business or you’re in a season of pivoting that you’re trying to figure out what services you want to offer. But once you figure that out – it’s okay to stick to it to set boundaries around your business.
If you want to photograph elopements – YOU DON’T HAVE TO BOOK FAMILY OR NEWBORN SESSIONS!!
Set the boundary around what you photograph if you’re a photographer OR just set the boundaries around what your services are in your business and also who you serve and how you serve them.
It’s okay to say no. Because when you say no, you’re actually saying yes to something that is more aligned with you and will actually make an impact and propel your business in the direction you intended to take it
2. Open your mind to price shoppers
I always love talking about this one because I think so many photographers get so caught up in thinking their “ideal clients” are only clients who can afford them. Which in my opinion, is just not always right.
Unpopular opinion… but listen, not every single person that lands in your inbox is going to be OBSESSED with you and be GUSHING over your work.
I mean, that always is a nice thing, and can be your goal to achieve that by the way you present yourself online, but it just doesn’t ALWAYS happen. And when that doesn’t happen, that doesn’t mean that they’re not your ideal clients.
When I hear photographers talk about their ideal client (or any other entrenrepuer for that matter) I see a common answer – and that is: “Someone who is willing to pay what I charge”.
And I just think we can be better than that!! We can dig so much deeper than just thinking our ideal clients are someone who will pay what we charge.
It’s on you!
Because in all honesty, it’s OUR job to communicate the value of our brand to our audience, so if you continue to only attract people who are price shopping or have budgets that are nowhere near what you’d like to charge… that is on you my friend.
And I mean that in the nicest way possible of course (because you will get positive encouragement AND little tough love around this blog!) but it’s only because I love ya and want the best for you.
But if you get an inquiry where they selected “Just price shopping” on your contact form instead of “We want you!” that shouldn’t mean that they’re not your ideal clients.
(If you want more ways to have an optimized contact form, listen back to episode #6)
In fact, I personally LOVE when I get inquiries like that because it challenges me and allows me to step into my power of educating and communicating the value of my services and what I can provide and offer to people, and really showcase how I can serve them.
It allows us the opportunity to REALLY connect 1:1 to get to know each other more deeply rather than if someone can in and just said “Yup, we want you, send over the contract!”
When I have someone who is “price shopping” it allows me to go through my initial inquiry process fully so I can give them the full experience which I’ve worked so hard to set up in an effective way on the back end, and I know that they are going through the steps I intended them to.
That way, I know exactly how their experience is going to look from me and I know It’ll be done right in a very connective way.
What this looks like for people who are just price shopping, is:
- Really customizing that response back to them from their initial inquiry
And I mean picking up on maybe their love language, their basic human need, whether they’re right or left brained thinkers, etc. anything you can pick up on from the initial inquiry – take that and apply it to the response.
- With one main point of 2: Getting them on the phone
The phone call is where all the connection magic happens.
(grab my free phone call outline if doing phone calls intimidate you or you don’t feel they are your strongest sales converter yet)
Once I’ve connected with them in the initial inquiry email, then on the phone, then the magic follow up workflow, that’s when the decision happens if it hasn’t already if they will book with you or not.
And by this time with the specific process I use, they will have plenty of time to learn about the value of the service that you provide and will be dying to book with you! But my main point in all of this is:
Let’s shift and re-think our mindset around getting inquiries where they are “unsure” or “just price shopping” at the moment.
It’s not their job to be obsessed with everything you do – in fact, you should never expect that.
That’s not the point. The point is to love, connect, and serve your clients – and also educate them on the value of what they will get from their experience working with you.
So take that as an opportunity to connect and serve them rather than be annoyed. I promise you that is a way better approach!
3. Create a brand that brings in premium clients
It may sound simple and straightforward right? But are you doing it?
Most people THINK that’s what they’re doing, when in reality, their website, social media, portfolio, messaging and copy-write, client experience, and branding don’t actually match and communicate that.
When you’re doing all of these things right, it should be clearly communicated without question who you serve and that you serve clients who value what you have to offer.
Now I also think it’s important to note that just because someone can’t afford your services, that doesn’t make them someone who isn’t worthy of what you have to offer. It is so much more than that.
It really comes down to if your values both align and if you can both make it work within your means. Now I’m ALSO not saying that you should depreciate yourself and services, but there are ways around this if they are truly aligned dream clients.
That’s why I love creating and offering custom proposals where I see fit. I actually try to make custom proposals as much as possible only because no two weddings are the same.
I help all my students walk through the art of crafting a compelling custom proposal and the power behind what that can do. And not only me, but they are all also able to land the bookings and more times than not, book their highest paying package.
This is a major trend I see with all of my students and we all happy dance together when they get to book and serve aligned dream clients! But to circle back to branding – I truly love all things branding.
If you’re a regular listener or are familiar with my content, you know I love the business side of things around here.. but I also think your brand is equally as important as your business.
I’m not saying that you should go get an entire re-branding done before knowing how to run the backend of your business. But I am saying that the two together are the true powerhouse of what brings it all together and that’s where the magic happens!
A way to help you stop attracting price shoppers is having prices on your website.
Now, I know I’ve said in the past to not have your prices on your website. But if I wasn’t clear then, I’ll say it again. THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG WAY to go about this!! There are tons of pros and cons. Both having your prices on your website and not having your prices on your website. No right or wrong way – just to be clear.
But if you want to stop attracting people who are just price shopping – you might want to try and have your prices on your site IF you are someone who has pretty straightforward prices.
Otherwise if you’re someone like me where your prices fluctuate or you do a lot of custom proposals, having your prices on your site might actually hurt you or prevent dream clients from inquiring with you.
Fun fact story: I had my highest paying elopement from an inquiry that was way under my pricing budget when they first inquired. But it was so aligned, I went through my specific tried and true initial inquiry process. And I ended up booking them at the highest paying wedding I’ve ever booked up until that point.
So yes, it does work when you shift and focus on connecting and serving when you see fit.
Either way is perfectly fine! But it might be worth running a trial and error to see what works best for YOU. Entrepreneurship is not a one size fits all, and this is no exception to that rule.
Well friends, I hope you enjoyed this post and that it has left you inspired to re-think the way you are approaching your business in terms of attracting and handling price shoppers!
Be sure to check out more Gold Biz Podcast episodes here!