How to Charge More as a Photographer when you Live in a Small Town
Ahh...the I LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN excuse. I hear this one ALL the time.
"How can I charge that, I live in a small town!"
"No one around here will pay that!"
"I just don't live in a location where people have that kind of money, I can't even imagine what all of the other photographers would say about me if I charged that!"
I get it. You live in a small town, lower income, middle of nowhere, or insert whatever reasoning here. No one else in your town is charging that much. People EXPECT things to be cheaper here. So HOW could you possibly increase pricing in that situation?
Every time I am asked this question, or given these excuses, my response back is always the same...
, ‘who the hell said you have to sell to your community?
Who said you have to have clients:
- On your block
- Who go to your church
- Within a 10 mile radius of your house
Ready to be liberated? You are not stuck within ANY type of location community. Who said that your market’s location has to be YOUR location?
Here comes the mic drop moment that is so duh you'll wonder why you didn't think of it:
Your market isn’t where YOU live, it’s where your CLIENTS live.
We get stuck in these boxes and containers of thinking we are stuck marketing and working with those who live by us. But, the beauty of our industry, and the internet let's be honest...is we are not trees. We can go somewhere else to work!
For example, allow me to share my own situation: I live in a city with a median income of less than 50k. Not many people searching for the niche, high end portrait services that I offer. So, rather than try and sling business cards at my son's baseball games (where no one would ever book and also might be confused as to why I'm tossing business cards through the air) I branded and began marketing myself to a larger, wealthier city about an hour from where I actually live. My current studio, is about 45 minutes from my home, in a more affluent area.
So, let me say it again: Where I AM, doesn't have to be WHERE my clients are. And for many of us, where we are and where are clients are (living wise) are NOT going to be the same. That is okay.
So, how do you get started on doing this for yourself?
- Figure out WHO your people are - I teach this extensively in my online business course for photographers. Learning who your customer is, in and out, how they think, where they live, and what pain points are going to attract them, is key.
- Figure out WHERE THEY ARE - Once you know WHO they are, now it's time to figure out WHERE they are. Then you can begin to use things like SEO on your website, blog, and social media to attract those dream clients in the areas they are.
- Make yourself open and available so that those people can find YOU - My BIGGEST marketing line I love to say to the gals I coach and work with is, don't try and FIND more clients, make yourself available for those RIGHT CLIENTS to FIND you!
When you realize that you CAN go beyond your county lines (or whatever) you'll see an entire world open up filled with potential kickass clients.
Here’s the thing: When you offer a unique service, when you know how to market, when you know how to sell, make connections, and deliver something AMAZING, they will come. I promise you.