If you raise prices and the phone stops working…

It’s a video blog post! I received an email recently and as I read the question I could just feel this universal heartache. She was not alone, so many, to many have felt these same worries. What happens when you raise prices and your phone stops ringing. Did you go to far, will it ever ring again, do your past clients hate you? And how to you get the phone to start ringing again?

 

What did you think of the video blog post? I’d love to hear you thoughts, so take a moment and leave a comment. And… The new free download will be available on the Facebook page this week! So keep checking the wall!Β 

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  1. Julie says:

    Love the video. Also love the chair. Is unsqueakified a word? ;p

  2. Great post, and wonderful timing! This is been a huge topic of discussion lately for several photographers I know. Thank you so much, again, for another wonderful response to the difficult questions!

  3. I love having the post in video form! I raised my prices for weddings this past summer and ended up with very few weddings and lots of people turning me down. πŸ™ But I’m hoping next summer will be much better!

    • I’m hoping for you too! One of the big things I feel that a lot of people don’t consider is that with your new prices you may also have to start looking for clients in new PLACES! This is because your demographic has changed. For example if a photographer is on the low low end of the spectrum then Craigslist may have been a good place to get booking because like minded budget people were looking there. But people with a moderate or high budget won’t be looking on CL so suddenly the photog raises prices and can’t get any nibbles. When the real issue isn’t WHAT they charge but WHERE they are trying to drop their line. …How on Earth did this turn into a fishing metaphor??

  4. Thank you Leah, you’re amazing and it’s great to hear you on video every once in a while – you have such an uplifting voice and postive message. It IS a scary step, thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚

    • Wow! You made my day! I consider my voice to be one of the most annoying I’ve ever heard and I feel bad to subject you all to it. I should move to Australia or New Zealand or even London, that would make it so much more tolerable!! You made me smile!! Thank you for that!

  5. Erika C. says:

    Thank you! I’m getting ready to raise prices (by getting ready, I mean January!) and am absolutely TERRIFIED that my phone and emails would just completely stop… I appreciate the post. Can’t wait to see what the freebie on facebook is! πŸ™‚

    • Good for you Erika!! That it awesome! It’s the slow (i.e. dead season) anyway but prepare yourself. It will take a while to get the ball in motion again. But it WILL happen, just keep pushing forward!

  6. Wendy carter says:

    Hi Leah,
    You mentioned going out and just getting new clients. That is such a hard thing to do. Could you suggest some marketing strategies that have worked for you or that you have heard of others using?

    • I have great news! That is something that I have down to science (no really!!)! That’s what the last web event was ALL about! You are welcome to set up a coaching call and I can hep you customize a marketing plan for your business!

  7. Jenika says:

    I’m one of the people saying “Amen, sister.” πŸ˜‰

  8. Erin says:

    “Amen Sister”

    You read my mind on this one. You’re not alone Angie…

    I like your made up words, it makes me feel better about justifying my own (especially in scrabble).

  9. lol – you crack me up, Leah! Awesome. Thanks for the encouragement!! It’s sooooo worth it!

  10. Angie says:

    Thank You Leah! I have to say it was the hardest yet easiest decision to make. I knew if I had kept up at that pace, I would be burnt. Its really nice to have extra time and I have now booked one shoot a week ( a couple at 2.) It took a whole month of wanting to hide in bed and a lot of tears for me to finally feel good again! I haven’t gone out and looked for clients yet about 80% are new clients that didn’t even flinch at the price, they just wanted me:) The hardest part is facebook and seeing that my past clients are using other photographers. I guess I just need thicker skin:) I will write you and let you know how my new pricing goes!!! Thank you for your support Go4 pro is the best!

    • You are so welcome!! Did you see all the amen’s – You are not even close to alone, in fact it’s more like a crowded room! Some clients will move on and that okay, they are making room for even better clients for you! πŸ™‚

  11. Sandy says:

    Thank you, Leah for always saying the words we need to hear. Now I’m going to say the words that you should hear–YOU ARE RIGHT! I just had my first in-person ordering session since your Go4Profit webinar, and everything you taught WORKED for me. The client valued my photography, didn’t haggle, and spent five times more than my old clients. It was amazing and wonderful to get that kind of validation. I did sweat for a while as my old clients went away and the phone wasn’t ringing. But eventually it did, and I am glad that I stuck with it.

    One of the biggest things I learned from this experience is that it’s not about selling, it’s about service and guidance. I feel good knowing that I am providing all the attention and service that my clients deserve, and that they value my time and my work enough to pay for it without haggling.

    Thank you, Leah!!

    • Oh, thank you. You have no idea… Absolutely no idea. Today has been a doozy and then I get the most wonderful comments and emails that just brighten things up! I am so happy to hear about your success! Congratulations!!!

  12. I am in the “phone stopped ringing stage” and it is miserable and lonely. I feel just like your emailer did. I know I deserve better so I of course am not going back but agree it is also hard not to take it personally. As an individual owning the business it is personal, the client sees you as the reason the prices are higher – not some Oz-like entity that decided it and you have to follow along with it like maybe in a corporate situation. I gave myself a raise is what it boils down to and without shouting from the rooftops “I have bills too people!” there is no good way to get current clients to understand. And then to agree to new pricing, besides just hoping they do. Which is a helpless feeling. That’s the frustration – I took control of one thing and feel good about it but then to lose so much in the process is disheartening. Now I am getting paid nothing, eek! Patience is not one of my best virtues and the waiting part of this is beyond me to handle easily. Sorry, Just had to vent, and let the others know they are not alone either.

    • You are with out a doubt in one of the most emotional and toughest situations we small business owners have to face, it’s right after you raise prices and when you first open and are waiting for that first person to say they want to pay… These are the times where we doubt IT ALL.

      In your current situation though, I do have some advice. Send a letter (not email) to all of your best clients, the ones you really want to keep. Tell them that your prices have increased but that it’s because you want to still be around as their family grows and that this wouldn’t have been possible if you had not implemented the increase. Tell them how much you value and appreciate their business and offer an incentive (think gift with purchase) if they schedule again in the next ‘x’ amount of time. Just letting your clients know where you are coming from can do wonders. There is a You Tube video that goes more into it on this idea. Hope that helped!!

  13. Morgan says:

    I love when you do videos! They are my favorites! You are so awesome! Thank you for discussing real topics that everyone has either gone through or will go through. It’s so helpful to hear from you as well as other people! When I first started my business I thought that I would go the route of raise your prices as you get busy… but now as time has gone on I have realized that wasn’t my best idea! In January I am raising my prices closer to the area that I want to be. It will be a big jump for some people, and if I loose them then I loose them. My family and my time is worth more than what I am being paid right now! I’m excited to try out all the great ideas that you gave me from the web event to go and get the clients that I want.

    • I’m excited for you to make the jump forward! Pricing yourself is hard! Most of us didn’t start with the skill set we needed to charge what we ultimately wanted and even more often we didn’t even realize how much we want (were really worth) until after we jumped in. But raising over and over is a tricky one as well!! It’s really a catch 22!

      I’m so glad you like the video posts and it’s SOOOOOO good to hear!

  14. Megan says:

    Thank you! Great video. You are such an inspiration to those of us who need to THRIVE!!! I am SO SO SO taking your advice, and I am scared but I know it needs to happen!! Thank you!

  15. Julie says:

    Wow, thank you for this post right when I needed it. We are standing firm, but, in this case wedding clients, aren’t rolling through the doors. We know we are worth it and waiting for those clients who see it as well.

    • They will Julie, they will! BUT sometimes you have to go find the new clients, market in new way and push yourselves in new directions! When I went from $400 to $2000 for portraits, I had to dig deep! But I stood my ground and now I’m so grateful because it turned my business into what it is today! If you need help, remember – I do offer coaching and I am a complete open book! πŸ™‚

  16. Keli says:

    It’s so funny that I ran into this! I am in the process of raising my prices right now! I am actually completely revamping my business as I know it! I reopen January 1, 2013 and I am so excited! New prices, New look, New clients! It all goes together! I love my old clients, and would love for them to continue with me, but at the same time they understand that this is what I need to do for MYSELF and for my business to continue moving forward! Thank you for this video and for helping me realize that I am not alone!
    It also helps when you have friends and family to help support you on the journey! They say “GO FOR IT” and it lifts my spirit right up when I feel scared or worried about my inbox being empty and my phone not calling. It only makes me work harder towards my goal. Always move forward, never backwards!

    • I love your outlook! What a blessing to be surrounded my supportive people! I know many photographers who have to make the transition all alone while everyone just stares. But you (each of you) is worth getting to be profitable. I’m really excited for you!

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