“I feel awkward asking for money.” Have you ever had this thought? Or been in the situation where you are trying to find a nice way to ask for the check at a session because you haven’t been paid yet? Pricing is one of the biggest business struggles that photographers have. And more often than not it’s because we carry a lot of guilt or anxiety asking people for money.
So why do we feel this way about charging clients? One big reason is because we don’t believe that we are worth what we’re charging or we don’t see the value in the services that we offer our clients. It’s time to put a stop to money guilt! It’s a block that is keeping you from growing. Here are three reasons you shouldn’t fee guilty:
- Time spent with clients is time you’ll never get back. Sessions tend to happen in the evenings or on weekends. And whether you have a family or not, you still have a life! That is your time and its valuable.
- People value what they pay for. I could write a whole blog post on this (and probably will) but people who spend more, value that item or service more. When I’ve invested more of my money into something, I value it a lot more and make sure I am getting my money’s worth. You’ll have clients that are more invested in you, their session, and the product afterwards.
- Understand what it is you’re giving them. This is a service and product that is going to become more valuable to them as time goes on. Two, six, ten years down the road those images are going to be precious to them. You are providing your client with something that will become invaluable to them!
So what do we do to address charging clients more professionally?
- Ask for a retainer to hold the session date. Don’t do it at the session, because you want them to focus on having fun. Don’t do it after, because you run the risk of not being paid for your time. All it takes is saying somewhere in the booking process, “There’s a $XXX retainer to book your session date. All products will be available for purchase once your gallery is uploaded.” O
- Send an actual invoice. In Iris, we have invoices that already have your info ready for you. All you have to do is select what you are charging your client for, and send it off to them. They can pay with credit card or your address will be on there for them to send a check. It gives a professional look to your invoicing and makes it easy for them.
- Reminder Emails. Set up an automated email that goes out prior to when a balance is due as a friendly reminder. Everyone’s lives are crazy, and rather than sitting wondering if your client is going to remember to pay you, simply send an email that tells them how much they owe and when it’s due. I know I’m never mad when I get a reminder for something I’m excited to pay for. And that’s what your clients are! They are excited to have you document their family/baby/wedding/senior/etc for them!
How many of you struggle or have struggled with charging your clients? What finally clicked to help you get over your money block? Share with us in the comments below!
Did you know that Iris Works has an invoicing feature? Charging clients has never been easier or more professional looking! Sign up for your FREE 30 day trial today to see how easy making money is!