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Archive 2013 · Critique our wedding packages
  
 
ghdarnell
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Critique our wedding packages


I am looking for some real honest down to earth feedback on our wedding packages. I am NOT looking for opinions on what we should be charging, our business name, the all day coverage, or the two photographers. I hope I don't sound grumpy, I just want this to stay specific to our need at this time and we are only in our first year and a half of business. We will be completely shutting down from December 25th-January 1st and staging a "grand opening" with a new website, blog, and logo. I would really like to have a finalized price list then too.

I recently started using a "fancy" price list over a regular word document and have gotten about 50% more bookings since starting to use it. I shared with several people today and got some interesting feedback. I am starting to think that our basic package just offers "too much" and there isn't any incentive to upgrade to a better package.

How would you improve or revise it and why?




Nov 19, 2013 at 04:34 AM
mirrorrim
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Critique our wedding packages


I like how simple and straightforward it is (and pretty!). Psychology and marketing studies say to start with the most expensive package on top and work down--makes people feel like they are getting a deal even if they were going to book your $1900 collection in the first place.

My eyes also went from the Classic to Luxury down to Elegance - I'd prefer if the order worked from left-right then down, like reading a line in a book.

Do you have a la carte prices for the albums? I'm a numbers person, and I'd want to do the math to figure out how much I'd save if I bought a higher package instead of going for a lower one + adding an item a la carte.

I'm sorta in the same boat as you, just finished my second year. I had a similar opening package with an album. In my case, I quickly learned that the clients just wanted my cheapest package that contained all the digitals, and didnt really care that they were getting an album as well. So I revised half way through this season and still booked that package a ton--same price, minus an album!

Edit: Oh, also you could slim it down even further. You dont really need to repeat the same thing in each package. You could just do Elegance: Includes Classic package, plus: ____




Nov 19, 2013 at 04:45 AM
awad
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Critique our wedding packages


Personally I think the whole collection additions thing is too confusing. But it could be a unique selling point that would set you apart. that said, i would:

kill the album off the first package and make that a shoot and burn.

kill the album and the collection addition off the second one and make that an all day shoot and burn.

the third one is fine the way it is, but i would specify what they're getting instead of saying collection additions, so def an engagement shoot(huge selling point to people around here, ive found) and a parent album.

the fourth one is fine the way it is.

in your pricing guide now, you're giving away way too much and you're killing your ability to upsell your larger packages.

all in all, looks good. but don't shoot yourself in the foot.



Nov 19, 2013 at 05:58 AM
hardlyboring
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Critique our wedding packages


Your top package is 3400$....
You have 2 photographers
Images
A big album
A parent album
3 things from your list

My critique is that you are not making any money.

Seriously though if I was to price all that stuff out my cost is right around 3500$. So either you are using really cheap albums and not paying yourself hardly anything or else you are not making much money.

Add 2 grand to each package and then you will be good.




Nov 19, 2013 at 06:28 AM
Conradp04
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Critique our wedding packages


I think the pricing difference is waaaay to close to each other. Charge what you want to charge, but make sure it makes sense and that you're making money. To me it looks like you're not making money at all as you go up in your packages. You're actually making less and less the higher you go. That to me does not make sense.

It's a good idea to have a middle package that you want your clients to buy 75% of the time and the surrounding packages needs to support that package so they can lead the clients to that middle package.

I would also sort your packages from highest to lowest and from left to right. It's easier to read that way

By the way, you're giving away the farm on your first package. No one should want your first package or not very many people should want that first package. Shoot n' burn, 6 hrs, ONE photographer and online gallery. Or even make it available for download only that way you don't have to pay taxes on it since you don't have tangible items on that package (well pending your local laws).

You are where a lot of photographers were at one point. Don't sell yourself short. Either charge more or offer less products/services.

Good luck



Nov 19, 2013 at 09:37 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Critique our wedding packages


If you're starting at 1900 with two photographers and digital files, an album should not be included at that price. Not to mention... what is the point of offering a 12-page album? The per-page up-selling model has always bothered me, but that's another topic entirely.

At 1900, what are you paying your second photographer for six hours of coverage? $300, let's say? A base album probably cost about the same? Then for fuel to and from the wedding, meetings, and that custom usb drive... another $50 let's say? So we're down to $1,250 right now before-taxes and before your monthly fixed business expenses - telephone, advertising, business insurance, etc etc...

From $1,250 figure about $312.50 is going to taxes. That leaves you with $937.50.


I haven't done the math on your upper packages, but they definitely aren't spreading out as far as you'd expect them to for the amount of product you're adding in.

Do a Google search for the PPA Benchmark surveys and their recommended cost-of-goods-sold targets for a successful business - they have numbers for home-based or studio photographers.


I'm tired. That may not have made any sense.

Chicken nugget ninjas to the rescueeeeee



Nov 19, 2013 at 09:56 AM
pette87
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Critique our wedding packages


where did you find that template for your price list?
Thanks



Nov 19, 2013 at 11:58 AM
ghdarnell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Critique our wedding packages


Squijoo


pette87 wrote:
where did you find that template for your price list?
Thanks




Nov 19, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Brian Virts
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Critique our wedding packages


I know you didn't ask for pricing critique, but I would seriously consider raising your prices. If you don't need the money that's cool, raise your prices, you have nothing to lose. If you need the money; get that bottom package up to $2500. I mean they've proven nobody can have a sustainable wedding photography business charging less than $2500 a wedding. I'm all for slow growth, but a year and a half in, you've got to get these prices up, or you're just dis-serving our industry.


Nov 19, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Brian Virts
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Critique our wedding packages


I would defintely remove the $300//////////////// and add in something like this "engagement session ~ $300", and anything else that is important, some of those items don't need to be there.


Nov 19, 2013 at 01:08 PM
 

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ghdarnell
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Critique our wedding packages


I'm on my phone so I can't respond to this feedback right now, but excellent and informative points everyone! Thank you!


Nov 19, 2013 at 01:33 PM
StevenMI
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Critique our wedding packages


I think others have said this but I wouldn't offer an album in your lowest package, especially at the prices you're charging. We have found that as our prices have gone up more people are interested in albums but even at the prices we are charging there are a LOT of people who don't want an album. Albums are a pain in the butt if you ask me, so if I can get away with not giving one i'm fine with that.

Maybe it's just me but I also read right to left so i'd put your 2nd package to the left of your first instead of below it. I've also heard people say you should start off with your most expensive instead of your least expensive.

Also with your albums I think it's strange having all 12 page albums and one 10 page album. Do you mean spreads or sides when you say 10 and 12? To me pages are "sides" so if you mean 10 pages and 5 spreads I also don't see how anyone could make an album with that few spreads. Ours start out at 20 pages (10 spreads) and almost everyone adds pages.



Nov 19, 2013 at 01:59 PM
cineski
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Critique our wedding packages


Yeah, I agree with the rest, the collection additions will garner reactions of "Oh, it's $300 for all this?!" to people thinking it's $300 per addition. You need to pre-answer all questions with your price list, which is something I feel like I've failed at......everyone sees a different thing when they read something.


Nov 19, 2013 at 02:00 PM
ghdarnell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Critique our wedding packages


I think the number one problem we are realizing is that we just sort of ballparked these numbers without using any formula to make sure they are profitable. Sounds crazy that someone would do that I know, but I think in the whirlwind of starting a business and paying attention to so many other things, it was an oversight.

I am so glad I am realizing it now and not later. We are still able to make a good profit off all of these because we have little to no fixed costs per month (no rent, no phone, no car payment, etc) and our variable are fairly low as well.

But that won't always be the case, and we need to be using the profit to save for a future for sure.

I will start reading through all of these and looking at restructuring. Things I have highlighted so far are:

-Taking away an album from the first package
-Listing highest packages first
-Restructuring the package addition options
-Restructuring Album information

This has been enormously beneficial, thank you all VERY much. I will be attending a great workshop by another FMer next weekend that I think will help even more on this journey too.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:27 PM
TRReichman
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Critique our wedding packages


What's the earning goal? Who is the target market? How much are you trying to make per year (and how many weddings)? Without understanding what your goals are it is difficult to know whether your plan will get you there. Although I basically agree with the advice everyone else has already given.

- trr



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Tony Hoffer
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Critique our wedding packages


ghdarnell wrote:
I am so glad I am realizing it now and not later. We are still able to make a good profit off all of these because we have little to no fixed costs per month (no rent, no phone, no car payment, etc) and our variable are fairly low as well.


To me, it sounds like you're confusing profit with your salary. You are an employee, even of your own business. Therefore the profit isn't the amount leftover after some expenses, it's the amount leftover after ALL expenses, including yourself, insurance, taxes, ect... Most businesses have plenty of money left over after expenses. Far less of them have profit.



Nov 19, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Bartlett Pair
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Critique our wedding packages


Always fun to what you're working on. I have no doubt you'll have a wonderful platform by the time the off season is over Definitely looking forward to your grand opening.

I think one thing you're giving away too quickly is the number of hours you're at the wedding. One of your packages has 6 hours, and the rest are all full days...

To give you another perspective: When we designed our packages we were nervous that collections that included everything (wedding coverage, e-sess, album, print credit, etc.) would generate too much sticker shock. Instead, the major difference between each of our packages is the number of hours we'll actually be at the wedding (basically ranging from 6-10 hours, rarely more). This results in us charging $3,000-4,500 just to shoot/edit a wedding, and allows clients to book us without crushing their budget. Sometimes that's all we'll get, but usually clients will add an e-sess, album, parent albums etc (either initially or down the road) and we'll end up averaging above our target of $5,000.

A lot people I respect on FM advocate adding temptations to each subsequent package to keep them moving up due to the discount of buying everything together. We may move to that structure in the future, but for now we've found the above more successful at getting them to sign (and making additions down the road).



Nov 19, 2013 at 05:28 PM
jamesmorophoto
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Critique our wedding packages


why aren't you charging extra for the 2nd photographer?


Nov 19, 2013 at 06:34 PM
Bartlett Pair
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Critique our wedding packages


jamesmorophoto wrote:
why aren't you charging extra for the 2nd photographer?


I'm guessing because she's trying to brand her and her fiance, as is common for husband-and-wife teams. The same is true for us; we don't allow clients to hire just one of us in an attempt to get a discount. Though obviously I agree the fact that you're getting two photographers should be reflected in pricing.



Nov 19, 2013 at 06:53 PM
Ghost
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Critique our wedding packages


Perhaps a good starting point is to check out photographers that are similar to your work within your location.

You can price however much you like based on the income you need to sustain your lifestyle. Be it a rental, eating ramen and drive a 1988 Corolla or a 4000 sqft home that backs to a golf course with ocean views, 2 maids and your company car is a MB G Wagen. Or in b/t like most of us.

It's up to you. Market and preference will dictate whether your offerings are worth the penny or not. Be realistic. But don't under sell yourself. Spencer (sboerup) once said something that I remembered. Make it easy for clients to spend. I try not to overwhelm potentials with too many words.



Nov 19, 2013 at 07:20 PM
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