Photographers go back and forth on whether or not it’s smart to post your packages and prices on your website. A part of this may be because pricing always becomes the big, bad, ugly, green elephant in the room.
As a photographer, it’s up to you to put together appealing packages. This means pricing them in a way that reflects the quality of your work, aligns with the industry standard, and also helps you scale your business.
Determining and setting your prices as a photographer can be difficult, and discussing the details with your clients can make it even more tough! That’s one of the reasons why so many photographers choose to display their packages and prices up front on their website.
Yet posting details about your packages and prices on your website is actually quite a controversial topic in the photography community. So, naturally, we asked our online Mastin Labs community members to give us their thoughts. As we expected, our community was relatively split. There are strong arguments for both sides, and for every argument there is a counterargument.
“It’s up to you to price yourself in a way that reflects the quality of your work, aligns with the industry standard, and puts you in a position to scale your business.” - Mastin Labs
We identified two themes in the ongoing controversy, and some various aspects to consider when deciding once and for all whether or not you should post your pricing on your photography website.
Theme #1: Value Proposition
AGAINST POSTING PACKAGES AND PRICES
Photographers who are against posting packages and prices on their website pointed out that visitors may see your pricing without first understanding your value proposition, and seek services elsewhere. People find the money to pay for the things they really value, so why would you choose to post your pricing forthright without granting yourself the opportunity to explain the value of your product?
As Mastin community member Jordan Baker pointed out, pricing can be a distraction. If someone gets a chance to experience your product firsthand and falls in love with it, they may be more willing to stretch their budget when they find out the price.
Conversely, if someone is given the price before they get a chance to experience your product, they’ll have the price in mind the whole time they’re looking at your gallery and it may sway their decision.
FOR POSTING PACKAGES AND PRICES
When it comes to showing potential clients your value proposition, those in favor of posting prices point out that with a well-designed photography website you can show your value proposition through the quality of photos you display. You can also express it in the written details presented on your price list. After all, your work should speak for itself, shouldn’t it?
ADVICE FROM OUR COMMUNITY
Mastin Labs Photographer Katheryn Denelle Stephens echoes that sentiment and gives support for drop down menus. She points out, “It’s subtle and engages them at a time when they are already prepared to contact you. Brilliant!”
Theme #2: Budget
AGAINST POSTING PACKAGES AND PRICES
One of the biggest arguments against posting package and pricing information is the fear of causing potential clients sticker shock. Photographers point out that by offering all your detailed information without first speaking to the client, you may be scaring potential clients away.
Some community members feel that pricing can serve as a conversation starter. By not posting prices on your site, you’re inviting interested parties to have a face-to-face or phone conversation with you. These members of the community feel that potential clients may be more likely to accept your pricing and talk through any hesitations if they learn about them from you in person or over the phone rather than on your website.
Withholding your price list can also put you in a position to negotiate pricing with interested parties who are budget-conscious. In some cases, you may be happy to negotiate a lower price for a couple if it means being a part of a portfolio-building shoot in a location you’ve been eyeing with particularly creative and interesting details.
Many photographers are willing to do a shoot for less because it fits a gap in their portfolio or scratches a creative itch.
FOR POSTING PACKAGES AND PRICES
Photographers who are in favor of displaying pricing on websites believe that doing so is a great way to pre-qualify potential clients. Clients that are scared away from your price list probably can’t afford your prices to begin with, so listing them can save everyone time.
Another reason to be in favor of posting package and pricing information is that you may be scaring away clients by not posting these details. Advocates point out many clients skim through websites in bulk and may not bother to call for a price list. By refusing to post your pricing information, you may be putting yourself in a position to be automatically written-off.
Posting your packages and pricing also implies standardization and absolutism. Standardizing your pricing model makes your life easier, and at the end of the day, if people are the ‘negotiation type’, they will call to negotiate prices anyway, even if you have them posted.
If you’re open to negotiation, you can do so with a warm lead who knows your ballpark. If you’re not, you can refer them back to your price list and move on.
Advice From Our Community
Tyrenda Pentecost brought up a great point about listing prices. She said, “ I do list a starting package, and I am considering adding them all. I would rather list it right now vs. have nothing and get a lot of people who can’t afford my prices. I feel like it saves me time in the upfront pricing conversation.”
Mastin photographer Katheryn Denelle Stephens agrees, saying “I think having a starting price listed somewhere on your site is the easiest, and ultimately the most helpful, for your client.”
Mastin Labs community member, Lucas Mobley, advises that before posting information, it’s important to understand what option will best serve your goals. He said , “If you’re trying to maximize meetings, just [post] an entry price point then cover the rest when you talk to them. If you have a high inquiry volume and want to weed out unqualified potential clients to save time, one could post more info.
Should You Post Your Packages and Prices on Your Website?
With these arguments in mind, what’s the right move? Should you post prices on your website? Through our research, one thing is clear: There’s no absolute right or wrong answer. We can probably all agree that what’s important is to do your research, consider your business goals, and ask the experts (like we did!).
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Our community members have offered some great advice about finding a compromise.
We hope this conversation about the pros and cons of posting pricing information on your photography website has helped you determine what’s right for your business.
Let’s keep the conversation going! Share thoughts on the topic in the comment section below: Where do you stand on posting pricing on your website?
Are you looking to make improvements on your website? Read our post on the 6 Best Photography Website Must-Haves.