Have you been thinking about raising your rates? For most photographers, this can be a difficult subject to approach. It's not easy to get to a place where you feel fully confident that you are charging what you're worth without underselling yourself.
On top of that, approaching clients about raising your rates can be a bit intimidating. Is it always appropriate? We’ll be answering that question and more about increasing your rates in this post.
How to Communicate Your Rate
As a photographer, it’s important that you discuss your rate in a clear and upfront manner. From the very beginning, both you and your client should be clear on your expectations.
Imagine this: you get hired as a photographer for a wedding. Half way through, you realize that you are working more than expected and you decide to increase your rate. You approach the bride in the middle of her big day to let her know.
Not cool, right? Just as you would expect the client to be upfront with their expectations from the start, it’s equally as important that you stick to the agreed upon rate. Yes—there may be certain situations in which you will need to increase your rate, but this should always be discussed beforehand.
At that time you can also discuss discounts, if necessary, but never forget to convey what the service is worth. We want to provide our clients with a great experience all around, and this begins with being transparent from the beginning.
Knowing how to charge what you're worth is a process that takes time (and let’s face it, there’s also some math involved). It’s normal for you to need to raise your rates as your business grows and you improve. Therefore it’s less of a question of whether or not you should raise your rates, but rather when and how.
When and How to Renegotiate Your Rate with a Client
The best time to renegotiate with a client is once the contract is up. It’s not always easy, but don’t let that hold you back from having the “uncomfortable” conversation. It’s never as bad as you think it will be.
You don’t need to overcompensate for yourself when you’re introducing a client to your new price point. Keep things concise, and know your business inside and out. Know what you’re asking for, and then ask for it boldly.
If you’ve shot with a client for free or trade, always remember to send an invoice anyways. That way it’s clear what you would have charged, so if they want to shoot with you in the future they know what to expect.
The Takeaway on Raising Your Photography Rates
As your business grows, it’s totally normal to raise your rates. The most important thing is being upfront and clear with your client from the very beginning. Choose the most appropriate times to increase your rates. Lastly, don’t forget to take into account the growth you achieved and the improvements you’ve made in your own business and adjust your rate accordingly.
Are you struggling to know your worth as a creative professional? Read more about Communicating Your Value as a Creative.