Photo by foilman
I have a friend who came over to talk to me the other day about his wedding photography business. He is trying to find new ways to get his services in front of new customers so he was investigating different options, like social media. I have been giving him some tips about Facebook and Twitter and website design to help broaden his market footprint. Somewhere along the line, he got the idea that he should look into advertising on Craigslist.
Well yesterday he called me and I could tell he was kind of upset. I asked what was wrong and he said “Jeff, do you know what they are charging for weddings on Craigslist? How can I compete with a $300 wedding?” I told him flat out that he can’t, nor should he. It took me a few minutes to get through to him but when I did, he finally saw the light. I asked him if he thought that the people that were hiring a $300 wedding photographer would pay $2500 for the same service. Probably not. That’s means that he isn’t really competing for those customers. His customer is the one that recognizes the value of a true professional that will deliver professional results. Get that? The key word here is professional.
My friend has been shooting weddings for years and he does fantastic work. He is all about service and quality and it is reflected in the price he charges. His customers are the ones that are A – looking for that type of high-quality service, and B – able to afford it. Those customers are out there, even if they aren’t falling out of the trees at the moment.
I also told him not to be too upset with the people that are only charging low-low rates for their service because A – not everyone can afford a $2500+ wedding photographer but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve wedding photos, and B – the people that are shooting at those prices are probably not going to last too long in the business.
So here’s what I told him to do. If he wants to advertise on Craigslist, put his lowest package on there like Wedding prices starting from $2500 and then put a link to his website so they can see the quality of his work. Once they do some comparison shopping, the ones that can afford his services will respond. And don’t hate on Uncle Bob and his new camera. He too serves a purpose.
Of course these are just my opinions and you might have some that are very different. If so, please feel free to share them, but don’t be a hater.