September 3, 2015

Pancake Session: How to Price Your Albums


One of the most common things that we see come up when we’re going through someone’s pricing with them in one of our J&M Mentoring Sessions, is that their base coverage option is actually more profitable as their next “more expensive” collection that includes an album. That’s because when we start subtracting out costs for things like album production, album design, shipping, and hours spent creating the album (you have to pay yourself for your hours!), then now their profit from that higher priced package that seemed like the more successful booking actually brings LESS home to their family than if someone had just booked their intro package. In other words they are spending more time to make less money….and then wondering why they feel burned out!

We are actually BIG believers in albums! We believe that every couple should have one because it will be the thing that actually gets passed down from generation to generation. Having the whole collection of digital files is of course also amazing, but it’s going to be those tangible things that children & grandchildren pull out to look through years from now. So we knew that we wanted our couples to have books, but we also knew that in order for that to happen as business people we also had to make sure that we were making a profit on the time that goes into making them. We use Leather Craftsmen for our albums and Align Album Design as our design company (and LOVE both of them!!), and both of those have fixed costs associated with them that we have to take into account. And then even though these guys take a TON of the work off our plate (I seriously don’t know HOW we would be getting through the busy season without them!!), there is still time spent going back & forth with our clients for the changes, pulling new pictures, retouching, etc. So in order to price our books we had to take into account both those fixed costs and the time that we needed to be paying ourselves for.

But the tricky part is figuring out the balance of making sure you’re paying yourself, but also keeping the books affordable enough so that every couple can have one (our ultimate end goal!) And that kind of uncertainty can lead to people either not offering books at all or offering them at a price where they are essentially losing money on every couple who adds on an album. Not good!

Luckily our friends at Align have put together this awesome free quiz to help you both evaluate your current pricing and see where you can make improvements. It’s only 3 questions and will take you 5 minutes to complete!! Then they email you with your album sales strategy and some feedback on whether or not your pricing lines up with your values & what you can do to make it better. How awesome is that??  We took it ourselves and it was really fun to see the results & get some ideas on how to make our goal of everyone having an album make even more sense for us as a business! You can click HERE to take the FREE quiz now!! (Just follow the link in the upper-right-hand side of the screen.) And when you get your results, come back to this post and share them in the comments! I’d love to hear what your sales alter ego was! (I’m a Hermione!! :)

Happy Thursday friends!

  1. Jesse

    I totally got the Cowardly Lion LOL! But Align looks amazing, I can’t wait to try them out.. I think this is going to be a GREAT help in my crazy schedule!! Thanks Mary!!

  2. Melissa Jill

    SO good Mary!! That’s such great feedback to hear that about how photographers structure their packages. Makes total sense and it’s such an eye-opener. There’s definitely so much to think through when structuring our pricing to make sure we are profitable!

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