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The Three Legs of Business
An old axiom identifies three attributes of every business as price, service, and quality. However, one attribute, price, is automatically affected by the other two.
Wal-Mart emphasizes low prices and good service. As a result, customers don’t expect to find the highest quality products at Wal-Mart.
Similarly, Apple, Inc. has a reputation for innovation, high quality, and great service. To maintain those standards, their product pricing must support those goals.
Photographers who sell and market their images are no exception to this formula. To create and print the highest quality images, and back a business with 5-star customer service, prices must reflect those investments. You spend a lot of time editing and refining your images. You buy the best equipment and highest quality inks and papers to produce the best results. You spend time, and money if necessary, to treat clients like they are the most important people in the world. With those standards, you not only deserve a higher price for your work, you must not let “price shoppers” persuade you to sell for less than your business deserves. Eventually, you will either lower your standards, go out of business, or raise prices to survive.
Price is the crux of this formula. Decide which market you want; higher volume at lower prices or less volume with higher pricing. Just realize that prices determine the level of service and quality.
There is one more aspect to marketing art. If you put a lower price on your work than what you think it is worth, the market won’t think it is worth much either. But, integrity is priceless, so do not falsely inflate the price of your work.
Brian DeWolf, Photographer
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