I have found that since I put office hours up on my website, the number of clients who email me, then text me an hour later, then call me an hour after that, then email again… has declined. I love excited and enthusiastic clients as much as the next gal, but you still need SOME portion of your day to be “off the clock”. A least a little bit…
In addition to that, always give yourself a large window of response. I typically respond to my clients within a few hours, if not immediately (depending on what I’m doing), but SOMETIMES… sometimes I’ve had a long day. Sometimes I get home to an inquiry after a 12 hour shoot, and I’m tired, and I just need to be dead to the world for a little while. I give myself 24 hours to respond to clients, and it says so on my website.
Again, it’s about protecting a little of your personal space to allow yourself to breath and keep a healthy mental state.
General Business Practices
So we've talked about good customer service, solid organization, and good mental health. There are just a few more things I want to address that don’t *necessarily* fit into those categories.
“FINALLY. She’s gonna talk about pricing!”
Not really. The only thing I want to say about pricing is that it varies from business to business. There are definitely industry benchmarks to look at. For example, if you’re charging $50 to your neighbors for shoot and burn services, you’re not a sustainable business, nor are you anywhere CLOSE to industry benchmarks. Sorry. But price *does* vary by business.
Things that affect different pricing across photography businesses are things like overhead, desired income, services offered, etc.
I’m sure you’ve heard this A MILLION times, but DO NOT. JUST PULL. RANDOM NUMBERS. OUT OF YOUR BUTT.
I hate math. A lot of people hate math. Math gives me a nosebleed, but the fact of the matter is BUSINESS IS MATH. So sit down and do your homework. Figure out what your cost of doing business is, figure out what your cost of living is, and set your pricing based off of those numbers. You’ll never have a sustainable business otherwise.
When I first started out, one of the guides that I found online that really helped me to wrap my head around things and start on the right path of creating my pricing was: “Photographer’s Pricing Guide Series” from The Modern Tog: