by Phil Jones Published 01/12/2013
Phil: On The 3XM Solution website, there's another business tool called the 'Know your numbers Business Calculator'. What exactly is this?
Ronan: The business calculator tool came about as a result of many questions from our customers. A lot would ask the question 'what should I charge for a digital image package or an album package?'
There is no one answer to this question. Every photographer needs to look at this at their individual business level and there are a lot of influencing factors that will affect the pricing structure. Things such as the level of competition in a particular area, demand, costs and overheads, earning requirements, etc, so there is no 'one hat fits all' approach. We set about creating a tool for photographers where they can calculate the true costs and earnings associated with photography packages in an easyto-use calculator. This tool saves the need for complex spreadsheets as it automates the entire process for you. Since using this business calculator tool many photographers have identified that they make most of their money when they are behind the camera, followed by post production of images, ie digitally enhancing and manipulation of images. A lot of photographers are surprised to find that the return per hour falls drastically when it comes to administrating and producing or designing an album. We're encouraging photographers to at least identify where they make their money and focus their time on doing this.
Phil: So how do you suggest that a photographer should optimise their time to help them make more money?
Ronan: First and foremost, know your numbers! You don't need to be a 3XM customer to use the 'Know Your Numbers Business Calculator', simply register on The 3XM Solution site to get free access to this useful tool.
Then, my advice to photographers would be to focus their efforts and spend 80% of time working on the elements of the business that are most profitable. It sounds simple but so many photographers spend time and energy on elements of their business that are not profitable and have no benefit.
Phil: So do you suggest that a photographer should charge properly for being a professional photographer first and that everything else comes later?
Ronan: Yes, I believe this is crucial and a lot of photographers are doing this. As a professional photographer the core sales pitch should be focused on the quality of the images. The issue is that there are many photographers that have not yet worked out how to set prices and sell based on the quality of their images. We have done a lot of research into sales and buying processes and used the insights learned to develop a sales process within The 3XM Solution for professional photographers.
During our 3XM Solution training sessions with Podge Kelly and Sean O'Shaughnessy we showed photographers the importance of having not one or two but three Digital Image Wedding Packages. We also demonstrated how to sell these packages and importantly how to highlight the differences between an image taken by a professional photographer and an out-of-camera shot.
I'd also like to clarify that we are not for one second saying to photographers that they shouldn't offer an album service. We're simply saying that every photographer should know where they are most profitable and should be comfortable selling their skills as professional photographers. Use your ability to capture and create great images to distinguish yourself from your competition.
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