The Business of Boudoir »

No Man’s Land

Meghan Garner Portrait DesignsPIN“I wish I could get my clients to pay that much for an album!”

“My market just won’t support that kind of sale.”

“If I hear one more person tell me to ‘work smarter, not harder’, I’m going to end up on the news tomorrow.”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever identified with those statements. (pssst – if you’re not raising your hand, you’re a dirty liar.) It’s true. We’ve all been there. But the great news is that you don’t have to stay there. In fact, the solution to your problem may actually be very simple:

You may be stuck in no man’s land.

Think of the Boudoir Business as a Restaurant wine list. If you’re on a budget, or you just can’t really tell the difference between a $5 bottle of wine and a $50 bottle of wine (no shame!), then you’re going to opt for one of the cheapest options. But if you really want to treat yourself and splurge on a nice bottle, and you value good wine enough to know what the best is, then you’re headed straight for the most expensive options. No one spends any time in the middle.

Our industry is much the same: On one end, those looking for the $50 session+DVD, on the other those looking for the best quality. To the latter, price is an indicator of that quality they seek. There are very few clients spending any time in the middle.

Here’s the dirty details: When opened my doors I set myself squarely in no-man’s land. I wasn’t going to be the cheapest on the block, but I didn’t want to price myself out of the game, either. For the first few months, my average sales were about $400. By the end of the first year, I’d gotten that number up to about $800, but the number of clients in the door was dismal. I didn’t always manage to even get one client in every month, and my busiest ever had three.

Realizing that I’d rather go out of business than continue to run myself into the ground for nothing, I raised my prices and redesigned my menu. I was more than half convinced that the flow of clients would dwindle to nothing, but to my surprise, it was as though the floodgates had opened. Now, less than one year down the road, my average sale is $1800 and growing. My busiest month since the change had 10 boudoir clients, and my slowest 3. I’m not where I want to be, yet, but I’m a heck of a lot closer.

Is there any guarantee that your experience will be the same as mine? Of course not. But the statistics support the principle. Clients are either looking for a bargain, or looking for the best. Find a way to get yourself out of no-man’s land.

Meghan Garner

Meghan Garner is a Bryan, TX based boudoir photographer whose camera travels with her around the world. She is a Certified Professional Photographer known for her intimate, emotional photographic style.

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  • August 27, 2014 - 4:25 PM

    Petra Herrmann - THIS.IS.AWESOME!ReplyCancel

  • August 27, 2014 - 9:21 PM

    Elizabeth Zimmerman - This is just fabulous & EXACTLY what I needed to read. I just raised my prices quite substantially and have been second guessing myself… Now I feel better! 🙂ReplyCancel

    • August 27, 2014 - 9:49 PM

      Meg - Elizabeth, I’m so glad this was well-timed for you! Don’t second guess that positive change, choose to believe that your services and product are worth it!ReplyCancel

  • August 27, 2014 - 9:26 PM

    Jillian - I had the same experience after I decided to let go of all other business except portraits for women. My average sale was $750; I finally said f*ck it and raised my prices a (ridiculous, I thought) amount.

    Suddenly my inquiries and bookings spiked, and I was able to raise my average to $2250 and maintained it the last 18 months. I’m consistently busy and **HAPPY** with the clients that come to me: they are excited, appreciative and generally amazing.

    Great advice!ReplyCancel

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