For most wedding filmmakers the winter months are considered the “off-season.” It’s the time of the year when we can catch up on all the things that we don’t usually have time to do during the craziness of wedding season! For some that may look like updating your website, establishing goals for the new year, or refining your client experience.
The off-season is also booking season for many of us! The quicker your calendar fills up, the more at peace you might feel about the overall state of your business. But if bookings feel slow, it’s easy to feel discouraged and even slightly panicked. You may be tempted to “give away the farm” just to get some weddings on the books.
I feel you! We’ve been there.
If I’ve learned anything over the past five wedding seasons about booking, it’s this – you CAN find the freedom you’ve always dreamed of when it comes to booking. It just requires making the hard choice to no longer allow the “emotion” of booking take over you. It requires pricing yourself with your head and not your heart.
And the easiest way to do this is through what we like to call “intelligent pricing”.
Ty and I hopped on Facebook Live Tuesday night to dive in deeper about this topic. You can watch the full replay here if you’d like!
So what do you do if you’re feeling the tension of booking season? Maybe you’re starting to get nervous about the lack of bookings for 2018. Maybe you feel like it’s too late to change anything, and the only option you have is to lower your prices.
Don’t believe that lie!
Here are three tips for handling the off-season nerves when it comes to pricing and booking:
So often we find ourselves setting our prices based on what others in the industry are charging, or what we “think” we deserve to be making. We pick prices that feel good, but honestly have no idea what that’s going to mean in terms of actual dollars and cents. And then we hit a slow patch in terms of bookings and we automatically think that it’s because of our prices.
The whole basis of intelligent pricing is that you know exactly what you need to charge in order to make the amount of money you want to make. It takes all the guess work out of it! Knowing the reasoning and logic behind your prices helps you to be confident in what you’re charging, even in those uncertain times!
You can see us break down “What is Intelligent Pricing?” starting at 4:06 in this video.
Once you use the intelligent pricing concept you’ll know exactly what you need to be charging in order to meet your financial goals. But you need to be realistic with yourself. Can you realistically charge that much based on your current market, experience level, and abilities?
Maybe you raised your prices significantly after last season and the bookings just aren’t coming in. That could be a sign that maybe the problem really is your price point. And maybe, you actually do need to lower your prices. But, DON’T just start lowering your prices at random amounts. Use the intelligent pricing method to figure out EXACTLY how lowering your prices will effect your financial goals.
Don’t be discouraged if you get this all figured out, update your prices on your website, and then don’t see a huge surge of inquiries overnight. There may need to be a little bit more fine tuning in other areas of your business that need to happen as well.
Remember: your value is not solely linked to the quality of your work.
You need to realistically look at all areas of your business, not just how good the quality of your films are. Look at your emails, do you need to change some language? Does the way that you communicate sound like you’re coming from a place of helpfulness or just passing information back and forth?
Is the first thing that a potential couple is seeing from you your prices? Or are you trying to build a connection with them before they see numbers? What do your past clients say about you? How do they feel about you at the end of their experience with you? Evaluating these types of little things in your business can make a HUGE difference in the way you market yourself and ultimately the way you are perceived.
If you market yourself in a way that shows the value that YOU bring to the table, no one can replicate that. If you’re only marketing yourself based on the quality of your work, now you’re competing with the quality of everyone else in your market.
Speaking of marketing, we will be hopping back on Facebook Live this upcoming Tuesday, January 23rd at 7PM EST to chat all about “Marketing in the Off Season.”
You can join us LIVE (just head over to our Facebook page and “Like it” to be notified when we go live) and ask any questions that you might have about this!
Or, you can always catch the replay which will hit your inbox the following day (you can sign up to get the replay, here.)
There you have it friends! Removing the emotion from pricing yourself gives you the freedom to run your business like a business. It is possible to make it not feel so personal! Implementing the system of intelligent pricing will move you from a place of frustration, confusion, and overwhelm, to a place of peace, satisfaction, and allow you to feel confident in what you have to offer.
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