“I’m manufacturing my own reality”


I hear complaints every week:

“I can’t raise my prices that high in my market.”

“I don’t have enough money.”

“That’s too expensive.”

This TED TALK was given by an artist named Ron Finley, not a business mogul.  In his words: I’m manufacturing my own reality.

He could have given the excuses I hear weekly from people.  Instead, he did something about it.  He got his hands dirty and went to work!

If you want to change something in your life, more times than not you need to get your hands dirty and get to work.

Want to grow your business? Invest in your business and get to work.

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Guest Post: The Boutique Pricing Strategy

By Sarah Petty

Being small business owners many of you know in order to stay afloat, you have to charge more. So how do you put a price tag on the time you spend with your clients, the attention to detail that you give, the passion you put into every product you create or service you offer?

You could take a high level class on pricing or read a huge manual, but let’s be honest, who has time for that? We are busy practicing our craft, learning new skills, and building our business.

Determining the price for your offerings can be scary. You might be thinking you don’t want to undercut yourself or maybe you are afraid of over pricing and scaring clients away. I remember when I started my photography business in 2001; I was under charging and had no clue.

As my business grew I realized I had to a make changes in order become profitable and make my business grow.

Here are a few tips I have on how to set your prices:

First; you have to realize you cannot compete on price with huge companies. You never will.

However, what you can focus on is how to create a demand based on desire for your products or services through a strong brand.  When you create a demand, you can charge what you are worth.

So what can you do? You can offer greater services, more customization, a better relationship, and more surprises to thrill them along the way. Your clients will be so happy with their decision; price will not matter.

Here’s what not to do with setting prices: 

The Big Guess: Don’t even consider this strategy; I had to include it because I know this market includes a lot of creative people. Some people don’t know the value of their time or don’t know the price of their costs. They are simply happy that someone is willing to pay them to do their craft and leave the pricing up to the customer. Unless you get lucky, this method of setting prices won’t make you profitable.

The Competitive-Based Pricing: Many businesses base their prices on those of their competitors, but if this is a boutique business you are going to get yourself in a pickle. The truth is you will never win with competitive based pricing.   If you go online to see what your competitors are charging, you will find prices ranging from high to low all across the board.   If you are using this strategy to price your products or services, you’re trying to justify the price of a product as if it is a commodity, and not taking into account your operating expenses, the relationships you build with your customers, or the value of your time, service, and expertise.

Cost-Based Pricing: With cost-based pricing you add up the costs of everything that goes into making your offering (including your time) and add some profit to arrive at a price.  This is where small businesses fail. They don’t add enough profit because they don’t account for the unexpected like having to fix a mistake or not having time to pamper each and every client.

Pricing is tricky, but if you create a demand for your products and perform excellent customer service and thrill them, I promise pricing will become easier.

To get more tips on pricing, marketing and branding a small business that can charge what you’re worth download a free chapter of my New York Times Best Selling book, Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Clients and Still Charge What You’re Worth at www.wortheverypennybook.com/try-a-chapter.

Sarah Petty is a New York Times Best selling author of Worth Every Penny: Build a Business that Thrills Your Customers and Still Charge What You’re Worth. Her photography studio was named one of the most profitable in the country by Professional Photographers of America after just 5 years in business. She has an MBA and teaches marketing for small business owners s at The Joy of Marketing (www.thejoyofmarketing.com). To grab the consultation form that Sarah uses with new photography studio clients, go to www.thejoyofmarketing.com/sellmorephotography.

Sarah Petty is a highly-acclaimed speaker, author, MBA, boutique marketing expert and the founder of The Joy of Marketing. You may follow her and learn more via her accounts on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

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An Interview with Sticky Albums

We are really excited to bring to you our first recorded interview.

I interviewed, Nate, from Sticky Albums.  In the interview, Nate shares some great marketing advice for photographers so be sure to listen to the whole interview.  Also, Nate has an exclusive discount code for Ciderr members!  Use this special link.

Use Code: <strong>Ciderr</strong> to save $40!
StickyAlbums lets you create a custom photo album app for each of your clients so they can share your work via their mobile device. Clients access their own album—complete with your branding—via their phone or tablet. They can share the album face-to-face, or they can send the app to the devices of their friends and family. On your end, StickyAlbums’ software makes creating the albums as quick and easy as creating a new blog post. It takes just a few minutes to produce albums that are clean, professional, and guaranteed to wow your clients. StickyAlbums works as an add-on premium, a part of top-level packages, or as a value-added giveaway.
  • Create digital mobile app photo albums
  • Easily update albums at any time
  • Custom “app” icon for each album
  • Embed YouTube video in albums
  • Keep private albums secure with passwords
  • Unlimited images
  • Lifetime album hosting included
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Guest Post: Defining Your Client

by: Angela Proffitt

I recently spoke at the ISS (Inspire Smart Success) conference in Cancun Mexico and had the opportunity to meet some incredibility talented planners and other event professionals.  We all share the same goal-to make couples happy and provide them with a positive experience.  We are all so busy wrapped up in taking care of others, that we don’t stop and take care of ourselves and our business, which for most of us, is our baby (if you own your own business)!

Defining a clear process and clarifying what type of client you work best with were two of the things identified that are a common challenge for new wedding and event professionals.  I shared my favorite apps and time management techniques and programs on my MAC that I can’t live without:)  It is shocking to me how many of us have iPhones and Apple gadgets, but don’t know how to use them, simple because we don’t have time.  I promise you, if you take the time to learn these products, it will save you time in the long run.  Being the tech geek I am, I had so much fun helping everyone.  Dropbox and Google Drive were the two apps that have changed my business (well and Pinterest!).

Reviewing various personalities with the group and talking through their “ideal” client, further helped the participants define who they are, what they are selling and who should they be selling to.

These are just a few things to ask yourself as we enter a New Year, 2013.  Does your marketing portray this message; and are you attracting the perfect match!?

As a leading respected professional in the market, Angela Young Proffitt has been planning and producing weddings and events for many years, nationally and internationally. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Ecology. Knowing she always wanted to help people, her projected path to pursuing psychology working in mental health was no longer her passion. Following in the footsteps of her uncle, who spent over thirty-five years in the wedding industry, Angela has since established herself as one of the most dedicated, well rounded, most proficient multi-tasking experts in the industry. Drawing from her psychology background, Angela has experience in working with a variety of personalities, to which her common motive is always focused on what is best for her clients. She works with elite wedding specialists to create, design, implement, and execute every fine tuned detail in order to paint the unique vision each client desires. Her hands-on organizational approach combined with her impeccable ability to build relationships has propelled her above and beyond the average professional. Realizing her skills and talents are best utilized in logistics and communication, Angela’s company, Elegant Weddings by Angela and Events by AP, offers a full service wedding and event planning team that is experienced, detail oriented and exceptionally organized. Her unique and incomparable approach extends beyond the highest level of creativity and she prides herself on managing each innovative personal detail to allow you to enjoy your engagement while adhering to privacy requests. Known for her calm demeanor and flexible nature, she specializes in travel and destination weddings allowing her to utilize her strengths in creating a “one of a kind” experience in lands far away. Her travel resume has carried her to breathtaking places. Just to name a few, she has traveled to St. Lucia, Hawaii, Dominican Republic, Antigua, Cabo San Lucas, Playa Mujeres, Playa Del Carmen, all the way to New York city, the coast of Florida and to the foothills of North Carolina. So whether it’s a destination wedding on a tropical island or a Derby themed wedding at the Country Music Hall of Fame, Angela’s sense of personalized vision and educational guidance creates incomparable events for any occasion. Angela’s highly touted work can be seen in such global publications as Art of Celebrations, Grace Ormonde’s Wedding Style Magazine, Elegant Bride, People Magazine, Us Weekly, Enchanted Brides, In Focus, Style Me Pretty, and Country Weekly, just to name a few. Alongside acknowledgements in world-class magazines, Angela has also served on the board of TWESA, and has won such accolades as Best Wedding Planner in Nashville, along with voted Best Investment, Personality, Coordination, and Can’t Live Without.
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An Interview with Zach Prez

This week we interviewed Zach Prez from Photography Web Marketing.  Zach gave our members some incredible advice regarding Search Engine Optimization for Photographers and he shared the common mistakes most photographers make with marketing their business.  Below is a link to Zach’s incredible site where he shares a ton of great information.

Photography Web Marketing Guide

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