If you have followed me for any length of time you know that when it comes to sucking up information I have a pretty large view of the world. I don’t limit myself to just reading about the wedding industry. I found this little gem on pricing your work this morning on a blog for creatives that sell handmade items. What Chloe had to say really resonated with me when it comes to we wedding professionals and why so few of us actually make what we are worth.
Take the few minutes to read the full article. I know that this little paragraph will cause a minor explosion in your head.
7. I just enjoy making it, I don’t care how much I get for it
That’s excellent, you have a hobby which people want to buy from you. However, if there are people who make a living doing what you do as a hobby, please charge the same as they do. Read more….
That isn’t why I came here today. I came here to tell you a little story about perception. Marketing is about perception. It is about how people perceive your goods or service.
Back lo those many moons ago when I owned Indulgence Custom Bakeshop I advertised in a regional magazine that was known for it rather, um, glaring typos. Little things like one year they put the back cover for Birmingham, AL on the back of the Nashville book. That’s the single most expensive page in any magazine. At the time they were the heavy hitter in the region so they got away with it. Anyway… one year they made a typo on the price of my cakes in the chart in the back of the book. Suddenly I was the most expensive cake in Nashville by a few $$ a serving.
Yes I freaked out! Complete meltdown!
I was absolutely certain that when the book hit the stands in January I would be OUT OF BUSINESS. No one in their right mind would buy my wedding cakes at that price and then add-on additional charges for the custom artwork.
Boy was I wrong!
I sold more cakes that year than I ever had before. It wasn’t just more, they were better. They were the cakes I had been longing to make. The big, extravagant beauties that stood out from the crowd. It was crazy. It was also all about perception. All of a sudden I was perceived to be the best cake designer in the city. Now don’t get me wrong, I was pretty damn good but I just never had brides with the budget or taste for the really exceptional cakes . I already had the eye for the designs and the skill set to produce them and now, finally, I had a chance to prove it and earn what I was worth.
As long as you have the skills to back it up, even if you aren’t yet attracting the clients you want, it may become a situation of fake it until you make it. You have to look like you do platinum weddings in order to attract them. I have written extensively about how women shop. They see everything and if your ‘everything’ doesn’t match the level they are looking for they will walk right past you. If on the other hand, your marketing, pricing and presentation rise to their level of expectation they WILL pay your price. Perception.
It may mean redecorating a shop, redoing a website, dressing differently for appointments or deliveries. In some cases it may mean an entire re-branding. It could even be a well placed printing error. You would be amazed at what a difference something as simple as a fresh coat of paint may make. Perception.
You will notice I never said a word about changing your product. I am talking about how to get the price your goods or service is really worth. If you want to attract brides that are willing to spend $$$, you need to be presenting like you are damn well worth $$$. Perception.
One of the biggest problems I encounter in working with clients is that they are too close to their business to really see how they are presenting their business to the public. “Christine I want the platinum weddings” Well hun, you may be able to do the work but if you are presenting it like a Dollar Store, it isn’t going to happen. If your work really rises to that level, then present it that way and raise your prices. Perception.
I could write a book about this. I think I will.
In the meantime, if you need another set of eyes to take a look at your business from the other side of the glass, let me know. It’s what I do. Check it out.