1. Business

Adding Value Instead of Discounts

Intro by Skip Cohen

Over the years I’ve read as well as written about so many different ideas in developing stronger promotions. The key is finding that sweet spot for your target audience without discounting!

While I recognize so often price is an issue, I also know so many of you think it’s the ONLY issue. When you discount all you’re doing is lowering the value of your services and the products you offer. You’re turning your work into a commodity, and instead of enhancing your image you’re taking away your ability to be unique.

One of the industry’s leading wedding photographers several years ago was looking for a way to be more competitive in this area without reducing the cost of his coverage. Instead of dropping his prices, or offering a limited time discount, he was very successful adding more time to the coverage of the event.

In this new addition to the Marathon Press blog, Beverly Walden shares some great tips to get you thinking about added value. Remember, this is another ingredient to relationship building and creating limited time special promotions without discounting help to add to the strength of your brand. You’ve got to make yourself unique.

As my good buddy Terry Clark once said to me,

“The best thing to do to survive and thrive is find what everyone else isn’t doing and do that thing.”

Instead of thinking about discounts, why not think about adding value to your product. Here are some ways to add value, giving your clients a reason to pay your full price because they are getting great value!

I never complain about a fine meal at an upscale restaurant UNLESS it is not a fine meal and the value has not been added by fantastic, over the top customer service, top quality food prepared in a top quality way and a fantastic experience.

Add value by:

  1. Product uniqueness and scarcity: Find the most unique products that match your brand and produce them at the highest quality possible. Then, make them scarce. For example, offer them only one or two times a month or only at the initial sales appointment. Stay relevant in the marketplace by implementing some of the new products available, but don’t compromise your values or brand. Instead, figure out how to make them work with your brand.
  2. Use beautiful packaging to add value: Packaging that matches your brand looks more professional and people don’t mind paying a bit extra for that. Ribbon and tissue are some of the least expensive items you can buy and they add immense beauty to packaging!
  3. Add something extra: Tuck a heartfelt note that is handwritten inside the finished order or have quote cards made to add to the finished order. I add a small bag of Hershey Kisses to the bag holding the finished orders so my clients have something to munch on driving home (chocolate makes everything better, right?) A car dealership here in town always put an apple on the seat of our car after we had it serviced there and then used an apple in their logo. I suppose we were the apple of their eye:)
  4. Surprise, surpass and delight! Think about ways you can do this with your clients. What can you do that another photographer down the street might not take the time or care to do? Delivering their orders and checking up on them after that makes a huge impact.

So…what can you do to add value to your work instead of discounting it? Use the ideas above and then add some more!