First of all, I would like to start by thanking you for being one of my lovely clients :) (Yes – all my clients are lovely! I refuse to work with people who aren’t!) Whether we’ve done one or twenty-one shoots together, I really appreciate the trust you’ve put in me to visually represent your brand. I take great pride and satisfaction in seeing the artists, artisans, and small businesses that I create images for, use those images to promote and grow their businesses.
This past May marked the 13th year in business for Jessica Lin Photography, and I’ve decided it’s high time to grow my own business as well. We have just finished re-branding and re-structuring, and have made a handful of great changes. As part of this, we’re adding some really exciting new services to the menu, and have also added a couple of new members to our team (some of you have already met our new Cinematographer Emily, and assistant Kristen – the rest of you will meet one or both of them soon!). The main difference is that we are now looking beyond your standard commercial photo shoot and we’ve come up with some very cool and creative ways that you can communicate your awesomeness to your clients and potential future clients.
When I looked down the list of all the great people we work with (that’s you!), I realized that what makes you all really special is that whatever it is you are selling, it’s come from your own blood, sweat, and tears. It’s years of love and taking huge risks and putting your soul out there bravely to make the world a better place. It’s spending almost every waking hour doing something you believe in. I’ve had dozens of chats this past year with people running small businesses and I’ve come to the conclusion that great images of your finished products are essential, but so is the story behind the finished piece. A huge part of what makes your work special is YOU. Your inspiration, your workspace, your tools, your experience of the world that leads you to do and make whatever it is you do and make. So with that in mind, we’ve added a story-telling facet to what we can offer you. We can make a book that shows off your custom work, or one specific shoot with a special theme. We can create a cinematic story that shows the “behind the scenes” stuff – stuff that most people never get to see, and that builds an enormous amount of value to your work.
True story: a man came into my studio with a chair that needed to be repaired – he talked to my studio mate (Donna, who repairs chairs) and she gave him a quote for the work. I have no idea what the number was – it doesn’t really matter – but I got the impression that it was higher than he was anticipating. He mentioned having 5 more of the same style that also needed work done, and asked how long it would take. When she said she could have them all finished in about 6 weeks I could almost hear his eyebrows shoot up with shock. She pointed out that she was the only one doing it, and she does all the work by hand, so that’s how long it takes. Even from the other end of the studio, I could see the shift in his mind about how much such work should cost. I could see him realize the value behind the price.
That’s what I want to communicate to everyone who visits your website, your studio, your booth at a show. The overwhelming value behind what it is they are paying for.
Small businesses have had a really tough go of it the past 5 years. People are watching what they spend. But there are also people who really value the local, the handmade, and the truly unique. Those are your clients, and we need to tell them why they should fall in love with you. Why they should support you. And how good it will make them feel :)
Now for the question you’re probably asking yourself: “What about the cost?” As you can see by the pricing menu, my rates will be going up. Effective August 1st, my new day rate will be $1300, half-day will be $900, and production will be $125/hour. Since this is my first overall rate adjustment in 13 years, it will help to bring my prices in line with my level of experience and quality of work. As a thank-you for your business in the past, and to help transition to my new pricing, I’m offering all my current clients a special rate on your next commercial photo shoot. The next shoot you book will be $1150 for a full-day, $825 for a half-day, and $100/hour for production (this offer is valid until May 31st, 2014, limit one per customer). I’ve also created a list of tips on how to get the most out of your next shoot, and the top three ways you can save money on the production of your images. And don’t forget our new referral program, where you get 10% off your own commercial photography rate when we book another shoot based on a referral from you! If you didn’t already get personalized referral cards, please ask and we’ll be happy to make some for you :) We are also offering awesome discounts to the first 5 clients who book us to create a Video Branding Story (how awesome? 50% off awesome!!) - check out our vimeo page to see a couple of sample movies we've done recently (and don't be shy in the comments section - we always love to hear what you think!).
I would love to sit down and chat with you about any of these exciting new options that appeal to you (even if you don’t think you’d want to do it right away), and I can also show you some examples of what I’m talking about. Right now I’m feeling incredibly passionate about the need for people to understand why they should support small businesses and the amazing talent behind them!
Please get in touch with any questions or ideas you’d like to discuss..
Talk to you soon!