A few weeks back I was in Starbucks getting my daily usual
I'm that client that businesses love. Repeat and regular.
You can piss me off a thousand times and it'd be hard pressed to piss me off enough, that I wouldn't
come back. Why?
Love the brand. It's consistent. The atmosphere. They create an experience. And while the muffins are supposedly upgraded (I like the older ones better) I also DO love the coffee.
They don't hesitate or question when someone's screwed up. They remedy the situation.
The staff knows who I am and what I do
. So we can carry on a conversation about me
Which is genius because business is about 'us'...the people who keep us IN business.
So I was a little surprised the one morning when the barista asked me my rates for wedding photography. Her son was getting married and looking for a wedding photographer.
Shocked at my starting rates, she went off on how ludicrous it would be to spend so much on photos
As I was waiting for my coffee
She went on how they would probably just go with a friend...or an uncle.
God bless the friends and uncles...
Could they also brew me a coffee?
Or I could get it from Tim Horton's just around the corner.
Totally indulge in the finest experience while sitting at a cafe in Italy. (Yes Please)
Photos or coffee, you can get both anywhere.
So why do we pay more for one than the other?
Why don't I just get my uncle to brew me some daily java besides the fact that he would have to permanently stay here?
of all the reasons above.
Someone once mentioned that she would NEVER pay the outrageous prices that my clients pay for canvases.
It was something that she wanted to print at your local canvas drive-thru.
Another client asking why he couldn't just get the file and print on canvas somewhere cheaper...while I sat in his living room staring at the embedded, crushed Swarovski crystal's in his custom fireplace.
(estimated at around $10,000 cough cough)
Fireplace, coffee or canvas.
It's not about the actual item.
It's the value you place on it.
There are lots of photographers that low ball rates and offer everything...for cheap.
How often I hear...
I can get this for less with so and so studio..
I wouldn't pay X amount for that...
That's too much for a piece of paper!
I can get more with X Y Z...
Knock yourself out.
I'm not in the business of prints, canvas...or even photography.
I'm not competing against price.
In fact, I'm not competing at all.
It's about people.
Quality superseding quantity.
This is about an experience.
Clients valuing something far greater than 'what' the image is printed ON.
The image holds meaning for them.
And what price do you put on that
The value of anything is the importance we place on it.
Therefore health, food, learning, and travel are tops my list. I want to see new places, enjoy great food and feel good.
I spend a lot of money on skin care, hotels and jeans.
I book my vacations at 5 star resorts.
It's not a price comparison thing for me.
I want quality and service. The best ingredients.
Something I'm going to remember, and that makes me feel good.
I want to support other businesses where they believe, and are passionate in the product they're selling or providing.
I want people to remember my name because I frequent there...
And if it's not in my budget now, I'll find a way to save for it
Because I want it.
Or...I just don't really want it bad enough.
Photographers, entrepreneurs (or anyone!) keep focusing on the people who believe in what you do. People price shopping are...looking for the best price. And if price is more important, then price is more important...and quality is not.
**The above photographs are examples of the canvas work that I've done for a client after years of shoots including their wedding in 2008 and the birth of their first daughter. This process can take time as these pieces are art that become part of the home. It was important to Jenn to have both of these incredible, and unforgettable moments in her environment. This ain't no canvas drive-thru!
And the results are stunning.
Where is quality most important in your life? What do you truly value?
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Labels: business, canvas, Toronto