Last week I had the amazing pleasure to record a keynote presentation given by the New York Times Bestselling author of “The Noticer” and “The Traveler’s Gift,” Andy Andrews. It was for a corporate sales conference where we did photography and video. Thursday was the last day of a nearly week-long event involving training, inspiring, and plenty of libations. Andy was giving the final speech of the week, to send the employees off motivated and inspired to win million dollar deals.
Just before Andy went on stage, he was chatting with some of the corporate executives. You know, small talk and chit-chat. (Even Andy’s small talk and chit-chat is inspirational.) I just happen to hear it because he was miked, and I had my headphones on. (That doesn’t count as eavesdropping does it? :) ) Anyway, Andy told them this great story that when I heard it I thought, “Now that’s a blog post!”
He explained to them he’s all about “proof.” (If you’ve heard him talk or give an interview, you may already know this). He asked the executives, “Why do larger company’s frequently hire keynote speakers, regardless of cost?” Answer: because they always have. They want to be able to say, “So and so spoke at our corporate training event.” But do they look at what those speakers actually provide? Can they quantitatively see how much value that $50,000+ speaker brought to the company?
What if a speaker cost $1 million dollars? Would a company hire him? Maybe not. But what if he could quantitatively prove and show that every time he spoke for $1 million, the company made $20 million. Now would it be an issue? Of course not.
Quantify Your Results
You should be putting processes in place so that you can adequately collect all this information from your clients and start tracking it. (I know this is one area where I have been terribly lax, but I intend to remedy that situation).
- How much money did that fundraising video help your client raise?
- How much exposure did the “viral” video create?
- Can you show calculate the increased click-through rate on a client’s website due to a video you created?
- Can you show an improvement in a company’s production processes due to an educational video series?
- Can you show an increase in employee satisfaction and retention due to HR and/or inspirational videos created?
If you can prove what value your bring to the table, your costs to your potential clients should never be a problem.
Harder for Weddings & Portraits, But Not Impossible
Admittedly, this is a harder thing to do if you shoot weddings or personal portraits. How can you show that your $10,000 fee is worth it? There are no specific numbers you can point to. Or maybe there is?
- How many times has the video been viewed?
- How many unsolicited comments from friends and family have your past clients received? What were some of the comments?
- Has there been a noticeable change in how a teenage daughter carries herself because of the senior portraits your took?
Showing the value for personal videos and photography may be more nuanced, but it’s not impossible. Sue Bryce is an internationally renown, heavily sought-after photographer from Australia who’s been on CreativeLive I think four times now. (The fact that she keeps being asked back is a testament to her experience and training. This whole concept is one of the specific points she has made numerous times on CreativeLive. When clients see the value in your work, cost is not an issue. Because of how her photography makes women feel, she often has clients tell her that her $3,000 portrait fee is cheap. (Maybe you need to raise your prices Sue. ;)
So…are you worth your fee? Then prove it!