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How to Price Baby Plan Sessions

Lesson 8 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

How to Price Baby Plan Sessions

Lesson 8 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

8. How to Price Baby Plan Sessions


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


What is a Baby Plan?


7 Steps to Baby Plan Success


Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


4-5 Month Olds: Tummy Time and Headshots


4-5 Month Olds: Basket Shot


The Baby Plan Structure


Lesson Info

How to Price Baby Plan Sessions

So how to price it what's the session fee and how do you entice your client? Well there's a couple different thoughts on this you khun dio just sessions only so like a general fee that covers all three four sessions whatever you do and then products are additional or I have seen something that's been fairly successful with other photographers where they'll do the sessions he and some kind of product paid advance so for example they'll dio like for sessions only you'll do like three hundred dollars includes three sessions in the first year in products are extra write that kind of that mentality which is really popular or they'll do like two thousand dollars includes three sessions finally sitting standing and a one year and in here and product and digitals so it's kind of like all of front that could pay as I go or however you want I tend to do it the first way because I want it up sell at the ordering appointment I if you guys have watched the sails and pricing class you'll know that I...

am not about a hard sell it's a it's a soft sell but I have found that I can I have a greater chance of upping my average if I sell at the order employment rather than pre because it takes a lot for our client especially a new parent to just fork over two grand for everything at once you have to have a really strong brand your customers have to know that the experience with you is going to be a good one because you're putting all that money up front you know that's a lot to put up front, but I have seen this work and what the benefit is to this is that you're profits are covered for the year and if you want to up sell beyond that you can, which is even more funding it definitely pre qualifies high end clients but it's harder to get them to join up front except a lot of money. So and then, but of course, like I said, those ad on sales can increase your bottom line now, it's sessions, only you're banking on the product sale to make any money right that's the risk you take with it's much easier to entice the client to join because it's a small commitment they don't have to purchase anything until they see the image is right and the client has more flexibility to choose what they what they want they don't have to like decide everything right away up front does that make sense of that resonate? So I think it again it really depends on how well you sell what your model is in your own studio and what you're comfortable doing to me getting the client to join the baby plan is the hardest part once I get them in I know that I can get them to buy where I need them to buy and that the product line is going to sell that so what ideo is do it with a session fee only ok and make the product kind of cell the whole process I love that little baby, isn't she she's actually this is trinity she is the daughter of a photographer in my town candace and she did baby plan with us I did her newborn session and she did baby playing with us on dh she's my competitors she shoots newborns and babies in my town and she's probably priced half our third what? I'm priced so I say that to encourage you to be friends with your competitors because she's an amazing young woman and very talented and a total sweetheart and and she just loved my work and was so excited that I was willing teo to photograph her baby even though she was a tarver and now we have a friendship and she's a wonderful girl and it's you know, if she needs help it says that we all just kind of beatnik friends and it elevates the industry so I'll get off that soapbox now but it's a fun thing eternity was the one who smiled at three weeks this girl has made life she's seriously you tickler cheeks a threesome okay, um newborn sessions do feed our baby plan okay? And this is our baby brand is called me too baby is you and I'm not sure the actual literal definition so maybe someone from around the world can tell me this but be jew in french means like little gem like little piece of jewelry and so I'm jewel images and so bees you baby kind of lended itself to that brand okay, so ninety five percent of our baby planners come from a successful newborn experience that's not the case with everybody you guys may be totally different. You may get your baby planners from pediatric offices from older from exercise classes from that older segment of market where they've already given birth but those of you who are wedding clients you have an untapped resource sitting there waiting for you of all your brides in years past are starting get pregnant have babies you have a fantastic opportunity to go touch point them again. Maybe you haven't talked to him in a while and start launching and promoting your new baby plan to them and the minute they get pregnant there going oh yeah we should do that you gotta talk that reminder about this and get them get this in the back of their heads because then when it comes time they are going to call you first because they had a good experience with you they know you and you're going to be there forthe first point of contact it's just a simple is that okay? So you have a huge advantage there take it and run with it. Um if a client normally my baby planets two hundred fifty dollars for the three sessions ok, which is cheap, very cheap. I know that I'm gonna make it even cheaper because that's not where I make my money I make my money on the sales on the back end I just this really this money that they pay me up front for the session fees just to guarantee that they'll come and show up for it that's really? All it is it's like a reservation fee in my head. So clients who do a newborn session with us and purchase collection so create a collection we'll explain that to him again to pricing conjoined bees you baby at the newborn ordered appointment for a hundred bucks so we say them. You know, in the end of the newborn session we can continue this process here some of our baby plan and if we look at some the newborn images I seo we could build on this for baby plan product over the course of the year and baby plans only hundred dollars if you've done a newborn session with us so you know, if that's something that you want to add on, let me know almost all of them go when I've spent fifteen hundred what's another hundred bucks and what entices them is I say newborn babies you baby includes two sessions in the first year and a complimentary family session anytime in year two they go who they want that family session but they can't do the family specialist they completely under section that's the rule in my policies and say you can't do that family session you have to complete all three sessions to get the next session okay so there's the there's the kicker there but that's a good thing because it keeps my income coming in throughout the entire year from these baby planners ok, so that's kind of how we entice our newborn clients to come into the baby plan but then not only do we tied him with that but it's also with the products okay products are designed to culminate into a finished piece after all three sessions are complete read that again products are designed to culminate into a finished piece after all three sessions are complete. Okay, so what does that mean? Well, it means a year long commitment. The client is encouraged to return and finish the plan with a unique product line and free gift incentives at the end of the year. Ok, so not only are we producing a product that culminates in a year in look but we're also telling them if you spend a certain amount at each session and I'll get into this when we get into pricing much more in detail, but if you send a certain amount of each baby plant session, you get a free year and gift. So, for example, the elite level if they spent eleven hundred dollars in each baby pen session, they get a complimentary eight by eight first year storybook album for free that's a thirteen hundred dollar value in the studio. The album cost me less than hundred fifty dollars to produce when you look at my pricing and how creative collection works in the way I incorporate digital files, my average on baby plans sessions is a thousand dollars my cost of goods is less than fifteen percent on that it's more like ten, so if you think about it, I've made three thousand dollars over the course of the year, and I have spent three hundred fifty two, four hundred dollars in cost of goods, including the free year and gift. Okay, I have no problem giving away something at the end of the year for free if they've spent enough and my cost of goods is low enough. Does that make sense? And like I said, we're going to crazy go into detail on this in the next couple of days, but I kind of want to give you the feeling for how the baby plan works so that you know why it works. Okay, did you cross and you looked at me like your question? Okay, don does, of course. So you're saying it's a year long commitment, baby plan, but now is it actually two years long? Because that okay, technically it's the seven months, twelve months and then also this session, and you're too they all combined for this? Yes, no here's where it gets just a touch confusing, I will let the client ad in newborn images from their newborn session to the product or to the album or whatever we're creating, so if they want to just create that for newborns, the final urine product for new born seven months or one year, I'll let him do that. They've completed that thirty baby plans yet, so most people who join joined to get the seven month one year and the culinary family session and you're too, but that compliment a family session, especially for shooting for urine product, I'm going to make sure and shoot what I need to get the the image that matches the other two sessions does that make sense so yell shoot family but I'm also going to shoot that baby by itself so we can complete the urine product. So what does this mean? This means you have to think about how you're shooting really hard and planet make sure that you're creating the images you need to create to get the urine product and that also means talking to the client beforehand and consulting with them to really fear okay, we're this for a year what we're shooting for this is a regular session on steroids, okay, so a regular session we do pre consultation to kind of get that soft commitment of what we're shooting for the product, etcetera, etcetera will now we're doing it over one year, which is a big commitment, but you want that because that's, what gets your complaint to finish the plan and spend what you need him spent. So if you and that first ordering appointment at seven months is the is the key because that's where they're going to decide which product they're going to dio and they're going by that same product and every single session no matter what to finish the year in completed look right? So that first session is going to guarantee the income from that client for every single session forward so it like locks in your profitability so you know that that's that's client if they bought a canvas for that first session that's gonna build onto the canvas for the next one next one you know that every single session they're gonna get the campus every single time which is possum that it's just a matter of filling in the holes you know, every single big plan session with that client is going to be profitable that makes sense. Okay, see the brain going? Yeah, well, I think people are just trying teo get the details together. Yeah, I know we're gonna go go into this further, but so just so everyone's understanding right? Three sessions for three hundred dollars and the fourth is a free family session. No, I'm sorry. People are confused. I'm apologise. Let me go back here I was talking about ways that you could do baby plan ok, so what I'm trying to do is give you guys a options for what will work best for you. Then I graduated telling you what we dio that you know, because I've tried to write all this dress me and it's painful to try and have it not work, but I also know that it works based on my personality and what I'm good at what I like to sell etcetera it's after in the brand of our studio so that's what I'm trying to give you the options so that you could kind of say, okay what works for what? For what I want to do and what my brand is so I talked to you about doing okay sessions only everything up front so you could this is just an example where you could do three hundred for three sessions kind of thing or upfront what ay dio see if I can get there quickly here on the keynotes is I have a session fee that covers three sessions that covers all three but how I push it to my client is you hang out when I put it in my uh alright how I push it I went too far I push it to my client is bees you baby includes two sessions in the first year plus a complimentary family session anytime in year two what does that mean? It includes three sessions in the first year first eighteen months were the first two years what dawn said but what I'm doing is I'm marking that growth over the first year which is what the client wants but I am enticing them to join with the language that I'm using okay? So I'm basically saying ok includes two sessions in the first year six months and standing those milestone moments then you get the free session anytime in your too so when the child is one to two years old okay, so the benefit of that is the client goes oh my gosh free session family to get the whole family in so they kind of get to revisit the whole family photography thing which they love and then secondly, what it does is it says oh it's only two sessions in one year it's not quite so overwhelming to them it's still covers the ages and phases so they still feel like they're marking that growth does that make sense and my explaining that correctly now what I used to do way switch this over about a year ago all right, I used to do is okay newborns still its own entity tummy time sitting standing three sessions in the first year that's a baby plan includes I'm just great final few people join but the minute I said oh yeah includes two state two sessions in the first year that mark the milestones and a compliment a family session in your too they go oh, it said there's more value in their head about what includes it's still prescriptions in the first year. And then my book it's just the way I said it and I pushed it out a little bit that's all I did instead of doing it all within that first year and like I said, the reasons for doing that mom and dad get two of around it's too much too soon and the spending I have found my average actually increased when we went to this model of two sessions in the first year plus a company a family session of your two because that family session of your two they spend a lot of money on because it's it could be anywhere usually when we were just getting to the point where people are starting to fulfill that but usually kind of in the eighteen months to two year range. So it's, almost two years after they had a baby everything's changing and when I'm discovering is people are now doing the maternity session for that for the second baby, which is fine with me, I don't mind I'll do it, I have no problem with it, you know, usually people are such good clients and they love me so much and it may not be a big spending session, but I don't I don't care because they're growing the family and I'm gonna lock that kid into the baby plan too, which is exactly what happened and now I've got him for four years do you see what I'm saying? So there's there's benefits to this? And as you think about it more and more I think you will see the stratton the strategic thinking involved did you have a question? Well, just quickly, but before we move on, do you find this is from casing? Do you find that people try to use that complimentary session in november? For the holiday oh yeah and is that okay with they're all waiting for it. Trust me, I've got about twenty people on the books right now who are right at that time, scott but this is what I tell them I say just you're welcome to do that before christmas was just keep in mind there's only a certain number of slots and if you call me too late and book too late, then you won't get in right now I've only had to book it for the fall you want that session in the fall and we'll start making phone calls in august, but if it fills my counter and they buy, who cares? I don't care the session feet does not give me money, it's the product sales afterwards that give me my profit, so if that planet they're already pickles like plant, I know they're going to buy, then who cares if they come in at the fall during my busy season all the more power to me and filling my schedule? Does that make sense so I can see how someone would be worried about they're like, oh, they're not going to spend as much, but you got to remember it's a family session different than just baby by himself, they're going by and spend a lot more on a family session then they will on the on the baby session and that's what I'm discovering is that that last session that family free family session in year two is usually the most profitable session okay, yeah having fulfilled like the whole like you have three sessions, you have a seven, you have the one and then you have the family sessions what happens if they don't do the seven months I haven't actually come across that yet? We'll see what when I d'oh the policy state this is where it gets hard as a business owner and you kind of freak out right now or I shoot what I do well the policy state that you have to complete all each session sequentially, you know in its order so what I might do is say something along the lines of a couple ideas if they're really great clients and I love him, I might bend the rules and say, ok, fine, you'll come into your family session but if it's somebody who's kind of challenging or difficulty but I know that sounds terrible that say that but it's really is true I would say, okay, great, well, you know baby plan is three sessions, so what we'll do is we'll count this as your second session and then your family session will be in the following year so you'll get your family session and you're three rather than in your tomb so, it's, probably what I would do is push him to do an eighteen month session of baby by himself. They'd get six months, eighteen months, they kind of missed that session, but then they could do the family session in the following year, which is a good compromise. It just pushes it out a little bit. That makes sense, probably what I would do, would they mark the growth the way I want them to know. But what do you d'oh mean? And you've got to stick to your policies, but at the same time, make your client happy, so that's probably how I would make them happy, ok?

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Customizable BP Postcard Templates
Customizable Recipe Tag Templates
Customizable Stat Card Templates
Baby Plan Images
How The Baby Plan Works
Baby Plan Resource Guide
Baby Plan Success Checklist

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

I just finished to watch this course. And I confess: I've been struggled all the time during the viewing to say already: I LOVE IT! So, I LOVE this course! Julia is so nice teacher, and photographer, and person. And she is so incredible organizator of whole child's photography business. She is amazing, so meticulous, so persuasive trough all and each one of the important points of this business. And she is just great in the part of studio´s shooting examples with the babies. This is one of the best and most valuable courses I found in Creative Live, thanks!

Dawn Potter

I've been so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Live audience experience with Julia. She is an amazing person, photographer and teacher. She does a fantastic job of explaining in detail, the steps she has taken that have helped her success as well as the steps that have set her back. We are so lucky to be able to learn from her experiences and to have someone who is willing to put herself out there to teach us and help us to grow as photographers. For anyone considering adding a Baby Plan to their portrait offerings, this class is a MUST have. Julia, you are #awesomesauce !! xoxo - Dawn Potter

Student Work