price a beginning photography class with sparkle society

3 Easy Steps to Price a Beginning Photography Class!

Determining how to price a beginning photography class is no easy feat!  As professional photographers, we all know that one of the most common topics in photography forums is pricing! When you’re debating how to price a beginning photography class – it can be just as tricky as pricing your photography! Because there’s no “right way” to do it, you need to consider your business, income goals, demographics, competition, and services!

But that can feel a little bit overwhelming, right?  Let me make it a little easier for you!  I want you to really look at this from three main angles:

  1.  How can you ensure your photo classes benefit you?

  2.  What do your students want to learn & how will their lives be better?

  3.  Are other photographers in your market offering classes & how can you stand out?

Once you have examined those three elements, you can make an informed decision about how to price a beginning photography class.  Ready, sweet thang?  Here we go…

1. Look at all you have to offer when you teach photography classes…

Consider how much it cost you to learn what you are teaching. 

You’ve given years of your life to learning the art of photography, right? I know you’ve poured hours learning how to run your photography business. And, of course, you’ve taken classes; you have settled into the depths of YouTube, attended association meetings, and joined every photography Facebook group that exists. Aside from that, you’ve spent a considerable amount of time acquiring skills and refining your niche in the field.

Think for just a moment, about how much you have paid for those classes, memberships, and workshops.  Your time is valuable, my friend! Don’t discount everything you’re made of OR what you’ve personally paid just to fill more seats. Put a dollar sign on your time and price a beginning photography class with that in mind!

Determine how much you need to make per class. 

We’re not in the business of breaking even, friend. You want your photography class to be profitable enough to be worth doing. I know you’d teach for free – out of the goodness of your little creative heart – if you could.

But let’s be real.

The time you spend away from your family; friends; work; and also your opportunity to build-up your business is costing you money. Let’s price your photography workshop accordingly.  If I’m not making enough to be a substantial blessing on my husband and kids, I’m not leaving the house.  Period.  End of story.

My time with my kids is valuable, so I’m pricing my beginning photo class accordingly… and you should too!

How many seats are available?

If you need to make $500 in an afternoon and only 5 seats are available… guess what, buttercup? You’re charging $100 per seat. If only there’s only room for two eager-to-learn ‘togs, you’re going to have to bump that number up to $250. I know it can be scary to charge hundreds of dollars {or even $100 dollars} for your first class, but this is a non-negotiable. Lean-in, you’re not a blue light special.

how to price a beginning photography classThink I’m full of crap and there’s no way people would pay that for a workshop?!  HA!  I’ve got data to back me up!  I’ve been selling out my own beginning photography workshop, to the tune of $125-200 per seat, for eight years.

Not only that, but MANY of my past students have become friends and I still chat with lots of them on a regular basis.  This isn’t just a chance to grow my own business, it’s a chance to grow my community and build new friendships!

Plus, in a nationwide study, 75% of people self-reported that they’d be willing to pay $49-149 for a beginning photography class.  {Wanna get the full results of that survey?  No problem, grab them right here, my treat!}

The numbers don’t lie and neither do I, my friend.  Market your class with a bit of strategy, educate you students on the benefits, and you can easily price a beginning photography class so that you and your students both win! Know your value and your tribe will buy-in!

Compare your workshop pricing to your photo shoot pricing.

If you make $1,000 per Saturday afternoon out shooting photos… you’re not charging $40 per student to come to your 10 student class. That just doesn’t make sense from a financial planning perspective. Do not undervalue yourself. You need to plan and price a beginning photography class in such a way that you net $1,000 or {preferably more} for the day.

2. What are your clients getting when you teach a beginning photo class?

How will their lives be better because of you teaching a beginning photography workshop?

Will your clients walk away with confidence? What kind of knowledge base are you building through this class? Is this a one part class? Two parts? Consider if your students will return to you later for additional courses. Will they be able to start their own business at the end or just be empowered to take better photos of their family? Thinking about all of these things will help you price a beginning photography class accordingly.

How much personalize feedback is involved?

If your class is held in a small-group or one-on-one setting? You will price a beginning photography class significantly higher than one held in a large group setting!   Smaller class sizes means more personalized attention, significantly more learning, and greater value for the student.  A “private” class means you can {and should} bill private pricing!

Large group or small group – it’s up to you! Just make sure you’ve evaluated what your students need and what you’re going to have to do to make that happen.

What perks are included?

Your clients will love you forever if you throw in some unexpected perks. Think about having a swag bag filled with goodies. Will you need to pay someone to make a presentation, syllabus or PDF for this course? Do you need to update your website to include supplemental materials, new opt-ins or downloads to make this class happen? Consider all of these things and the other vendors you’ll have to pay during the process. It’s all factored into your bottom line, friend.

How long is the class & what level of knowledge?

Your students will want to make sure their investment is worth the time they’ll be getting your attention and knowledge. Will your students be beginners or advanced photographers? What’s the take-away? Will students leave with 101 skills… or will they be equipped to start their own photography business at the end of the course? These are all major factors to consider when pricing your photography workshop.

3.  What’s happening in your market?

How many other people are teaching classes?

price a beginning photography class & provide a fabulous experienceTake a look around at your direct competition. Are 20 other photography workshops readily available in your area? Maybe you’re a pioneer and flying solo on this incredible value-add service. You must price accordingly. Of course, you will need a lower price point if your local market is saturated with other teacher-togs.

What’s your competition charging?

Don’t forget to do your homework when it comes to competitive pricing. Do. not. copy. your competition’s course outline or pricing structure. You may, however, use it as a benchmark to create your own course and pricing structure. Make sure they are comparable, but not identical. Kapish?

How will your class stand out?

What are you doing to add value to your class? If you want a profitable class, you have to make yourself stand out from what everyone else is doing.  I like to my classes to feel “boutique” in nature.  I start class with a coffee and mimosa bar, include a Facebook group for extended learning, and make sure I’m speaking right to the heart of my ideal clients.

There are lots of options for photography eduction {especially from the big box stores}.  So you’ve gotta determine how your differentiation will be factored in when you price your photography workshop and do everything you can to stand out from the crowd!

Who will be taking your workshop & what’s their average income?

If your student base is primarily made up of undergraduate or graduate students, they may not have as much money to budget for training at this point in their career. On the other hand, if you’re teaching a group of retirees, they may have more disposable income and can afford a higher instruction fee. Make sure you consider all of these things when pricing your photography workshop.

I hope this was helpful to you, my friend! Grab my photography workshop start-up guide to get a checklist of everything you need to do before your first class!  There is absolutely no need to struggle through this task alone!  I’ve got eight years of photo class experience behind me – let me share my secrets so that you can get started, faster!

cyrissa sparkle society

Disclaimer: it’s important to make sure you’re “qualified” to bump-up your business with this value-add service.  You’ve gotta be comfortable with your camera, understand the technical side of photography, and be able to explain it to someone else before you should consider teaching beginning photo classes.  Not sure?  Check this out and make sure you’ve got what it takes!

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