On Undervaluation

Over the weekend I coordinated a photoshoot for the watch brand I run in my spare time. Without getting off track, I came to own a watch brand a little over a year ago and really enjoy getting to experience business ownership in the physical product realm (www.arweswe.com).

When I first inherited the brand, AR/WE, it came with some existing product photography. That was great for a little while, but to be honest the aesthetic was popular a few years ago, the world has shifted, and I wanted to change things up. Out of a desire to move things forward and create new content for the website and social media I went hunting for a photographer.

I ended up stumbling upon a crew of high school/college students locally who all take photos and shoot together often.

I admired their work (which is fantastic) and the work ethic to continually be creating content.

So I sent one of them a Direct Message on Instagram and asked if he’d be interested in doing a shoot and if he knew anyone that might be able to stand in as a model.

I ended up hiring him and one of his friends. I supplied the watches, they supplied the camera and outfits for the shoot. Here’s a sample of what I got out of that investment:

AR/WE Nato/Black

Their photos are fantastic, I ended up with more final shots than I asked for AND they charged me pennies compared to what I was expecting to pay. I actually bumped up the price I was going to pay them because their original offer felt too low. For what I got I likely would have been comfortable paying close to 2-4X what they actually charged me.

And that’s where I want this post to land.

Most people undervalue their work. Regardless of whether you provide a product or a service, you are likely pricing yourself too low.

It stems from imposter syndrome, not knowing our value, and being completely unaware of market pricing.

My two cents is simple, test it. I'm in a phase in my professional life right now where the theme seems to be test it, analyze the performance, adjust and try again. The goal isn't to reach some arbitrary success number, but to get better and better and better.

Pricing our own products and services should be no different. Pick a starting point and move forward from there. If you're offering product photos, start out offering $150 for 50 photos, if you get a client at that price, then for the next proposal, make it $250. And then $350 and then $450. And push the price up until someone says no. Then you might've found a limit.

I understand there are always circumstances surrounding pricing that make this a complicated subject, but if you've set your pricing ONCE and never tested it then you are likely leaving money on the table that would otherwise be revenue for you.

I know I've left thousands of dollars on the table in my freelance work, but I'm okay with that because I had to start somewhere. I'm still testing, analyzing, adjusting, and trying again.

You should be too.