Don’t Sell Yourself, Sell Your Benefits

We talk about the business of journalism in all of my classes, but never enough. (If we’re ever allowed to hire an adjunct again, I would lobby – heavily – to bring in one guy to teach a business class. I know who, I’ve had him in my classes already and he hits the proverbial home run every time.)

Over on New Media Photographer, Rosh Sillare has a post about justifying your prices to clients. It’s a simple idea, an elegant idea and one that I believe will work. I get asked this question by my students all the time – how much should I charge? When I give them some variables to work through, they all think I’m nuts – there’s no way they’re worth that much, they think.

And, no, to be honest, they are not worth that much – but what they can produce is worth that much. They have to realize they’re not selling themselves, they are selling the benefit of what they do.

Of course, that means they need to know more than how to shoot whatever is being asked of them – they need to know what its value to the client is. And that is an extremely difficult thing to figure out when you’re young.

Mark E. Johnson

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