When I first became a celebrant, I hated talking about how much I charged for my services. At first, I didn’t even put it on my website, but after realising that not displaying my price meant attracting lots of interest from people who didn’t like my price when they eventually found out, I put it on my website for everyone to see.
But that still didn’t solve my discomfort with how I felt about my price and talking about my price. Once in a meeting with a couple when the groom asked me to remind him of my fee, I spat out the price like it was a hot rock, and almost apologised for saying it.
In fact, when anyone used to ask my fee, wedding planners and venues included, I used to say what it was, followed by a long explanation of why it was what it was, even though nobody was actually asking for an explanation.
This was a long time ago. I have since invested a lot of time and money in developing my business and money confidence, so that now when I talk about money, whether it’s with clients, potential clients, other celebrants, whoever, I do so with full confidence and normalcy.
And this is one of the problems that celebrants suffer from. We need to normalise how we set and talk about our prices. We need to believe in what we’re doing, what we’re worth and set our pricing to reflect this.
Kendall Summerhawk, who is a famous money mindset coach, says we need to talk about money in the same way that someone says ‘pass the salt, please’. 100% normally, with no shame, fear or judgement. A simple statement of intention.
So here are my five top tips for normalizing your celebrant prices. For being fully aligned with the services you offer and the prices that you charge and making this a good foundation for your ongoing pricing mindset. (Hint: It is an ongoing process!)
1. Be transparent with your prices
As I mentioned before, when I first became a celebrant I never used to put my prices on my website. I now know that deep down as a new celebrant, I didn’t believe that I deserved or was allowed to charge the same as other more established celebrants. So I only told people my price on a need-to-know basis.
I cannot tell you the hours wasted, dealing with emails from people only contacting me wanting to know my price, then finding out my price and then of course, never hearing back from them. I have now had my prices on show EVERYWHERE for over a decade and I honestly cannot remember the last time I got an email asking me my price. I know that some celebrants prefer not to display their pricing but I am a huge advocate for it, for these reasons:
– It filters out time-wasters and tyre kickers.
– It filters out people who know they can’t afford your price (it’s okay that not everyone can afford your price.)
– It generally brings you a better quality of enquiry, from people who already know your price and therefore are more interested in connecting with you to discuss your services further.
As a result of this, my first question from people is now ‘are you available?’ NOT ‘what’s your price?’ And because my price is displayed all over my website and in my email communications, I rarely even get people asking for discounts. I think it’s because they see me confidently stating my price more than once, coupled with my confident display of my worth and the value they get from my services, and so they don’t feel the need to ask for a discount.
If you are someone who doesn’t currently display your price anywhere, ask yourself ‘why?’ What’s the reason for it? And if your reason is because you don’t have a set price, you can still put a ‘prices start from…’ placeholder on your website to give some sort of indication to couples. But seriously though, ask yourself why and whether there is any good reason not to.
2. Be onboard with your prices
Sometimes it’s not the fact that couples or families don’t want to pay your price, it’s because your energy around your pricing is all wrong and you’re subconsciously not convincing people that you’re worth what you say you are.
If you aren’t fully mentally onboard with your pricing, it will show. If you don’t believe you’re worthy of what you’re charging, you’re more likely to allow discounts and routinely drop your price. Like when I used to be embarrassed to verbally say my price, I know that couples sensed my own discomfort and my need to have to justify what I charged.
If you are 100% aligned with your pricing, your confidence for what you charge for the services that you offer will be transmitted to others. You truly must believe that you deserve to charge what you charge and most importantly, that what you charge is very normal.
3. Show couples exactly what they get for booking you
Normalize your prices by showing couples and families exactly what it is that they’re getting for what you charge. Whether you do this on your website or in your email communication, make sure to let them know. Don’t just tell couples what you’ll do for them and their ceremony but tell them what you do for the entire process of working with them and all the extras that come with it.
In my wedding e-brochure that I send to potential couples, I list out at least 5 things/benefits that couples get they book me or one of my team. From a breakdown of the planning process to my number of years of experience and my professionalism and ongoing training. I list it all! Anyone reading that list will not have any doubts that they are getting value for money. If couples can see clearly what it is that they get from you, they’re more likely to accept what you charge, with no questions asked.
4. Don’t give discounts
How can you normalise your pricing, if you give discounts out wily-nily at any opportunity? If you start discounting your fee but still have the same expenses, and the same amount of hours worked, then you are devaluing your price and therefore diminishing the idea that what you charge is normal. If you feel that giving money off is the only way that you’ll get a booking, one quick fix to this is to offer different priced services, which I explain below.
5. Have a range of prices and services
It is normal to have more than one price. It is normal to offer different levels of service. You don’t just have to offer one service at one price. It’s okay to say, I have a price for this and a different price for this. This is why packages and different levels of service can be a good idea for celebrants who are still finding their feet with their pricing and don’t yet have the full confidence of more established celebrants to have one price for one type of service.
Different types of services can help you to serve different types of people, which can generate income and build up your confidence for when or if you become ready to focus on having one price and one service aimed at your ideal client.
So there you have it. Let’s make our celebrant pricing normal. Let’s make how we talk about our prices, normal. It’s not extraordinary. It’s not otherworldly. It’s just the sum you charge for the services that you do. So don’t let people disrupt what are just normal transactions between those who sell and those who purchase.
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