Ella asks:

Price points seem to be a hot topic everywhere… Would you recommend putting your fees on your website?

Some celebrants display their price on their website, others don’t. Some also seem to provide services cheaper then a BDM wedding. Which poses that question that some people expect you to compete on price, they aren’t comparing the quality of service provided. Only the number they see on the page…

As Sarah noted, everyone has a different answer on this, and here is mine. Don’t count this post as the final word, it’s just a brain dump on a Wednesday afternoon. I’m sure this is a topic we’ll return to over and over, and I’d invite you to list your thoughts in the comments.

Price, that big bad number we all freak out about.

Firstly we wonder, are we charging too much, or not enough.

Then we look at the profit & loss, or the budget, and start freaking out because our price multiplied by the number of bookings doesn’t match that magical budgeted number.

Finally, we get the couples with feedback like “you’re too expensive” or worse “is that all??”

This is a discussion that has kept me up at night in building my own business, and even just this week in trying to think how to best answer this question.

What is your price for?

I like to view my price as part of my customer journey. It’s just one of the touch points in between a couple finding out that I exist, and booking me. On the same journey there’s emails, web pages, social media, advertising, conversation, and booking forms.

Because my business is a customer jounrney focused business. Because my business is focused on providing an experience to the couple, well before any ceremony takes place, my price is made available by request. So it’s not publicly on the website, but if you enter your email address I’ll automatically send it to your email and even your phone. You can try it now – visit marriedbyjosh.com and request an information pack.

I’m not ashamed of my fee, and want it to be easily known to my couples, but I also want it to be part of the journey. So I ask for their email address, and every week I publish a value-adding email called “On getting married and being married”. Everyone who has requested an info pack gets that email, so they know I exist, and they know my fee, but I’m continuing the relationship and also building value.

Because I want to have the price position of “I might cost a lot, but you’ll get way more than you paid for”. Because I think that’s a position I can win, and for me to give you more than you paid for, we need to establish relationship. You need to join my tribe. It’s not as a simple as scrolling down a list of celebrants and choosing one.

It’s more than likely that your business has a different price position and purpose in your price. So it’s not a matter of displaying your price on your website or not, the better question is “why am I/why am I not displaying my price on my website?”

If your only differentiator is that you’re the cheapest, then the best way to announce that to the world is to display your price, note how much cheaper you are than everyone else, perhaps offer discounts, and maybe post a photo of your soul slowly withering away.

I’ve also used price as a filter, to keep tyre kickers and price-conscious couples away. I increased the leads into my website (through marketing and advertising) then put my fee publicly available, no info pack request needed. This worked if I increased the volume, but the visit to enquiry rate was right down, because there was no relationship and journey for most of the couples.

For most of my existence as a celebrant I had never mentioned price on my website, and only couples that enquiried would receive pricing information. All this did was lead to a large number of enquiries but terribly low conversion rate because not everyone was willing to pay my price.

In the end I’ll always advocate for the average Australian marriage celebrant to be building a powerfully local and small tribe who value them, their service, and their worldview, and those people want you for you, not because of your price. Obviously price is still a thing, but it’s not the last word, nor is it the first. It’s just part of the conversation.

My final encouragement for you is to embrace the conversation. When people say “I haven’t budgeted that much” know that they are booking and luxury service in a wedding, and if you are a good celebrant and you provide a good service, then don’t be dismayed. Learn to communicate your value outside of those numbers we identify as price, communicate it confidently, succinctly, and in a way that a five year old could understand.

So I guess I’m saying don’t hide your price but maybe don’t advertise it like a $2 store would. Make it part of the conversation. When your price is live on your website for all to read, the conversation around it – your website, social media, and marketing – better be really really good. And if you don’t view the enquiry process as a conversation, over a marketplace or bargaining type of arrangement then this advice will probably not help you at all.