So I was having a telephone “consultation” session with one of my photography colleagues the other day. After I was through giving her my opinion of what she requested for, I asked her a question that momentarily popped into the gray matter within my skull: “How much do you think an hour with Seun Akisanmi is worth?” Her response was. more surprisingly spontaneous than the question itself. “$750 per hour,” she blurted out. Wow, I didn’t even know I was worth that much in consultation fees.
I explained to her that I was considering putting a fee on the telephone consultations I provide my “clients” because I’ve been spending an increasing amount of time on “telephone consultations”. Yes, I’m beginning to like money more than you’ll expect. It is because I’m beginning to believe it has potentials to solve some of the challenges I’m going though (like not owning a BMW 540i or a BlackBerry Q10). I believe if I don’t convert my most valuable resource (i.e.TIME) into money, I’ll probably end up realizing I’m running a non-profit organization and my wife and kids might probably leave me for not taking care of them. Hope you get my drift.
Don’t get scared now, I personally don’t think charging $750 per hour will bring an overflow of paying clients now. Besides I’m still reviewing it. Its one of the things I admire about one of my UK-based photography mentors. The guy charges between €100 & €250 for a few hours of talking to him on the phone. Ofcourse it seems ridiculous to people who have been used to getting “free” advice and education but he’s getting enough clients that sign up for his service and everyone is happy at the end of the day.
It is to this end I have reviewed how I spend my working hours. I suggest you do the same also else you’ll realize that one week of your life has gone without you being able to lay hands on what you’ve “achieved”. The following are 2 policies I’m adopting with immediate effect and I’ll be grateful if everyone can work with me on this.
First, I’ll appreciate if a prior appointment is made before dropping by to see me. I feel its a little disrespectful for someone to just stop by someone’s office without informing the person in advance. And when I mean advance notice, I’m not referring to calling 1 hour before coming; I’ll prefer if one can book 1-3 days in advance. Its so that I can achiever more with the time I have in a day. I just hope I won’t be misinterpreted on this issue.
Secondly, I’ll appreciate anyone that comes to our organization to help us be more productive by waiting at the reception. Sometimes its been a little difficult for new interns to ask people that know me well to stay at the reception until they’re attended to. Heck, sometimes its even hard for me to say. However, friends’ presence in our editing room and/or studio sometimes inhibits our efficiency because we end up discussing issues that will make a 1-minute Photoshop work last for 10 minutes.
Please don’t be offended. There is so much on my table now that requires me to be a better manager. Don’t worry, I haven’t started charging for telephone consultations yet. You can always add me up on BlackBerry (PIN: 271E3BC8) or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to reach me.
I challenge you to ask yourself the same question I asked myself recently: HOW MUCH IS MY HOUR WORTH? Then proceed to make those difficult adjustments that will make you proud to be considered a world-class photopreneur.
Your Photography Coach,