photography marketing

Top Tips 15: A Great Alternative to In-Person Sales


In-Person Sales are fantastic for increasing the revenue for every portrait sitting you do, often increasing the average order value by 3 or 4 times that of an online gallery sale. However, In Person Sales are not for everyone but they are a great alternative that still increases your average order value, giving you a fantastic opportunity for upselling too.

A great way to pretty much GUARANTEE a good result from all of your portrait sessions if you don’t use IPS is to use, what I call, a pre-book pricing system. This could save you hours in editing photographs people don't want, do away with time wasters and easily up-sell your customers to much higher priced products.

Firstly, start by constructing a great introduction letter to send out to clients when they book a photoshoot. The letter goes into detail explaining how precious family time is and how a fun filled photoshoot is the perfect way to capture the joy and love of your family together today that can be looked back on with fondness for years to come. Remember, people buy photographs for emotional reasons not because of the price and their investment now will only increase in emotional value over the years, making their portraits a priceless piece in the family home.

It’s also worth mentioning that photographs make fantastic gifts for family members and go down a storm with grandparents who are guaranteed to love the gorgeous images of their grandchildren.

You need to point out that on the day of the photoshoot after the session has finished the family will be given a chance to view the photographs PRIOR to editing with the option of buying albums, frames and digital images at a discounted pre-order price. These prices CANNOT be repeated after the day of the shoot and must be paid for in full prior to the photographs going to the editing process and been made available for final proofing.

Tell them that you know how much they are going to love the images you produce on the day and GUARANTEE they’ll love them even more when they have been edited and are available for viewing and selecting for their chosen packages.

I would always include a pre-book price list showing the RRP of the products along with detailed images of the albums and attractive descriptions too. Next to the RRP I would show the percentage saving for the pre-book on the day prices, which could be anything from 20% to 50%, so it’s essential your packages are marked up accordingly.

This has worked beautifully for us in the boudoir studio, as we teamed up with John Lewis, Smart Box and Virgin Activity Days for 4,000 makeover shoots! We didn’t have time for IPS however for that the pre-booking pricing system set really high average order values and did away with clients changing their minds after leaving the studio to view images on an online gallery.

All packages were chosen and paid for in full prior to the leaving, and we had a host of great add-on products such as mini albums, glass blocks and box frames to upgrade every sale once the main item was secured and decided on.

As the cropping was pretty much done in the camera and the lighting controlled then I had no problem showing clients the raw images, remember clients look at photographs differently to us and it’s the smiles and emotion they are looking at not the contrast and exposure.

Hope you find it useful, if you need any tips on this just drop shout. Jeff

Top Tip 1: GO NICHE



There are photographers around the world who are always in high demand, often booked up months in advance and these guys are not cheap, far from it.

So how do you do it?  How do you turn your photography business into a money-making machine?

One of the key elements I teach at Focus on Marketing is developing a Niche Brand.  You just can’t simply be the “Go to Photographer” for everyone.  When you try to cater for the masses you end up doing so by price, when you sell on price alone you are going down a route to overwork, burnout, long hours and low profit.

The other huge disadvantage is that the mid to bottom end of the market is flooded with photographers.  That’s why so many photographers fail and go out of business, the competition is just unreal.

To really succeed you need to develop your niche.  Don’t be a photographer who does weddings, pet portraits and commercial all under one roof - become a specialist.

Yes, you can do all these types of photography but not all from the same website and social media platforms.  Each line of photography has a different market, different clients and a different image or message so each should be branded differently with separate websites and social media pages.

When you become a specialist, you must focus on just one type of client or one industry or market and serve these people better than they could ever imagine.  Blow them away with awesome literature that really sells the benefits of your services to them.  Don’t give them what you think they should have, give them what they really want and they’ll pay a premium for it in return.

We’ve worked with clients around the world who have been convinced their work just isn’t good enough to charge a premium but that’s all down to self confidence and as photographers we are very self-critical.  However, once you develop a brand based around your clients needs and have a message that totally appeals to them and them alone then the money just starts to roll in.  People will pay a premium for service or items that they really want and that suits their needs exactly.

For example, a bride doesn’t buy photographs she buys the emotional connection.  She’s buys the idea that not only will her photographs look amazing, her day will be fun, relaxed and all the emotion and romance will be capture without hassle or interference.  She’s buying into the fun, the laughter and the unobtrusive way that the photographs are taken.

A hotel doesn’t just buy photographs - in order to really connect and sell your services you don’t want to be selling your images to the hotel you need to sell the benefit and outcome of those images.  Guests who book online will 99% of the time book because the hotel’s images appeal to them.  Well lit, beautifully created images that portray the ambience and feel of the hotel will ALWAYS result in more bookings.  Simple as that, you are selling the hotel to increase bookings not photographs.  Get your wording right, get your brand niched and you’ll soon find yourself in high demand.

Want to know more about what I can do for you and your business?  Drop me a message today. 

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