I am REALLY excited about this episode because we know how hard we all work to acquire a client right? And the deal is, it costs more (in time and money) to get a new client than keep an existing one, which is why making the most out of each client is such a critical part of a successful photography business.
Let me be clear, this episode isn’t about how to get the clients, it’s about increasing your sale with each existing client and even past clients.
If you’re a baby or birth photographer looking for more clients, listen up!
I’ve been photographing babies and families for over 10 years. My goal is to help other photographers get their business off the ground so they can go full time, too. That’s why I created The Baby Photographer’s Marketing System – my 7 step process for getting fully booked, yes even in these times. You’ll learn how to find your niche, create an amazing website that converts leads into sales and bookings, build your brand with social media marketing and much more!
Did I mention this is live, totally free and we’re doing a bunch of giveaways? Yesss girl, the training experience has limited spots available (150 for those who come live, actually), so don’t miss out on this opportunity to grow your photography business today! Get started by clicking here or head over to www.getbirthphotographyclients.com to sign up now!
Let me tell you a little story. Back in 2016, I was staying fully booked, but I was NOT sales savvy at all. I was booking a lot of birth clients (somewhere around 30 that year), but almost NONE of them were booking a newborn session with me, maybe just about 20%. Then it dawned on me to INCLUDE a newborn session fee in my birth packages. And suddenly, not only did I dramatically increase the number of newborn sessions I was doing but it took my sales average for a birth client from $1250 to $2000. That ONE shift increased my revenue by more than 60%!! And I went from very few booking their newborn with me to around 90% of my birth clients booking the newborn session with me and not another photographer like they were before.
This is the importance and power of maximizing sales with each client.
Imagine even if you only increased your sales by 25% for each client. That could take you from a $40,000 year to a $50,000 year with the SAME number of clients and really not that much extra work.
Idk if that makes you excited but it sure makes me excited!
And here’s something else to note: for those of you who feel kinda yucky hearing the word “sales” or talking about making more money per client – and I could go on and on about this but I’ll keep it brief – The sales strategies we’re talking about here today are intended to SERVE your clients in a better way, not pressure them to buy something they don’t want.Photographers who implement these strategies want to serve their client better and more fully, which also translates to higher sales. Remember, money is an exchange of value! The more VALUE you give, the more money you make!
You’re going to want to take notes during this episode, trust me!
Sales Strategies to Hit $10k Months (Part 1)
1. Sell Printed Products
This includes prints, yes, but there are so many ways to go about this. Prints, framed prints, canvas, metal prints, loose prints in a box or album, a printed album, photoblocks, gallery wall…there are lots of options out there!
Of course, almost all photographers offer digital files, and these days that is what the client has come to expect … but when you sell printed products you’re giving your client a couple of things:
- A reason and a way to spend more money with you (hey, there is the sales strategy right? )
- In my opinion after a decade of being in business, you’re giving them a better client experience.
The truth is, when you throw a bunch of digital files at someone and walk away, it’s what they think they want, but it’s actually overwhelming for them. They have good intentions to go through and print them, but honestly few ever do. So what happens? They post a few on social media and rarely look back at them.
I don’t know about you, but that breaks my photographer heart! I want them to walk by their favorite memories hanging on the wall every day or sit down and flip through a photo album with their kids, remembering those days.
When you’re selling printed products to a client, there can be a little client education involved, they have to understand why they should buy this from you instead of print themselves.
So I’m just really honest with my clients and I tell them, “Based on my experience…you’re very unlikely to print these yourselves!”
And I ask them, “Did you print your wedding photos like you thought you would? Especially with a new baby, I can help you pick out your favorites, design the album, set up the gallery wall, etc., so that you don’t have to think about it!”
I tell them, “of course you’ll get the digital files to share on social media and print if you’d like to but let me print the archival pieces for you! I take care of everything and they have a lifetime guarantee if anything ever goes wrong with them.”
The truth is when it comes to printed vs. digital, digital technology has been changing so fast. In the 10 years I’ve been a photographer, it’s changed so much! Because it used to be shoot and burn (you give your clients a CD) – you’d shoot the photos and burn the photos on to a CD. And then it switched to USB. Now, USBs are getting irrelevant because newer computers have USB-C. So these CDs and USBs that I’ve given my clients with their photos on them, they cannot even access their photos. And that’s only been within the last 7-10 years.
So what I tell my clients is that printed products are archival. They will last the test of time. Your digital files could be corrupted, that even if you back them up your technology will become irrelevant just like it already has.
Having that conversation with them helps them understand that they don’t have to print every single one of their photos and hang it on their wall, but I can help them choose their favorites, what they want to do with them and hang them so they can really enjoy them, and ensure them that they have a lifetime guarantee if anything goes wrong with them. Do you see how that is better customer service? Do you see how that is selling and serving at the same time and I’m giving value in exchange for additional revenue?
You can sell printed products virtually with a picture hosting platform like Pixieset or my personal favorite, in-person sales, which brings me to the 2nd Sales Strategy to Hit $10k Months…
IPS stands for in-person sales, I’m sure you’ve heard about it by now. It seems like photographers either love or hate in-person sales, but I happen to love it and here is why.
In 2014, I was a shoot and burn photographer, which meant I included all the digital files in my session fee. I’d shoot the session and send them the files, all for around $250.
In 2015, I decided to try out IPS, which was a new concept in digital photography back then. My 1st sale was literally $2400. I made almost 10x my normal shoot and burn fee in one session. I was blown away!!
To date, our largest sale was over $6,000 and that was for a maternity session. Our sales average, including the session fee today (for portraits) is $2000. That’s for a portrait session only, not birth. Our higher sales are usually newborns, but our baby plan clients usually spend between $800-$1500.
So, why am I telling you this? It’s not a humble brag, I promise. I just want to show you the revenue I’d be missing out on if I included the digitals or digitals with a print credit WITHOUT meeting in person.
Here’s why the in person piece is so valuable, both for me and the client:
- It’s valuable for the client because it’s an immersive experience. When you’re a higher end photographer, you’re selling convenience and luxury and “done for you” services. When they sit and watch a slideshow in the studio and then get to see the products in person, flip through the albums, touch the covers, see the sizes of the canvas, it makes a big impact on their experience AND it makes them feel more comfortable spending the money because they can see in person exactly what they’re purchasing!
- It’s valuable for me, as the business owner, for several reasons. My favorite reason is, I get to see and hear which images are their favorite! I cannot tell you how many poses or sets I’ve changed or omitted completely because I heard my clients say over and over they DID like this or they DIDNT like that. There is 1 particular pose in newborn sessions that moms literally ALWAYS love and almost always purchase as their canvas or print. If I didn’t do IPS, I wouldn’t know how much they loved it.
Of course IPS is also valuable because it increased my sales average, which means I can spend more time with each client, get to know them and their family and preferences while also getting to spend more time with MY family because I’m working fewer hours!
I know IPS can feel overwhelming, but it’s been a game changer for us. If you’re a student in my course, Marketing School and you want to keep talking about this or have a more detailed training on this, will you post and tag me in the student FB Group because I’d love to continue this conversation over there!
The 3rd sales strategy to hit $10k months is…
3. Showcase What You Sell
We talk about showing what you want to shoot, right? Like if you want to photograph birth, show birth online! If you want to photograph newborns, show newborns online! The same is true for the products you want to sell!
This applies to you whether you do IPS or online galleries or some mixture of the two.
The question is, do your clients know what products you offer? Or did they get a pricing guide one time that mentioned it and you’re expecting to make product sales from that one time they glanced at it?
When I say “showcase what you sell” I mean you’re showing the products you want to sell before they inquire, after they’re a client, at the session, AND at ordering. You are constantly highlighting your products!
I want to walk you through some ways you can do this:
- First choose a product you know you want to sell, other than digital files of course bc everyone already wants that.
- Post about the benefits on social media and show photos of the product.
- Showcase it on IG stories, either the product itself or a client’s product when you get it in the mail.
- Show the photos or a video tour of the product on your website.
- Add it as an email in the client experience after they book with you.
- Show them the product at their session and share which photo you took that you think would go great in this product and why!
- Then of course at the ordering appointment show the product, highlight what is great about it and which photo from their session would fit perfectly in it.
If you’re new to selling products, this might feel a bit overwhelming, but I wanted to give you some ideas for HOW you can show what you want to sell!
The 4th sales strategy to hit $10k months as a photographer is…
4. Be a good listener
If you listen closely to your client in the pre-booking phase and ask the right questions, you’ll find out exactly what they’re hoping to get from the session with you and as a result you can offer products to fill that need!
If your client mentions wanting lifestyle moments and those sweet in between moments in their session, you might suggest an album! – “Hey I remember you said you loved the in between moments and I think an album would be perfect for your photos. We can put several photos on each page and it will really tell you family’s story.”
Or, if they want to have a great family photo of everyone looking and smiling, you might suggest a large canvas to display in their living room.
But not every client will just casually mention this, so I do ask them directly, “What would you like to do with these photos?” or “What is your end goal with this session?”
Another less direct way to ask is to say to your client (either in person or in a questionnaire):
“Imagine you’re seeing these photos for the first time and you’re in LOVE with them, what are you seeing? What is it that makes you love them so much?”
I love asking this question because I get to find out what’s really important to them and what’s gonna make them love these photos. And a lot of times they’ll say things like if I could just get the kids looking and smiling, or if I can get some genuine smiles or laugh, or if I can get us interacting together – like that’s usually what they say, and so then it helps me know what’s important to them and make sure I get that in their session.
For the 5th sales strategy to hit $10k months I want you to remember one acronym …
5. KISS (Keep it simple stupid)
This means… don’t overwhelm them with photos or product choices! If you’re newer to offering products, it can be easy to fall in love with so many of the amazing choices out there and want to offer ALL THE THINGS.
But, a confused mind doesn’t buy! When your client feels overwhelmed or confused, they will just shut down and opt for what they know… digital files.
I recommend having 1-2 wall art options and 1-2 album options when you’re just getting started with products. Choose the products that YOU love, because it will make them much easier to sell!
As a photographer, I kinda hate albums. They’re a pain to make and design and they’re expensive to print. But as a consumer, I love the idea of purchasing an album because it’s all done for me. Also, as I’ve invested in quality pieces for our home, I have less and less wall space, so it makes more sense to invest in an album. Because I love them as a consumer, it makes them much easier for me to promote and sell!
Another thing that I want to add in this method is to not overwhelm your clients with photos. I honestly think it’s lazy when a photographer just gives you hundreds of photos. That means they didn’t really cull through them themselves. And they just batch edited a bunch of stuff and threw it at you to deal with.
It takes more intentional effort for me to go through and cull only the best of the best, and that enhances their experience too because everytime they click through a photo, most possibly they will genuinely love each and every photo and it makes the choice of which to print and purchase so much easier when there’s 40 photos instead of 400 photos.
The 6th sales strategy to hit $10k months in your photography business is one we touched on earlier but I want to highlight again and that is…
6. Make it Easy to Book Additional Sessions
Like the example I told you at the beginning of this episode when I added newborn session fee to my birth packages, is there a way you can add in something you’re not booking enough of to a popular session type?
For you, it might be adding newborn to birth or maybe it’s adding a maternity session to your newborn package.
To clarify: I added the newborn session fee to the birth package, they still had to place their order after the birth. So, if they chose not to use it, that was fine with me, but because it was included almost everyone used it! 🙂
These sales strategies, as you can see, have been amazing for the profitability of our business. Being a good listener to my clients, understanding their goals with the session before I offer products or services, keeping it simple by only offering 1-2 options at first if they’re newer to selling product and making it easy for them to book additional sessions once they’ve booked one with me.
And we’re just getting started! Stay tuned to next week’s episode for the rest of the tips and, of course, some bonus tips and how to keep track of all these strategies.
If you’re enjoying this podcast, please hit SUBSCRIBE wherever you’re listening and thank you so much for leaving the show a review on itunes! I read each and every one and it helps this podcast reach more people so, thank you!
My friend, if you have a passion – it’s not an accident. Not everyone loves photography, or event planning, or real estate… whatever your passion is, it’s there for a REASON. What are you going to do with that passion? Get out there and make it happen! Have a great week y’all!