How to Run a Photography Black Friday Sale (without being known as the cheap/discount photographer!)

This is how you’re going to boost sales for Black Friday, and it might not be what you think!

Inside my signature program, Marketing School for Birth Photographers, I teach students the 7-step marketing system to fill their calendar. And you know what?

At no point do I ever teach my students to discount their prices when they’re out of the portfolio building phase. If you show your potential clients VALUE that exceeds the PRICE, they will buy from you!

“But wait, I thought this blog is about Black Friday and how to get more sales?”

It is! But these strategies are most effective when you understand that discounting your sessions and prices is NOT the way to get fully booked.

Here is what most struggling photographers do around Black Friday (and if this is you, no shame. I’ve totally done this too):

It’s Tuesday and they realize Black Friday is in 3 days. They hop over to Photoshop or Canva to put together a cute little graphic that says “Black Friday Sale! 50% off!” They post that on social media, book 1 or 2, maybe even 10-20 sessions for half off.

So, did those clients book with the struggling photographer because they were offering a sale? They’re likely not your ideal client. Now, they are also working for HALF price. Yes, they get a boost in cash right now, but is this flash sale actually serving their business long term?

Offering a Black Friday sale isn’t inherently a BAD strategy, but you need to offer the sale in a way that is intentional and fits in with the long-term marketing plan for your business!

So, looking forward to a Black Friday Sale in 2022, how can you offer a Black Friday sale that attracts your ideal clients, gives you a boost in revenue and builds your brand without cheapening it?

5 Ways to Stand Out During the Black Friday Sales and Boost Your Revenue

1. Instead of discounting, add value

Consider your ideal client in everything you do, including Black Friday promotions. Chances are, she’s not booking you because you’re the cheapest. However, incentives can definitely prompt her to do book you over someone else or to go ahead and secure her spot when maybe she’s been thinking about it on and off!

Let’s say you were considering offering $200 off for a Black Friday sale. Instead of $200 off – what is something that has $200 in VALUE that you could ADD when they book?

Examples of ways to offer additional value instead of discounting:

  • free professional hair and makeup with a newborn session
  • free maternity session fee with a 2023 birth booking
  • Complimentary 16×20 mounted print with newborn session
  • Free baby plan

An extra tip when you’re adding value instead of discounting is to make sure and ALWAYS list the value price so they know what they’re getting for free – so, “Complimentary 16×20 mounted print ($195 value) for free when you book a newborn session.”

2. If you do offer a discount, offer it for when you’re normally slow anyway

We offer Double Dollar Gift Certificates in my business. Which means if they buy a gift certificate for $200 in a specific period of time, we’ll double it and give them a $400 gift certificate.

The “catch” is that it’s only valid for the Double Dollar amount during certain dates (spoiler alert: it’s during my slow season anyway)!

It’s a win for the client, because we never offer sales.
It’s a win for ME, because I’m getting bookings when we’d normally be slower anyway.

3. Offer a discount on past sessions

You’ve already made what you need to make on these sessions! This is just a cherry on top.

  • Print orders, albums, etc.
  • Upload 2022 galleries to email discount code
  • You could offer a smaller % off for Cyber Monday.
  • Digital Files upgrade – (add on more files or the large files)

4. Promote a product you don’t normally offer (with a discount if you choose)

Most families are Black Friday shopping to get Christmas gifts.

Ask yourself: What kind of Christmas gift can I offer that will make my clients gift shopping even easier?
How about 2023 calendars with photos already inside from their photo session with you or custom Christmas ornaments.

5. Don’t offer a sale at all

Everyone’s inboxes are FILLED with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Small Business Saturday sales and offers at the end of November. What if you did something COMPLETELY different and didn’t offer a sale at all?

Some Ideas:

  • Donate to charity for every booking that comes in
  • Offer a downloadable that is filled with value for free (like a wall display guide, photocard template, tips for taking photos in front of the Christmas tree with a DSLR or iPhone) – this will build trust in your brand AND make you stand out because you KNOW they’re getting dozens and dozens of Black Friday sales emails. What if YOU stand out by giving away something for free, no strings attached?

Do a giveaway! (You can do a giveaway just for your company or include other businesses!)

Bonus Tip!

When promoting any kind of offer, the struggling photographer usually says “I need money!” and they throw up a sale within 24-48 hours.

But the successful and fully booked photographer maximizes their promotions by doing a build-up > offer > puts a deadline on it.

BUILD UP – consistent on social, engaging with your followers, teasing that something awesome is coming, building your email list

OFFER – I usually send out the details without letting them purchase the day before via email. So, they know the offer and they know they can buy it the next day. This way they’ve made a decision on if their purchasing or not when the promo opens. Then I send out the offer with the same details as they day before with the link to buy.

DEADLINE – this is so important! People will hem and haw around unless you give them a deadline. We usually send out an email the day before the deadline and the day of the deadline as a courtesy reminder that the promotion is expiring.

There you have it! 5 ways to stand out during the Black Friday sales and boost your revenue including the bonus tip to promote the offer you decide on!

So, what ideas are you going to implement for your own Black Friday Photography Sale??


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