5 Ways You Can Increase Your Senior Sales with Amanda Holloway
One of the best things you can do for your bottom line is not to learn how to photograph a better portrait or how to edit a cleaner image. It’s actually to study how to educate your potential and current clients on your end result … your portrait product offerings. Most photographers I’ve taught are missing out on pre-sale product education, and when it comes down to the ordering session, they’re left wondering why they didn’t make more. The following strategies are specific ways that you can increase your sales starting today, by diving deep into your clients’ psyches and finding ways to better motivate higher sale averages.
1. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Do yourself a favor and commit to a quick audit of your social media presence with the following question in mind: When was the last time you posted about your portrait products? If you’re like most photographers, the answer may be longer than a month ago … if at all. The very first method that you can begin to put into practice today is to start marketing your tangible portrait products on your social media platforms. I don’t care what it is—Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Tick Tock, it doesn’t matter. If your target market doesn’t know that you offer beautiful products, then that’s not going to be one of the reasons they hire you, and therefore, they won’t be spending money on you when it comes down to it. Diversify your social media feed! If all you’re marketing are digital images across your platforms, don’t be surprised when you attract clients who only want digital images from you. Start taking behind-the-scenes videos of your clients the first time they flip through their very own album. Take some professional images of your products, and put them in your IG stories. Showcase a client’s canvas collection in their own home. All of these are great ways to prime your clients’ minds to lean toward more product sales rather than just digital images.
2. CLIENT EDUCATION
In line with marketing products to your target social media audience, you must market your products to potential and booked clients with plenty of front-loaded client education. Let me ask you a question: How are you responding to client inquiries? When a potential client e-mails you or calls you to inquire about a session, how do you respond? If you are only responding with your prices or a verbal explanation of your brand’s experience, you are leaving money on the table. If you educate these potential clients with images of your gorgeous portrait products upon inquiry, you are showing them that you are a photographer who can give them stunning products to display in their homes. You are telling them that the experience doesn’t end when the session is over. And once your potential client becomes your booked client, the education should never stop there. You still have work to do. When the session is over, it’s always a great idea to send your clients home with tangible or digital resources that remind them of one of the reasons they booked you in the first place: your product offerings. I like to send my clients home with a small magazine displaying my top collections using images of products. It really gets them excited for the ordering session as they begin to think about what products they are going to fill their home with.
3. PREMIUM PRODUCTS GET PREMIUM PRICING
The last time that you purchased a vehicle, were you able to get leather seats and DVD players for the base vehicle rate? Probably not. The same should be the case for your photography business. Your clients should not be able to purchase premium products at base prices. What’s a premium product? Any specific product that the majority of your clients love … anything that you see them purchasing over and over and over again. For most photographers, premium products are either digitals, albums, or canvas collections. These products should not be available on your a la carte menu, but rather should be your top collection offerings. Go back and read that sentence one more time, and process it for a bit. The products that your clients love and want the most should not be available individually, but rather used as a tool to motivate them to purchase your higher collections. That right there, my friends, is consumer psychology, and it will result in increased sales every time.
4. SAMPLES FOR EVERYONE
Once it’s time to showcase your products during an ordering session, you need to have a sample for everyone present. This means that you should have more than one sample in your studio. You need at least two. Why? Because you never want your client to feel like they have to share a sample. If a client wants to spend more time looking through an album while drooling over each page, you don’t want that momentum to be interrupted by the need to have to share it with the person sitting next to them. You want them to fall in love with your products and not have to share that love. While you’re at it, show your products to your clients with hands that showcase the value of the product. When you’re handing an album to a client, delicately pass it to them with both hands, and treat it with the utmost care. This action will actually be mimicked by your client, which will place an immediate value on that product for them. This helps your client understand that it’s a very important product with a lot of worth.
5. STUDIED SALES METHODS
Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to purchase a product the longer that product is held in their hands. Read that one more time—the longer a product spends with a client, the more likely they are to purchase it. So let’s apply this to an ordering session by making sure that the products we want to sell the most spend the most time with our clients. I do this with a little method I like to call the “lap load.” When I showcase my products at an ordering session, I make sure that the very last thing I show them is the collection I want to sell them. So I load them up with an image box full of mounted prints, a thumb drive and slide box, and a pre-loaded app on an iPad with my client’s gallery and let them marinate with those products for much longer than with the other products. And guess what? Ninety-five percent of my ordering sessions go for that collection or higher, with average sales of $5,500 per client. Think about other ways that you can motivate higher sales for your ordering sessions by using specific methods that put your products front and center. When I showcase my three storyboard wall print options, I take the largest one off the wall and put it right in front of my clients for the rest of the session. Guess which one I sell the most? You guessed it. .. the one I pull off the wall. Little tweaks like this can have a huge impact on your bottom line.
Notice that every single one of these factors are things that you can start doing today to increase your sales and income immediately. I truly believe in small methods that create a big impact, and over the past decade, these practices have been proven to work for not only my brand, but hundreds of other photographers as well. So start by marketing more of your portrait product offerings to both your potential and booked clients, because when it all comes down to it, product education is the name of the game, and it will always end in increased sales.