Shoot Less | Senior Photography

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As photographers, it seems we spend an infinite amount of effort marketing to get more and more clients each year. It’s easy to think the only way to make more money is to photograph more sessions. Just because you are shooting more doesn’t mean you are making more profit. This is exactly where I found myself a couple of years ago. If 12-hour work days and very little time with your family sound appealing, this article is not for you. You can be the best photographer in the world, but if your sales program is weak, you will never make it. You need to step back and review every angle of the selling side of your business. Let me share how I learned to shoot less and earn a LOT more.

It all began when I realized the sales program I had in place was actually hurting more than helping me. Selling packages seemed to be the standard so I figured I would do the same. We had five different packages for clients to choose from. They would always gravitate toward one of the lower-priced packages because I had way too many products in each package and never left them wanting for more. Once they secured a package, there was nothing left to upsell them. With selling packages, I was basically putting a cap on what each client was going to spend.

Then we created a sales program with several different steps that clients can choose from. For instance, with Step 1 clients choose their wall portraits and as an incentive to persuade them to buy more than one, they get a small discount for multiple portraits. At Step 2 they choose their album and they get an incentive for buying two. At Step 3 they select their gift prints, which are 8”x10”s, 5”x7”s and so on. Of course, there are bonus levels in this step as well. For instance, if they buy five, they get two bonus prints for free. If they buy eight, they get three free. Clients will always buy more if they can get something for free. At Step 4 they choose how many wallet images to purchase. Most people are not able to sell wallets anymore. For every image a client purchases as a set of wallets, we give them that image to share on Facebook. It is all about making the client feel like they are in control of what they choose and spend.

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To read the full article, launch the digital version of the February 2013 magazine.

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