Now that digital photography and online business is prevalent, thousands of newcomers people are entering the photography market. Professional photographers are under greater pressure to find more innovative ways to present and sell to their customers. Here are a few opportunities that you, as a professional, can incorporate within your business workflow to sell more in 2015.
Setup more in-person sales meetings
In-person meetings always help you sell more! Taking the opportunity to have in-person conversations with customers not only helps you create the right package for your customer, but also helps you build trust and relationship with your customer as you work collaboratively to make their event a success! This also helps you get repeat sales and customer referrals for future engagements.
[testimonial]On an average, photographers make 60-80% more sales when they sell in-person.[/testimonial]
Tools like StudioGenie iPad App (affiliate) helps you sell more during your in-person meetings. Here are a few ways to make your in-person meetings more effective and productive:
Present your portfolio on a large screen
If you have a studio, invite your customers and let them view your images in on a large screen. If you don’t own a studio, carry your portfolio on an iPad. StudioGenie App provides a great way to present your images when you meet your customers in person, whether at your studio or at a coffee shop. Put your images in full-screen and give it to your customers to view or airplay it on a large screen.
Collaborate on concepts
Typically, your customers have tons of questions about the shoot. While answering them, use visual aids to explain your ideas. For instance, a soon-to-be bride would be interested to know how she can plan the wedding for best photo opportunities. Upload images from your previous shoots into the iPad App and explain to your customers in context, making it easier for your customers to understand your thought-process and your concepts.
Visually display your offerings
What you show is what gets sold! Presenting your albums, frames, canvases, prints, etc. is crucial to sell them. If you’re meeting at the studio, you can create a custom area to present all your products. Various print companies provide you sample albums, prints and other products that you can get for free or purchase at a discounted rate. Having them handy are useful. But you don’t need to carry every single product you sell. You can create and define them within the iPad App and present them. This is a great way to cross-sell and up-sell different products to your customers, even if you don’t have the physical product to show.
Up-sell and cross-sell products using an app or album as it provides a highly visual way to engage and explain to customers the value of buying those products.
Create and share quote during the meeting
While your prospects are available, you want to quickly convert them and finish the sale. There needs to be a logical closure to the meeting – you wouldn’t want your prospect go to another photographer after meeting you for another consultation. So while they’re with you, create a quote and give it with them. Having paper templates handy are useful, but if you can get them electronic, it’s even better. Using the StudioGenie App, you can present a professional quote for them to review at the end of the meeting based on what they liked. Further convert it into a contract and get their signature to seal the deal!
Take credit card payment
Using mobile card readers like PayAnywhere or Square, you can immediately finish a transaction and get your first payment. By tracking all transactions within the iPad App, you’ll be able to handily manage all bookkeeping together.
Setup calls-to-action on your website
Many photographers have a defined price list that they share on the website. While this works for reputed and busy photographers, newbie professionals may not necessarily want to put their entire price list on the website. Sharing a range and having a ‘contact me for pricing’ form always helps you provide a more personalized pricing for your customer after you understand their needs. This also allows you to setup more in-person sales meetings, which in-turn helps you sell more!
Create wide range of packages
Having at least 3 packages for your prospects would be a good idea as this allows you to work with wide range of budgets that they may have. Visually present the packages through the App and explain the differences clearly. Show higher value for every incremental package. For instance, if the customer buys individual items within the package, the cost of those need to be higher than buying them together in the form of package. This allows you to reach higher price point and sell more, while providing more value to your customers.
Opportunities to sell during or immediately after the shoot
Weddings provide you the opportunity to talk to a variety of individuals. Having your portfolio handy allows you to show and sell your work when the opportunities arise. In case of portraits or other events, being able to upload the images into iPad and having your customers view and review the work immediately after the shoot can be immensely useful. For instance, immediately after a sports shoot, your probability of selling the images is much higher than selling them later when the enthusiasm dies down. Being able to provide the ability to proof images immediately after an event is a great way to sell more after the shoot. Using the StudioGenie iPad App, you can upload and show images immediately after the shoot and let your customers select the images they like, leading you to more orders on-the-go!
In-person proofing is a great way to delight your customers! Your customers have not yet seen the pictures and this is a great opportunity to ‘wow’ them with a personalized proofing session. Invite your customers to see their images and proof them at your studio. In-person proofing helps you personalize your presentation. StudioGenie App allows your customers to proof in-person. Being able to rate images allow your customers to select the specific images that they’d like to buy. Being able to tag and comment the images further streamlines the purchase process. Further the lightroom integration simplifies the post-production process.
Having an effective proofing session means you are bring in second round of sale from your existing customer – this is better than trying to get more customers to achieve the same amount of revenue. With in-person proofing, your average sale per customer has just increased by 50-70%! Which means you can earn more or do few shoots per year to sustain the same annual revenue.
Tracking and Rewarding Referrals
Referrals are a great way to grow your business. When your customer is happy with their images, they invariably recommend you to their family and friends. Make sure you’re tracking how your customers have found you. It may be a campaign, an online ad or through a referral. If you’re able to pin point the specific individual who has referred you, make sure to send them a thank you email or a gift. Using the App, you can track the specific campaigns that worked or the person who referred you the customer, making it easier to see the most effective campaigns and the most influential champions.
A referral that leads to a $3,000 sale deserves your attention and maybe a $50-$250 gift. This could be in the form of a free portrait session or gift card or a custom wall frame from the previous shoot. This not only makes your customers happy, but also encourages them to refer more customers. This is a cheap and effective way to further grow your business.
Effectively leverage social media
If you’re not already using Facebook and Twitter, you should absolutely use it. Apart from regularly posting your work online, there are other ways to advertise your work online. Facebook Ads maybe an interesting way to reach out to targeted individuals within your city. For example, you can target people based on certain age groups, gender, location and interests. If you’re pet photographer, you may want to target those individuals within your city with interests in ‘Pet Contests’, ‘Animal Interest Groups’, etc. Followers of certain magazines, websites and online groups could be another way to reach out to individuals with specific interests.
Volunteer at charity events
Not only are fundraisers a great way to support local cause, but also they’re fantastic way to network with people. These events provide you a lot of exposure. Make sure you’re carrying your business cards and your portfolio (on your iPad App) to be able to effectively interact with your prospects.
Partner with other event vendors
Building relationship with other event vendors such as florists, party planners, wedding planners, etc. can have long lasting impact on your business. They are great source of referrals. Make sure that you refer them to your customers – it’s a two way street. Allowing them to use your images for growing their business is a great way to help them establish themselves more professionally. In turn, this will create the right partnership, which can bring continuous flow of leads for your business. Similar to referrals, you can track the other vendors within StudioGenie App and track which vendor is referring you the most prospects. This can help you further incentivize them with free prints for their stores/offices or more shoots, which deepens the relationship.
Setting up your business to support selling more
While selling is one part of the story, setting up your business to support increased sales is another. You need to setup your business workflow that supports in-person sales and proofing. Here are a few areas that you really need to think through while you setup your business for increased sales:
Do you have the right studio space for your customers to be able to present your work? If yes, setup Apple TV along with iPad in order to mirror the iPad on to a large screen TV. If you don’t have a studio, you can still project your work on your customer’s TV, where possible. Carry the iPad, Lightning Digital AV Adapter and a HDMI cable. You’ll be able to mirror your iPad on client TV.
Have your images ready
Have the right set of portfolio images and other set of sample images that can make your conversions useful. Were there any bad images from a photo shoot? Don’t throw them away, instead use them as examples while demonstrating to customer what not to wear or how not to pose. Having a combination of good and bad examples can help your customer conversations be livelier!
Have a few samples available at studio
Having a few product samples available in the studio is always useful. But you don’t need to have a huge collection of them. Take images of your products and carry them with you. That’s an easier way to show your products. You don’t need to carry all your albums, you can just present them on-the-go!
Have your contract templates ready
Have contract templates on hand. This allows you to create customized quotes and contracts on the go! Being able to finish the sale in first meeting is a great way to effectively utilize your time! Setup your business to be able to do so.
Now that your customer is ready for the investment, it’s time to swipe the credit card. Keep Square, PayAnywhere or any other credit card reader handy and swipe the amount when the opportunity arises.
Try StudioGenie’s iPad Studio Manager App
Carry your entire business on an iPad with the StudioGenie app. Complete your tasks on-the-move and save time. StudioGenie helps you accomplish all of the above tips for selling, including:
- Show your portfolio
- Discuss ideas
- Capture leads
- Create orders
- Generate quotes and invoices
- Share contracts
- Receive payments
- Track tasks
- Manage expenses
- Proof images