To make a living as a photographer, you have to do more than take great pictures. You have to be a photographer, a supply-chain management expert, an entrepreneur, and, perhaps most importantly, you have to be great at selling — selling both yourself and selling your product.
Each video is styled as a casual conversation between Sherwin and his photographer friends about how to increase your bottom line by selling more product. Sherwin talks with:
1. Wedding photographers Diego & Liza Moura
2. Christina Sacco of Boy Girl Photography Studio
3. Francine Bishun of Francine b Photography
These videos are designed to help photographers who are selling their photography direct to customers; think wedding, maternity, boudoir, and family photographers.
Before I get into a quick summary of the videos, it's important to note that the videos are designed to help you sell. In each case, selling isn’t looked at through the lens of Glengarry Glen Ross, but as a service that is truly useful to your clients.
So, what are the key points?
Client Education of Available Services
The goal of every introductory meeting should be to help your clients understand just what you can do for them as a pro. The meetings should be crafted to help them understand that you can provide seamless service about concepts and goals at the initial meetings all the way through to beautiful wall art or family heirloom like photo albums.
In the end, you should be showing your clients that it would be valuable to follow up their investment in you, as a pro, with an investment in a final product that will show off the work you’ve put in together.
Selling While You Shoot
You should talk to your clients about what their dream final product would look like before shooting. Then, once in the shoot, each photographer reinforces the idea of purchasing finished product by commenting on how certain shots would look good on a wall or as part of a details collage in an album. One of my favorites sales techniques was to use your knowledge of the client’s ultimate wants to not only shoot images that would satisfy them, but to explain how a particular shot could be transformed into a physical manifestation of their wants. For example: "Wow, this shot would look great above the mantle!" Or "Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up to this photo on your bedroom wall every morning?"
If You Don’t Show It, You Probably Won’t Sell It
Each photographer also talks about the importance of having samples. If we’re trying to move beyond digital sales because we believe in the tactile nature of photography over a thumb drive lost in a drawer, have something for your clients to touch. If you want to educate your clients, then you can’t expect them to take the leap beyond a screen shot to an expensive album without letting them touch it.
Keep It Simple
In preparing a product list, each photographer discusses the need to keep it simple. The goal would be to provide a small variety of options to create a bespoke-type feel, not to overwhelm your clients and create decision fatigue.
Stop Selling Digital Images Only
Perhaps the most repeated sentiment among the photographers is the idea that as a pro photographer, you shouldn’t just be selling digital images. When I left law to become a photographer, one of the aspects of photography that spoke to me was the idea of actually creating something, of positing something. No more purchase and sales agreements that would spend their lives in backrooms only to be digitized and then forgotten. I wanted to create images that could be shared with family and friends.
From that perspective, the idea of creating a tangible end product is important to both the client, who will cherish the images, and the photographer, who will have helped to create something that will be cherished.
Are their any sales techniques that you would pass on?
Images provided by Provocateur Images and GTA Imaging