Are you overwhelmed with editing, emails, orders, mom-ing, wife-ing, housekeeping and juggling a ton of things in between in your business and home life? I was too and quickly realized I wasn’t doing any of the things my hand touched justice so 10 years ago, I changed the way I began to serve my clients, sell my work and the income I earned. This one change made all the difference in the world!
Let’s dive in to learn a bit more about what in person sales is, isn’t and why you’ll want to start implementing this sales model today.
When starting a new photography business, photographers have enough on their plates to learn. Shutter speed, editing, and creating the entire backside of the photography business keeps new business owners busy. Many want an easy and cost-effective way to deliver the final product. Therefore, most new photographers take the pictures, then share the edited photos to their gallery of choice; thus, “shoot-and-share photography.” But, what if shoot-and-share is limiting your profits? As a photography business coach, I’d love to introduce you to In-Person Sales Photography (IPS).
In-Person Sales Photography is precisely how it sounds! Rather than sending the final photographs to your clients in an online web gallery, you’ll sit with your clients and in-person and show them all of their fantastic pictures.
You may be thinking, “big deal!” So they’re looking at their photos with you, rather than in the privacy of their own home. How does that make a difference?
IPS makes all of the difference in the world. At home, they’re distracted. Clients are just happy to see their pictures and share them on social media. They aren’t in the mindset to purchase a canvas or a photo album because they already spent their money with you. They can buy those things in the morning, tomorrow, or “someday.”
Unfortunately, if they do decide to buy a print of their photo, they’re likely to opt for the most cost-effective way to have their portraits on the wall. Heads up, the drug store often wins over your photo web gallery host. Their time with you is done until the next time photos are needed.
In-person sales photography helps on several levels. From the get-go, in-person sales don’t typically charge the same sitting fee as shoot-and-share photography. With shoot-and-share photography, you’ll charge the entire price of your service before it takes place, then you include the digital gallery free of charge. Maybe your goal is to make $300 per session, and it is the responsibility of the client to pay this price before ever seeing the quality of the photos you take of their session. Finding new clients willing to pay your cost vs. the other photographers offering them for half of that cost is a hurdle many shoot-and-share photographers face.
On the other hand, with in-person sales photography, your clients will pay a smaller sitting fee upfront, maybe even below what the other shoot-and-share photographers are asking. Then, during the in-person sales session, they’ll pay for any images that they love. With this option, you’re removing the uncertainty that they’re paying too much for photography that they may or may not like. You’ve eliminated one excuse not to book with you, which will increase your bookings overall.
If you’re good at math and even if you’re not, you’ll see where there could be a discrepancy here. With your shoot-and-share photography, you’re guaranteed to make $300 in a session, versus in-person sales photography, you’re making less than your low-priced competitors. How does THAT mean better profits? Please hear me out!
Yes, your clients may spend a few hours with you in a session then only purchase a single photo or a single digital file. There will be low sales, occasionally.
More often than not, clients spend so much MORE than the $300 with their photography final prints. With you, they’ll receive high-quality prints (not those drug-store prints that don’t do your craft justice anyway). They’ll receive heirloom masterpieces that they can pass down to the next generation. Your clients will ask you to create seasonal greeting cards, framed masterpieces, and gifts for the whole family. Sometimes, your clients will love your photography so much that it will make you go home and cry happy tears.
With more bookings, you have a steady stream of income all month long, rather than dry spells when the competitor is winning. With the client’s lower risk, great reviews, and an eye-catching portfolio, you’ll begin to book your sessions far in advance, allowing you to predict within a reasonable margin what your monthly income will be every month.
Are you thinking about transitioning from shoot-and-share photography to in-person sales photography? Your photography business coach can help you decide if in-person sales photography is right for you. As a newborn photographer as well as a business coach and podcast host of “The Dream Builder Photography Podcast,” Let’s build your business together!
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