We probably went 4 to 5 years in our business with a big 2-page price list of albums and other products we had available for our clients to buy. Our clients were content with the digitals and weren’t into the products for the most part. This is common for a lot of photographers and they resign to the fact that their type of clients just aren’t the “album” types! We made this assumption for a long time, but we finally made a few simple changes and all of a sudden, half of our clients were buying albums and some were spending more on their albums then they did for their full wedding package!
Here’s how to get more album and product sales for your “non-album” type clients:
#1 – Show Samples
You could tell me all about how great a new jacket is and even show me a photo, but I’m WAY more likely to buy it and be invested in getting it if I can touch it and see what it is actually like. The same goes for albums and canvases. It is much easier for your clients to see the value in having an album for their home if they can feel the quality and experience the album. They start envisioning their photos in the album. If they are just looking at a photo of the type of album, it is a lot more difficult to become attached to it.
It is very important that you invest in good quality sample albums of the type of albums you want to sell. The same goes with canvases and other products. If you want to sell it and make it available to your clients, you need to show it off. Also, we recommend not going the cheaper route and getting a small sample, but get a slightly bigger sample than people would typically buy. Ideally, you want a sample of both options. Our friend Isaac was a new photographer; he had only shot a handful of weddings at the time. With his pricing only being at around $1000-1500 you would think his clientele wouldn’t be ready for albums, but Isaac invested in a professional sample album and started to bring it to his client meetings. In his next two meetings, he sold his first 4 albums simply because he had something to show them. A lot of clients are open to albums, we just sometimes miss the opportunity to show them what they need!
**If you are an Academy student, KISS Books and White House Custom Color both have discounts that you can use toward Sample Albums!! Take advantage of this!
#2 – Invest in Higher Quality Products
A beginner photographer sells cheap, coffee table books, while a more experienced, professional photographer sells expensive, high quality lay flat albums. Bold statement? YES!! But the truth is, if you want to move up a level in your photography business and be viewed as a “higher-valued” photographer (even if you are in your first year), you need to present yourself that way. Yes, having a cheaper option like a coffee table book to allow those smaller budget weddings something that they can afford is good, BUT having a high-quality professional album will first make your work look even more impressive and secondly, it gives you a higher perceived value for your business just because you sell these type of albums. This is the case even if your clients can’t afford these albums. If you showcase these albums it makes you look more professional as a photographer!
#3 – Have fewer options
Less is more. Think about this a second. Let’s say you were in the market for a new car. You walk into the dealership, they offer you a bland coffee in a paper cup out of a machine and you sit down in the little sales room and they give you a list. This list has 30 different cars. All different makes and models. You know you want automatic steering and you want a black sporty car, so that narrows it down to maybe 10, but then you need to decide if you want to add a sunroof, or bluetooth, if you want import or domestic, the list goes on! You get overwhelmed by the number of choices and you just want someone to tell you what to do and figure out what would be best for you. Because you are so overwhelmed, you can’t make the decision that day and you walk away with nothing.
This is the same when we are selling products. We often think that it is better to give all of the different choices of color, shape, size of the albums, and then there are the number of pages, oh and the type of pages. Couples don’t normally know what they want. We need to be the professional! We need to do our research on the best options we would want for our clients. Create a product sheet with just a few different options of the ones you would recommend! Find out what is important to them and give them your best recommendation. Don’t let them leave your studio or the coffee shop being overwhelmed with choices, or you may have someone walk away from the opportunity all together!
Your clients do get a lot of value and flexibility from digital images, but just because you give them the digitals in their package, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking for more. Don’t miss the opportunity to give your clients another way to treasure their wedding photos!