How do you feel about selling? For many of us, myself included, it’s often not our most comfortable space. Would you like to find out how to sell more albums and prints? I love shooting weddings, and I love delivering galleries to clients and getting their joyous feedback and then at this point, I used to be a lot like ‘Have a nice life!’ I didn’t really have much process in place for selling products – which is crazy.
The perfect time to start selling is at that point of delivery, when the client forms an emotional attachment to the images. Think about one of the most obvious experiences of being sold a photographic product – the school photo. If the company just sent out a generic picture of a random child in their selling packs, you would be very unlikely to buy anything but they send the pack with a photo of your child included. You are so busy thinking, ‘Awh, look how adorable my child is in their uniform’ that you hardly even notice parting with your money to get copies.
It’s the same with trying to sell albums and prints up front to wedding clients. Showing them images of your past clients in products does not hold that much sway with them but after you’ve delivered your gorgeous gallery of their images, then they can see much more value in having printed products. And yet so many wedding photographers end all communications with couples at this point.
These days we all deliver high-resolution files so the clients are free to take their images to any high street printers. There is a good chance that they are having them printed in their local supermarket, maybe they even make it to a lab like Jessops. I’m going to shout this next part so you hear it 100% clearly – ALL THOSE PLACES ARE TAKING YOUR MONEY. Yes, that’s potential income for you going to huge supermarket chains or Peter Jones who owns Jessops. I’m pretty sure that he already has more than enough money.
Selling is about identifying someone’s Wants or Needs and then demonstrating how you can fulfil them. Your couples want to have prints and they want pictures in frames and albums. So be the person that can make that process easy for them. There is no joy in going to a high street lab or a supermarket kiosk. If you’ve ever tried loading high res files into one of those machines, you will know it can be a painful process. Many will give up – it astonishes me but speaking to past clients months or even years after their photos have been delivered, many will have had none printed, despite being initially thrilled with them.
I asked one of my past brides, Sophie what the number one reason was as to why she had yet to have any of her wedding photos up around her house.
“Because somehow I blinked and three and a half years had passed! We always said we’d sit down and go through the album to decide what prints to order over a bottle of wine one day, but we just never seemed to find the time. Editing it down our favourites seemed like a mammoth task, and there’s sizes, framing, etc…”
When it comes to selling wedding photos, you must strike while the iron is hot. Meet their want for printed products with an ease of ordering. Add in some time limited offers and you can put a little pressure on them to get the orders in before their enthusiasm wanes. I believe those first two weeks after you deliver a gallery are your optimum time for selling. Most online gallery systems these days have built-in tools to assist you in the process of selling products. Of course, they do, the more money you make, the more money they make so it’s a win win. They might have workflows or automatic email templates that you can edit to suit your voice. If you’ve not looked into this side of your current gallery I highly recommend having a look now to see what you can implement. A little bit of work now means future sales without much further involvement from you.
choosing your product provider
One gallery provider that excels in this department is Pic-Time. Quite a few of my mentoring students were signed up to them, so I decided to do a trial. 1- to better understand their systems for my students and 2- to see if I could increase my own aftersales. You see, I’m terribly British about selling too. I can talk the talk but when it comes to walking the walk, I’m shy to ever be seen doing anything as crass as selling. This is exactly where Pic-Time picks up the baton for you. Not only are their galleries beautifully presented – in my opinion they are the prettiest around – but they give you access to sales apps that have all been created in conjunction with busy working photographers like Sam Hurd and India Earl.
All you have to do is add an app to a gallery and it will run a sales campaign for you. The Early Bird lets you offer up a 20% discount for the first two weeks after someone opens their gallery. It will send them a sequence of emails to explain this to them and give them reminders before it expires. The Abandoned Cart will enable an offer to be generated for anyone adding products to their basket but failing to follow through with the purchase. Once an app is activated you don’t have to lift a finger.
The real magic selling key with Pic-Time is its unique shop. Whilst looking through their gallery, a client will be presented with beautiful photos of products that already contain their photos. They are in that excited space of the first flush of delivery and emotionally connected to their images. They are shown right there how good they could look in a frame or an album and they can jump straight into the ordering process.
I was excited to try this out with a wedding but my next one was, of course, a micro wedding with a tiny guest list and short coverage. I might not have expected too much in the way of aftersales normally, however a week or so after the couple had received their gallery they got in touch saying they were going to order an album and some prints. “Do you need me to help with the album design?” I asked, expecting that they would appreciate my input but they replied saying that they were finding it all really easy and fun.
Yes, within Pic-Time clients can design their own albums, you don’t have to get involved at all. This couple ordered over £1000 worth including an album, two frames and a stash of prints. They used their 20% off Early Bird offer and I didn’t have to do any additional work or get into a sales conversation. With additional revenue like this, I could increase my overall profits substantially or shoot less weddings to earn the same income.
Since then I’ve migrated all my galleries to Pic-Time and guess what? They even have a sales app that tells all those past clients that their galleries have moved and then it offers them a discount on any orders for a short period of time. I am hoping that I can now persuade some of my past clients, like Sophie that it’s time to order those prints or albums that have been neglected all of this time. If you fancy trying out Pic-Time for yourself, drop Pic-Time Promo Code FARMERS in at the checkout and you will get a bonus month.