Photography Marketing & Sales

PBH_Booking_Secrets_Tips_to_Increase_Your_Booking_RateThe secret to any successful business is a steady flow of customers. You’ve done some marketing to get the phone ringing (or email inquiries flowing). Great! Now that you have people inquiring about your services, what do you do to turn them into customers? How many of these inquiries turn into sales meetings? How many sales meetings turn into customers? There are many things you can (and should) be doing, to maximize your booking rate. Here are a few of my recommendations.

Conduct Phone Screens

Do you get on the phone with every sales inquiry that comes into your business? This tactic serves two important purposes. First it allows you to sell yourself by making a human connection with the potential customer, which you can’t effectively do by sending an email. This is almost guaranteed to increase the number of people that will want to meet with you. Second, it allows you to prescreen them to ensure that it is worth taking the time to conduct an in person consultation. A short phone call can save you hours of wasted time meeting with people that are not a good match, giving you the time to focus on the sales leads that are your ideal customers.

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3 Keys to Successful Portrait Sales

In order to have successful portrait sales, you must do in person sales. I know, I know, no one loves this idea at first. It's not as easy as emailing a link, but the tremendous increase you'll see in profits and client satisfaction is well worth the time. The key to successful portrait sales is a 3 step process that starts before you schedule the session. All three sessions should be scheduled at the same time, so it locks that time in for both you and the client.

Planning Session

The process begins with an in-person planning session. The purpose of this session is to educate your client on how to get the most from their session, discuss clothing, location and activity options, and most importantly, get a sense for what finished products they are interested in. By going over the product options you offer and seeing what they are interested in, this gives the client time to consider the price and imagine the piece in their home. Think of it as “planting the seeds for the sale.”

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This week’s article comes to us from G.E. Masana is a NYC based wedding photographer and author of “Advertise and Sell Your Wedding Photography” published by Marathon Press. His roster of clients have spanned from the Beauty Editor of ELLE to actors, cinematographers, and even a NYC art gallery owner. He was previously was on “The List” of contributing photographers for Martha Stewart Weddings. NYC Wedding Photographer.

When noted wedding photographer Joe Buissink meets with prospective wedding couples, he doesn’t merely sell his service by detailing specifications. In other words, his presentation isn’t about telling couples that he’ll go to the park for bride and groom portraits or that they’ll receive thirty 8x10s in a leather album.

Then again, maybe he does mention some of these specifics… but my point is that’s not what his presentation’s selling.

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PhotoMint photography pricingThis article is inspired from my talk at the Sonoma/Napa Pug group last week. I gave a presentation on upselling photography products and pre-designing albums, and the conversation naturally meandered towards pricing and package models. I thought you might appreciate discussing this as well.

Should you offer one set price or packages? How can you know which model is going to be the best for your business? It depends. There is no simple answer-your business is unique and you need to find a solution that works with your selling style and will allow you to be profitable and stay in business. What works for me is not necessarily going to work for you. Your location, competition, style, price bracket, and sales skills all factor into this decision.

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If you are looking to beef up your business know-how but don’t want to drop hundreds (thousands) on a workshop, there is the tried and true path of books.

Here are PhotoMint's current top recommendations for business books. These are books that I can credit with guiding my photography business towards the path of success, and personally recommend to you.
 
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