In any business there are 3 things you can do to increase your profits. You can raise your prices or you can make your packages smaller (thereby cutting your costs) but the only thing you accomplish with those 2 tricks is making your competitor look better. Your third alternative is to think outside the box.
Offer your clients something that goes above and beyond anything they've seen from any of your competitors and you can write your own price tag. Get creative with your wedding albums and watch your profits soar.
Set the Stage
If your standard package includes a wedding album with 20 photos, make sure the sample albums you show your clients have 40 or 60 or even 100 images. The bigger the better and make sure those pictures are some of your best work. Get your clients thinking about that larger album from the very first meeting.
Use Your Space
Schedule the viewing session for your office. Clients will sometimes take months to make a decision if you let them take everything home. Plus, you want them to make a decision while the excitement from the wedding is still fresh in their mind. By hosting the album viewing session in your studio, you can control the process and create an environment to allow the client to really enjoy your presentation and get emotionally bonded to your images and the album design.
If you can, use projection in order to make a big impact. We have always had success with in studio album design sessions. We offer wine or champagne and set the stage for a fantastic experience for the clients where they are going to fall in love with their album design.
Streamline the Process
The quicker you can get the bride into your office to decide on her package the better chance you'll have of upselling the album. Streamline the process and use a good online software package that let's you edit the album on the fly. We like Project Workroom because it's packed with a ton of features like multiple album layouts, multiple project control, client commenting and interface and project tracking that helps you keep the whole process organized and moving forward.
Here's where your expertise comes in. The bride is going to pick photos based on how she looks or who's in the picture. And when you put together her hodge-podge of selections into an album it's going to look like a…hodge-podge of pictures.
You're the expert. You design albums every week. You're also the artist. You know which images are the standouts of the day. Before your bride comes in for the viewing, put together a digital album that tells the story of her wedding day with all the special little moments she's already forgotten. Showcase your expertise and how that gorgeous shot of the shoes is an important part of the story. Chances are, no matter how large that album is, she'll be so pleased with your presentation she won't even bother putting together her own. After all, she's likely never done this, before, so by giving her a draft to work with, the process will be much easier. You can also highlight how great the album can look with showing additional pages and images beyond the initial package. You'll need to plant the seeds for an album upgrade, but many brides have a hard time narrowing down the images, so why not show what's possible? Want more? Read pre-designing albums and album pre-design steps to manage client expectations.
Be flexible with Pricing
Offer special discounts for multiple (duplicate) album purchases, offer an extra page with upgrades, offer an extra print, arrange a payment plan for large purchases, etc. By offering some type of bonus for an additional purchase, it creates an incentive to buy.
Sell the Experience
The wedding day is one of the most emotionally charged, memorable days that couple will ever experience. The bride, especially, is more concerned about preserving the memories than she is about how many pages are in her album or how much it costs in the end. Put together an album that recaptures the emotions and feelings of her wedding day and talk about the experience, not the price.