One of the questions that I get from photographers all the time is “How do I book more clients? I’m struggling to book clients because my competition is SO much cheaper than I am and gives away all of the digital images!”
I’ve been there. Most of us have if you’ve been in business for a little while! In fact, I used to be one of the photographers that was the cheap photographer that gave away all the digitals on a CD. When I realized I couldn’t make a living photographing high school senior photos for $50, I knew I needed to brand myself properly if I was going to demand prices that allowed me to run a successful business.
But how…? How do you properly brand yourself as a high end, luxury photographer in an era where everyone only seems to want the digital images and still book them?
The answer: Photography products.
Looking back to when I switched my prices from low to luxury pricing, I completely attribute it to branding myself properly and a huge part of that was by showcasing the photography products that I offered in business to prospective clients.
So let’s dive in to why you’re going backwards if you’re not showing off your products in a digital world!
Photography Products Are A HUGE Differentiating Factor
When potential clients are looking at photographers, chances are they’re doing a deep dive on your social media accounts. They’re trying to figure out who they want to be their senior photographer and why they should choose one photographer over another. While we love to post our beautiful sneak peeks and client photos, every other photographer is doing the exact same… It all begins to look the same to our potential clients.
By showcasing your beautiful photography products on your social media, it allows your account to stand out because it’s something that’s truly different than what other photographers are posting about. This becomes a differentiating factor and is a huge selling point to why a client should book you over another photographer. While it seems simple, it gives you an advantage over photographers that are only offering digital images.
Showing your clients that you offer products in addition to digital images is a tremendous way to help separate you from other photographers that your clients are choosing from. It may just be this differentiating factor that is the reason one of your followers books you over another photographer.
Clients Don’t Know What Custom Photography Looks Like
Let’s face it. When we say “fusion press album,” our clients have absolutely no idea what that is.
You know that they picture? A book that they got for one of their relatives on Shutterfly for a holiday present because that’s all they are familiar with.
As the expert, it’s our job to show them what custom photography looks like and to paint that picture for them. This is why I love posting flat lays of my products that I have designed with my clients at their ordering sessions because it allows people to see what they get in physical product when they are investing in your photography services!
Because of this, I want to make sure that I am immersing my clients and potential clients with beautiful product imagery. This gets them familiar with the fact that you have the ability to design and offer products that they can’t do on their own. I love posting product imagery to social media, featuring products on my website, client blog posts, client marketing materials like their inquiry magazine and even in the very first email they receive from me when booking.
The more you feature your products and collections, it familiarizes your clients with the experience you offer and the expert service that you provide for each and every senior.
You Sell What You Show
There’s the old saying that goes “show what you want to sell” and it’s absolutely true. In an age where everyone is seeing their images on a screen, people expect digital images because that’s what they’re seeing every day on Instagram. But, by showing your product images consistently, your clients crave having those luxurious products with their photos on them.
There have been so many times where I have had clients tell me that they want an album simply because they saw it on my website or their friend’s album on social media. Plus, it is much easier to sell a collection when people see it all the time. If their friend purchased a certain collection and they see you feature it on your Instagram feed, there’s a much higher likelihood that they’re going to want that same collection or more.
I absolutely love being able to use the Custom Collection product templates because everything is super quick and easy to use. By having these ready to go with only a few quick minutes in Photoshop, I am able to showcase a ton of client collections and reinforce the amazing client collections I offer to help make selling collections come the time of their ordering session a million times easier.
Start The New Year Right
It’s a new year and it’s the perfect time to start marketing to a new class. Especially if you are in a market where you’re feeling like it’s saturated with tons of other photographers, I truly believe that showcasing your beautiful product shots is one of the simplest ways to help you stand out. Even though it may seem like digital images are everything, seniors still want photography products they can’t get anywhere else and it’s our job to provide them with quality products they’ll cherish forever.
Sean Brown is a photographer based out of Vancouver Washington and Portland Oregon specializing in high school senior portraits. He is also the creator of Custom Collections, a product designed to allow photographers the ability to feature their beautiful client product collections with ease while increasing their sales and brand presence without the stress of product photography.