Four Strategies to Sell More Photographic Prints
Photography is an art form, and art was never meant to live solely inside a computer screen. Sure, your clients may be thrilled to get that perfect profile-worthy shot, but nothing really brings a photograph to life like framed prints and canvases.
Having beautiful prints adorning the walls of their home benefits clients by constantly reminding them of the joy they felt on the day of their shoot, but it can be just as beneficial for the person behind the lens. Selling photo prints can lead to a huge increase in a photographer’s income while simultaneously showing their skills and professionalism to potential future clients. Plus, photo prints serve as a daily reminder of you and your services, making your clients more likely to come to you for their future photo needs.
So how do you sell prints? The sales process should start the moment you connect with customers. And if your sales tactics don’t pay off right away, fear not. Selling impressions often takes time and patience to find the best strategy that works for you. Learning to leverage e-commerce can make this process much smoother, as customers will be able to purchase photo prints and related gifts directly from your website without having to go back and forth on orders and prices. .
Once your e-commerce platform is set up, here are four strategies you can use to increase your photo print sales.
1. Plant the seeds before they sprout
In today’s digital world, chances are most of your customers will come to you hoping to receive an online gallery of images that they can then print out at their local pharmacy. It’s important to change that expectation as soon as you start working with them.
As customers browse through your portfolio, offer them examples of finished and framed photos and other products, and explain the benefits of having something tangible to house their memories. Show them the differences between photos printed on metal and on canvas so they can start imagining which products might look best in their home.
Let the quality of your work be your main selling factor. Consider ordering photo prints from a local pharmacy that you can use for a side-by-side comparison with the products you offer. Once customers can physically see and feel the difference in quality, it will be hard for them to settle for glossy drugstore prints.
2. Showcase your work
After the shoot, it’s important to follow up on those initial seeds you’ve sown by helping your client imagine how framed prints of their new photos can be used. Photo prints can help tell your customer’s story and serve as great personalized home decor. As a bonus, their photos also make great gifts and greeting cards!
Show your clients examples of how your work has been used to enliven the space above a mantel or to create a keepsake gallery wall. If you are photographing families, show them a progression of photos of a growing child.
Seeing these milestones visually can trigger an emotional response to imagine what their own child’s aging might look like and think about why it’s important to capture their child at every stage of life. The bonus of this strategy is that they can easily recreate this progression by reserving you for annual portraits!
On your e-commerce site, list finished products from past customers (with their permission) to show real-life examples of what other families, brides, and pet owners are doing with their photo prints. You might even consider showcasing a few prints from your client’s own shoot to give them something to hold on to.
3. Create a print sales strategy
Once you’ve showcased the benefits of photo prints, it’s time to close the deal. For this, you will need to create a sales strategy.
The best strategy for selling photo prints will differ between photographers depending on their niche and specific clientele, so it’s important to determine which approach makes the most sense for your business.
For some photographers, this may mean integrating print products into their overall photo packages so that ordering photo prints is the default. This can impact customers, as they are not charged extra for “add-ons” (even if the cost is built into your session pricing).
Other photographers may offer deals and discounts for buying framed or mounted images on the day of the shoot to get clients excited to see the finished photos. This strategy can also create a sense of urgency, which is an important selling factor in any industry.
Another approach could be to offer to send a finished framed or mounted image to a client for free so they can see what it will look like in their home. Then add a price tag if they decide to keep it.
Regardless of your sales approach, it’s important to market the convenience of your photo printing service. Remind customers that they can order print products by sending a follow-up email a few weeks after their gallery is delivered. Often people get busy and simply forget to get their photos printed. An extra boost might be enough to push them over the finish line.
4. Find a professional printing source
Your customers may wonder why it’s beneficial to order their photo prints directly from their photographer instead of printing them at a drug store. Make the answer on quality and convenience.
By implementing an e-commerce platform on your site that offers multiple types of print products, you create a seamless process that allows customers to order their prints directly from their digital gallery. This saves them from having to download the photos they want to print and upload them to another site. It can also save them a trip to the pharmacy, since the products will be shipped directly to their doorstep.
Convenience should also be a factor on your side, so be sure to find an e-commerce platform that is also easy for you. you use. Look for a service that offers a website builder so you can more easily integrate your store and portfolio. You’ll also want to find an e-commerce service that lets you set your price, control your markup on products, offer coupon discounts, and set gallery expiration dates to boost your first-time sales. ‘impression.
Finally, consider partnering with a photo lab to print and deliver your products so you can focus more on selling. It’s important to find a lab that offers the quality of photo prints that you want your customers to receive. If you’re new to selling professional prints or decide to change labs, it’s also a good idea to review your editing workflow. Uploading photos with the ideal file sizes and color space for your partner lab is essential for great prints.
Other factors to look for in a photo lab include fast shipping, a wide range of product offerings, and the daily availability of customer service if there is a problem with your customer’s order. After all, you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that your customers’ orders meet their expectations and arrive on time.
Selling photo prints is a great way to grow your business, your income, and potentially even your customer base. Finding the right sales tactics and process can take time and practice, but the payoff far outweighs the patience needed to be successful.
About the Author
Cheryl Dell’Osso is Director of Client Engagement at Zenfolio and Owner/Photographer at Portraits by Cheryl in Raleigh, NC. She has been working as a professional photographer for over ten years and her images have been published in several national magazines. She has mentored countless new photographers looking to build successful photography businesses. You can find more of Cheryl’s work on her website and Facebook.