Sales & Pricing for Lifestyle Newborn Photography
Okay, sales and products starts before your session. We talked about this, right, in your questionnaire. Within that, when you get the class I have my questionnaire in there. One of the questions is, do you like albums? Whether I make them or if you make them. People are scared to answer that because they think, if I check yes I want an album I'm gonna have to buy $1,000 album, right. No, no, no, whether I make them or if you make them. Because if people are like, nope, I only want wall prints, I will not want an album, I only want a handful of pictures, I'm gonna know that going in I'm not gonna edit 150 pictures. I probably still will because I can never throw it away, I have issues with this. But it helps guide your session. If you have a client that's looking specifically for a lifestyle shot of the children jumping on the bed in their pajamas because you set up a big pajama shoot, then you know you have to nail that shot because that shot's gonna be a big picture that's going over...
the kid's bed. There always is a client that has a specific wall in mind with a fun shot in mind. They might book you for a really close up mom shot that they really want next to the bed in a 16 by 24. These are all things that you need to know prior to going into your session because that's gonna guide your session, okay, that's gonna completely guide how you shoot. It's not gonna change how you shoot, but you're going to keep in the back of your mind, I need to make sure that this is a very important picture for mom, this is one that I really need to nail, I won't be shooting a 32,000 iso because that won't print well that large. Like I said, I do not recommend doing that, but we learned from it, right, okay, alright, okay. So it starts before your session in that questionnaire. Have a page dedicated to what to expect on your website. During the ordering session and before. So on my website it will say, actually when Kenny sends information it says, after your session Emily will send you your edited photos to view through ShootProof or to view digitally two to three weeks after your session. This needs to be said all over the place because four days in, where's my pictures? Where's my pictures, where's my pictures? I'm like, it's day four, I'm like, (inaudible). So it's like, you just need to make sure that you get that weight off of your shoulders. Then if you get it edited ahead of time you won, that's great and they're surprised. During busy season, during the fall I'm shooting probably 30 shoots a month, I shoot a lot during the fall because we make up for it because winter is slow season so parents all book their shoots in fall and all book their shoots in the spring because St. Louis is like 110 degrees in the summer so we book a lot in the fall and the spring. During those seasons I tell my newborn parents, just so you know this is busy season, I might be a few days later. Set yourself up for success all the time. Offer products. People are scared to offer products. With lifestyle sessions albums sell. I used to hate doing albums because they were tedious, but now AlbumStomp is around, who has AlbumStomp? If you don't, you need it. Hey, who has BlogStomp? Same thing as BlogStomp, but albums. You pick your company, you load all their images and then you hit go and then they're in and then you send it, it's amazing. So albums are easy to make now. So take advantage of the software. And now with ShootProof, which we talked about earlier, they can favorite their images that you can send yourself the zip file of their favorite images, download it straight into AlbumStomp, I am all about shortcuts, I could talk all day, well except for in Lightroom apparently. (laughter) Okay, alright, include print credits or albums. So I wanna show you my collections here in minute and I'm gonna talk about the, I'm gonna hold off on this thought because I'm gonna show it to you visually. Packages that include digitals. All of my packages include digitals. And I know I'm gonna get in trouble, some people don't sell digitals. For lifestyle sessions, can you imagine not selling your digitals? People are not just gonna go print random parts of a story, they want to print all of it. Alright, they wanna have all of it. Nowadays everything's on the web. I'm not gonna try and change old school photographers process, I'm not selling big, beautiful portraits to hang over the mantle. Those, yes, I can understand. And I do shoot those in the spring and I do sell a lot of really large portraits in the spring and in the fall. Lifestyle sessions, I'm just talking about lifestyle sessions, digitals are important, everybody wants their digitals. Albums, cost effective books. If you have, I have a lot of clients that save for me. So I'll book some people, people email February wanting to know what my pricing is because they wanna book it say, in September and they're gonna save up. There are certain clients that just don't have the budget to splurge on big albums and that's fine. They're not any less important than my other clients that spend three times as much. Everybody is just as important. You need to make sure that you're offering. As long as you're meeting your minimum print order. You need to have a minimum order to survive as a business, we talked about this earlier in the show. As long as you're meeting your print minimum you want to be able to give these memories to people. What is our why? Money? No, we're going back to our why which feels like a long time ago, but we're going back to our why. We want everybody to have these to have for memories. You're gonna have enough other clients that are gonna splurge thousands or whatever you charge. Let some people enjoy your services and don't pressure them into a situation where they're gonna feel uncomfortable coming back to you. A lot of my clients that come back a few times a year don't spend a ton each time, but they appreciate my photography, they appreciate me as a person because we've all become close now because that's my goal. And then we book them multiple times in a year. You have to think as a human, don't just think as a business person because that's not our why. Shooting for what the client wants, we just talked about that. Offer alternatives to your lab if client needs options, Mpix, who doesn't send their clients to Mpix, everybody sends their clients to Mpix. And now Mpix has a referral program. So you can actually get some kickback from Mpix now and they're a great lab. And they make wonderful books too. Blur albums, a lot of people will bet Blurb albums. Flipbooks, 40 bucks, Artifact Uprising, another wonderful, wonderful company. And that's in my favorites thing at the end. Send them, so if they buy all your digitals which you have priced high because it's worth a lot to you, you've priced your digitals pretty high, if they have all their digitals and they don't wanna buy a digital plus album which we're about to get into, then they have their digitals and please send them somewhere where they can print, you want them to enjoy your images, this isn't a winning game. Like, you didn't buy an album from me so I'm not gonna tell you, don't do that. Help you clients, that's your why. This is my pricing. I took the numbers off because it's different in every location. St. Louis is different than here, it's different than California, it's different than Podunk, Illinois. This is how I have it laid out because I wanted to show you because I did not show this in the last class and the email inundated situation that Kenny had about pricing was insane. So we are tackling it here. Print sizes, this is what I do. A la carte prints, these are the sizes that I sell. Eight by 10 and smaller I don't have on there anymore because I try to not sell anything that small. If they ask me I will sell it to them, but for me to sell a $40 four by six makes no sense to me ethically. Send them to Mpix, convince them to do that. I have an ethics battle with sales, I'm not a sales person at all, I'm just a, I don't, people person, they don't go together. And I show, we have a framing company that I use and they will frame for me and we get wholesale cost from them which has been wonderful because then I then pass that on to my client, so I don't make money on frames. We charge a little bit just for the delivery, not much. I offer that as a thank you to my clients, the framing. The framing company happens to be across the street from my house, so it's convenient. (laughter) So Kenny does a lot of runs. And they're a client and they're a very good client of mine. Here are my collections. Do you see how simple this is? And I have my products page and all this, but I wanted to show you these collections. Number one, my basic collection 10 edited digital files. I want you to know it's priced just below the digital collection, so here's the digital collection, all of your digitals. I priced this one literally $150 below this because you want this person to spend a little bit more to have all of their images. Why would they buy 10 when they can 150 for $150 more? But you have to have that, this is a mental game. I have a handful of clients that will get this, but never in lifestyle sessions. These are the people that were saving. They get a $500 print credit, 10 digital images. And then 15% off anything else they want. I love giving print credits because you want them to enjoy their images and you want them to print from your lab. Next up what I do is they get a print. So they get $1,000 print credit plus all of their digitals. And you can put these print credits whatever you want, I just put it as a number so it just makes it easier in your brain. Then they get 20% off everything. I sell this package 70% of the time in my sales. So I'm making my digitals plus they get the print credit. Keep in mind my 11 by 14s I'm charging $120 for. So you can see what you get for $1000. And you guys all know as photographer the cost of good and how all that works. Easy as Pie, that pricing guide, wonderful pricing guide if you wanna learn how to do pricing. Now this is my album. This is what obviously everybody you want to sell this, but you're really happy to sell this, this is the big one. And I sell probably 20 of these a year maybe, maybe one or two a month. All of your edited images, $1,000 print credit plus a big album. Those are for the parents that, a lot of them are new moms and they're splurging on their newborn session or a lot of these are grandparents that are splurging on their grandkids, honestly. And those are very few and far between. I mean sometimes I'll do 10 a year maybe even. Sometimes one or two a month max. That's it, that is my, keeps it simple. Three collections. So we have a $600 print minimum. And that can be met by a la carte prints, which you have to price high or else you're not gonna make any money, there's a reason my 11 by 14s are $120. If you have $600 print minimum and you price your 11 by 14s at $40 you're gonna break even, not even, you're gonna lose. That's gonna be a problem. So you need to price, get Easy as Pie, that pricing guide. Simple, but it keeps it easy. So I'd say the majority of people get this or this. Probably 70%, 40%, 2%, every once in awhile. My math is off, but you get it. (laughter) Okay, anybody have questions about that? Pricing? I know pricing is a big like, everybody has a different pricing idea. I have changed my pricing over the years more times than I can count. The reason that I do the print credit, I used to have four 11 by 14s, one 16 by and does anybody ever want the sizes that you recommend? No, then why leave it? Change it, there's no rule. This is not a, you're not a big photography company that sells packages at elementary schools, that's what those are for, makes it easy for people. And this way you're giving clients the options. And then if they go over then they have a discount. Because a lot of times they'll spend maybe $1, verses 1,000 and then the remainder of the $ they get 20% off so you don't make them feel badly if they wanna buy more. We have a question in the audience.
Do you have a favorite album company?
RedTree, yeah. Yeah.
How many pages are your spreads usually for a lifestyle?
20, mhmm, and we get up to 90 images.
Is there a big different between the price wise of your print and digital and just the digital? Since it's $1,000 print credit? Is it a huge jump up from basic to that?
No, it's about half of my digital collection. I don't wanna give numbers, I'll talk to you about it after, but I don't wanna talk about it live because I have a lot of clients watching. But numbers are so different, they're relative. And it's all a percentage, everything goes up 20% essentially. I got this pricing structure off of Easy as Pie, so I used their numbers and I put in what my cost of goods are to survive as a company, to keep my doors open essentially and to pay for my family and then we based pricing off of that. So it's gonna be different for everybody. It's not substantially different, no. And last thing I just wanted to put some of my favorite things so you guys have these accessible for you. There's IRIS, it's www.iris-works.com. That's that software studio managment program that I was walking you through. ShootProof, Michael my web guy, he is tk421digital, he's into Star Wars, get it, tk421 for Star Wars people. Because a lot of people have had questions for him, he's a guru, he's a boutique guy. And then Artifact Uprising is where I send for my clients to get photo blocks and books made and I have found that to be my favorite place for fun do-dads. So that's a really good place for you guys to send your clients to. I buy stuff there for myself too. Saves you the cost on professional labs for yourself if you need books. You know when you're a new photographer you have to be careful about listening to the wrong advice. There are a lot of people, everybody has a guy, right. And there are a lot of people out there saying you have to do it this way, you have to do it this way, you have to do in person sales, no you don't, I only do it for half of my clients. You have to do it this way. And you just have to do what's right for you. The one thing though about when you are dealing with local photographers, you have to make sure if you are a photographer that is established make sure you're pricing yourself appropriately. We have a problem right now in the photographer industry. A lot of people are getting really, really good and you need to be mindful of pricing. We have conversations in my city all the time about our pricing, we're all kinda the same and it makes, it's like community over competition. And that's very important to think about moving forward. I was always, when you're practicing, when you're portfolio building you need to be free or you need to be cheap, but you need to make it known that you are portfolio building. When you're ready to go for it try to really stay within the realms of your community. That's gonna keep the, this is something that needs to be said, it's gonna keep the photography world, I think, at a better place. Right, everybody kind of see where I'm going with this? So really try to get to know the photographers in your area, become friends with the photographers in your area, don't compete with them. There are plenty of clients for everybody. You will be so much happier as a photographer if you are just friends with all of them. Do things together, do events together, do marketing things together. Everybody shoots differently. Just be mindful of that coming into the photography world.