EP 64: Selling Prints Online

This is episode number 64. If you happen to listen to episode number 63, I did a little intro about how I am a little under the weather this week and you can probably hear it in my voice. I didn't have time to batch a bunch of episodes ahead of time, like I usually do. So I am doing this week on the fly. And I just happen to get sick in the process. So the show must go on. And that's why I sound a little weird.

If you listen to episode number 63, I also mentioned how this week I'm doing something a little new and I'm taking questions from folks in our Facebook group. It's a group of listeners of the podcast on Facebook, called photo business help with Natalie Jennings, you are more than welcome to join. If that sounds like something that appeals to you. It's a high vibe fun group of folks that are at all different levels in their photo journey. It's a great place to ask questions to come act with other people and to grow your photo business. So just search photo biz help or photo business help with Natalie Jennings on Facebook and you'll find us. You just have to answer a couple of questions so I know you're a real person, and I look forward to seeing you there.

Today's episode, I want to talk about making money selling prints online. One of the folks in the group asked how can I make money selling prints online, and how to incorporate it into consults without sounding pushy.

Selling prints online, there are a lot of different ways to do this. And there's a lot of different companies that have different formats. I've been using smugmug for a long time, but there's a great company called Instaproofs that I am testing out because another colleague of mine swears by it that makes selling prints a breeze. And a lot of this has to do with your follow up sequence. So when you send your photos to a client after the photoshoot and everything's done, you want to make sure that you're engaging your client more than just that email.

episode 64 
selling prints online and in person 
photo business help podcast with natalie jennings

What I like to do is in that first email, I always offer a limited time discount code for their photos. And I suppose I should back up a little bit and say that all of my photos my edited JPEGs, my high res JPEGs are uploaded to smugmug into a gallery. And that gallery has a cart associated with it so people can place orders for prints. In my email, I always offer a discount for a few days for any orders from their gallery. And then I also encourage them to share the gallery with their family and friends.

So I'm shooting a lot of weddings and lifestyle sessions. Especially with weddings, there are a lot of people that I take pictures of that are probably going to want copies of those pictures, but the couple probably isn't going to have time to share with everyone so it's a really easy way. I tend to sell a lot of prints by just encouraging the couple to share their gallery with others, and giving them a five to seven day window to order prints at a massive discount.

And when I say massive, it's usually 20 to 30%. And that's a big chunk, but it really entices people to buy as well and you have control over what you set your prices at. So you should be able to bring home a good solid profit on any print orders. And they do add up to so making sure that people are sharing that is a really, really important thing.

And this person in the group mentions that she doesn't want to sound pushy. So there is a completely different business model from the one that I run, which is IPS or in person sales. And if you really want to dig in and focus on selling prints, that is something that I invite you to explore. It essentially involves a second follow up meeting with the clients to go over their photos to show them in person. What their finished photos look like on a Canvas, for example, or framed on the wall. And at that point, making a sale in person sales do very, very well. So if you're really looking to up your sales as far as prints go, you might want to explore in person sales. I started out trying it. But I found that because I travel a lot and because my schedule changes so much from season to season, it was difficult for me. It was difficult for me to follow up with clients in person in a way that was effective and easy with my schedule. It was it was a lot to try and meet up with them again. So again, IPS is very, very lucrative for people that have figured out how to do it well. And you can look into that a little bit more. But that is not that is not the business model that I have.

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As far as selling prints online and not being pushy, I don't mention prints very much in my initial consult. A lot of my bookings are done online, with an information page and a pricing page and maybe a quick phone call. But I'm not trying to pre-sell prints. Even with weddings. I have a sample album but I'm not pushing prints really, really hard in the beginning. At the at the time of booking I use that time for educating my clients about how to shoot is going to go and what they can expect. And what they get the end of the shoot, which includes the opportunity to order prints, but doesn't necessarily dig in really deep.

The best way that I found without doing IPS is to follow up with people via email. So you send that initial email and as I said, I offer a discount. I encourage them to share it with family and friends, but then follow up with another email to let them know that hey, I didn't see that you purchase anything, but I am offering blah, blah, blah, or, Hey, I know it's been a few months since your photoshoot, I'm offering this sale or whatever and you'd be surprised I used to.

I didn't do it this year. But in years past, I used to do a holiday email to encourage people to order holiday cards through my gallery and that really, really got people interested. I didn't necessarily sell a ton of cards, but when I followed up after the holidays and reconnected with those people, I found that the the email list was was warm, meaning that people were a lot more engaged. And it was easier to sell more prints.

So I think just following up maintaining communication, and doing it in an authentic way, that's just sort of letting people know what's going on offering them a discount or two is a really effective way. But you just have to be consistent. And you hear me talk about that a lot on this show. But consistency is key. So have a plan, have some email templates, figure it out ahead of time, so that when you send your first email to your client, giving them their photos and and giving them all that initial information that you have something to follow up with.

But in answer to this question from the group, I certainly if you are listening, I would certainly consider looking into in person sales, especially if you have a situation where you aren't on the road a ton, and you have the time to meet with your clients a second time.

That's all I have for you today. Thank you for listening!

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