By Ann K. Monteith, CPP, M.Photog.Cr., ABI, API Laying the…
Stepping into the pro photography world can be a terrifying process. You are no longer taking photos just because you like to. It is now your job to sell yourself, your art and make your clients happy.
In her article “The 6 P’s Of Selling,” Kulia Kelleher discusses how to succeed in your business goals with the “6 P’s of Selling”: Purpose, Pre-consultations, Products, Pricing, Projection and Policies. You can read her full article at http://www.dpmag.com/how-to/shooting/the-6-p-s-of-selling.
- Purpose : Defining your business purpose will make your vision about your business much more clearer to you, and more importantly, to your customers.
- Pre-consultations : The pre-consultation is where the “seed of the sale” gets planted, where the client learns what can be done with their images and what the final result might look like. The goal here is twofold—to put the final product idea in your client’s head through an agreement about what product you’ll be ‘shooting for,’ and to get them emotionally invested in the process. It also means learning more about who they are and how you can create the best possible session for them and their aesthetic style.
- Products : What you carry in your studio has a huge impact on your sales numbers. It also affects your branding and how your client ‘experiences’ your studio.
- Pricing : Pricing is both an art and a science. The science part comes when you figure your “cost of goods sold” and can price those products according to a profitable margin—intimidating, to say the least. But perhaps even more important is the “art” of pricing, creating an overall pricing structure that encourages your clients to spend exactly what you want them to on the entire session.
- Projection : The ‘in-person’ projection appointment is where the pre-consultation, products and pricing all come together to create the final sale. A slideshow presented on a big screen with touching music helps create an emotional sale—and emotion is what we sell. We don’t sell photographic paper. We sell the feelings and associations that the photos represent. Wowing your client with all that emotion right off the bat helps ensure your sale is headed down the right path.
- Policies : Your business policies are the glue that holds your relationships with your clients together.
These “6 P’s” are the foundation for any business to succeed. By working hard and adapting these items into your business you will become a successful pro photographer in no time. Just remember, if someone is coming to you to take their photos it’s because they like you. Don’t let your self-confidence get low and take courage in the fact that you have already won half the battle.