As April comes to a rapid close, winter downtime is over! The ideal situation would be for each of you to have the rest of the year sketched out regarding mailings, promotions, and events you're going to schedule to help build your brand. However, since most of you are typically behind in your annual planning, that doesn't mean you can't be putting new things in place all year long.
It's time to think about add-on products! They're not just about added value, but enhancing the experience, your clients have when purchasing your services.
At Polaroid many years ago I was involved in a series of consumer surveys for product development. The studies repeatedly showed consumer satisfaction for a product dramatically increased with the number of accessories available. As a result, when Polaroid launched the Spectra camera in the 80's, it was a complete system. There was a full line of accessories including self-timers, cable releases, albums, bags, table top tripods, small picture frames and even Cokin filters, just to name a few.
That same concept is in place with most of the major consumer purchases we make today, especially in consumer electronics. Photography isn’t any different, and if you're only offering your clients an album and a few different options on print packages then you're missing an incredible opportunity for more sales!
Let's beef up what you're offering your clients starting with online hosting and slideshows. Then let's move into all the hard goods available. Albums of every color, shape, and size are out there. One of a kind table top books, wraps, metal prints, frames - everything that makes sense based on what you know about your target audience.
- Canvas prints are old to you, but not to all your customers.
- Albums in different sizes might seem boring and routine, but putting a complete package together for a client could be unique to their experiences.
- "Shooting for the Silver Frame" - (thank you Justin and Mary Marantz) gives you the ability to do something different with one single stunning image from every wedding.
- Slideshows combining still images and video demonstrate your ability to be storytellers - again; it's a product that consumers are excited about and Photodex makes it so easy for you to create!
- Offering holiday cards both with client images as well as digital holiday card slideshows adds to your ability to offer customers one-stop shopping.
- Creating a Hollywood movie poster of a client event using Marathon's Bella Art Prints gives you not only a new product but the potential for increased profitability. Plus, we're a word-of-mouth industry and every client is going to share the excitement of a product like this.
And don't laugh, take a look at novelty products. There are some outstanding items out there, and you'll find them all at just about every convention - from mugs to mouse pads to rag dolls. For those of you who are purists and hate the idea, I'm not saying you need to be out there selling coffee mugs or dolls, (like the one I got Sheila years ago) with the bride and groom's face on them, but what an incredible marketing tool. What a way to make a great client laugh and remember how much fun they had at the engagement shoot with you, when you send them a matched set of coffee mugs with their pictures on them!
And for those of you who honestly believe "Uncle Harry" is actually stealing business from you, then you're letting him. I’m not saying the Uncle Harry's of the world don’t create problems, but they don't have access to the hundreds of products and companies that make up the professional photographic market. As a professional photographer, you've got virtual exclusivity when it comes to the broadest most diverse selection of add-on products from the finest group of manufacturers in the history of photography!
Add-on sales create added perceived value and in the end, create higher customer satisfaction and return business, but best of all, it helps add to your bottom line!