by Skip Cohen
While the pandemic had a negative impact on so many different aspects of business, one thing it never touched is seasonality. We're in an industry with two major seasons for increased sales, now and the December holidays. And with the excitement of a return to more normalcy, leadership opportunitiesre everywhere. While Father's Day is just two weeks away, there are so many ways to capture more sales.
First, we all know the line about charity starts at home...so, at the risk of leading off with an infomercial, check out Tamron's limited time Father's Day promotion - there are eleven lenses included in the new program, and it's just a two week window.
It just kicked off a few hours ago! Click on the banner below for more information.
Now, let's look at promotions you can be doing RIGHT now and especially throughout the summer:
Think about it for a second - women make 98% of the purchase decisions to hire a professional photographer in the portrait/social categories. That means Mom, with a bit of help from the kids, is trying to figure out what to get Dad for Father's Day.
A New Family Portrait - it's the obvious choice, but unless you plant the seed, Mom's not going to think of it in time. So you've got two great options, a portrait of Mom and the kids for Dad or a full family sitting with Dad in the shot. The key to remember is that every Dad is proud of his family, and in most cases, the photograph in his wallet or on his phone is outdated, along with the thumb-tacked prints on a bulletin board some place from the last vacation, which might have been years ago.
It's Not Just a Photograph - This is where a call to your lab comes into play. You're not just sharing the idea to get a new portrait done. Find out what they've got that's new. The pandemic didn't slow down new technology! You've got metal prints, canvas wraps, and a long list of other materials, not to mention frames, multiple sizes, etc. Even novelty items like mouse pads, coffee mugs, and barbecue aprons can come into play with a great image.
What About an Album? A Day in the Life session isn't just about photographing kids. What about an album that's a day in the life of a family? You've got an opportunity to create a pretty unique family-centric project - spending a half-day and documenting the life of a family, which is then presented in an album that tells their story. It's a lot of work to get it done for Father's Day, but it's a great idea to have in your product line, regardless of when it gets delivered.
This is where a gift certificate comes into play, and nobody can do it better than you! So be creative and plant the seed NOW through email, direct mail, and partnerships. Remember, you don't have to always fly solo - partner with vendors in your community who target families and Dads—a great restaurant, sporting goods store, golf course, Harley dealership, etc.
Summer Vacations: Most of us went through the pandemic hunkered down. Even with the outrageous gas prices, families are getting out more this summer. This might not be the year for a cross-country trip but look at places in your area. Draw a 100 mile circle around you, and then look for the opportunities for family portraiture and helping to capture more great images. It's up to you to remind them about capturing those memories and making them last, literally forever.
Date Night: I've written about this before, but here's where you get a chance to remind Mom of how long it's been since she and Dad got out to dinner without the kids! She's got to get the sitter, but it's another idea you've got to promote. It all starts with a portrait session for 15-30 minutes at the start of the evening, and then you're going to send the couple off to dinner. Talk to the owner of a favorite romantic restaurant in your community and see if they'll work with you on a discounted gift certificate. Build in the cost of the certificate into your price for the sitting and print. Make it a package deal that essentially becomes a "no-brainer."
Your Blog: Your blog is the mortar between the bricks! Use your blog to create more awareness of gift ideas, outstanding portraiture, and the importance of capturing memories. I've shared author Jodi Picoult's quote dozens of times:
This is what I like about photographs.
They're proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat,
everything was perfect.
Jodi Picoult's quote is a perfect theme to helping you raise awareness about the importance of photography with your target audience.
Now's the time to do a little agricultural marketing - you've got to plant the seeds of ideas with your clients and audience. Your blog is the perfect vehicle, and then share those posts on social media places like Facebook. I mentioned leadership opportunities at the beginning of today's post...you're the only one who can reach your audience and use the strength of your brand awareness in the community to create more excitement.
Here's the bottom line - this is about your bottom line. You've got these wonderful little windows of seasonality to help you market your skills as an artist. With each one, you've got limited time to make it work, but like the title of today's post suggests, you've got to get things going now and get the word out. Start with your existing client base and then look at other sources to reach your target audience.
The clock is ticking, and as I said initially, you snooze, you lose!
Check out "Why?" one of the most popular features on the SCU Blog. It's a very simple concept - one image, one artist and one short sound bite. Each artist shares what makes the image one of their most favorite. We're over 100 artists featured since the project started. Click on the link above and you can scroll through all of the episodes to date.