Venice Album has boxes that can be ordered to match the album or can be plain.
We’ve briefly explored some of the components you can provide on your own, but what about all the vendors who support you? Your lab isn’t there to just process and send you your print order! Your album company is about presentation, NOT just albums. Even your packaging, when you ship the client’s finished order, makes a statement under the added value umbrella.
Let’s start with your album company: There are an infinite combination of products to offer every client. There’s always the core book, be it a wedding or event you’re covering all the way to a Day-in-the-Life on location shoot of a child. But what about the rest of the family?
What if you were to give an empty box to the bride and groom as a thank you?
In that box you’re going to include a certificate for a free anniversary sitting a year later. Another certificate might include coverage of the birth of their first child, followed by other certificates for significant events in the child’s life e.g. first Christmas, first family portrait, first birthday etc.
Those certificates help remind the couple you're their to help support all their photographic needs and all you need to do is follow up with a phone call on the appropriate anniversary/event dates and remind them. The certificate has already planted the seed.
I’ve been talking for years about frames and I still can’t understand why so many photographers forget about them. In fact, at a few of the electronic shows over the years, I’ve even seen companies selling frames for your wall-mounted flat screen. Well, what if you show your clients their images on the flat screen and then had several styles of frames to pop on and off depending on your client’s tastes? This isn't a new idea, but it is one that I don't understand why so few photographers utilize the concept!
There’s a secondary advantage here as well. You’re not just selling them on ideas about framed prints, you’re also planting the seed on over-sized prints! You don’t even need to talk about big prints, just show them!
The list of added value products you can offer just keeps going...
This series started with suggesting ways to add value to your packages while staying away from making price the issue. I've only hit the tip of the iceberg in products you can offer your clients. I’ll be the first to recognize it all sounds so easy here in a blog post. It’s not easy, but this where you have to believe in yourself, your skill set and simply take it one step at a time. You need to develop a plan so that you can be proactive instead of reactive!
Having a plan in place and gradually adding new services and products can help you focus your marketing energy on finding new clients instead of being reactionary to every client who wants to know if you’ll drop your prices!
Just remember one key issue - the entire discussion on added value is a moot point if your skill set as a photographer sucks! Sorry gang, there's no better way to put it.
You've got to have a skill set that's better than Uncle Harry's. You've got to exceed client expectations and make yourself habit-forming. Anybody can get their first customer - the key is to get those first clients to not only come back, but tell their friends!