We're part of an industry with only a couple of strong points of seasonality, outside the traditional spring and summer wedding season. We've got the end of the year fourth quarter holidays and May/June. It started with Mother's Day, then rolls into proms, graduations and finishes with Father's Day.
Well, it's May 20 and you've still got time to get something out there for Father's Day. Plus, it's not too early to write down a few reminders so you don't miss things next year. 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 little 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. 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 The key to remember is that every Dad is proud of his family and in most cases the photograph in his wallet is outdated, along with the thumb-tacked prints on a bulletin board some place from last year's vacation!
It's Not Just a Photograph - This is where a call to your lab comes into play. You're not just planting the seed to get a new portrait done. Find out what they've got that's new. 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 plant an incredible seed with this one - 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 little 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.
Hybrid - Hybrid - Hybrid: Whether it's called hybrid, fusion or mixed media it's a classic gift - a 60-90 second video card of still images from the shoot with a "Happy Father's Day" video message from the kids. It doesn't get much better and it's a product that's unique. Check out Photodex if you're not already offering e-hybrid solutions and read this guest post from Suzette Allen a short time back.
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 at 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".
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 right 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 like I said at the beginning, 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.