Chris Scott, former Nashville photographer and founder of the Printmaker System sat down with us and talked about how to double your revenue as a photographer, even during the COVID pandemic. With so many COVID restrictions in place and the future of the economy uncertain, many photographers have struggled to stay afloat. Chris says that many people currently have the mindset, “I have to wait until the world gets back to normal so I can get back to selling again.” However, Chris gave us plenty of ideas to double photography revenue through selling prints, even if you are not currently able to shoot.
How Chris Doubled His Revenue As a Photographer
Chris Scott started off as a wedding and portrait photographer who struggled to make ends meet. He said he “didn’t have loyal clients because [he] didn’t give them anything to be loyal to.” He was a great photographer but surrounded by so many other incredible photographers, he did not have enough differentiation to set him apart. Chris decided to experiment with his business model out of necessity when his wife, Adrienne, offered to take on a second job to pay their bills.
Typically Chris would give his clients general guidelines and expectations, shoot and edit images and then give these images to his clients on a disc or in a gallery. He did this because it was the industry standard and it was what every other photographer offered. However, Chris then differentiated himself by “building each unique experience around the individual client.” He started selling an end product he knew clients would love and shaped their entire experience around that end goal.
“Just getting new clients is not growing your business if you don’t have a profitable way to make money from each client.”
When a client booked Chris’s services, they would start off with a meeting where Chris would discuss why the client wanted the photos. If they wanted family photos to decorate the living room, Chris would base their outfits, color scheme, location and poses based off the living room mood and decor. You could also do this step through a client questionnaire. Because of this planning, clients would get images that were perfect for their needs and Chris would double his revenue through selling prints. He says photographers “are sitting on a gold mine of images” that many do not take advantage of after a session.
As a photographer, by selling prints you can make money even while you are not shooting. While it might seem like a tedious sales process, Chris notes that it should not feel like sales- it is more of a service that clients want and even expect. By providing clients with the photography prints they want, you can double your revenue and improve every client experience.
How To Get Started Selling Prints
- Pick one product to start. Chris recommends a simple 5×7 framed print.
- Create a marketing mock up for clients. Use code IRISWORKS to get your first mock up for free!
- Design a mock up of one photo for your last 3 clients
- Send the mock up to clients via email and tell them you’re having a 3 day sale on prints
- Send a follow up email a day later, saying that the offer is ending soon
- The day it ends- email your clients one last time, telling them its their last chance to take advantage of the sale
- See what they say and tweak your process from their feedback. If they all say yes, raise the price. If they say no, ask them why- this is great feedback. (You can also add their feedback to your Client Profiles in your Iris account)
*Bonus! You can automate this entire emailing process through Iris and generate sales without lifting a finger! Learn more here!
This is a great way to start selling prints even while you are not shooting. By starting off with something small such as this, you can jump into selling prints without overwhelming yourself. If you want to then increase the sales of your prints, Chris gave us great next steps to help you.
How To Scale Your Print Sales
“Make it work, then make it better.”
Start by showing the products you want them to buy upfront when they book you. Your website and social media should display your photos on canvas and prints throughout homes. This way you do not have to worry about a sales meeting after your photoshoot. Clients will see what you offer on your website and book you expecting to buy prints.
Another idea to scale your print sales is to have a Quarterly Featured Product. Make one of your physical items a featured product and email your client list about a sale on that particular print. This is a great reason to email past clients and increase revenue in a repeatable way. This is a great step to take during COVID when you may not have new sessions. You can use past galleries from clients to promote these quarterly featured prints.