This guest blog post is written by Eric O'Connor, a Chicago wedding photographer, owner of Allori Photography and mylife-pages. Follow Eric on Twitter.
2012 will soon be here.
January is the perfect time to take a hard look at how to maximize profits in the upcoming year. These are a few recommendations that have helped me, follow all three and I know they'll work for you too.
1. What's in it for me?
2. Stay in Touch
3. Share the Love
What's In It For Me?
Your clients want information. They want to know every detail about their purchase. Give it to them! You are the expert. Share your knowledge and process with them. Whatever you do please don't wait until after the wedding to inform your client about the pre-design process. If you do they will feel cheated. After they book with you make sure to take time or create a wedding album FAQ to walk them through the album process. This doesn't have to be complicated. Just a simple step by step from the day you shoot the wedding to the day you deliver their album. Set expectations and then deliver on them. It is important they understand you will be telling the story of their wedding day and you'll use as many pages as it takes to get it right. I always like to mention it gives them a great starting point. They can then customize the album to exactly what they want. Your clients will love this idea. Anytime they can take ownership in the process, you win!
Stay in Touch
Take a minute and think about the excitement leading up to the wedding. Your clients are excited about their wedding and then … BAM! … the wedding is over. It doesn't take long and they are back to real life. Catch your bride and groom in that first 30 days and their wedding day excitement will do the selling for you. You likely only have a 30 day window to take advantage of the wedding high. If 30 to 90 days go by and your bride hasn't seen pictures or a draft of her album it is much harder to add pages or sell additional albums. I make it a point to have everything to my brides 7 days after their wedding. I used to deliver images 30 days after the wedding and routinely life got in the way and the brides wouldn't even think about their album for a few more months. There were always a lot of album edits and very little pages added. Now, 7 days after their wedding they can view their Animoto slideshow, image gallery, and album pre-design right on their wedding website. I make sure to give my clients a deadline. We want to have the album completed and ready to print in 3 to 4 weeks. This helps give them a target to have their changes complete. Extra albums page sales have gone from a few or none to five, ten or more from every wedding.
Share the Love
Quick turnaround time is essential but I find coupling that with excitement from friends has really helped additional album page sales. A few years ago I emailed PDFs to my brides and they would leave me comments for changes. This was pretty efficient but didn't help me much when it came to advertising or extra album pages. I don't pay for ads in magazines and only have one ad online that I tested out this year and will discontinue Jan 1. Word of mouth, SEO, social media, and over the top customer service do the job for me. The next iteration of album sharing was a slideshow posted on YouTube. I found I was getting quite a few hits and at the same time album sales started to increase. Brides started telling me their friends loved watching their wedding album movies. This was one of those common sense moments when the light goes on in your head. Friends of the bride love the album and they start telling the bride about their favorite pages. This process makes it harder and harder for the bride to remove or change pages.
Finally I arrived at the perfect solution, Share the Love! Wedding album movies on a post wedding website are essential to higher album page sales. With a favorites gallery, Animoto slideshow, and movie of the album, my brides have a constant flow of compliments from their friends about how much they love the wedding images and album pages. As you can see in the graphic the album movie in this wedding was viewed over 200 times in 6 weeks. I have been completely removed from the album page sales process. Yes, I have to take images my clients love but my brides' friends do the rest of the work for me. I do not meet with my clients to sell or add pages. These days they all add pages without sitting down with me.
Test out the three steps above. They are easy so don't cheat yourself and pick just one. Do all three. You will start to see a difference in sales. Click the image below to see how I display sample albums on post wedding websites.
Want to try a post wedding website? Your first site is FREE. Surprise one of your favorite clients with a wedding website with colors to match their wedding.