Day 16: Defining Your Product Line
We're going to be talking today about defining your product line and I'm actually gonna just show you a video I'm in my studio just talking through some of the products that we offer to our clients and I do want to offer actual products and not just digital files not just throwing them online I wanna walk my clients through the possibilities and what's available to them and I'm going to show you guys just firsthand we can't bring all this stuff with us and so we filmed this there so you could actually see me holding things and kind of you know what things look like so here we go I really want to make sure that I'm showing our images either framed or campus gallery raps I want to show everything finished and ready to hang on the wall I love wild sorbet frames and you guys are going to see those and here we talk about wells or sorbet frames quite a a few times during this program but I you know, with your clients I have got wild survey hanging all over my studio and of course we're build...
ing for our clients in preview and showing them if that's the right frame for them we use a handcrafted framing for a traditional frames and you know that's appropriate for a lot of our clients as well but when wild turbay is appropriate you know I hear people sometimes that say you know, that hand painted framing that's, just not for me or for my clients. My clients are more traditional, but you can do something as simple. Is this that's just a grey and a black that's going to go into a you know, a very traditional home, just beautifully and still give them that really unique frame that's, different from anything that they're going to get anywhere else? And I have gotten a lot of clients over the years just by someone walking into somebody's home and saying, oh, my gosh, where did you get those frames aren't even talking about my pictures, they're talking about the frames, and so you know, these air, great to be ableto having your client's homes and there really are a great tool for you to use and wild survey has tools for you, but to use with their clients as well and super amazing catalogues this is I don't even know if this is the most current one, but all through their catalogue, I'll just flip through it, but they've got just amazing groupings and rooms just showing thing's finished so that your client can get a ton of ideas, there's, no pricing, and here and there's, no pricing on their website, you've got to be a whole cell account member to be able to get their pricing and so this is just a great told even use with your client so just have him put through and get ideas and you no use used these things I sold while saray frames before I ever had a frame hanging in my studio just because of this the catalogs and get their back catalogs if they've got some left because they're all just a really really great little publication for you and I will give you ideas to as your building frame groupings for your clients in preview you're going to get some great ideas from the wild survey catalog yourself one of the things that I love besides wall portrait is albums and we sell a lot of albums to our clients who want to make that available to our clients when I started selling albums I realize that you know there's all these different options there's a million cover choices and number of pages that you could put in there is rounded corners or square corners there's you know, multiple piece binding like like this album and I'll pick this up so you can see it a little bit better this is a hefty album this is an album that we did for a baby client who we photographed every month of the first year and this is a c I z select album and so with this you can choose the front the spine and the back cover's individually and we love these but when I first started offering these albums, I didn't know how to show them to my clients, I don't know how to show all the options, and I literally had a spreadsheet of, you know, this many pages with this many images and this kind of cover, and, you know, just all the different options is going to equal this much money, and no one was buying albums because it was just too much to think about. And so I quickly changed that I had that spreadsheet available for about a week, and people were just too confused, and it was just to know if they're confused, they can't say yes, because I just don't understand. And so I immediately stepped back to figure out how I could sell albums more efficiently and make sure that people were excited about buying them. And so now, buying an album with me is pretty much a yes or a no. Do you want an allen, d? And I want an album, and most of our clients love getting allies because it does tell the story of their entire session, and so to make that very easy for them, I have priced my albums at the top and of the pricing structure so that I know no matter how many images I end up putting in the album, how many pages it ends up being, I am covered for that cost if I end up with less pages or less images then it's totally fine to make a little more money so that works out great and with the albums the way I designed them they're all custom designed they're all a little bit different I do have templates for some of the albums that we dio for instance are really kids albums which are these you can see that they're they're the same the covers are the same it is a template as you go through some of the pages might be you know, we might have this layout on a different page as we move through you know I might switch them around in order for the actual lay out of the pages don't don't change it's a template but our custom alums that we do for our family portrait sessions as well as our first your client's those air all custom designed and the way I designed them with the client is I just go through and as we're going through the sale, I'm having the client categorized their images and yes nose and maybes and so when we're done and they've chosen yes, we do want an album I don't want to sit there with them and go, you know well, you've got thirty images you you've gotta narrow it down to that's how many images are going in the album or forty or fifty or whatever I just want to let them know as I designed your album I'm gonna work thru your favorite images you're yes s images to be the main images in your album the maybes will be used where I need them to finish the story and the nose won't be included is that okay? And it's a simple is that nobody really wants to sit and go through that whole process now with our high school seniors when they're getting their favorite image on the cover of the album, I might let them choose that cover image if they asked, but I don't even put that out there if they don't ask about it from the beginning so we're designing their albums for them they're priced at the top level of the category so that it makes it very, very simple with our seniors we've got three levels of albums with our families and first your clients it's one album it's priced one way so they're getting what we offer it's a yes or a no and it makes it all very, very simple in a very easy decision with our real kids it's, the lay flat press album from a c I and it's just a simpler album it's a lot less expensive for us to produce and so we can therefore offer it at a lot less for those special event sessions that we d'oh another product that I really love are the image boxes, and I actually am loving these more and more all the time, and one of the reasons is is when it gets down to the end of the session, and our clients really do want a keepsake of all of their images or all of their favorite images, you know, we can offer an album, or we can offer an image box as that final product and, of course, the image boxes. They're going to be a lot easier to create than an album, and the price point is not a whole lot different. So inside of our image boxes, we've got ten mounted prints and that's how those air sold and these air nice, you know, mounted prints that we can let the client know that you know, some of our clients like to just have that keepsake in the box with those ten favorite images. Some people framed them separately, and some people set them out on easels, and you can even set them all on an easel by your image box and rotate images out day today and that's fun, too. So, you know just different ways to show them that they can use the box, and we show our boxes in the five by seven and eight by ten size. This is eight by ten I used the same image, typically when I'm showing two different size is just so that they can see, you know, really the difference in the image boxes be a little harder to tell if it was two different, you know, families or two different that's a kid, so we're showing those in those ways and eye level of love's selling the image boxes, and then I always want to make sure that I'm recommending press print products to our clients. And right now we've got a box of holiday cards that is always sitting out when our clients come in and we we do like our clients to sit and look through the box there's a ton of cards in here from over the years, uh, trying to keep it relatively current, but we've got, you know, just all different styles, hand sizes and, you know, different things that they can do, and then we also have them, or we recommend to them to do matching labels for the outside of their envelope as well a cz gift tags and stickers that they can put on their packages and anything that we can tie in to make it all and, you know, just once we've got the design done, we can pull the elements over to use for other pieces. Thank you cards we can do also but I want to recommend these pieces and love love having our clients have them because these are paid for mailing pieces that are going to go out in the mail they're going to dress they're going to stamp that they pay for and so I really feel like this is just a great, great former marketing as well as our clients having something really special to be able to send out to their friends and family and then this is kind of like the albums when it comes to design I want our clients to look through the box and just kind of point out things that they like I want them to tell me the colors that they're attracted to you know, we wanted to go christmas see green and red or we don't want to go christmas he green and where we like the plum in silver whatever I want them to tell me the colors that they like and they're going to end up giving me their quotes any burbage that's going to go in the card and then I'm going to tell them the same thing that I tell them when we're working on their albums and that is you know, I've got all your favourites already selected, so I'll just be pulling from your yes is to create your card and every once in a while they might choose that one favorite family photo that they want on the front or something like that but it's not a lot of time that's being spent in the design process with the client I wanted to be a yes we want our cards and then move on I don't want to drag that part of it out so that's what we're doing with the holiday cards at different times of the year we're recommending other kinds of products to our clients because I really do want them to have those press products in their hands and getting them out to their friends and family all right so that was one on the screen now and I guess before I show a couple more things does anybody have any questions about some of the products that we just showed any online questions that we have it's starting here and then we'll take a look online we did have a couple questions but I think they all got answered inside let me see ben lille was wondering what was the frame service I thought I was hearing monster babe but that doesn't sound right maybe that's a new name for somebody that's thinking about a product but uh it's wild sorbet so w I l d sorbet like the ice cream s o r e t yeah t and actually I was just wondering about that the pink and blue album the family album what it looks like inside the pink and blue album sour actually baby babies first year and so the pink is popular for the girls lose part of their for the boys, but that's an entire baby's first year and typically baby's first year for us is newborn for months, eight months twelve but then we do offer what we call a year in the life and its we photographed every month of the first year. And so that was that hefty album that you saw those do turn out to be, like giant wedding album, kind of coffee table albums, and we price for those at the very beginning, they know they're going to invest in that before I do that, and you know that every month session so those air digitally created or they like flush mount their flush mount digitally created all one images on one spread, and I think, actually, that just answered the question that had come in from la graffiti by album did you mean a traditional album with prince in it or a photo book? Yeah, and you know when we don't want a column photo books, you guys because that's what you can go and get on shutterfly or on, you know, some of these other online places, so it is a it's, a flush mount coffee table album? Yes, it is maybe what you're thinking of it as a photo book it's one image that's flush mount across the page and actually even this little one that we have here you know this is a flush mount lay flat album this is the more expensive one the pages aren't quite as thick, but they're still not paper pages you know these air still it's still a nice album to do from a children session or even from a special event you know we can do these so but it's it's that idea of its digitally created and then all printed on one piece from the lab fantastic. And we have one question from sarah b who wonders whether you watermark the images that you use for holiday cards and other promotions of that sort. I do not watermark the images on the actual cards. However, my information is always on my card so on the back of every card it's gonna have my logo and my website and, you know, that's on everything that we do every design piece and maybe that's what she meant by one working dejima question carly that's you're saying question. Okay, all right, well that's like I I love it when the internet has questions that the studio and says just asked or vice versa, same questions going on and lala graffiti says these albums are amazing, so thank you, and then also says, oh, I think laurie is the marketing queen of planet of the planet. All right, so I'm gonna show you just a couple more things, but as you're thinking about your product line and I've got in your workbook, just a, you know, a way to go through and really think about your different product lines, which are going to be baby's first year families, high school seniors, weddings, whatever you're photographing and so right in that product line, and then a couple of the products that you want to offer to those different segments of your business and then think about what the product benefit is and, you know, that's something that if you can learn to really think through what's the benefit of having this product for my client, that something that you can start communicating to the client so, you know, builds that value up for them. And so I think through those, as we look through a couple more and you also have and your workbook ah, whole list of different product offerings and there's so many more where these air just a few things just to kind of spark some ideas on some things that you might want to try or, you know, something. Maybe that's, that's new or different or that means that you may not have even thought of but those are some ideas to put in those lines where you're looking at the products and thinking about what those product benefits are. So uh here in the screen, we've got storyboards and one of the first things in the video I was talking about wild survey frames and you saw these two storyboards which were not well wild surveyed in the middle those on the outsider are wild survey, but the middle ones are just traditional framing what a storyboard is is multiple images on one piece these air also digitally created you could certainly do this with matting, and that would be something that you know is old but new because not a lot of people are doing traditional matting anymore, and I have thought about that a lot in my business. I've been doing digital matting now for thirteen years since two thousand when I went digital and so maybe it's cool at some point to come up with an entire product line that is traditional, matted and framed and sold finish and in that way, you know, so that's another option for you if you you know think that might be unique in your area, but storyboards are for me at this point either digitally matador like the little round one from wild sorbet those are three individual circle prints but wild survey is the hand painted framing and that's not monster bait or whatever he said that doesn't sound very good did it monster whatever but those are wild sorbet raves whoa ben today all right moving on everything I show in the studio I want to show as a finished grouping e can't even look at you guys now um I want to show is a finished grouping so I'm showing them what I want to sell so it's going to be one child or one group of children or one family that shone and an entire grouping and so this family grouping that shown here this is what's hanging in my studio right when you walk into the door and to the right that is there and then uh the other grouping of the boys is upstairs in my order appointment room and the loft and we have groupings like this hanging all over the studio so people can actually see the idea of more than one and you know and that's that's been a big thing for me that spent a transition and a kind of evolution in my business when I went digital one of the big things at that time it was two thousand and if you're going to go digital you got a project you gotta meet with your client so you gotta show them their image is big on the wall and sell those wall portrait's which I bought into I started making that my main thing to sell those well portrait and it was a big deal at the time the goal was you want to sell this thirty by forty or you want to sell this, you know, large framed piece? Well, now I would much rather sell a grouping of images that tell more about the family and tell the story of them that I would that one main piece that used to be the goal so it's just, you know, the changing of times and maybe at some point I'll go backto wanting to sell the one piece who knows, but it's just, you know, being ableto evolve and grow with your business and where it's going and I'm showing what you want to sell I believe is really, really important and one of the things that, you know tools like preview and I keep talking about that but that's, how I'm building these wal groupings for our clients on the computer and preview to show them and what's great about tools like that is that you can start building these things with the pre built rooms that are in the software and there's a lot they probably got fifty pre built rooms, maybe more, but you can go ahead and start using those before you even have samples from your clients or more of your own and start building wall groupings to play around with it and play with ideas before you start, you know, introducing it to your clients and pull images in from an old session. I think one of the things that I recommended to amy when when you got preview was go backto old sessions and pull clients images in and columnist say, look what I did look what I created for you this is so awesome and see what you khun cell from a past session just like offering something new, you know, that might be a great idea for you car later, you know, let some of your clients know hey, this is brand new for me. I'm so excited to show you what I did when I created with your images and, you know, deal of it so let's do it for you let's get it done. So, um, you know, show what you want to sell and and use those tools that are available to you, even if you're on location or in a home studio, you don't physically have tto have these in your studio like ideo you, khun just create them in the software and show them that way show him digitally showman, a product menu showman on pinterest and you know all these different avenues that are available to us all right and our download today is a set of products finished products these were gonna be I don't remember how many are here six I think I think it's six square templates for multiple image pieces and so kind of like the idea of a collage but it's finished you know they're these air all twenty by twenty or thirty by thirty and you can drop multiple images in there and create a specialty product for your clients I love it so we have an update for questions if you guys have any here if not I do have a few online that I would love to get to we have one from debo it's probably a fairly simple one some photographers put their studio name on the front or logo on their portrait that they print for their customers that it's like right in the corner do you do that? Do you recommend doing that? I do not do that I actually used to and I don't anymore and there is no right or wrong to that I think that's personal for everybody some people like tio you know call it their art piece and put a signature on it and I think that's great I do put and you'll see this in our packaging segment but we put a certificate of authenticity on the back of our prince to kind of give it that artist's statement and it kind of talks about the care and quality of the image and I signed that and so that is still my signature there but I'm not ruining prince anymore by by signing them on the front and then you know and even after that I transition to doing it digitally but I just you know that the digital signature to me and it's personal it's no, there is no right or wrong to this but for me personally it reminded me of, you know, some chain stores that put their local logo in the bottom corner and so it just wasn't right for me so we went to the certificate of authenticity and you'll get to see that callie damn sorry can you expand a little bit more on the image box that you're doing because I love that idea because I'm too lazy to do albums really? So I like the idea of like you were saying rotating the images out on a easel and everything but like are they putting the image box on the easel and then putting a picture? I don't yeah and no and the image boxes I'm just gonna grab this one again, but the image boxes are a great product and you can actually offer them empty as a memory box this is a really fun thing to offer like for a newborn session and they can put in a little piece of hair and their birth certificate and the the hospital bracelet and just fun things. I've also sold them for little girls who are in dan it's from out like a birthday session and they'll put all of their you know their hair stuff and whatever they need to take to dance and take that along with them so you can sell them empty. But then if you sell him full with the ten amounted images like I do, then you we just offer to our clients this is a great way to have these ten separate pieces that you can frame. You can set them individually on an easel and they would still just have there box sitting on their dresser or other and table or whatever with an easel beside it and either have the stack of images they can all fit on that easel or they could just put one out and so it's just kind of a fun way be able to use that and rotate it it's different. I do sell the easels and we get easels from a company. This is not in the program, so we might want to type this in the chat room. But it's called tri par it's t r I p a r dot com and you do have to place it's a wholesale company, so you have to place an initial pretty large order but it's not obnoxious it's like two hundred dollars or three hundred dollars. And so we get our large for easels from them as well as table easels, and I and I love them. They have lots of other fun products as well, but, uh, those easels we've gotten from them for many years, we have another oh, go ahead. Okay, my questions still relating to those. So when you're pricing those, do you just take the four four by six is the cost on the all the car? Or do you do your cost base price that's built into, like, your packages stuff and what these air have mounted five by sevens, we also have the eight by ten boxes with mounted eight by tens, and I do take the price of the ten pieces, the ten five by sevens add that up, and then I'm going to do a little discount because it's kind of like a package, you know? And so I'm gonna take fifteen to twenty percent off and on and then, of course, price for the cost of the box. I think our price point and I'm not it's in that products, many that I showed you guys, but I want to say that the five by sevens, or twelve hundred and eight by tens of fourteen hundred awesome all right, we have a question from w h p and this is often seen when we start talking about products how exactly do you go about offering all of these different type s of products to clients without overwhelming them with options or do you just find out what they are looking for and give them a limited time? A limited amount of those options are not time how do you deal with the clients who don't really know what they want? Well that's the beauty of leading your client through the process and making those suggestions and my first concentration is always going to be for the wall and that's number one if I was doing a build a collection for our families our regular studio clients step one would be for the wall just like our high school seniors because that's what I want to concentrate on first when that's done and we've gotten through that and design for their wall and made those selections then I'm just going to make suggestions based on what they love when they come to their order appointment. So we know for instance, if we're going to do this grouping in somebody's home, I've already talked to them that we want to do a main family image we want to do a family out take and and something of the the kid's individually so we know this so when we're going through the order appointment we know we're looking for that main family portrait. We're looking for our favorite image of each of the kids and just one of the fun out takes and really for this one, I had planned on having a walking away shot of them, but it turned out that this was the one that they love the most. So that's, where the decisionmaking comes in, not am I goingto do something like this for my wall? We've already decided that that, you know, this is fun if they're choosing this image over the one that I had in my head totally fine, you know? And after that I want my client then to say, you know, that's good and that's great for my wall, but I love everything all of these air left in our yeses or our maybes, you know, what can we do with those? And then I'm going to make those suggestions and say, you know, we've got these great image boxes and here's how you can use them or you can do a family album and those air great toe have out on your coffee table. We've got, you know, this size available, you can choose your cover, we're going to put all of your yes is in it. All of your maybes that we need to tell your story and the nose won't be included is that okay? So we're just making suggestions to them about those different products that they're going to end up with I do have I've got that long list for you guys in a in the workbook of all these different things I don't offer every single one of those things well they're just ideas for you but I do offer a lot of little things, especially for our high school seniors they want some of that fun stuff but we're not concentrating on that and when a girl comes into our studio and she says oh my gosh, I love those dog tags I have to have that for my boyfriend you know I'm gonna tell her you know what? I'm going to show your mom how she could get that at a discount and then I'm gonna go back to focusing on exactly what I want them to focus on so we're taking care of her and saying yes, but then we're moving along. And so, um, I guess the answer to that is that those things are available which you have to decide what your concentration is and that's what you're gonna work through and move through we're not leaving all these decisions to them by themselves, you know, I'm making specific suggestions to them and leading them through the process fantastic any great day eleven or twelve you showed a nine image collage that you called expressions do you shoot for that every time or do you only shoot for that if they if you sort of pre sold them at the consultation, I will priest so that's a good question and I always shoot for that if I pre sold it, I pre sell it almost always at the four month session because that's the first time that they have all kinds of expressions and so I'm doing like a baby headshot session and shooting for that expressions panel and that's like our product at that at that stage, um ifit's puts a little girl for her bedroom and mom sends me a snapshot and says, I would be fun to do something in this room I might show where that nine up idea she may say, you know, and we'll talk about this when we talk about the consultation call, but she may say, wow, I love that yes, or she may say that's a little more than I was thinking and I can narrow it down and we can do for above the bed or we can do you know I can change it up, but yes, they're pre purchasing anything that we're deciding on for the walls and then and you guys were going to see a session this afternoon that I photographed and I went there with one wall that we had decided on when I had shown her she sent me her snapshots and we narrowed it down to one wall when I got to her house she hadn't sent me a snapshot of her basement and her basement was a nice finish basement where the family sits and watches tv and hangs out together and so when I got there I said to her I would love to do something right here this is going to be a great space you said you guys spend a lot of time here what would you think about me photographing for this wall as well? She's agreeing and then I'm suggesting let's pick out a different outfit for this room I don't want them to stay in the same outfit upstairs and downstairs and so you know now we're making another suggestion for a wall grouping but moms agreeing to it she hasn't said he was your money she hasn't said yes, I'm buying it but she has said to me yes that's a great idea I would love for you to create something for this space I didn't even think about it I had a huge giant were coming for this other wall and so you know we're talking about this we do another outfit do you know so it's just constantly making those suggestions and a lot of times people just haven't thought about it celery you've been photographing a lot of your families year after year. Don't you ever fill their walls? Like, what do you do when they say, I really don't have any more walls for you? I think, what do you d'oh? Well, and I think if I can expand on that question, there was somebody who asked earlier, if you're looking in someone's room and they've got other pictures on their wall, do you ever suggest moving those getting rid of them to make room for yours? I do actually. And even if, even if their mind I might suggest moving them and one of the things I always ask our families is what's the most lived in area of your home, and especially if I've lived there, lived with them, I've worked with them for a while, I live on their walls, but if I worked with them for a while and we're doing the next session and they say to me now, while we've got such great things everywhere, I don't know, you know, I don't know what we're going to go next time I might use the same analogy of you know what? Give me a challenge, I want to see what we can dio I might tell them, you know, what I what I explain a lot is what's the most lived in area of your home we want that to be the place you're going to see them in the most enjoy the most we want that to be from the newest session and so will either move the other you know, for the last session to another area of the home we might break it up we might take you know, the individuals of the kids and put you know, these these little circles could certainly go on a little easel on a dresser you know it so we could break it up that way and I'll make that suggestion I can tell them you know, this can't go anywhere congar above your toilet in your bathroom you know it's like that nice little size and then you know and of course this could go on a master bedroom it could go in a hallway you know, we can break this up later and so it's just answering those questions again that you know all it is is I need more info I don't you know, I don't know what I would do with this I feel like I don't have any wall space but we're going to tell them here's how this works you want your latest session to be in the most lived in area with a home the area that you're gonna enjoy the mouse I also for people when they have chosen framing and they love it, and they say, we really love the screaming. Yes, we want to put the new session here. I'll use those same frames and put in their new session, and when I do that, I actually archive their prints behind their new prints. So it's gonna be their new prentice here there. One from their last session is behind that, and we just frame it right in the frame for them. And so, you know, just be ready with those yes answers to make those suggestions. When people have those, you know, objections.