Exclusivity and the Product Line
Exclusivity, the concept of restructuring restricting offerings so I kind of like the idea of baby plan being its own little club for your, like, best clients kind of thing, and if you treat them that way, they they kind of know that they realized that there's only going to be certain products available in baby plan that aren't available anywhere else, and that creates that concept of exclusivity. You only get the one chance to join how I've been that rule. Yes, I've bent that rule. Okay, like I said, the beginning. It's okay to bend rules just be strategic about it and don't let your clients walk all over you. You can only get maybe time products if you're a member of the plan. So we have these beautiful special products that we do have a plan, but they're only available in baby plan. You can't do him anywhere else. You could only complete your baby find product if you complete the plan so that in the concept of the annual product it makes sense you have to complete the plan or to fin...
ished product. You can only get three year and gifts if you complete the plan and that's a huge incentive point two is my clients, I want that three year and gift. We have examples of it in the studio and clients like look there's like that s so here we love it and they want that three year an album or that canvas or whatever okay, so each session is its own entity and it's so important to realize you do just as much work for baby plant session I mean newborns you do actually do more work for but you do just as much work for each baby plan session as you do for the other one, so each session has to be its own entity and has to be profitable right now I will argue with my little quote here about I think you actually do more work for any more than you do for a singing session but it's still the same concept, so make sure you profit from each session. Your mental state should be that every session that comes from my door has to make a number and that number is the average sale that you need to be profitable super important you should you need to think like that strategically and that means structuring your baby plan to ensure that this is the fun part the product line truly is the way to make the baby plan and honestly it's the way to make your studio in any other session that you do if you create a unique product line that combines that with incredible customer service that's what any business in this world is trying to do right a sellable valuable product with amazing customer service now most retail businesses that customer service component is kind of ah what do they call it a must you know, just kind of like a you have to do it with a service industry it's critical like if you don't have good customer service your business will flop because for service business okay but the product line were unique in that we are service business but there is a product at the end of it so kind of like I mean for to trivialize it's kind like a hairdresser you go in there and it's the experience of getting your hair down and then you end up with your hair cut at the end, right? I mean that's kind of how it works it's the same thing with photography so what is it? The product line okay it's what you sell essentially it's the items you create to show on display clients images it's prince campus digital files, etcetera etcetera. Okay right makes sense pretty second grade okay, we do not carry inventory so customer service is half of our product correct? So no matter how you structure of a plan that customer service has to rock okay, because if you don't have good customer service client enthusiasm for the plan is goingto wayne very, very quickly solid product line on top of that will keep the client coming back to finish the plan so here is kind of what happens with a strong product line client enthusiasm at the newborn session is usually pretty high right there pretty excited about the process everything's brand new yada yada yada well at the smiling or seven month stage it's still really high okay, they're excited at the sitting stage well at the next session I should say it starts to go down a little bit because they realize they're spending a lot of money on this and they still have like two more sessions to go so they kind of start to go a lot but then they know that the product is going to be complete and done and they want to do that and the incentives and all that encourages them along with good customer service gets the enthusiasm kind of back up for completing the whole process does that make sense? This is what happens if you have a weak product line they start off all happy and excited the first session's pretty good on the baby plan and then all of a sudden they were spending a lot of money for nothing there's not there's not really anything exciting at the end of it and if your customer service stinks good luck I mean hats off to you because you're not going to get bigger plan that's going to bomb this is what happened to me when I first started. I couldn't understand why my baby plans suck so much why do people not join it or if they join it? Why did they why don't they stay? Why don't they keep coming back was because we didn't have a solid product line that kept them coming back on the customer service wasn't great. I was dropping the ball the time left and right on these people and not paying attention to them and not baby sitting the relationship, and so I just can't removal of a little fizzle fizzled out. Okay, this is the bane of baby plans. This is why photographers get really frustrated with baby plans. Okay, so let's discuss how you create that rock in product line. Okay, it's, the key to creating a truly amazing plan. Okay, I think at this point, I'm not sure if I need it yet, but I'm pretty close, so I'll let you know when I need that. I forgot to take a picture of me and I will show you. Ok, so, uh, the product line has to basically satisfy the clients wants, right? Okay, it has to make you profitable, right? And it has to keep the client's coming back, so we need to come up with products that are going to do all those things it seems like a tall order but it's not that bad. Okay, so first of all, you have to satisfy the clients want so what does that mean? Okay, well let's first let's think I kind okay. Why are we in rolling the baby plan? Talk to me why join molly? Any ideas single you guys out come on, let's get that after lunch enthusiasm. Why would you join a baby plan if you just had a baby? They do that because you know what else? Sure you document. Yeah, very go keep out what else don going to say to capture all of those milestones to make sure that your schedules and people just like to be on a schedule organized way want to know I'm coming in at this time in this time you're exactly right. Any other ideas for why you would want to join a baby plan? You guys should be on this because you need to know your client needs to know what they're thinking. Okay, you get after you a little bit. Well, good they don't want to miss the first year, right? Their child is changing so much they're experienced with you was awesome and they want to keep going that's huge I usually I get a lot of clients just for that reason it is so much fun doing it, you know I mean that's great if you can get a client like that that's something like do they have an emotional attachment to the process is usually what the case is there they love photography they love to show off the baby and they believe in recording family legacy is usually the reasons why they want to join the baby plan so with that being said what kinds of products actually accomplish these goals okay think about that for a second slow keynote there we go the typical products that you would think of our things like canvas prints albums boxes you adi adi adi adi adi right we've seen the been there done that got the t shirt right well remember that the product line has to satisfy the clients wants but it also has to make you profitable okay and has a client coming back so those products that I just outlined to you they may satisfy the clients wants they make make you profitable but they're not going to keep the client coming back are they? So before we get into what keeps the client coming back let's talk a little about profitability okay, so each product that you sell has to be profitable to you. So what makes a client profitable there's several factors that airplane number one is it unique? Can you get it anywhere? Can you get campus anywhere? Yes. Can you get prints anywhere? Heck yes okay can you make it unique out? I put you on the spot, carmen I'm sorry different doing something different with it maybe you could embellish it are decorated or do something fun with it that's unique and different that they can't do it right. Okay, the other questions to ask her doesn't look and feel high quality is a product if it looks and feels high quality then you can charge more for it even if it doesn't cost you quite a cz much it's the perceived value well, it's selling my market my sisters in southern california and gallery up canvass does not sell in her studio at all frame canvas does you know why her newport beach clients say, well, you can get gallery cameras at costco and I want that I know that just only made everything and go out the window she's like e I gotta read about my product line s o you know but framed canvas you don't get that costco so her high end clients refused to buy gallery up campus so but in my market that they sell like hotcakes people love him so you have to ask what works in your market ella and bend, oregon are completely different markets one eighty on that scale what does it cost for you to make? Is it too high dollar wise compared to what you can sell it for and then of course, that question what can I sell it for? Will that make it profitable based on my margins? What does it take to create it? This goes back to that concept of certain album companies that you try to order from and it's such a pain in the booty to order from them that you don't even bother because it takes too much time and effort teo, you know and that's a lab who probably needs to work on their order system a little bit because if it's too complicated to try and order no one's going to do it and it takes too much time and it's not doesn't matter how good the product is it's not worth the time and effort to put into it. Okay, um, and what is that perceived value of the of the product to the client? So in your freebie, you'll see this little table okay? I'm going to go over this with a couple of products just to give you an idea of how this work the different factors that aeroplane but this isn't your freebie and I want you to take this chart on the left where it says product, I want youto list every single product that you carry or you want to carry, okay? And you have to photocopy the sheet a couple times uh, print a couple times so that you I have enough space, but the other thing I'm goingto outright say right now is don't carry too many products the list that I gave you on the sheet you should be that should be enough. Okay? You don't want to carry too much. I think I have eleven products total in my studio like eleven that's it the entire studio there's eleven products, so and that's one of the marks of being a high in business. If you look at like lupita or these clothing companies, they have simple products one or two versions and that's it. Okay, I went off on a tangent anyway, so what you want to do is kind of look at a product. So say, for example, a sixteen. Twenty campus. Okay, it costs me hard cost dollar at the lab hundred twenty bucks. Tio press check. Yes, ordering sent it off. Okay, I can charge I charge four hundred fifty dollars for that. Now some people say that's really cheap. Okay, my market it's a good value. Okay. Now in dallas, texas or los angeles that's too cheap. Where there's a high cost of living is too cheap. Okay, so keep that in mind. You want to charge as much as you possibly can for something so your margins are high, so what does that mean? What happened was I basically divided these two numbers so I took one hundred twenty and divided it by four fifty and got a profit margin of point seven three seventy three percent profit margin which means that the cost of good on that what's least one hundred minus seventy three is not in your head twenty seven percent that's a high cog very high cost of good. Okay, but the perceived value in my market is high on canvas so could I charge more for it? Yeah and reduce my margins sure I could do that is it in my brand is the product something that I sell? I have a very organic, earthy style you saw me shoot today metal prints aren't really something that I would sell because it's a little too modern and hip and senior ish for me so I don't even offer metal prince in my studio I offer a canvas I offer matt prints I offer water color with torren edges I love the matte finish. Okay, so that's what I'm going to stick with so yes, it is my brand the pros of this product it's in demand my clients want it and it's fairly easy to make. Just check the bag and upload it to a lab I've stretched the edison uploaded the lab right the cons are is that as high cost of good it's expensive to produce okay, but it still doesn't mean I shouldn't carry it. It just means I need to make sure I parent with other things that are lower and costs so that I overall make my sail a low cost of good following digital files, about fifty bucks with labor, someone else to edit my images, the discord wsb packaging that's about it, right cheek to produce dirt cheap to produce perceived value extremely high well, I can charge for it extremely high because of that perceived value. Now there is some argument where people would say, well, my clients think digital files are cheap. That's your problem, you need to be educating them on the lost opportunity cost that comes with selling those files. So why ask me to leave seven books? But you will speak when you just put them so you will be for us. Smile. Mr smith, I know how much you love these images and that's wonderful and I so appreciate that you want the digital images as today's digital file is yesterday's eight by ten that's what we do in this day and age is we share our digital images online, etcetera, etcetera. And I understand that completely because that's, what you make at home with your own camera, but what you don't understand is that when I saw that digital file, too. There is a huge lost opportunity cost that comes with it, and I will never be able to profit from that file again. And so when I sell you the digital files, the value comes in the amount of time she'll be able to reprint that image over and over and over again. And the fact that I will never make any more income off of it, even though I have the overhead in the expensive creating it, uh, okay is usually the response I get, they just need somebody to go. Oh, yeah, I guess that makes sense. They don't think about it from my perspective. Okay, so yes, while I would love to be able to offer the digital files for you and really low cost a fortune, I just can't do that because that tut send or profitability it's a business, and this is what I do for a living to support my family. You're more than welcome to purchase the digital files, but I hope this gives you some kind of explanation as to why their price the way they're priced and they go, oh, ok, yeah, of course, and they say with my own, my face and really nice, and I was even a little stern with you guys, I'm usually a lot sweeter about it, but you say it nicely and they're going to be like okay I totally get that now I understand is all of a sudden becomes it's not about their perception on it it's about what you have to do to create it and you're just educating your client so when you educate your client then all of a sudden the files have a huge perceived value huge because now they can do anything they want that's the free ride right there that's the ticket to doing anything they want with their images is those digital files so is it part of my brand? Yes it is I'm a hybrid studio I do both art and digital files okay the pros it's in demand it's super easy and it's highly profitable okay the cost of goods on my look at the cost of look at them profit margin a ninety five percent profit margin it's a five percent cost of good I paired digital files with everything because it brings the cost of goods down on my other products and that's what? My client wants it's in huge demand so why would I not pair digital files with canvass another more expensive products because now all of a sudden if I pair those two together the cost of good on the campus just plummeted because I'm profiting so much off the digital files so the art of packaging and doing all this has to do with combining things such that you keep your cost of goods low and that the demand for the product is high so the pros to carrying digital files they're profitable they're easy in there in demand okay the cons quality control you can't control totally how people are printing that can be scary there are ways around that but that could be a little scary there is some risk there and of course client education educating your client the printing process how important it is to print etcetera, etcetera those can all be cause let's talk about a medal print for me at least buddy five bucks to produce cell for about four hundred seventy percent profit margin perceived value kind of mid people don't really it's kind of trendy I don't know what to do with it it's not timeless it's still high but not ridiculously high it's like not a really popular product for what I do now for a senior or whatever a whole different story different brand different story okay the pros it's very unique and it grabs attention because it is so unique the cons though there's little demand it's not our brand and it's too trendy so that's why I don't carry it do you see what I'm asking you do I'm asking to make a list of these products and really evaluate them based on these parameters and that will tell you if you should carry it in your studio or not or at least give you a better definition for it. But what about these little five by five hinged albums that you can get? Okay, that could be a product that I would carry right? So it's about fifty five bucks to produce it's so tiny that it's really hard for me to charge, like two hundred dollars for a little tiny five by five albom right, like fifty bucks is about as much as I can do in my market for that. So the profit margin is bad sixty three percent. Okay, it's a high cost of good based on what I can sell it for its proceed value is pretty low it's just a little tiny brag book it's not a beautiful gorgeous album that congress wow, that looks really expensive. Does that follows? That makes sense. So is it my brand? Yes. Pros it's cute. It can be easy to make, but it has a really high cost of good low demand and is seen as a commodity because you can get it anywhere. So that's a red flag right there. I probably would not do that product in my studio and I do not do that product in my studio I have something that's slightly a step up from that, but I can charge a little bit more for it, okay? And that's kind of my lowest and album so the product line likely go back before has to satisfy the clients wants right has to make you profitable but it has to keep the client coming back here's how we do that they don't want to miss the first year and their child is changing so much those are the critical components of making a product that will encourage the client to come back okay so let's get into this cool concept of a year in product more deeply okay year end products a product that has several pieces to complete it okay the client purchases one piece of it at each baby plan session the following the product is finalized at the last order an appointment I'll explain what I mean by that eminent the product is not finished until the final part of it is created it creates an overview of baby's first year and it marks the significant growth over the first year okay that's the critical component of a year long product and getting into that annual thinking this takes some creative product development people you have to really think about products when I'm doing when I go the trade shows I'm in the labs I will seriously take one product from one lab and bring it over to the lab and see if it fits in it and does things and like I can make product in here and there I am like totally going across the board trying to fund create products out of what they've made from other last like I'm combining stuff all the time like you're looking like you got that from that works okay? They don't know it we're expecting a full works. Okay, so what? One of them some of the major products that we d'oh are the album siri's we do an eight by eight album let's go ahead and show that home. Thank you. We do an eight by eight album of twenty images at each session and on the yeah, take both of those actually do you have the easel when you get a chance? Um, so that is this one here, so inside the box our three albums than half the age of the child only on the front. Oh, hold still, mike say looking at this so what? That they're not allowed to put the name of the baby on the front? Only the age. Funny how something so small could make such a big difference. So they get this book as the first one from their session and that's what they get for the first session for months for months. What? Okay, so then the next book comes at seven months. Oh, great, now we've got to the final book comes with the last and when they finished the session, we provide the box for free and it says twenties first year on the front and I had to run around white house custom color when you're on tv I with these books to figure out if they fit inside because this is an album box but it's not made for the hinge books these are the the little hinged little hinged books that lay flat they're not the kickboard page albums that box was made for the eight by eight board page album okay was made and so I had to go and figure out if the hinged books three of them fit inside that box and the only way I was gonna do was either okay order the product and see if it fits which would cost me a lot of money or run around the trade show like a chicken with my head cut off and try to figure out which products fit in which other products okay some laps white house is the only one who does this trust me I'll make sure the mall uh so that's why I use white house for this particular product okay so then they get the box for free at the end of the year and it completes the entire siri's and this is now their year end product so what that means is I have to do a pre consultation heavy one I have to shoot for this product I've got albums a little easier to shoot for than a wall piece but it's the same idea, so I need to make sure I'm planning for this product. But when they first decide on this product at the four month or seven month session, whatever it is, this is what they're buying at every single session. I just insured my profit, billion every single session for the entire year. So then there's no question, when they come back, they're going to be buying the second album in the digital files. Who? That's a thousand dollars next to one hundred per cent right there. Okay, so I don't mind the box cost me sixty five, eighty bucks, eighty bucks. I don't mind giving the box at the end of the year. Okay? Because I just made two hundred dollars each session. That book costs me about sixty five dollars to produce. Okay, so, what? Sixty five times? Three a hundred, two hundred fifty plus the box. So it's, a three hundred dollar product on a thirty five hundred dollars sale over the course of the year. Sure, it'll be a long you see what I'm saying? So the other some other things that we dio are the wall. Siri, the word wall siri's okay, with this type of thing, we give them the little middle big sign right up front. So at the first session, they get the little canvas and they could decide how they want to do it as canvas prints or whatever. But they get the first one and then the little middle big on the first session. So it sits on the wall not yet finished, which I do on purpose, because I will come back and finish it. And it says little middle big you khun do with newborn tiny little middle big so they can add a newborn. You khun, break it up. So if you want to do little canvases that said little middle big, you could dio give them one canvas at each session so you could do the first one with little and in the second one with middle on the third one big. So if you have something up there that just says a little like what little, what it looks like, not it's done, but it's not so that's. The art of this is creating a product that's done, but not so. It encourages them to want to come back and finish the entire process. Ok? And I do this with a bunch of different. Word wall siri's and in fact belinda my graphic designer bless her heart she had a little business she just finished the siri's to put on our store so they are on our store for the folks who want to do this her want to just have it done for you but anyone can be customized to fit a certain space okay so this is awesome the other products and I didn't get a chance to take a picture of because it is fairly brand new is the box print siri's so this is we have a couple of how you could bring that one and maybe an easel too thanks learns my rockstar okay thank you, my dear. So these products are similar there an option? Okay, you cannot do one or the other but they were very much my brand this box is from yeah, I wasn't off that's an option for it to these boxer from black river imaging. Okay. And these mats are from amazon and I it's a siri's of matted prints so twenty four prints will fit in the black river emerging box so they get eight prints at each session printed on canvas. Okay, I print them out at the studio on canvas slip him inside the mats ok? And then they get these all tied in a pretty bow at each session and then they get the boxes out of the session so and they're putting it in a paper box, you know, like a like a, um you can eat by ten. Just pretty box that you would give to a client for any old day by temperate. So the eight comes in that set has our logo on it. But it's kind of boring, you know, it's just not very exciting. So they do the eight prints at each session, and then at the year end, they get the box again. That has damien's first year on it and an easel with it so they can put change out the different prints and put them on the easel dons like, oh, my gosh, yes, that makes total sense. Isn't that cute? His little bare bottom there's something about little babies, but it's but anyway, so yeah. So then they can kind of set it on a table like that and change out this print as much as they want. They can kind of said it like that, and clients love this stuff. They just eat it up in a heartbeat and then s o the options on the box include things like just doing a fabric box that has demons first year on the front with the proofs inside that kind of thing. We also do a smaller version of that this box in fact, I'm a little worried that craft and jude stopped producing this haven't ordered in awhile, but this box is from craft and jude and it's five by seven on canvas matted teo four by six matted to five by seven so again, same similar concept just just smaller but I really love this box actually have a new vendor said a girl from texas told you that told me about in poland that I'm going to try but I am always hesitant about ordering things across the planet because they take forever to get to its central or I'll have you taken me ages so those are major like a year and products and that wall products barry I mean that's just one example of what we do with those quotes khun b customized my husband and I have a have a quote called uh I love you more love you most from that movie tangled remember the disney movie tangled? Thank you speak uh so I've done love you more love you most for clients it's really cute and sweet so it doesn't have to be little middle big it can be a quote of any kind that the client wants which makes that custom work but justus long to strategize in your head that the claims finished but not finished until they actually complete the year and if you can get into that annual state of mind with your clients and still produce something beautiful for them that has the piece at each session you're gonna end up with a very profitable baby plan that works to bring people back and keep them finishing the entire process that's the big killer and baby plans but I really encourage you to be selective about your products okay don't carry the kitchen think you don't need teo a few products is fine I'd rather have you mean that's we have for three to four major products and that's it for our baby plan we have a couple of products that we do is individual like a little faces thing and when we do the baby food on the cake smash will like edit them all together in one piece so you see this siri's of the kid getting messier and messier that kind of thinking individual for each session but those are our major you're in products and the clients love that stuff and my clients see that and they're like oh yeah that's what we gotta mark the first here is what we got to dio you know they're excited about the process of creating something and then it builds and anticipation for the last session of the year they get super excited about it and instead of things peter ring out there going on, we're gonna be done so awesome to be beautiful when they start to get excited about the process rather than we've got to do our last session okay, most importantly seriously show what you want to sell I say this all the time but forget get samples how many of you actually have samples in your studio? Your products? Oh my gosh, yeah, you all raise your hand oh my gosh, you totally made my day that is awesome. That's what? You should be spending money on first things first once you get your product line done by samples of every single thing with a full session not your best images from the client not best images from different sessions. Sorry I didn't make that clear corny and he was talking to beth not your best images from different sessions but pick your best session and junior product with those images so the client can fully see how their images are going to look in a in a product. Okay, I always liken merchandising to the retail analogy if you've ever bought or sold a home you remember this one? I've talked about it a lot, but when you finally find the right house you like, start to mentally decorate it in your head and merchandising is so valuable tio like putting stuff in in certain places and giving things proper real estate so lends itself to quality sales okay um it's the same concept as like on the suit in the supermarket did you know that like when you go to buy things in the supermarket the end caps the product manufacturer has to pay so much more to get the space on the capture of the middle than they do the top or the bottom that's merchandising is a huge industry like people make a lot of money over real estate on how much space they get for their products and it really does entice customers to buy when you walk into an antique store or something that you really enjoy shopping in you get kind of excited is a girl don't you especially women men not so much well men going into a camera store I'm sure that would be especially those guys out there would love that it's a very exciting you know cabela's a sports store they get there is a time when merchandising affects you I guess that's what I'm saying and entices you to buy eso what you sell the most or what you want to sell should be the most prominently displayed with your best images but then of course there's always the on location for tarver says I d'oh d'oh well then I ask you this do you think companies like you know pottery barn restoration hardware have stores in my little podunk town of eighty eight thousand people know do you think I buy their products? Yes, I d'oh and the reason is because they send me their gorgeous catalogs and going so people would say that's a waste of paper but I love the restoration harbor catalog restoration hardware is like my dream but that catalog I keep for a full year until the next one comes out because it's so inspiring to me and I love to look at it for ideas and decorating for imagery for products on that beautifully designed and photographed cataloged make people like me swoon because I love furniture and design so if you have a client who loves photography if you create a gorgeous catalog that highlights your products in ways that are enticing your client's going to want to buy it okay so I really encourage you to make your own product catalog will just be a lot of work you betcha it'll be a lot of work they only have to do it once and then update it as needed okay and that product catalog you could make it elektronik using companies like flip snack dot com it will turn any pdf into a magazine style page catalog electronically thatyou khun swipe on your on your ipad and make the pages turn kind of thing okay, so I really encourage you to create that enticement merchandise your products well that product development once you get good products that encourage that clinton but come back and you merchandise them in ways that get clients excited about this process, you provide amazing customer service, which is fifty percent of your product. Anyway, now you're starting to see where I'm going. We're getting to an unstoppable brand of business that can't compete with anybody else. Okay? We won't compete with anybody else. So in review for this segment, start by defining your baby plans structure. Okay? We're going to go back to the seven steps just to touch how many sessions and was the session fee develop a product mix that entices profits and motivates, gets them to join, getyou profitable and motivates them to stay. Don't carry everything. No one likes a dirty kitchen sink. Okay, you don't need to carry the kitchen sink. Merchandizing your product sells them. Whether it's in a store in a catalogue and be very judicious with your product choices. Think low cost, high dollar, low cost, high dollar. What can I produce? Cheaply? That looks expensive and I can sell for a lot. All right, so next we're going to talk about the baby plan consultation. I had a plan for that. And then tomorrow we will be talking about pricing your product lines, the actual products themselves. How are you going to package them together to entice your client to buy where you need the divided session?