Rules for Products
So here are some rules for products. Always, does it support your style? Does it align? Because when people see that things don't align in a business, they say, "Wait a minute. There's chaos here," and people don't like chaos. And so if things don't jibe together, they're going to be reluctant to do business with you. And so if you're hearing objections regularly from your client, that means that something's not jibing in your business. So as we're putting all the pieces together on building this dream business, it always goes back to style. What are you doing to support that style of your images, and do your products match that? The second question to ask yourself is, "Do your clients demand it?" Must they have this product, and why? My clients demand digital files. I have to offer them, but I'm going to do everything I can to shift them away from that way of thinking to something that I actually want to create for them. Okay, cards are the same way. My clients demand it, I'm going to...
offer it, but I'm going to focus them back to the things that I really want to create. So here's the cool thing, though. If you don't like something, you can get rid of it, because it's your business. So, don't just offer things because somebody else has done that, or you think that's the way to make money. When we started offering albums, we were doing a ton of weddings, and they made perfect sense. But they take a ton of time to create. Anybody that's ever designed an album, I would bet you have pulled your hair out more than once or twice. Albums are hard, and they take a lot of time. We don't sell a lot of albums anymore because we aren't doing as many weddings as we used to. We still offer them because we have a few clients that demand them, but it's not our bread and butter, right? Now we are making wall art, and we're making digital files for our commercial clients, okay? So, do your clients demand it? If you don't like it, get rid of it. We may phase albums out over time. We'll test the waters a little bit. We could probably pull out one or two of our albums, and just offer one. So, if you don't like it, get rid of it. And keep it simple. You want to be the high-end restaurant experience with just a few choices. When you think of the Holcombe photography offerings, wall art, albums, cards, and digital files (laughs loudly). So, three things. It's very simple, and then I can personally walk them through which ones of those things to choose. Keep it simple.
For your acrylic products, what lab are you using?
Great question. So we use Simply Color lab, and they actually have a discount code right now that's available in the bonus materials that gives you 50 dollars off an order of acrylics, woods, metals, any of their big specialty products. They're fantastic. So that's a great way to build your sales kit with a wonderful discount. So, good question.
How do you monitor social media, in regards to what images you share, if you're selling say fine art, or any type of product in that regard? Are you very careful about what images you share on social media? And then I have another question. If your selling to people outside of your immediate area, how do you get sample kits out, or do you even offer that?
Great two questions. So, the first questions is fine art, and how do you control that image? So there's two different things. The images that I was talking about in value, that trajectory is for images with people in them, okay? So that's portraits and weddings. If you're talking about fine art, your consumer has a different interaction with that. They're actually shopping for something to be part of their decor, much like they would for furniture, and so you don't have to capitalize on that emotion in the same way, because they're going to invest in something that aligns with the decor of their home, okay? So you don't have to be as careful with that. In fact, a lot of people shop online, so you can use a shopping cart, an online gallery. You can use an in-person gallery, and accomplish the same thing, okay? Don't post images with people in them, until they've already paid for them, ever on social media. The other ones you're using for fine art you're using it as a selling strategy to expose people to your work online, and then you need to give them an incentive to purchase now, like a discount or a limited availability or something like that. Does that make sense? Okay, remind me of your second question.
The second question was how do you get sample kits out to people that may be outside of your immediate area?
Yes, exactly. So I don't ship sample kits out, and we're going to talk about this in the segment later, and so I'm going to go into detail about how to sell those images, so let me table that one until segment four, but keep it handy in case I don't address it then, okay? All right. Kenna?
Yeah, I think we still have a lot to get to before our break, but I did want to mention that all those products that you had were a certain size because of a particular reason, that they can all fit into a small bag, and we'll be getting to that later, but I did want to point that out. That you're able to get samples that are smaller than the actual pieces, and that goes into that budget that we put out there the 500 dollars for getting those samples, so.
Exactly, they all fit into a mobile sales kit that I'm going to show you exactly how to build. They fit perfectly in there, and they still give the same information to your client, and it helps them envision what they will have on their walls ultimately.
"If you are serious about starting and running a successful photography business... this IS the road map to follow!"
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When starting a new business, you will make hundreds of decisions, and many of those can be costly and affect the future of your business. Most photographers have little direction available on how to take these critical first steps to set themselves up for success.
Kathy Holcombe and her husband Peter have built multiple photography businesses over the last 15 years. Kathy will share what they have learned so that you won’t waste time, money and resources trying to find the perfect formula.
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