How to Increase Wedding Profits without Raising Prices


How to Increase Wedding Profits without Raising Prices


Lesson Info

How to Increase Wedding Profits without Raising Prices

Good morning hello I'm gary hughes if you don't know me from my picture on the website and stuff I'm a photographer from orlando my wife and I we have a studio there we started back in two thousand eight and we'll give a little bit of brief history because whenever you see workshop for a program it's like twenty minutes about the photographer's life and pictures of his kids and then like a forty five minute slideshow and then five minutes of like actually useful information so will be brief and then we'll get right to the good stuff I'm from a photography family both my parents are photographers and I worked in weddings I went on my first wedding as an assistant when I was eleven and I hated it hey I grew up in a beach town and on the weekends everybody went to the beach except me I went to somebody's stupid wedding on saturday instead of like hanging out with my friends so when we start our photography business mike there's no way we're gonna do weddings but as it turned out we ended ...

up doing one for a friend of a friend like you know how it is when you do that and it ended up that we actually kind of liked it doing it the way we did but we found out that weddings are hard and although the money could be good it's still it's a lot of commitment so this class is pretty much about trying to find a way to do weddings without having to kill yourself, to make to make a good amount of money off of average weddings and so moving forward, we're going to talk about some really cool stuff, and I want to preface by saying we're in central florida in the orlando market and so every mark it's a little bit different, every town's a little bit different weddings are a little bit different everywhere, so whether or not this stuff is going to apply to you, probably all of it won't. But I say if you go to a workshop or class in like two or three things are something you can take home that'll help you make more money than do it, because if you go to every workshop you go too, and you say, well, that person was on camera, so they must know what they're talking about, and you changed everything in your business to be exactly like that. You're going to be changing your business a lot, so you have to sort of take things and put them through the filter that is your business in your market and how you can use it in the way that you want to have a talk, businesses that makes sense, okay, cool, so all of these ideas are pretty much not completely mine we are involved in a lot of associations people a are local state association the florida special photographers and I teach at a lot of conventions and we go to attend a lot of these things and you know you got imaging usa w p p I got a whole bunch of places and what's great about these things besides a killer application that you get is getting to hang out with other photographers from all over the place and getting new ideas so a lot of these ideas come from just sort of hanging out drinking beers, having a good time with other photographers of places and we kind of bounce stuff off each other and so you know, a lot of these ideas come from other photographers like great friends of mine matt crystal red linsky verb studio in gainesville, florida some of these stuff is directly from them because they're really, really good this stuff and plenty of other places you know, I got friends in the tallahassee, florida linden all along we talk about business stuff all the time and we've found stuff off each other so I would really encourage you to do that is to get involved and creative live is amazing and what a cool opportunity and I'm really grateful to be here and what amazing service they provide two photographers all over the place but do that but don't also forget to get out there and actually get with other photographers. I know shutter fest is coming up. That's going to be really cool, so make sure you get involved and check out all the cool stuff that's going on. So without further gilding of the lily, are you ready to move forward? Okay, so, here's, what we do if you look at the picture that we got up here, I put this on that because it's, the greatest wedding picture that I've ever taken, I took it because it's pretty typical, and it sort of at the center of why I made this program in the first place is because what's, the most significant thing about this picture is that it's in a parking lot, right? Because there are these photographers out there that yet these amazing weddings I don't. You saw susan stripling awesome classes yesterday, and she actually photographed mind my wife's wedding, and it was amazing. So we love her she's amazing. And you see her and other photographers think the's phenomenal weddings, it's like in front of a castle in scotland with, like, super model couple, you know, and that's awesome there, photographers that get those weddings. And man, I'm not one of you know, we get normal. People at normal venues were shooting at golf clubs half the time, you know, like and here's, how many shots can you come up with where you're shooting on like a dune and a golf club to make it look interesting? And but we get middle class couples middle class venues in a middle class town and that's cool that's our thing but we also in order to win you have to make enough money to make it worth our while to actually do wedding because if we actually ran our numbers and the way that we turned out that it takes us about forty man hours to produce a wedding start to finish all right between my wife and myself so that's forty man hours so if you're shooting a wedding for a thousand dollars and just giving them images by drop boxer or or high tail or whatever how much money you make and you're not making much money when you really consider how much time you're putting into it? And so imagine adding to that the cost of an album the cost of prince the cost of all the stuff you have to produce and it gets to the point where you realize that making to do a wedding cost you a lot of money where you could do a good portrait sale and make just as much as you would a profit from a wedding in like forty five minutes you know, so to do wedding actually have to make money but to work with the couples at the rest of us wedding photographers get you have to find a way to make the money, but they don't necessarily have that money to come in and drop a thousand ten thousand dollars on a wedding photographer up front that happens to us once or twice a year. We'll get like that golden ticket wedding and all of us will get that once or twice a year. Oh, maybe once ever, but most of us are shooting these normal, like, middle of the road weddings, right? I mean, normal couples and that's what everybody is, I'm a normal couple, you know, I know when susan came to shoot our wedding, I'm pretty sure that we were, like the least fancy wedding she shot in a very long time, you know, which is pretty but anyway, but so this is the whole program was just built around that helping almost tarver's make good money from weddings. Uh, and so now I have one more disclaimer. Do you guys have ever heard the phrase artist guilt? I think if you're a photographer, we all have this. We all have this thing I've heard. Other photographers say that they feel a little sometimes dirty, your sleazy selling their own work because almost because you love it, you put so much of yourself into what you do but it is our job to make money with photography if it's going to be our business never feel bad about making money as long as you give your client's amazing products and incredible service, I was in equal proportion how awesome of a job you do want great service you give them it will assuage all that artist guilt in equal proportion, so make sure those long as you're doing a killer job, it's ok to make a lot of money? It really is, in fact, it's awesome to make a lot of money to be able to have a business where we cannot. We only shoot ten between ten and fifteen weddings a year, depending on the year, and to be able to have a business where you make enough for weddings for that to be significant is pretty cool, so that's, why we do it? So I had a professor in college that I always told you, when you give a speech, tell him what you're going to tell him, tell him and then tell him what you told him. So now I'm going to tell you what is I'm going to tell you first is the back in sales concept and the way this works, we're going to go into great detail is shifting the focus of your sales from meeting the client to resolving the sale at the end. Then we'll talk about product credit, which is the biggest, coolest sexiest idea we've had for our wedding's in a long, long time were going really good detail on that to setting up sales on the wedding day there's a whole bunch of stuff that you can do on the day of the wedding to make sure that you're going to make more money later, which is really cool and then the delivery timeline for success because one of the biggest problems in the wedding industry with photographers videographers is not doing stuff consistently and in a timely fashion and if you don't deliver if your client and they're not happy, then it's going to hurt your ability to sell to them because the truth is that people will spend more money if they like you and if they're happy with what you're doing do you know what I mean? It's why you bye while you go to the apple store because it's fun and cool to go in there and everybody's really nicely back like, hey dude, there's an ipad, you know? But you know it's the difference between going to there and then I'm just going to sum, you know, secondhand place where you get treated like crap, you know, services, everything you'll spend more money because of the experience people spend a lot more money for a good experience, we talked about selling after the wedding, we're going to detail about how you can pretty much we have more than doubled our averages just by doing up selling after the wedding. We'll talk about that too, which is really cool. So starting with back end sales, you might be the only person who gets to sell to the bride and groom after the wedding. If you think about that, the cake been eaten, you know, the flowers pretty much used up, although we turned our flowers in a christmas ornaments gave them to our families and that cute thank you, but everybody else is pretty much done. You know, even the video guy who's dealing with or person is dealing with the couple for months and months after the wedding finishing their product, they still don't really have anything extra to sell, whereas photographer in a unique position where were the ones that deal with the client the most after the wedding is over, which is pretty cool. The reason the back in sales work is at its low pressure. Everybody is trying to get the maximum amount of money off of a bride and groom when they walk in the door. If you think about the time when you meet them there's a hierarchy of wedding vendors, just like the venue, the planner the dress and then you're somewhere in the middle and down the bottom is like the deejay or the band are usually like the last thing against book maybe flowers or somewhere in there too, but everybody is trying to get the most amount of money at the very beginning you're on that dog pile, all those other vendors trying tio from a couple that is typically financially beleaguered at that point, especially if you're dealing with couples like we talked about a lot of paying for the wedding themselves or at least partly themselves or even mostly themselves and that gets difficult. We're looking at smaller numbers what's really cool is if you book the package at the beginning and it's not necessarily your biggest thing it's less threatening to people when they come in, like if you're trying to sell them well for the eight thousand dollars package and you get all this and this and this and that's a little intimidating so they can go with smaller numbers because you're not worried about it because you know you're gonna make your money later, and it also eliminates competition of having to fight all the other wedding vendors for that small amount of money because I've shot weddings where they spent probably a quarter of a million dollars on the wedding not on me, but I wish that I'd only shoot one waiting here but a quarter million dollars on a whole wedding, and then most of our weapons are probably, like twenty to forty thousand dollars, like total, you know? So somebody spending ten thousand dollars on photography means they're spending, like twenty five percent of their entire wedding budget on so that's pretty significant, so we don't want to have to compete with all those people. And the other part is, if you're selling afterwards, the couple is going to be typically more financially stable. Ah lot of what we have is people who are freshly out of college. If you go to the u s department of labor and statistics, you'll find that, like thirty percent are seventy percent of brides will get married for the first time before their thirtieth birthday. So you think about that that you're going to be having clients out of the same age like matthew mcconaughey in days and confused, they stay the same age. All right, all right, all right. I love that guy. I always believed in math. Mcconnell. He's. Cool now, but I was believed him. Ok, all right, moving forward. Uh, but they're more financially stable because one, they get all those money envelopes at the wedding. Anybody married, you get those all those envelopes when you get married, that's really cool, right? We used all our envelopes to pay the credit card bills that we had to put up with stuff on, but we still have more money you know you've had a couple of months to pay your credit card bills down you've got some cash in those envelopes, you know? And they have the ability to spend money more than they did at the beginning because not everybody's trying to take money out of their wallet at that time does that make sense? Okay, so understanding questions on the back in sales concept why we're moving ourselves we're gonna go in more, okay, cool alright product credit now really? This is the one if you have questions, please make sure you know, because this is the one where people sometimes get the most confused. I even added a couple of slides to explain go for is there a microphone? Yeah, how much time do you usually way too to the selling part again? Oh cool that's a great question thie answer that is and we're going to go through that in detail but you're selling every time you see the couple pretty much the whole wedding, the whole interaction all relationship with a cup will is a business relationship we're not like those we become best friends with our client's wedding photographers although you know that's that's relationship marketing is amazing and very powerful we do develop a good relationship with our clients, but it's always a business relationship were very friendly with them, but we're not best friends, you know what I mean? Because then it could get awkward, especially when you're trying to get all this money from them e s o but we were going to go into a lot more detail on that specifically line by line and give you a complete schedule of how we do it. But to answer your question is we sell pretty much the timeline is a couple of months after the wedding is when we really have, like, the final sale session with them is usually has to do with the album, which we'll talk about. All right, so here's, what product credit is product credit is booking a wedding without making the client by anything specific? All right, so when you go into a place with most women photographers, they have packages, right? So it's, like, get the forty page eleven by fourteen album and ten hours of coverage on your wedding day, a dvd with all the images on it, sixteen by twenty campus or whatever is that people sell and then there's a number attributed to that and that's what you get, you know, that's a lot of stuff to decide on right then and there to have to pick you don't even having maybe couples a lot of our couples they're young, they're thirty and younger a lot of times they have even thought about what an album is, you know, maybe their parents were like an album, but a lot of couples aren't really into albums and they figure that out as they go along how important of the thing that is because we really believe in finished products but you're not putting the pressure on them to decide how many pages in your album and how what size is your what covered you want and all this stuff all those tiny decisions can in my experience with our business kind freak people out a little bit, you know? And so we're trying to book them into sort of ubiquitous kind of non package package and I'll tell you how we do that, okay? So here's how it works this is typical of what people will get from a wedding with us they'll get the high res images which they want to rebrand our keeper, throw it into the ocean. I don't know what they do with them once they have them there certainly not putting a thousand five by sevens, but people want the images and it's twenty two thousand fourteen and we just make those available for purchase that's what we do plus an album we sell a lot of albums we love and believe in albums because facebook is awesome, but is there going to be there in ten years? I have no idea, you know, remember myspace? Me either? Nobody does because it died, you know, facebook probably won't do that, but, you know, all these places of the cloud, you know, you could have naked pictures of yourself stolen by ninjas and put out on the internet on dh, you wouldn't know, but who knows? Digital is great, and we love it, and we've embraced it, but we still love that album. It's still valuable, you know it's still has meaning my wife's grandparent's just recently had their sixtieth wedding anniversary, and they have a wedding album from their wedding, and it is they hired a great photographer and the images for nineteen whatever I can't do math minus sixty years from now, whatever that is, however long ago that was, the pictures were phenomenal and going through them and seeing, like, the memories that were just completely frozen in time, and all the old cars and all the cool stuff and there's all these great moments and cool things, and and there's so much value in that that me, at thirty two years of age, my wife is thirty, and we're looking at their album going like, yes, this is this is awesome! This is what we want because you're hard drive can die cos khun go away. The cloud could be hacked. You know, there's no real complete. Totally secure with an album isn't your house could burn down and your album could burn up with it. But it's still a physical, tangible thing. Because let me tell you what happens to images. They go into hard drive limbo. All right, don't they? I mean, how many people have lost damaged? Drop your phone in the tub with the toilet. My wife and I, we went on our honeymoon. Tio. We went to tokyo and beijing in hong kong. It was like our dream. We want to go to asia. So this really cool stuff. And although we did take our dslr is with us. I took some great pictures, a lot of just and we all were shooting for, like these epic landscapes and stuff. But a lot of the fun pictures like here we are eating at this restaurant. And look these air noodles and all those were on her phone and she accidentally put her phone through the washing machine. When we got home and they hadn't backed up to the cloud and we lost all those pictures, you know, how about that, like so we really believe in if you're not at least giving the clients that option, we feel like we're leaving them at the altar, you know, we're not doing our jobs in apartment customer service, so to get to the point, high res images plus an album is typically what our product credit covers, right? So if you take the high res images, whether you deliver him digitally or use something like, you know, zen folio or past or something, or you actually have a physical dvd or thumb, drive the high res images, whatever you sell them for, plus an album that equals usually that product credit, let me show you how that works, so we typically sell hours of coverage because we don't do those all day coverage things all day coverage is like the dirtiest, ugliest phrase in wedding photography and and here's why? Because most of the time it's ok bridegrooms, air cooled will be like, oh, well, you can leave now if you're done, you know, or when the exit it's over, but if you say all day coverage, you'll get that couple there once in a while would be like, um doing my hair and makeup sunrise and then the wedding's over two a m and you're like that's not worth it it's not worth it I don't want to work a fifteen our wedding day I'm not I'm not hip to that so we sell hours of coverage we start a minimum of five okay so it's hours of coverage plus whatever product credit is equal their package so their product credit would basically be like if let's say I don't want you no talking numbers is irrelevant because everybody's in different places all over the country write but let's say that you sell that images on a disk for you or a thumb drive for a thousand bucks on let's say your least expensive album is a thousand bucks and let's say that five hours of coverage is eighteen hundred bucks right there you've got a thirty eight hundred dollars wedding package does that make sense but that the product that did and the album we don't make them pick anything specific when somebody books a package with us we say do you think you're definitely don't want that high res images right? Yes have you thought about getting a wedding album? Yeah maybe we're not really sure I tell you what let's go ahead and put it into your package will just book you in it like the starter album like the entry level album but you don't have to get that you could use a product credit towards whatever you want but just so you have enough to cover that if that's what you decide you want when the time comes so our typical package going in with product credit and everything is usually around three thousand dollars twenty, five hundred three thousand dollars starting depending on the couple depending what they want so I think we're right at about twenty eight, twenty nine hundred typically is the sign up when people signed up you with me so far so for twenty eight hundred dollars let's say that they would get five hours of coverage, all the high res images and a small album and that would be kind of where we started but that amount of money they don't have to use it on that specific stuff if they decide they want to get a bunch of forty by sixty canvases instead they can totally do that they don't have to decide they just have enough product credit to cover what they think they might want later that makes sense you with me school so why do they do product credit? It offers a client flexibility at a time when everybody's asking them for money and for specifics that flexibility makes you be beloved to your clients. If you ever watch a client's face when you tell them you don't have to make up your mind right now that's super exciting it's a relief you know it also eliminates the fear of buyer's remorse I know I've had in r portrait business and in our wedding business where somebody book something huge or they'll go home and then there you know they'll say hey dad, I got a wedding photographers only cost you twelve thousand dollars like what? You know when they call back and go we're gonna have to go with smaller package my dad's pretty mad, you know, so like that can happen but with this you got a smaller number to start with and there's less likelihood that there's going to be any freak out that they're going to feel panicked by the amount of money that they're putting into you okay, so what we do know the reason why product but it works is the gift card effect okay? I don't know about everybody else, but my wife keeps gift cards like we get gift cards for birthdays, christmases, anniversaries all the time people getting gift cards it is the laziest but most awesome gift you someone in the whole world it's like I'm not really sure what to get you I don't know you well enough to care, but here's some you big with this amount of money at the store you may not shop at, you know what? Whatever, but gift cards are awesome whoever invented gift cards that guy is the or girl I don't know is the most amazing marketing person of all time and why the gift cards work one because if you never bring it in, they don't care it's not like they're calling you and going. Hey, sir. Mr hughes, you forgot to spend your macy's gift card this week. You want to come in? No, they don't. They rather you not use it because there's a huge percentage of gift cards that never get used, so they get to keep all that money here's the other get part of the gift card effect is if you've got a twenty dollar gift card to banana republic and you go in to buy yourself a shirt, can you get a shirt? A penny republic for twenty dollars? Not even the outlets can you get a shirt in there? About twelve? But so you're gonna go in and you're going to spend more than what's on your gift card? Almost everyone does, or if you get a large gift card for, like a target gift card for, like a hundred bucks, you'll go in two or three times to use all that hundred bucks, right? But on the third time and you got ten bucks left, you're still spending thirty more on top of that, so think about that that that money is already spent. And you're going to go win and you're going to go well, that dress is a hundred bucks and I got fifty dollars gift card that's only fifty more dollars think about the psychology of that about how powerful that could be in your own business. The product credit is like having a gift card, and when it comes time to use it, they're going to look at an eighteen hundred dollar wedding album and they'll have a thousand dollars product credit. They'll go, oh, well, it's only a hundred more dollars because we've already got thousand dollars into it. You think about that, especially when it's two three months later, you with me so far alright, money spent is money for gotten if you spent that money eight months ago, you're not going to care. Your life has moved on, but you've got it. You got that money bank so you rather than just some people will spend just the product credit, but probably like one in ten. Most people will at least do some kind of upgrade, whether it's two, three hundred dollars or two, three thousand dollars but having that product credit makes someone walk in and feel like they've got more buying power than maybe they would otherwise does that make sense cool any questions on that product credit questions so far have a question from yasmeen, who would like to know who says, why do you think clients would buy the credit ahead of time versus buying coverage on lee and then deciding and buying later? That's a phenomenal question, and it doesn't matter to me whether they bought, whether they get product credit it first or not, they're still going to spend money. The product credit gives you a little more sales advantage. It gives you the ability to have that gift card effect when somebody comes in, but we have plenty of weddings where they'll just buy coverage and we still sell after everything else that we talk about today will still apply the product credit just sort of gives that afterburners, so if they go well, we don't really know what we want, I don't care said, just pick what coverage you know, just pick the coverage and I'm cool with that if they want to book coverage side on scene because when they book like eight hours, a covered that comes with nothing with us, so they're still gonna have to get something. So I'm still gonna have that opportunity to sell to them later on when there's, when they're more financially stable, when nobody else is trying to sell to them, does that make sense? Cool, good question like that, all right? We go so we just here's how you do it we get an idea of what they want my wife will typically talk to them on the phone and she'll ask so what do you think you might want to you want like a album? Do you want well, portrait? You want the high res images and she'll get kind of a loose idea of what they want and then put them into an amount of product credit that is enough to cover that when the time comes that makes sense and then you just determine the amount of credit that it's going to take select the hours of coverage and then you make a contract and get a deposit for that package amount you cool with that that's all it takes to get an idea what theywant determine the amount of product that is going to take plus the hours of coverage. And then you write up the contract for that. Make sure you get a deposit to anna contract cool. This is the most important part. This is how we book almost everyone a client that we meet for wedding. This is incredibly powerful moment when the client is making that buying decision and when they've got all these decisions to make, this is what we say, quote, I hope none of my bride's watching we know you're making a ton of decisions right now and we want to make it as easy as possible on you. The only thing you have to decide right now is if you want us to shoot your wedding, we'll figure everything else out later, and you watch their faces when you give them that's like giving somebody a get out of jail free card, go because we will book a wedding just with the deposit, they don't have to decide on their hours of coverage when they book with us. We usually typically got the great part about people with, like your average middle class people getting married is that they have usually nine months to eighteen months of engagement and planning a wedding. The more money people have, the less they have to say for it, so typically, you'll see less times between booking and shooting the wedding. So you get, like, six months I've shot a wedding that was probably a quart of a million dollar wedding that was I was booked two months before the wedding, you know, because they don't need to say they don't need a plan if they've got a ton of money, they just know what they want, and then they get it, you see what I mean? So you typically have a lot of time, so all I need them to do is to commit to having us shoot away to put a deposit down and we take typically whatever you want to do I think we do like a thousand dollars reserves a day and you figure everything else out when we have a five hour minimum of of coverage and that's really all they have to commit to so thousand dollar deposit and then we're talking to them all the way up to the wedding and many months after so we're going to get paid no matter what I just want them to feel relaxed to feel no pressure and I want to work with couples that like what we do I want to work with couples that pictures are important to them and I don't want to put pressure on people I want that I want it to be so relaxed spread out over the whole experience I'm cool with that any questions on that question from sarah is the product credit being discounted as an incentive for buying it up front no absolutely that's a good idea if you want to do that I totally think that will be fine you know we do that in our portrait business a lot of times we'll pre sell packages before we even shoot we'll say if you commit to a certain package will wave like the session fee stuff like that we will do stuff like if you commit but there's also one hundred percent money back guarantee on everything except for the deposit like the deposit is because we basically turn people away. Our wedding season in florida is a different than like other parts of the country were busy in october november really busy with weddings and then, like march in april and may and that's unlike the summer, we really don't shoot that many weddings. It's very slow season for weddings in florida because it's so hot I know if you've been to florida, but you could die at a wedding it's bad and it rains every day. So why would you want to have your wedding it's like, I hope it's not gonna rain today, it's july it's going to rain today, but so that's our wedding season and so, you know, we'll shoot like this october november I think we got six weddings like in a row, right? Um, but a lot of those air multiple increase on the same dates saturdays in november are like gold, so if I book of saturday, I'm turning away other people if I've committed to you, so basically that deposit in the contract, it says that's nonrefundable if there's some circumstances things go bad, I'm not gonna be a jerk and you know we work with clients individual, but typically the deposit's nonrefundable and we don't do discounts if they buy up front, everything is what it costs you don't go into the grocery store and negotiate on the price of carrots, you know, are you drive by a box of cereal is like it says two ninety nine but we take two bucks, you know, if something way we work with people so much to try and make it so that they can afford it by spreading all this stuff out that discounting it isn't gonna do any good. I could go back to school and become a dentist and then I wouldn't have to deal with this crap, you know what I mean? So if they want it, then they gotta pay for it and I do the same thing I do the same thing we hired a professor photographer for our wedding I didn't get a buddy to do it, you know? We put our money where our mouth is and that's what we believe that's a great question you can definitely do stuff like that incentivize people to book with you, but let me say this if you start bartering upfront there, you're going to bartering for the rest of the wedding. There'll be bartering every time you see them, so keep that in mind if they know that you'll give a discount like that, they'll keep asking for it and you're gonna lose a lot of money over the course that that booking that makes sense so here's, our long sail schedule, this is how how we typically collecting book things, so you going to sign the contract, collected deposit and schedule the engagement session if you do engagement sessions, right? All that happens in the one time it's important to control every point of contact and make sure that every point of contact has something to do with sales and booking the next point of contact. Second, you shoot the session, you collect the next payment and then schedule the design session, we do all in person sales, so for local client, if we have clients that are from out of town will do like go to meeting or skype or something, and we still do what's called projection sales if you don't know what they are looking for a guy named charles lewis, I think he might have invented it. I'm not sure, but is bringing the clients in in person and selling to them while sitting there. We do online galleries and stuff for weddings, but if you're there to help guide the client through the process of picking what they want, it's much better for them because, truthfully, most people come in and having no idea what they want and if you're there to help them it's concierge service, you're a boutique business, if that's what you do right then you're going to do the design session that's what we call it when we sell to them sail session is a little less like friendly, so we call it a design session, it makes it more collaborative, you know, like, we're going to design your stuff together. We're also going to take money from you, but we're going to design it together, you know? So you're gonna sell from that session? Here's another thing? Look at this, it says, allow them to use product credit from their wedding package in their design session for the engagement, so if they want to get a signing book from their engagement session or portrait, wherever we will let them dip into that product, the wedding package, no problem, we don't encourage them to use it all, because when it comes down to buy the album stuff, you're sort of robbing peter to pay paul, if you know what I mean, but we will encourage them if they're thinking they're going to spend about six or seven hundred dollars on engagement photos, you know, for prints or a book, or whatever they get, but the thing they really want is like two, three hundred dollars more say, just take two, three hundred dollars out of product credit put it towards that, you, khun put it back later with your wedding money whatever and people do that often and I'm going to seem like a really evil person but I like him to chip away a little bit of that product credit so they have to come up with a little more at the end and that's just a sales thing if they don't it's cool but I was like hey you know I don't want to be pleaded too much I always just a little bit just touch it a little bit get used to using it you know it's it's a cool way teo get clients used your sales process to deliver the engagement order and collect the final wedding payment and typically that's about somewhere between sixty and thirty days before the wedding we typically collect the final payment we like to get all the money before the wedding because that brings us to our next thing shoot the wedding that's an important part of the wedding process is actually shooting the wedding the reason I put three asterisks asterisk s try asked asterix the reason I put three of them there is because never never never never never ever ever ever ever ever collect money on the wedding day it is cheap it is trashy and it makes you look bad I shot a wedding with another photographer one time who will remain nameless who hadn't collected her wedding balance and she actually waited until the reception and everybody was like slobbering drunk and she had to find the father of the bride and get a credit card from him and she didn't have any way to take it so she had to write the credit card number down on a cocktail napkin and take it with her and that's how she collected her final payment. If you want people to pay you good money to do things, give them that great experience and getting a credit card a number from a drunk dad on a cocktail napkin is not a concierge service it is not high and it is not classic, you know? So keep that in mind I wreck if that's what you do and there's probably somebody out there in tv internet land going I do it all the time. Well, that's great if it works, you find don't listen to me do what you do but I recommend highly never, ever, ever leaving until the wedding day because it's crazy enough trying to be a wedding photographer and control all the crazy stuff that's going on and having to hunt down a check and then half the time it's like, well, I forgot my checkbook whatever you know, so keep that in mind album designed session this is we do this about two months after the wedding it's where they come in and they decide what they want if they're going to get an album. This is where we do the final sale or whatever products we call an album design session, and then we sell album upgrades at this session, so if they've already got the product credit to get like an eight by ten twenty sided album, we'll try to sell them a eleven by fourteen thirty sided album, and they'll use their product credit towards that and then it's just a small amount of money to upgrade to the next thing and that's all the cash you have to come up with. Then after that, the album reveal and delivery, we love to do the stuff in person when possible, they come to our studio and they pick their stuff up, and we have it nicely laid out for them with music and scented candles and, you know, acrobats, I don't know whatever you do to make it like an awesome experience for your client just make it awesome. Onda at that point, we also give them the opportunity to buy gift book copies of the album, like, if I think I know finny oh, albums who we use, they have little rave books that are relatively inexpensive there's, a really good copies of the big album. And I think they go from they started about, like, eighty or ninety bucks, you know, for all your costs. And so, you know, selling stuff for parents, grandparent's, whatever giving gifts to their brides, maids, tohave that those are really cool upgrade that you can sell to them. It's a good one. Good practice to get into is buying a gift copy of the album whenever you or the album to give toe like the venue or the planner. So if you buy one anyway, intending to give it to the planner of the venue, you could sell it to them right there on the spot and just order another one. You know what I mean? It's always a good thing to have almost not hundreds of the time. I have something to sell to them have some kind of thing every time you see them it's like training the responses like they're going to see gary, they're going to give him some money and that's, okay, because they have to be expecting it. You don't want to sandbag people with surprise sales and stuff like that. I think I took a wanna gerry g illnesses seminar on time. Anybody seen him stuff before? He's actually got a letter that he gives to the bridegroom that says, and when we design your album we're going to try and up sell you a whole bunch it basically says we're going to sell you a bunch of extra stuff so be ready for it and I thought that is brilliant that's just balls out awesome sales technique right there because you let him know that it's coming so never don't be shady and we'll surprise your clients but let them know what's coming make sure that they know what what to expect from every session this is we're going to place your order and this is what's gonna happen etcetera and this is when this next payment is due always make sure money is right out in the open at all times okay all right um movement we're gonna move on from the schedule you have any questions on that stuff no we're good okay awesome. I must be an amazing teacher okay? You're easy going gary all right so e h j photo said our engagement sessions included in the wedding price or is that a separate always a separate fee unless they commit to a certain amount of money I think our limit is like if you book a package or product credit that equals four thousand arm or we throw in the engagement session and then after that I think are and gave him sessions we charge two fifty for the session and that doesn't include anything they come in for design session and then they buy what they want but we also leverage the session fee for it because we have a lot of increase in orlando. We have a lot of people that come in from out of town, and they want to do an engagement session at disney world or stuff like that, and they're not getting married in orlando. They just want to do their engagement session there, so we will regular the new engagement sessions that don't lead toa weddings where they already have their wedding photographer booked, you know what photographers in seattle and doesn't come to orlando, you know what I mean? So we that's why we have a session fee, I will leverage a wedding sale, oftentimes with throwing in engagement session or bridal session or a boudoir session or whatever, you know, those are pretty it's a pretty easy thing because at that time there already committed a session fee to me is about getting some skin in the game, you know, if a client has committed a certain amount of money already, you know that they're probably going to spend money, but if they know so if you're just giving sessions away for free, the client has no investment in what you're doing, and what you're doing is taking all the years and time that you've become expert at your craft and your art, and you're giving it to them for nothing. And that's not what being a professional photographers about there's nothing wrong with doing it as a hobby there's nothing wrong some of the best photographers I know are full time at other stuff and they just shoot for themselves and shoot for fun sometimes I wish I'd gone to medical school and done that because they all have better camera equipment than me you know what I mean? But yeah, if it's four thousand dollars and more will typically throw in an engagement session if they don't want engagement session, we'll do it any kind of portrait session they want like a boudoir or something you know? And I just don't want to take away from here if you're you were about to change gears. Okay let's do this okay? My program is intentionally short so that I could take a lot of questions right? Internet so great name here from the chat room adobe smurf like adobe smurf wants to know what is the name of the manufacture of the album again for neo f I n k we use two different albums we use finny oh it's f I n a o online dot com we also use white house custom color there ah premium luster paper on their albums it's like pretty much photographic print quality, which is awesome, so and we will typically do those because their press printed we do a lot of those for parent albums, and they're really cool and then a really good samples for the studio, so we use white house, custom, color and fideo for our wedding albums. Depok wanted to know who said, I'm a wedding photographer in india, and here clients are in a habit to pay on ly post wedding. Is there any solution to use your advice for collecting and advance in a different culture like that? You see that's something I would have less than zero experience are the things that I know I'm not afraid to say that I know that with a lot of things that I don't know, but I don't know how it works. I would not be comfortable shooting a job in without a deposit we do have actually and he's from india teapot, we have a large indian community in orlando, a large in community, and their weddings are typically huge, huge, extravagant affairs, and they're wonderful and lively and vivacious, and they pretty much those have conformed mostly to how we do things in the states, so it should be, you know, to collect money upfront if I honestly just don't know, I mean, what I would say is if if you are business and you've created a brand in a product that people want, if you're just a photographer, that is one of many options that are similar, you're not going to be able to demand anything different than anybody else is getting in their market. If you create a product that's unique in a service that's unique, and find a way to stand out from the crowd, then you can ask for money up front because people want you, because for some people, wedding photography is just a thing that you're supposed to get, and then some people want something really special, and if you're that thing that's really special, they'll conform to you, it's, creating the type of business where, instead of a bride coming in and going, I created a pinterest board, and these are all the photos that I want you to take it, the wedding for a bride, they'll come in and go, I love your style, just do what you do for me and that's what I want, that's, what I think is the best way to do things, so I would find his many ways as possible. D pop, too, to stand out in the market and to do things that nobody else is doing, go to the shallow into the pool and come up with something that it's totally not been seen before and then you'll be able to get whatever you want make sense okay, cool we move on a little bit and they take some more questions later okay still, I'm proud of credit this is important always plant the seed for the next sale during the current interact let me give you example I'm shooting an engagement session and then I'll say while I'm doing it this is going to be beautiful in your signing book of your album just like little boots like putting things in their head they may not even want where I've thought about an album, but by the time they're done interacting with me they've heard album so many times that they're like it's going to get the album you know, it's important to me to give a finished product I don't believe it I'm pushing anything on them that they won't love or want or need, but if I'm at the wedding and I take a big beautiful epic shot like with a beautiful sky and go, wow, this is going to be just two full pages in the album this is going to be amazing, you know, I'm always planting the seed of the next thing that I'm going to do or like this when he's going to be really good your mom is gonna love this in her album, you know all that kind of stuff you're always every time you're with the client, you're telling them about the next thing you're always planning that seed for the next thing that you're going to sell does that make sense packages versus all the car? This is a question that I get a lot is do we do packages or is everything in all the carte menu package is a familiar people were like the fast food culture you know, our age of generation xers and then the new folks that are even younger than us true story when we photographed high school seniors, I actually have to go to like the billboard website and look up what music is cool so that I can play music in the studio from three kids to come in, so I have no idea and that's not even far removed I wasn't it wasn't even that long ago that was in college in high school, but is staying relevant is important, but packages are familiar to everybody, so people will want to come in and just go number two, that one package a give me a package b and especially with photography most people's interaction with photography is sort of volume when you think about it because you know the school pictures and sports pictures and all this stuff, and they go on and they go that package given that one so you find a lot of people are really comfortable with that all a cart people like a buffet approach some people, some people come in and they're just the type of person that doesn't order off the menu you know there's this great episode of thirty rocket he watched that show with jon hamm and he's like give me a catfish poor boy on an orange fanta you know, it's like that's not even on the menu you know? Some people are like that they want something that's totally not there so we always having all a carte menu as well as packages the packages are basically just recommended combinations of the things that are all a card you know, we always have both on our price list for weddings, but make sure that it's consistent the most important thing about having packages and in all the carte menu is don't let them be able tto add up what they want and then have it be a different number that's in the package you know, we don't give discounts because of a package you know they're just sort of suggested collections we call it the noon compact ical collections because we're very fancy, so keep that in mind just make sure the pricing is consistent when you have both. When we first started out, we had no idea about pricing or how to make anything work and you would add up, like all the stuff that was in the package and to be a totally different price than the package wass or a price that was just completely off by percentages. So that's important? Ok, we're moving on apart. Three the wedding day. So everything that we've done so far, that any questions about packages, about back in sales, all that stuff. So, do you have packages as well as credit options? Or and then the ala carte? Well, the product credit is justin. Amount of money that they can use towards packages or ala carte like that's. It's a good question, let's make a distinction here. If someone's got product credit that will cover certain items, the package would be like if you see our price menu let's say that five hours of coverage is two thousand bucks and albums, a thousand bucks and then the disc with all the images on two thousand bucks that's four thousand bucks. So over here, on the menu I've got that already made up is a package. All our packages are named after beatles songs, which is cool someone's called across the universe, and one's called a day in the life, you know, stuff like that, we like the beatles man it's cool, all right, but so and then it'll be this that stuff just listed you know it's basically so some people looking in all the cartman you get sort of confused at all the options and so we just take here's the thing that a lot of people get and we just put it in an organized fashion say here's a good example of stuff that other people have gotten rather than there's a package you can apply your product credit pretend the package doesn't exist there's no package menu and it's just all a cart if your product credit couldn't go almost dropped that your product credit your product credit can go towards anything on the ala carte menu just if you have a certain we just put together the packages so people could go that it's still proud of credit you know they can change it at any time they're not stuck with what's in that package. Well we do is we just sort of reverse calculate how much the stuff in that package costs and that's how much product credit we get and that's how we write it into the contract as product credit that they could put towards whatever they want because we don't want people to feel locked in they may just stick with that and get that same thing and that's cool but I don't want them to know I want him to spend even more money than that does that make sense okay, cool that answer a question. Okay, so then how often do you actually sell albums people or do you have a lot of clients were just like, forget the alamo. I just want a bunch of prints on my wall. It really depends. You know, we're not a high volume wedding studio, but the majority of our people get albums, and even if it's not the couple, usually the parents will get albums. The couple might just get the high res images, but most of time, sometimes we have cup, we have couples that don't even get the high res images. Sometimes they just get some prints in an album you know, it's different that's why its product credit? Because people all have different ideas about what they want and one disadvantage you can have it if you have packages that are locked in, you could be alienating what some people want we want to give them. We want to give people what they want, not what we think that they should have necessarily. Although I like to try to encourage people to get a finished product like an album, most of our couples will get an album probably about two thirds even mohr than that parents will get enough we've had his parents are from a different generation where albums or what they're more familiar with and so when that's the case we always make sure that we try to get in contact with the parents on their own when a couple doesn't know her album because I can almost always tell the parents and album that makes sense okay, that answer your question okay um so your product credit is that you're full deposit as well so if you sell them the product credit that's the deposit there giving you the deposit is typically a thousand bucks andi we break up the whole amount which will be the deposit plus the remainder of their product credit and coverage over several payments. Typically we do three payments we do thousand dollar deposit and the two payments that break up the remainder of the balance is typically how we do it so I know it can get a little confusing me? How about packages in all car and product credit? But if you've got a really simplify in your mind and you say just pretend they got a package that they can change it anytime for anything that's worth the same amount of money you know what I mean? That is your questions you got you got more? Okay. All right. So any other questions that foreign move onto like the wedding day stuff we got any questions from internet tv land? There was a question from zero in a just a clarification about when do you give the package credit when do we give it? Most of the time? We'll do it. When we booked the wedding, they'll decide, but some couples are more indecisive than others or there they have to talk to their parents. Sometimes they'll jump the gun and they'll have meetings with their vendors without have knowing how much money they have to spend. But most everybody knows they're going to spend at least a thousand bucks on a wedding photographer, right? So that's, why that's our deposit it's like so sometimes we won't even figure out what they're getting until like a month before the wedding. All I want is that commitment that says this you're the photographer our wedding, and we're going to purchase a minimum of five hours of coverage, everything else? I don't worry about it, so most of our clients will book that product credit and stuff when they signed the contract, but we have some that don't and that's fine with me, I'm flexible like that. I don't mind taking the money later because weddings, I like the wedding's taking payments, then rather all the money up front. I'm the type of person they invented that like the candy bars at the checkout counter for like I'm like vogue magazine like I am and all that stuff there for me because I compulsively spend money and so have that luckily my wife is in charge of the money toe have that cash flow throughout the year you know, because as photographers ifyou're a wedding photographer no matter where you are you're business is seasonal and so you could have like august is pretty slow for a us typically in the wedding business we have other things that go on in august but weddings are pretty slow but for my wedding's in october that I have and september october november I'm getting payments in august for those weddings that air coming up so I've still got cash flow coming in even at the time of year when I'm slow which is pretty cool so did that answer the question? Okay, good all right, we're good all right cool okay setting up sales on the day you can set the scene for incredible sales on the wedding day with some simple steps these are tried and true setting up sales on the day you'll notice I also have the name of the program on the top of three slide I just assume for the internet people are like coming in and out and maybe like hey okay that's what this is about wait, we touched on this briefly a minute ago meet the parents exchange information with the parents this is huge huge huge huge because sometimes all the time mostly the parents are typically more financially stable like most of our couples, if they're in their late twenties and early thirties, they're usually pretty much like out of college in their first position or there just out of grass, but we got a lot of like doctors and lawyers that just finished medical school and if you know any doctors and lawyers and just finished medical school or law school, they're usually broke looking for their first job where they're not going to pay that well on dso that's typically were in that like post grad sort of middle classes own the parents are almost always better off, so if you really want to expand the amount of money you could make on a wedding, make sure the parents know who you are and make sure that you are providing that concierge service to them as well. And if you're really lucky there's four sets of parents just kidding that's a terrible thing but sometimes there are four sets of parents and that's four different parents that you could sell to and meet the needs of four different pants that's four more albums, isn't it at least so think about that all right? So make sure you know the parents repped cards we do these a lot anybody who shoots high school seniors and stuff for hits these business cards known, and we use them from a white house custom color. They're like two and a half by three and a half almost business card, sizable things from the engagement session. We will typically on one side to a full ble picture from the engagement session with no writing on it and on the back of the card will have printed the gallery where the wedding is going to be posted in the password to log in. So we'll go to a wedding if they're one hundred fifty guests, I'll go with one hundred seventy five of these red cards, and everybody gets one at every table and it's a little keepsake because it's a picture of the couple on the back, they see the gallery where they could, like log in, and so we always take thes rep cards two weddings to make sure that we're touching base with a whole new group of people that you can sell stuff to. Does that make sense? Okay, cool and you know they make cool little things. You stick him on the fridge, it's just taken like a nice little photo home of the couple, what you care about, hopefully if you're at their wedding. I want to touch on this and I'm gonna explain this later. That's why there's an asterisk by email? Sign up you should leave the wedding with everybody's email address and I'm gonna tell you how we do it, okay? And this is an important important part of sales. Pay attention to the bridal party. This is super important. I've had one wedding where we shot that wedding, and then four more weddings came out of that one wedding. Make sure that you're taking care of it because just like you, yeah, but a group of friends and noticed that people break up all at the same time, like one person gets single on this, like dominoes, and everybody single, and it happens with marriage is two people just get married, it's like just salmon swimming upstream, like we all do the same stuff the same time. I don't know why I like we're just social creatures, and we just we want to be around people like us. Do you ever have a friend who got married, like before, everybody else and started having kids? They don't hang out that much anymore because they don't really leave the house like that's, we surround ourselves with the people that are in a similar stage of life, that's sort of the way that we're socialized to do stuff so we actually are shooting a wedding a really cool wedding in tampa in a month or so I guess julie has a wedding date so I'm not allowed to touch the schedule julie's my wife um uh they are really great couple there getting married at the baseball field in tampa which is cool but there's a lot of other cool stuff about the wedding but there are four of the bridesmaids are going to be like six, seven months pregnant at the wedding they all how pregnant at the same time and won every doctor's going to pregnant my wife's gonna be six months pregnant the wedding too and they're all the same age like thirty five pregnant women all you know, because we get do we do things in groups? So if you pay attention to the bridal party here's a trick one of my photography mentors and really good friend his name's kurt little cot if you look him up he's amazing photographer great wedding photographer and people always love he's got this really charming personality when he shoots weddings he's got a great cute little english accent he's really charming and funny and I carried his bags for several years just being his assistant and I learned this really cool trick from him people would always say that was so amazing and he remembered everybody's name I was like no, it didn't you know, but they thought they did. His trick was you remember the name of one bridesmaid and the name of one groomsman. And then when you're gonna do a shot, you say, hey, tim, bring the guys over here. Let's, do a shot. If you remember one person's name on each side, they'll all think you remember their names to try it. I'm not kidding, it's actually it's a pretty cool technique. Keep an eye out for engagement rings, stuff like that. A lot of times you have somebody in the bridal party and they're engaged is somebody who is also a guest at the wedding. Make sure that you interact with them and make sure that they get one of those little red cards with the information on because you can pull every wedding should give you atleast one more wedding that's, the best way wedding marketing you can do because you gotta realize people are doing stuff in groups. All right, so how do we touch back on this very important thing about getting our bodies? Email? I had a great conversation with a friend of mine from gainesville, florida, and I was talking to him years ago. We were at the florida professional photographers annual convention, and we were just bouncing ideas off each other, and I said, matt, you know, I put the wedding gallery up and nobody buys anything I don't know what I'm doing wrong and like, how do you get that going? He goes that's because you're not doing table shots, said table shots aren't table shots done, but look at the it's me mon p part thank you wouldn't you want that? If that was your grandmother, grandfather like doesn't keep his picture in the world. Table shots are incredibly powerful marketing and I'm not talking about going every table, making everybody stand up and taking a picture of the whole while dinner is being served, we go around and I go up to people, I go together, guys good to go, and people love it and doesn't do that. I have an assistant with a clipboard that comes behind and drops the table says if you want, we're going to send you an email when we post the gallery from the wedding and we'll let you know when the pictures were out and I leave every wedding with, like a hundred email addresses, you know, and I don't use them in any other marketing except for that event, so I'm not betraying their trust in that way, and I promised him that when I deliver that to the table, but we're going to go into detail about how exactly to do that, but if you think about this for the bride it's a win because we get a picture of every single person is at the wedding when we got married I thought being a wedding photographer that the big epic portrait ce and stuff he's really romantic, sexy, thoughtful ports which we have a ton of really amazing fortress from our wedding but the stuff that I like to shoot I thought would be my favorite, but my favorites are these and the party pictures the people dancing have a good time I didn't know it blew my mind to think about, but this is so important is I've got pictures of every single person who's at my wedding could I ask for table shot? I thought that was the coolest, most awesome thing and these air really, really important, so we'll talk to very specific detail about how we make table shots work for us to keep this in mind because yes, I know photographer stopped doing table shots in the late nineties but bring him back and let me tell you how talk to the bride and or the wedding planner ahead of time to let them know you're going to do this because in certain cases on the off chance that they might find it obtrusive and just talk them and tell them what the point is to get a photograph of everyone who's at the wedding the point is to make sure that everybody has a photo and everybody gets dressed up in some of these people haven't been together in years, you know, you photograph some peoples like three or four their brothers and sisters, and they haven't been in the same state for a decade and they get a picture, just the two of them and it's a great way also to make your your formal photos, your group photos that you normally do right after the ceremony or whatever you can go if somebody people come up to you. So you take a picture of me with him and beat him, so don't worry, I'll get it at the reception all time, and we don't if you look back, let's, go back one we don't there's glasses and stuff in the front it's real informal, just like lean in and take a picture like that's. Awesome. All right, so talk to the bride and the planet had it. I'm let him know that this is gonna happen. Okay? Get every couple and every family that's there. And if it's ah, it's dinner service that's. Fine. Because everybody sitting for like, an hour hour and a half or if it's a buffet it's cool. You just get the tables that are waiting to be called up to the buffet. Start with those and then go back around the room for one hundred fifty people takes us about thirty, thirty five, forty minutes, tops to do photos of everybody who's there and what do you doing during dinner anyway? When your wedding photographer stand around talking the deejay, you know that's pretty much, pretty much what you do use the red cards and the email list, I use them both because giving someone a red card is just leaving the next point of contact in their hands, and I don't really think that that is the most effective way to market understand so, like we hand out the rep cards as we go around and everybody is really happy to get a cool little commemorative photo of their loved ones, and then we also get the email list as we go around. And so the assistant for fifty bucks, you can pay somebody to walk around at a wedding reception with a clipboard for you, and you can make five hundred thousand dollars or whatever in reprints, let me show you how that works, so make sure you get those email addresses because a lot of times people will just give the bride the link and then ask her to send it on to her relatives never works, never works, you're not still anything, and yet we're selling prints and maybe they don't want prints, but some of the relatives really do and that's how they do and they love him and it's not super expensive. It's pretty easy, here's the key thing right here separate the table shots gallery. There are tons of good ones out there. I know zen folios awesome and smugmug pro, and we used collages dot net, and the reason is because it's really super easy to separate, you can upload all the pictures at once and then just drag him into different folders and we separate it won because our typical wedding is nine hundred, twelve hundred pictures delivered we offer in the contract. One hundred images per hour of coverage is what we guarantee to deliver to the couple, so we should have six our wedding. We guarantee six hundred images, but the reason I separate the table shots gallery into its own folder is because when people are looking through wedding pictures of the wedding, they attended. Who you really looking for yourself? You know, we all do it. We're looking for ourselves, right? I mean, we're not looking for the pictures, a couple who cares, so we want people to get right to those table shots. I'm not wrong, come on, we're all a little bit that way if we weren't, the selfie wouldn't be a thing. It's true, all right, separate them so that the bride and groom or the parents they can go right to the family photos if they want or then go right to the guest can go right to the table shots because they remember that you took it you gave them a card, you took their email there they're looking forward to it they're expecting so make sure that they're easy to get to shoot. Uh, this is from sarah. And then who would like to know? Do you ask your client about the red cards before handing them out to wedding guests? And if not, have you ever had a client get upset that that other people were going to have their gallery info before they saw all the images? Well, that's a really good question I'm sorry didn't clarify that before ben and sarah, thank you for asking that question. You guys are awesome. We always tell the bridegroom in the planner the whole process, including the rep cars so they know that it's gonna happen. They love the fact that some couples will even make that part of the wedding a gift that everybody gets. You know, you get like, a little bag full of chocolates, we've had couples that make that part of that, so they get little picture and nobody's upset the bridegroom definitely see everything first because although they have the link to the gallery until we put pictures in it, there's nothing to see does that make sense? But what's cool is they'll go to the gallery log in and it'll say, nope, no pictures posted here yet, but it will save their email address, and when we do post it, we'll send him an e mail. Let them know that it's ready. So either way, we have we've captured that contact information, and they're going to see the pictures. But we do before we do the e mail blast to let everyone know we send one just to the bride and groom, and we give them a few days. So depending on the wedding, especially if you do like beauty and boudoir stuff with your bride's, they may not want everybody to see that. So we always send the stuff to the bride and groom first, and once they've seen it, we email blast everybody cool. All right, um, question. So I e mailed everyone when you puts the gallery, and when you'll see that you're going to see that you will start selling images, reproduction and a lot of these websites, they do the fulfillment for you for free it's like zero work for you, it's like free money, like, why wouldn't you do it? We don't do to say that we don't do automatic fulfillment because we put a handwritten thank you card with every single order it's just a nice little touch on every single order, a little more personal service, and people really dig that wimmer, that group I told you that we shot, like five weddings from the same group of friends was a couple of the grandmothers were the same at the weddings, and one came up and said, you're that nice young man who sent me a card like people love it like to get tonight. We get so much crap in the mail, don't you just light up a little bit when you see something that's like good male, you know, that gives people psychologically gives people a good feeling about you, you know, and it's another way to touch base with someone instead of getting something in personal, they get something very personal from you, okay? And that's the formula for table shots. Okay, we're gonna talk a little bit more about it specifically in just a minute. Well, right now, we're gonna move into the delivery timeline on how to do everything and went to deliver everything how and when you deliver content in products to your client. I can have a dramatic effect on your overall sales the reason I put two pictures from their wedding and is there actually live here in seattle, which is really cool or a couple of ours and they're pretty awesome, but anyway, so, uh, parking lot shot that anyways, um, if you're not consistent with how you deliver stuff to your clients, you can hurt your ability to not only develop a good, busy this working relationship and get more jobs as a result, but you know, you don't want people leaving your business not feeling good about it. One of the worst things you can do in the wedding industry is be slow to the liver stuff, and I'm not saying do it the next day, I'm saying, just be consistent and tell people this is our timeline and stick to your timeline. So here is our timeline the following day monday so if we shoot a wedding on saturday on the monday, I'll post a one or two image teaser on our block, and now I've got all those e mail addresses from all those people you want to drive traffic to your website, you send a hundred fifty emails that say, hey, go see the pictures from the wedding, we had one amanda matt sweating that picture that we just looked at before we got like a in one day just with the teaser on our block, I think we've got, like a six hundred hit bump on that page just that one day from the e mail blast and he's huge, and they're very, you know, internet savvy and they shared it all over the place and everybody thought was huge. It was a big thing and it drives a lot of traffic to your website and it gets people who are not necessarily direct clients of yours to come to your website to see your work. But it's also of someone they care about, which is more powerful, the previous one on dh when you make the gallery for the cast, how do you prevent that? Just most. Most people just want to see themselves. We'll just get the the image from the internet just puts it on facebook and stuff. That's a good question. Cooperated or anything that we have a watermark. On what prince anymore, like way. Have a water mark on it. You know, it's a struggle. A lot of photographers deal with his balancing digital and selling prints in the modern world that we live in today. And I got to tell you I just don't care like my watermarks on there if they want to print because I mean the images in the gallery like five hundred pixels so if they want to print like an eight by ten with a big water mark across it's gonna look like craft and that's what they deserved to have hanging in their home you know evenly so there are going to be you just can't lose sleep over sell to the people you can sell to make the money that you could make protect yourself the best way you can but the people who were going to take stuff going to take stuff and there's nothing you can do about it and do the best you could put a watermark on it provide great service give him every opportunity make the reprints from when we make him really affordable I think of five by sevens like eighteen dollars I mean they're not a lot of money you know what I mean? So you're not going to stop people from being jerks world's full of them and that's just life, so don't worry about them you know just make money where you can do business is ethically a cz you can and I know photography that they just get twisted up inside over the fact that somebody might right click and tell when their images are on screen captured like go man don't live my life like that you know, I really just wanted to be a positive experience and that's all that sometimes you will get a call from, like walgreens and somebody's trying to print something with your copyright mark on it, and I go there a lot of printed like, who cares? I don't care because I get paid for my clients who love and appreciate the work that we do, and so if they're like second cousin is a real pain in the butt and just wants to get crappy copies of five hundred pixel images with my logo on it, then at least my logo's hanging in their house, so I don't know and it's your question. Yeah, I think it's also bury that when they that instagramming right ee o I think that there's an amazing senior portrait photography murad evans and I think he's in illinois and he's really good on instagram there's really cool stuff like he shows behind the scenes how he gets the shot and then he shows the shop that came from it. His instagram is really cool if you want to find him on instagram, but I saw one of his seniors had gotten their print order from him, and she took photos of the prince and then put them all on instagram was like he hardly instagrammed your stuff like it's already there just do that, you know people don't understand until you educate them the difference in quality your average person can't tell the difference between decent photography, good photography and spectacular photography that's something that part of your job is to educate your clients as you go and push all of the bitterness and jealousy and the fear out of your life out of your business because you're just going to be possible by forever so just do things the best way you can be awesome be good your clients and protect yourself when be smart but can't lose sleep over a man you really can't people are going to do it no matter what what do you do? You chase him down, beat him up like nothing you can really do all right um all right, so the following monday posted one or two mitch teaser and then we email blast it ok? And then a week to ten days later I do a full block post about between twenty and thirty images of my favorites from the wedding and then I'ii mail blasted again called the beach ball effect, and the reason is you ever been like a jimmy buffett concert like a summer camp for spring break mtv kind of thing a giant beach ball out in the crowd and then a body hits it up and it comes back down, and then they hit it up again and then there's that guy waiting there and spikes it, you know, but the beach ball effect is to make sure that you're keeping your business top of mind and to have une mail address and a link into people who not only are you showing them your work, but you're showing them your work and it's of someone that they care about super powerful. So you're generating excitement and buzz for your for this wedding come out. So by the time the gallery comes out, which is two weeks later, we launch the whole gallery, all in separate folders, and then we email blast them again. They're already expecting it, and in every email blast is like the gallery's coming up next week be excited to see all of them your pictures in their etcetera, etcetera, and people are expecting it because we live in such a fast moving culture nowadays that people forget stuff almost immediately you ever go into a room and, like, meet a bunch of people and shake their hand and totally forget their names five seconds later, like that's, the way people are were like, you know, dori and finding nemo. You totally forget what you just did, and so you've got to keep reminding people and it's really easy and there's automated systems like shoot q and stuff like that, the studio management software that will do this automatically for you, you don't have to remember to do it, you just schedule it all in it, and it doesn't. That makes sense, and the reason I'm posting this stuff on my block, by the way instead of facebook is because I want the traffic on my website that makes sense. I will also post a link to it on my facebook page and share it all over the place, but ultimately I want them to end up on my web site traffic, okay, boo! So this is how we do I'm just gonna give you some rough numbers, it's going to be different every market, so please don't take it super, literally that if this doesn't exactly happen for you that you're failing, but I've tried to give a pretty broad range, so I want to go over these numbers. When we started doing the table shots and the email collecting and the email blasting with the teaser in the block post in the final gallery, we increased our wedding about two hundred to two thousand dollars per wedding, depending on the wedding. And the two thousand dollars is like every once in while somebody'll buy like a twenty by thirty canvas of one of the family photos. Ok, fine, no problem, but for the most part, if you've booked a twenty, eight hundred dollar wedding and you could make an extra five hundred bucks just by doing nothing pretty much with minimal effort, you've already upped your average five hundred more dollars. Does that make sense with me? So we'll move on one month later call and set up an album design session, and so we're goingto, well, I've got a few more slides and won't leave some time for questions at the end, so I'm just kind of a rock through these a little bit, but this is how we do the album's design session. Julia call about a month after the wedding and find out hey, so you guys still thinking about getting an album? Yeah, cool, no problem. All right? We're going to design it, and then you're going to come in and take a look at it that's how it works. We pre designed the album when I have a client come in and they go, you know, some people want more input than others, but for the most part I go option one. You narrow down a thousand pictures to seventy five and I designed the album with that turnaround time about a year and a half because that's how long it'll take you to do that because when people get married they're buying a house they're moving they're getting the job done all this stuff to get in the way and for the both of them to sit down and narrow a thousand pictures down to seventy five is going to take a lot of time I'll do it for option two you pick half half same turnaround time you let me pick it your album will be designed for you two months after the wedding I present it to you digitally you can come in and change it however you want I'll change it right that way it actually gets done does that make sense to be pre design every album most of the time with no input from the bride and groom sometimes if they want they can put a favorites folder on the online gallery and then I'll look at the favorites folder and make sure some of the favorites making in there too but for the most part I tell him this is what we do I tell stories of wedding days I make books albums that are going to tell the story your wedding day and let me do what I do let me serve you better and then you can have input and we'll use it as a jumping off point, and nobody ever picks their own wedding images. They always let me pre design every time it's another thing that takes a lot off their mind over design if their product credit includes eight by ten twenty sided album, I designed an eleven by fourteen forty side. The reason is one. Yes, I want to sell a bit bigger album, but practically speaking, if you design an album in an eight by ten and they decide to upgrade, stretching it to him by fourteen it khun you have to pray, basically redesign the whole album depending on what software you're using and stuff like that. Also, you want over design extra pages because you want to sit there with a twenty sided album exactly what they ordered and then go oh, where all the detail shots and this and that the other thing over designed it so that we can narrow it down, and if you start from a large album with lots of pages and you whittle it down, you're always going to end up with a bigger album than the one they intended to buy. But if you start here and try to add on to that, you'll have a much harder time think of it as someone standing on a chair. Is it easier for you to pull someone up onto the chair with you or for them to pull you off the chair like, start big and whittle it down from a larger album? Okay, the client is going to narrow down the pages. I always designed lots of pages with details because a lot of brides air into it, but they're also the easiest thing to take out of the album without hurting the overall content too much because you're not taking out family photos and photos of precious moments and things like that, but the client is the one who's going to be making those decisions. I don't tell them what pages to take out if they take out any most of them don't take out any most of them by the album, exactly as I present it to him. You apply the remaining product credit, so if they've got fifteen hundred eighteen hundred dollars in product in it credit, quit it, elmer fudd. They got eighteen hundred dollars, in product credit, then the album that I present to them is going to be like a three thousand dollar album or a four thousand dollar album or thirty five whatever whatever you think your client might available before, and then they're going to go in there with that product credit and they're more likely to spend past it. That gift card effect remember that gift card effective super powerful? This is where product credit really comes into play it's a lot easier to sell when they've already got a certain amount of money invested and they can mean minimum we're going to make an extra five hundred dollars they're going upgrade to like the next they're going to buy the extra pages without upgrading the size that's usually the the least expensive thing or upgrade the size without buying extra pages. That type of thing between five hundred twenty five hundred dollars is what we average depending on the couple and so if it's a minimum it's five hundred dollars and the minimum when they get two hundred dollars from selling reprints an extra five hundred dollars from up selling the album so now you've gone from a three thousand dollar wedding to a thirty, seven hundred dollar wedding? Does that make sense or the potential for much, much more on top of that? Now here comes the most powerful up cell of the whole thing. Selling to the parents selling to the parents is something that is extremely powerful. A lot of times we will in the past we've just had the bride and her mother and a father who ever coming together for the album design session we don't do that anymore when we've already touched base with the parents and we have to separate them from the herd because for a lot of brides it's a relief not to have their mother, they're telling him what to get, you know, I mean, does that make sense? Some couples moms are like best friends, and it doesn't really work that way, but any time we can separate the parents into a separate design session, we do, and we do a separate design session with each set of parents as often as we can if you do that, especially if your couples not buying an album and your parents will or they buy a copy of the album you've already designed. So it's found money, why wouldn't you do that? You know, if you have two sets of parents, three sets of parents, four sets of parents, you could sell an album to each one, and you've already done the work. In fact, we do a thirty percent discount on parent duplicate albums, so they get thirty percent off because we've already done the work that design is already in there, so all I got and as a courtesy, I will put different pictures on the family page, so its features more their side of the family, but as long as everything else is the same thing, a thirty percent discount and that works every single time, because the parents at our age are parents of the ones that are going value the album the couple may get one, but they aren't really going to learn to appreciate it until they've got a family of their own or later on down the road but the parents going to be your best album clients we do between two thousand and five thousand dollars extra per wedding selling parents albums and as long as we do it in their own session question about parents this was this came earlier but applies now rebecca and wanted to know how do you exchange info with parents doing? She goes on to ask are you doing cellphone input? Are you doing a little business card? A good question again never leave the next point of contact up to the client so I make sure I get their contact information at the wedding if that's the only time I see them sometimes will be rehearsal dinner is a more appropriate time to do it if you do that sort of thing but I will give them a business card and I will write down their phone number I'll usually approach the mother of the bride she's usually the one that's like the most interested in doing it and so by approach the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom and here's how I do it over the business card and I say I know you probably a lot of people in from out of town this stuff today we haven't met yet until the wedding day, but my name's gary, I'm the photographer and if there's anything special that you want and if you've got cousins in from out of town if you've got a sister you haven't seen in years if there's any special photos you want, please let me know those were really important me that I get those and they love that they love that you give them that attention and that immediately endears you to them and you're giving better customer service at that time I will give them my car say this is my cell phone number I said I'd love to contact you after the wedding and let you and have you come in and take a look at the wedding pictures you can get whatever you want and order your own album and stuff you're like yes, absolutely right down their number put in my pocket and I take it with me when I have a particular way of managing when the bride and groom want ah now further parents directly from them instead of the parents coming, how do you manage that? You let them take the photos it's about managing the expectations you also made them parents complex customs so the question is if what if the bridegroom want to get an album for their parents? Well, luckily, there's usually more than usually there's more than one set of parents, so if it depends on which parents more involved, but like I said, when I can, you can always separate the parents, but when you can do it, but also let let it go naturally as much as possible when they are really close with their mom and their mom was there when they met you and book the wedding. Your mom and their mom's been really involved the whole time don't try and separate that relationship, but when you see it as a possibility, do it, you'll make more money that way because typically people will order stuff together like you ever go out to dinner and you'll go like, oh, well, we'll just get this in this, and we'll split it or, well, you know what I mean? When people are separate, they pay separately, they buy more when you're when you've got two people together, they'll go like, oh, well, I'll have this, and then you'll have this and it's sort of can hurt the overall bottom line. You're still selling an album to the parents and that's great, so I won't ever try to force them to be separated. They don't want to, but typically the brides are are pretty cool with that. They're pretty okay with that and again remember for out of town clients I'm doing a lot of this stuff over like go to meeting skype whatever I still do the same presentation but I'm I'm guiding them through the process of ordering that answer your question we get okay moving on um as far as the whole program, you're not remember you're not getting eight ten thousand dollars up front, you know, we went from a shot we shot our first wedding for nine hundred dollars and that included you know, um but we went from when we really got our business up and going we went from about shooting weddings for about twenty two hundred dollars to about six thousand dollars average and we didn't have to raise our prices, we just repackaged how we present it and then we put the financial responsibility of getting the amount of money we want on two more people that's really what we've done, we get more money from all of the guests when we sell to them. We get more money from the parents when we sell to them, but at the end of the day we get the average that we want and we get to work with couples that are super appreciative and we get to make sure that we can make what we need to make to give even people that aren't super affluent to be able to have awesome wedding pictures and get all the stuff that they want and at the end of day if you add up you book a three thousand dollar wedding and ding ding ding ding ding you're gonna end up with almost or more than double your average I had one wedding a couple years ago with her mother that they booked in at like thirty, five hundred and the mother of the bride came in for her own sail session and she spent nine thousand dollars on albums like she bought an album for the other parents and herself and it was crazy like but look for opportunities toe add stuff like this into your business, any place that you can because just don't go shooting weddings for nothing don't go killing yourself, putting all those hours and all that time in and as an aside also we outsource a lot of stuff now I don't put I've replaced forty man hours with paying someone else for those man hours does that make sense? We outsource our raw processing and you know and so that gives me my life back you know the only thing I really do is the block post, so as soon as I get home I upload him, I back him up, back him up again and I back him up again and then I drop box the files to my editor and then I get them back instead of having to put that cause weddings aren't all we do I got stuff going on monday through friday all week long sessions and I'm not and I'll put it off I'll put off like crazy and we just recently switched to the fundi album builder I know if you guys have done that I know there's some great album design programs out there I used to design everything by hand in photo shop and that save me a whole bunch of time the mohr time you can save yourself the more profitable weddings will become too so remember to do that and the most important thing about all of this stuff is that your job exists no matter how much you love it exists so that you can have a life your job shouldn't be your life you want to basically manage yourself so that weddings can if you're in the right price range, you can shoot a wedding every weekend and you'll be pulling your hair out after a couple of years and then also realizing that you're not making any money. Photography is a small business with a slow growth curve and if you treat it like that you'll be more successful so find ways to cut time, find sales opportunities to increase the amount of money that you make and make it actually worth getting out of bed and going giving up a saturday for because a lot of us were given up saturday with our family, are we not that's gotta be worth it. Okay, so last thing if you want to keep in touch, this is where you can find me on all of social media stuff. Um, facebook, dot com slash hughes, fioretti, photography, twitter, instagram and there's the website we do a lot of behind the scenes stuff always posting on instagram, and just places that we travel in cool stuff that we do and and I'd love to keep in touch with everybody and make sure that, you know, julian, I really believe that the more educated we all become his photographers to better our industry gets so let's, let's share ideas with each other and about some stuff often, and make sure that we are all growing together. And lastly, just created this page a couple of days ago. This is a party right now, that's I know it's a long link, but write it down. If you sign up for our email list, we only email stuff that's like cool and fun. We don't like sell your emails too other people, but if you sign up for email list to get some cool free stuff and when you confirm your e mail address and then we all whenever we're teaching or doing anything and we always let people know that's basically what we use it for us to let you know when we're teaching somewhere in case you want to come see us again so we're going to do some q and a right now and then see where it goes fun I'm gonna lean on your little table here let's do it is this guy refreshing or one really I like your style crushing your just refreshing you are refreshing and you have like a real sense of trustworthiness about you good I would have dominated like tio have you heard about bitcoins? I won't do that I don't know about that. Okay let's do some clarity on a couple questions here if you guys have any questions, get those ready then we'll break all right great questions coming in for the segment. Um let's see here. So this came in earlier. Sarah and ben wanted to know what a typical engagement order look like for you. They say we find that most of our couples just want their images to make their own save the dates and decorate their wedding with do you do a lot of products for engagement? We run into that sarah and then we run into that all the time people want to come in and they're more and more savvy with stuff like shutterfly and all these different places you can get albums from so we try to create products that are unique enough that they won't be able to get them. I know that a lot of labs heir doing like die cut cards that are really cool always come up with new products, so worked closely with your lab and make sure that you're adding products that they won't necessarily be able to get from somewhere else stuck cool stuff like metal prints and things like that, depending on the couple that you're working with, some of them are more hands on, and sometimes you have to sort of acquiesce to that there's really no way to force someone who knows how to do it toe let you do it for them, because ultimately they're just going to make your life miserable anyway, making you do correction and change after correction and change so our typical engagement orders will do like you's, like a wall portrait and assigning book that's like our go to, they're not usually buying a bunch of five by seven if they get the high res images from the wedding, we will give them all the high res images from the gaming session, too, but we don't deliver that until we deliver the final album and images all at the end, so and then we also any images and anything that they order we give them like a little rez facebook, instagram digital versions of this stuff to you got to find a way today to make money in digital and adding new products is cool, but most couples we find it will just be glad to have someone else to do it e I think you get to a certain time in your life you're like okay, look, I'm planning a wedding I don't have time to do everything but for the d I y brides do it find a way to make it to monetize it absolutely we don't fight it we let him do it okay? Just before I forget cale I'm in the chat room wanted to know if you could mention your online gallery the company collages dot net there a ton out there and I know collages doesn't pay me tio mention them anything we just use them forever and I like how easy it is to just drag stuff into a folder you just uploaded all the images at once and then make folders and then you say go I want these images not fuller in that folder in that folder and that's one of the reasons I really like it but there's other stuff out there that's great too so just, you know, find what's good for you awesome angelo wanted to know do you ever pitch the table shots to the bride groom for thank you cards well no I see you soon in time we'll find creative ways to monetize stuff feeler from them they learnt from you like where your head's at that school stuff all right, well that's that's coming in we haven't done that but now I will thank you I'll talk about you in my next program was your name her name is angela closing angela thank you very much I'll send you ah target gift card any questions? My questions about your block post typically how long do you make that like first block post isn't like just super short and sweet with just a little bit of it right up or is it just the photo paper sort of sweet a lot of times on the full block post I will list and linked to all the other vendors there's a messy stuff actually tomorrow I'm doing the class on seo photographers and blogging is a huge part of that and we usually are doing some kind of relevant content link trade with other wedding vendors like venues cake maker so I'm always listing all the other vendors and giving them links to their website and stuff so but typically I'll put two or three sentences of text in there and that's good for stuff to to reinforce those keywords that you're maybe going for and so I don't make it a novel, because ultimately, probably nobody's going to read it anyway, but google will read it so kind, put it on there, but yeah, you know, just enough to say it was awesomely part of the wedding, but there's. So many photography used the word amazing so many times, and and this amazing wedding and this amazing venue and this amazing dress just enjoy being there. Here are favorites, you know, keep it pretty simple. That's. How we do it is awesome, that's. Awesome. You're awesome. This classic. If you do enough weddings, it just ends up being very disingenuous. So write something that's interesting to that couple. If you need to write something, you know, just be yourself and don't try to like over his as it, you know it, we'll cool it, you're teaching another class, and I love seo classes never got it is going to be sexy, tell you what.

Class Description

It’s no secret that the photography business has gone through some big changes in recent years. For some photographers those changes have made doing business a totally different ballgame. This class will help any wedding photographer increase their wedding sales averages using low pressure sales techniques and creative marketing. The best part is you don’t have to raise your prices or find wealthier clients. No gimmicks, no sales pitch – just some common sense ways that you can use to make more money starting now.


a Creativelive Student

This was a fun short course on easy sales after a wedding. I loved it and I plan on implementing his strategies into my weddings soon.