Branding: Products


Pricing and Sales for Photographers


Lesson Info

Branding: Products

Now that we've spoken about this brand and how people feel about your company products are part of that right there are huge part of it it's what you do people don't buy what you do that by what you believe but what you do proves what you believe okay, so what you create for them proves you're why and defines your why does that make sense you are you seeing the relationship between these things? So what should you carry? You should be very selective and how you do this because each product has to speak your brand you see why I said that? Now you have to be choosy. What products are your brand? Acrylic prints are not my brand you see why? Yeah, I mean a metal print totally senior I mean man, that would look good for seniors, especially visualize the brand, you know, but for babies, unless I had a really edgy, funky baby style I don't think a metal print would really work for it, right? At least it's my opinion it's my brand it's what I feel okay, so don't sell the kitchen sink for pete'...

s sake. You will overwhelm your client and you will confuse them you will confuse the heck out of them because they'll be like your brand is saying one thing, but you brought it you're saying another be consistent consistency is the thread that ties it all together your product should speak to who you are as an artist and to what you want to sell on what you believe okay laugh love to tempt us with all these beautiful new products coming out be judicious on ly picked the things that are there speak to your brand and in that worksheet that I know that you can download there is a huge table in there that ask you to consider your products okay it was pulled out here real quick and show it to you and I want you guys to do this exercise okay the product development exercise fill in the table below right down every product you carry and every product you would love to carry so kind of do the products you carry first and in the products you would love to carry in it as well that maybe you don't yet. Okay then I want you to ask yourself, is it unique? Does it suit my brand? Does it look and feel high quality? My brand? If you're high volume, that may not matter to you. Okay, well it sell in my market my sister's products are very different than mine she's in los angeles, orange county no one will buy gallery rap campus is there? Why not? They want framed campus why not? Can you take a stab at it? Can you guess why everyone's like what do you want her customers tell her oh gala rap looks cheap you can get that at costco what a surprise shock the heck out of me it was like really my client's love gallery up campuses they think it's the finest thing you come by different markets have different opinions and personalities and and desires so you really have to research your market and the ways to do that or to go online go to your city and get your demographics and just do cem product research and some client research ask your old clients why they bought what they bought or why they didn't buy something very valuable stuff what does the product cost? Is it too high? I am constantly asking myself is it inexpensive enough for me to carry my studio low cost high dollar just repeat that mantra low cost high dollar some of these wedding albums that eight hundred dollars a pop I would have to charge for five thousand dollars for it to be even profitable no one in my market is going to buy that in new york city different story higher cost of living, higher incomes et cetera et cetera if your carriage trade if you target a really high end clientele on your eight by tens or two hundred dollars apiece for thousand dollar album's gonna be a drop in the bucket okay so it just depends on your market depends on you your brand what's your demographic is what they can handle all these questions coming to play for me it's about how can I produce ah high quality product at the cheapest price with the highest perceived value so I could make enough money off of it yeah how do you go about researching your market are you looking at what other photographers are charging are you doing any no no I don't I don't recommend looking at other photographers and what they charge unless you know damn well they know what they're talking about I mean you got to know that they know what they're talking about then you know I would say okay you can look at that kind of be a little bit comparative and stuff like that but ninety nine percent of photographers who look at other photographers websites are doing so blindly and with no information okay so don't do that as faras products go products are a personal choice and it depends on who you are is an artist in what your business looks like of the brand does that answer your question market research like I said go to your city you can get demographics from your city like the census will tell you a lot of information about housing what housing costs it'll tell you what your social economic and psycho demographics are what is this psycho demographic how people think okay. The one other economic numbers what's the average income who's living in what area? That kind of thing. What? The industry is in your region. If it's manufacturing, chances are you're mark it's gonna be a little bit lower dollar than someone where than a market where medicine is medicine. Physicians are the top industry. Do you know? I'm saying so? All these things can help you answer some questions about your market. Be creative in your products. Okay? I have a baby plan product. Where, um, that came about. I like to do that. I have a baby plan that I developed that really? It forms one product over the year. So each time the client comes back, they have to purchase the same package to create a year in product. It keeps him coming back, staying in the baby plan. So that product is the little white house custom color eight by eight books. Those little lay flat books. They get one at each session, and it says the age of the bottom of it. And then at the end, if they complete all three, they get the album box one of those eight by eight image boxes that all three books can go into. White house doesn't make this product. I combined two of their products to make one and I had to go to the fbi and the trade show, and I was running all of their booth with eight by eight books looking for the eight by eight box to make sure it fit and that I could get three in there. Okay, so keep that in mind that you do have to be creative in their products, and sometimes you have to test things out. Okay, evaluate those products carefully. Can you charge enough for it? Okay. If it's cost you too much money to produce, then you can't. And you can't charge enough for it. Don't carry it. Simple is that even if it does speak your brand profitability and survivability is prime reason number one to carry something or not. Okay, will it be in demand? Well, my clients wanted example of the canvas my sister barely sells gallery on campus. But she's console mounted campus till the cows come home. Okay, so think about those things. Does it stand the test of time? Twenty years from now, your client be looking at that and going, oh, my gosh, that's! So two thousand fourteen? Well, they say that doesn't stand the test of time. Is it worth the time to create some of these albums takes ridiculous quantities of time to produce. Now I kind of figured that out because pro select allows me to do books in a matter of minutes rather than ours that photo shop in the free transformed tool takes but think about the product do you have to get it from a bunch of different vendors? Is that going to cause problems is not going to make things maybe fall through the cracks and issues with delivery and, you know, having multiple vendors can sometimes cause problems ok? Are you going to get it fast? Is the turnaround time good is the time it takes to create it worth it? I was doing albums where I would slipping in actual images you know, like taking five by seven this opinion and it took so much time to forget just put the things in the album I'm like screw this this is way too much time and I don't talk about money for it okay, so ask yourselves those kinds of questions and does the product look expensive compared to what your cost is? Is there a high perceived value to it? So this worksheet is it unique doesn't look and feel high quality well it's selling my market what does it cost? What can I sell it for? Will it be profitable? And what is the proceed value to the client choosing products? Just talk took on a whole new meaning than that you gotta be careful what you pick that's got to speak to who you are it's gotta live and breathe your brand okay so this worksheet we'll tell you kind of how to run through it you put your product down you put the cost down what can I charge for what the profit be doesn't have a high perceived value doesn't suit my brand what are the pros and cons of carrying it doesn't take too much time to create is a pain but to order is this delivery time too long all those things will answer that and that'll help you discover what your product mix should be so that's your homework for tonight I want you to fill this out with the products that you do carry and the products that she would love to carry okay then the final question is can you keep make the product unique? Okay can you make it something that no one else is doing? One thing that, um we just started carrying are these water color prints I print though I just jane get off the wall in the way are these water color prints this's how I do all my competition prints and it's printed on watercolor paper then I use epson fine art velvet and lecture at sunset rag paper and then I hand uncle the edges and then I take acrylic metallic paint with a tiny paintbrush and hand paint around the edges then we float mounted with matting and framing this's a time consumer product with framing and glass it cost me about seventy dollars to produce and I charge over seven hundred for it okay why do I charge so much for it because it has a high perceived value it's all handmade and I put a lot of work into it a lot of time into this that time is worth that money and not enough photographers understand they think oh an eight by ten cost me two dollars I should only charge for it that's a twenty five percent cost of good no no no no no no no no no okay we'll talk about pricing here in a minute but anyway come up with products that are unique come up with products that no one else is carrying in your market okay most importantly show what you want to sell okay? Yeah question do you pencil sign your name on a near products yes I didn't know because it's a sample studio yeah, good question yes. Every canvas, every large print every water color leaves it's to do with a signature on it and the year was created great cool thank you so so what you want to sell merchandizing show these products okay it's so important displaying is the key to selling it. We talked yesterday about the retail analogy on all these supermarkets where you have to pay for space if you want to be an eye level on a grocery store I'll you got to pay more than you do if you're on the bottom or the top okay what if I don't have a studio says the on location photographer okay well do you think there's a pottery barn in my town of eighty eight thousand people no there's not a tiny little town pottery barn in the big cities I don't get to go there unless I drive three and half hours to portland do you think I buy party barn catalog products yes because of the catalog okay this thing comes to me every quarter oh gives me goose bumps when I looked through it I look at the prices like so pretty fresh my whole house I start to dream okay I mean I'm sitting here getting distracted as I talk to you guys okay? Beautiful it's so well done they spend millions of dollars making this catalog gorgeous obviously that's a tall order for a photographer who's you're on your own and just doing your business by yourself but you can create a beautiful catalog okay, I have done it in my own studio it's an album this is our investment guide okay, so when people come to the studio they can look through there's a table of contents they get to see how you create your own collection. Okay then each product is defined by pages and this is one product right here a full spread is devoted to one product this's gallery campus this exact same product is hanging on the wall in our studio this image this product it's on the studio wall same with this water color printing is one of my competition prints from last year it's hanging on the wall the standout you can see it right there it's hanging on the wall okay the albums this is one of our highest and albums that album is sitting right there it's a product we carry in our studio so people can come and look at the product catalog see the product and three dimensional go oh I get it you have to make things very simple for your consumer because they don't get it think of them as stupid they're not but think of them is just totally dumb they have no idea and I don't mean stupid of me naive I think is a better word terrible we're not done but they're naive they don't know what they don't know what to expect they come in overwhelmed you know all this stuff you have to think of them as being in second grade you've gotto take him through the process don't expect that they know things lay it all out that catalog stunning it's beautifully designed and photograph that makes women swoon why do you think they sell so much? Their catalog business is huge make your own making electronic if you make a pdf and you could do this right in photos off or bridge, you make a bunch of j pegs into a pdf and then go to a ah website like flip snack dot com and have it converted it's like ten bucks to have it converted at the most and you can have it turned into one of those magazine flip pages we'll flip through and look all pretty like it's an actual catalogue online put it on an ipad when you go to a non location session and you want to do a little mini pre concert with a client, bring a few albums with you so you have those three dimensional products you can show them the quality but then also bring your ipad with the with the little magazine the catalogue, innit they can slip through, have a confrontation with him say these are the kinds of things we do. We generally shoot for the products that were that our goal is and I know you may not have a clear understanding of what that exactly is yet but let's kind of throw around some ideas, so at least we can photograph your session with your final goal in night and that will really turn into a beautiful product planting the seed of the sale okay, so in review to find your mixed by evaluating your brand okay, that's, a tall order branding is really hard, and I understand, and I hope I gave you some kind of clarity on what a brand is and what marketing issue guys feel like you have a little bit more of a sense of that. Okay, do you understand why your products speak to who you are and why they need to be so intertwined with your brand? You see that so the client won't get confused don't carry everything only what you need and a simpler you make it, the easier it is for your client don't carry the kitchen think too needy or not to nish should you do it? It highly depends on your market where you're at if you love something or not. And then of course, it takes the time, and the effort to build that and had slower comet doesn't happen overnight, so be gentle on yourself, merchandising your product sells them, whether there is in a store or in a catalog. Okay, merchandising is ki you have to show what you want to sell don't carry everything, be judicious and always think low cost, high dollar will it make me money? And that means doesn't take time to produce is that a pain in the movie you produce? Doesn't the delivery judicious and efficient? All these questions come into play when you're trying to create a product mix and then on top of that you got to be creative oh my gosh, what a tall order I mean overwhelming sometimes I think about this but just take it one step at a time do that worksheet write down the products you have right but on products you think you might want to carry and evaluated according to these things we've talked about next we're gettinto pricing yourself strategically okay? I'm not talking cost of goods I'm talking getting your client to buy so that when they look at your pricing they go oh that's the best deal we're gonna go there okay structure your pricing with incentive learned to create effective packages and digital files for dummies should I sell them or not? Then sales a post session in depth talk about actually being in the sales room what to say, how to say it and creating a mini system within that sales room to take every client through that it's repetitive and predictable okay that's six questions before we end out here we're feeling good we're doing good you're doing great, you ladies have any questions their minds are going and wishing I could go to w p p ay next I know that over one were more though you feel like there's always look at three so um lady bird would says this I'm I'm a displaced to new yorker in texas I feel I'm sorry I'm a well I'm a displaced new yorker displaced new yorker in texas oh goodness y'all and she says I feel the brand I want to build would be a great fit for new york dark high fashion edgy but I'm not so sure about dallas fort worth I just can't you move to new york right now realistically how do I create a brand that I would like to transition in that direction that's a really good question and honestly I would say own it crush the critic on your shoulder georges and narcissus and he needs to go away shoot him okay yes you think that the dallas market does not have these people? It does it's huge dallas fort worth I think is the number eight television studio market in the world the world in united states two city there are people who love that dark dramatic edgy look you have to find them and that's the hardest challenge people go but oh I know it's hard think about businesses that cater to that type of person are she doing senior's? He isn't here she I'm sorry I believe she lady but she is she doing seniors senior market's gonna love that are you kidding? There is totally gonna be a whole style of of young fresh energy that's going to love that what stores can she partner with that have that same kind of dark, edgy feeling? I'm sure there's some boutiques and wonderful stores in dallas especially owner family owned businesses that she can partner with and really develop a relationship with to build that business it is highly ni sht that's okay, she can handle doing that in a market like dallas it's one of those things where you just have to own it and have confidence and say I'm worth it I know this is gonna happen I can swim and if how will you ever know unless you try I mean really you could sit there all you want go I don't think this is gonna work I don't think it's gonna work it's not gonna work know what work? George okay, get rid of him you can do it, try it own it evaluate along the way and saying, hey, this isn't working about this maybe I should switch this around little bitch and do this and eventually we'll see it girl just have confidence in what you're doing and know that I mean my dad used to always tell me he goes julia I don't care if you know how to play baseball or not, but if you keep swinging that bat physics dick states that eventually you're gonna hit one of the park just keep pushing perseverance and passion have a wonderful way of making obstacles dissolve it really is true, right, and a positive attitude does nothing but wondrous things for that negative negative. If you're a negative person, you're gonna get negative things around you. My mother is a horribly negative person, and so negative things happened to her. I mean, this is one of my childhood things is I made a strong conviction that when I left the house at eighteen years old that I was gonna be a positive person doing it can I grew up with this negative energy constantly as a child in my heart, and it's taken a lot of fighting to say, no, I'm gonna be a positive person. Yes, this is also this is good, we can do it, push, push, push, passion, passion, passion, persevere, persevere, persevere and once you do that and you say, yes, I can do it's amazing how things just kind of come your way. Tiffany, my associate photographer, has this wonderful skill for connecting people and it's like magic things just fall in her lap when she needs money, it just comes. It's like the worst thing that can I have that energy please I mean when she's in type fine and she you know she's she's very christian so she speaks to the lord and stuff like that and you know that's her calling and what she believes and itjust like comes to her but it's truly is that positive energy and that positive thinking that makes that happen and I know I'm getting off those off right now but it's true any other questions yeah and I just want to say I love how you called that voice george because it's like when you call it something that's not you you can separate yourself from that way you know I really like exactly and like you and I were talking about this morning it's stepping outside of yourself and being able to evaluate that person and go okay what am I doing right and what am I doing wrong but we love to focus on the wrong for some reason everybody likes to just focus on the negative why is that it's not helping you is only hurting you a lot of forgiveness I've had some you know family challenges in my life and um it was when I discovered that forgiveness the lack of it hurts me more than it does the other person I want out of you you wronged me I'm not gonna forgive you why dont care hurting me the same thing with negative energy and negative feelings and feelings of self worth and not having a positive attitude and pushing forward if you put that on yourself then how on earth are you going to get out it's just hurting you so get rid of it you know I've been really touchy feely today sorry I like it I'll stick with the touchy feely ok more touchy feely I just wanted to maybe clarify our reiterate something that we talked about yesterday so natasha had said my clients would say and I think when you were showing your seven hundred dollars our peace is when this question came in and the touches said my clients would say that it is too expensive and then I'm crazy people want digitals and they can so they can print them themselves and purchase a frame themselves how do you deal with this s o can we just talk again very good question about bringing in people that you want to say oh yeah very good question I have this exact problem in my market okay I'm a baby photographer think about who's having babies who's having babies young people young people where are they in their life four twenty one to thirty five years old occasionally up to forty five others who are not in the height of their career yet okay, that doesn't come until your kids their middle school teenager whatever so and digital files or the new eight by ten I mean, years ago it was the eight by ten argument, you know, everyone's like I don't want to sell the protest was not, well portrait and now it's like digital files it's like the huge argument and when we get into pricing, I'm going to talk heavily about this and how we solve the problem at least for us. And then, you know, digital files for dummy should you sell them or should you know, I have to sell them? I would have no business if I didn't sell them I mean, that's what they want, but I'm not going to give them what they want until I sell them when I want to sell them. That makes sense. You can't buy these files until you give me what I want or you can just be really expensive and you're much better off just to get, you know, follow my rules and buy what I want you to buy then you could have to do it, okay that's kind of how I do it and I make sure I am gang profitable in those files. That's the key and that's the big argument in the industry today is, you know, the whole shooting burner thing where someone sells a disk in the session for one hundred fifty bucks, I mean, even three hundred bucks that's a free and steel that's way too sheep you can't possibly make any but you're paying your client to take their photograph when you do that okay? So that's kind of the big argument and I think that's why the topic of digital files has become such a hotly contested issue and a lot of you when I when you see my pricing, you'll think I'm way too low I'm going to tell you a personal story of my challenges of this and how I had to change things to become profitable and it was a very hard story I had just entered into a hospital and I put retail value of seventy thousand dollars worth of art in the hospital there were sixty five thirty by forty campus is on the wall I spent ten thousand dollars of my own personal money to put up this display okay in the birthing center I have a five year exclusive contract to be in the hospital and the option to renew at the end of five years okay, so I really tighten myself and got this amazing deal. No one came for four months the phone did not ring I was pooping my pants I had just put ten grand into something that I thought I was gonna lose my butt on I was so scared I was crying every night I was calling my sister and here's going what did ideo I just royally screwed up this was two years ago. Guys. This was not that long ago. Now, ninety percent of my clients come from that hospital, okay, yeah, I'll tell you that story and what I did to combat it, and has a lot to do with pricing and branding. Okay, so we'll do that in the next segment.

Class Description

In order to make money as a photographer, you have to know how to price, package, and sell your work. In this 3-day course, small business owner and award-winning photographer Julia Kelleher will teach you how to create a strategic sales system — without relying on over-the-top, hard-selling sales techniques.

Julia will help you identify new product and sales opportunities, including the importance of in-person and projection sales. You will learn powerful selling techniques by watching Julia conduct an actual sales session live, right before your eyes. Julia will also give you a comprehensive pricing overview — including how to create packages that encourage your customers to spend more purely by adding the right value.

By the end of this course, you will know how to predict your sales averages, forecast growth, and go from thinking about the next single sale to thinking about the next year of sales.