The Business of Wedding Photography

Lesson 17 of 19

During the Sell

 

The Business of Wedding Photography

Lesson 17 of 19

During the Sell

 

Lesson Info

During the Sell

Moving on to During the Sell. So we talked about before. Now, we're gonna talk about during. I like to call this death of a salesman, all right, because we do not want to be that used car salesman. You know how horrible it is. How many of you guys have bought a car? How many of you have dared to go there by yourself without a spouse or a wingman for it? Yeah, you're like, "No, never. "I would never do that. "Absolutely not." Remember how that feeling of how you felt during it? Usually horrible. I usually felt like I was making a bad decision, or worse, you go home and you regret it. That is the opposite of what we're trying to do here. We don't want to say salesy things. Oh, the worst is, and I know I got this from some photography conference, you end your consultations with, "Is this what you're looking for?" I hate that. I don't know if it's a New Jersey thing. New Yorkers, we're just too savvy to that. We know when we're being sold to and we hate it, so that is not what I'm encourag...

ing you to do. You might have some terminology that you use that works for you, but I have found it's best to stay away from that salesy feel. I have goals for my sales sessions. These are my three goals. I want to sell more products in a way that I serve the client, don't want to oversell them, and I want to engage their emotions, because pricing and buying, so much of it is based on feeling. I want to engage their emotions. I want to sell them the feeling. I used to sell products, but now I like to say that I sell legacies. I'm not selling them an album. I'm selling them their story to tell later. No one buys things. They buy feelings, and it's your job to tell them where that album gets cherished later in their family tree. Make them envision their kids fighting over their wedding portrait later. Do this at that initial consultation or at any point where you're actually sitting there selling. Don't just sell them the thing. Sell them the feeling that's associated with it, where it ends up later on down the line in generations later. So why people spend money. 80% is based on feeling, whether that feeling comes from a loyalty to it, that convenience that everyone pays for, the experience, the prestige, keeping up with the Joneses, and then you got that 20% that based on the thinking. Now, I'm not telling you your clients are idiots. I'm not saying that. I'm not telling you they don't think. They think, but think about the last time that you went and bought a shirt. Think about when you got dressed today. Did you get dressed today because of everything logical, or did you buy that last shirt that you bought because of how you felt in it? It made you feel good. It made you feel confident, or it made you feel relaxed, right? You buy things based on how you feel more than the logic behind it, and if you don't believe me, think of how in debt we are as Americans as a culture. We buy things not logically because we actually have the money for it, but because we want it. Want is a feeling, right? Not need, want. So appeal to emotion somehow, and you have the best ability to do this. I start off all of my engagement sessions with something like this. ("No Other" by Kim Edwards) ♪ There's something about when you know ♪ ♪ You just know ♪ ♪ And the searching stops because you've finally found home ♪ ♪ So may I hold your hand for the rest of our lives ♪ ♪ Because loving you has made me realize ♪ ♪ There's no other hand I'd rather hold ♪ ♪ No other warmth ♪ It's funny. These slideshows, they're meant to make your clients feel. And that wedding is all there, and I just look at it and fall in love with them all over again. I adore Becky and Ryan. They're such a sweet couple, but when I present their photos, especially engagement photos, it's first time they've seen any of them like that, then my clients look like this, (laughs) even if it's over a sales session. I've shown shows like that and had the mother of the bride who has there weep after watching them. And I want to sell to people who are weeping or smiling, one or the other. The worst is someone lukewarm. Lukewarm isn't gonna get you anywhere, because they're not feeling anything. In fact, I might actually rather sell to somebody angry than lukewarm. But look how cute they look. They're so goofy and cute, and don't you just wanna sell to those guys? Those are great? They're both into it, even the groom, right. You ever had some of those grooms? I once did a Skype session, and I love the couple to death, but the bride, she's into it. She's leaning forward. She is crying in the Skype session. In the back, in the corner, you see the groom, and he's like ... I'm like, "Ah, I'm not getting that one "no matter what I do." Anyway, that is success to me. I love that, so do this in your consultations, your sales sessions, your marketing. Just make them feel something. Display everything, so give them all of the options and have all of the options for them to look at when you are selling it to them. If you're doing a Skype session like that, ship it. I've shipped my clients a sample of all the products, and then they ship them back just so they can have them and hold them, even if they're not there in person. Ship it to them. If you can do something like, get a picture of their own home and display it right there on their dining room, great. If not, you can use this as a mock one from Fundy Designer. I love having them do that while it's on video chat. Diss digital. I talk about digital files like they are garbage, like they're not gonna last, like they won't be around. I always tell people, "Yeah, I'm gonna give you a USB drive of the photos, "not that your kids will have any USB ports "to plug it into, but yeah, I'll give it to you." I always diss it so that they understand that the tangible is actually what lasts longer. And then, present. Don't push. So I talk passionately, passionately about my products. I tell them how other brides have used the products. I talk to them about decorating their wedding and then decorating their house later. I tell them about excited parents, that they love showing off the parent album. They love having a wedding portrait in their homes so when they guests come over, they can talk about the wedding and things like that. And again, just present it to them. You don't have to push it. If they don't like an acrylic print, fine. You don't like it. Just give it as an option. Talk about it. Talk about the feeling. Talk about what can be done with it. I love being the idea person, right, and I send stuff like this to emails. I allude to save the dates and thank you cards. I allude to gifts that are photo. What I say in one of the sales consultation emails is, "Now's the only time where pictures "of yourselves are appropriate as gifts "for other people, right." "After this, then pictures of your children, "that's the only other time you get away with it." So I talk about family gifts, and then again, the wedding and home decor, both on engagement session as well as the sales session. And I do give free thank you cards. I mentioned that, but there's always upgrades, always little upgrades. One thing I ask them about is wall space. Now, I do a lot of New York City weddings, so I have a lot of couples that live in Manhattan or Brooklyn. They have very small wall space. Do not try to sell them a 30 by when they live in a studio apartment. Sometimes, you just can't, but I've certainly sold to them saying, "Well, you'll probably move "into a house," so I've left photos that big with parents, and then years down the line, they take them. So you can sell them the future of it as well, but ask about their home style and then suggest products that work. If they don't have the wall space, then talk about the little desktop items that they have. I like telling them about how they collage them. You buy two 8 by 10s, two 5 by 7s, to 4 by 6s, and then collage them and make them look all cute on your mantle. Whatever it is, just be that ideas person. Pre-designing. So albums I used to not pre-design. I used to just say, "Yeah, sure. "You can pick your pictures for your wedding album." That is a big mistake. That is a very big mistake. (laughs) when you pre-design, you end up with your clients having better-looking albums because there's better album pictures in there. You have a quicker album process, because they're muss less overwhelmed. If you say, "Hey, here's 1,000 pictures. "Now, pick 80 for your album," that's so daunting. That's crazy. It's much better customer service. I actually say that this is a custom service I offer to pre-design your album for you so you don't have to be overwhelmed with how many pictures that you have to narrow it down to. I've designed hundreds of wedding albums. I can help you with yours. I can give you that visual layout beforehand, so that then you can change anything that want. There's a better chance of upgrading when you pre-design, because they see it and fall in love with it. Typically, I am over designing by about 10 pages. I don't want to overwhelm them if I do 20 pages over, and sometimes I will. Depends on the client. Sometimes, it gets too overwhelming, and then they're like, "Oh, my gosh. "There's too much. "Please just do it again, and do it "with only the amount that are in there." And I don't want that. I wanna give them a reachable extension. But talk about, whenever you pre-design, always talk about, "Oh, I've included X number of pages. "Here's what we came up with. "I know it's more, but this is "how I felt I could best tell your story, "and then you can change it if you want to." I love, love pre-designing, and when I present that pre-design to them, I have them sit down. They've seen their wedding pictures by the time we get to the album design process, but I sit them down, and then I have them watch this. (gentle music) You'll notice that one is a good deal longer than my marketing videos. That's actually intentional for two reasons. One, when somebody is looking through that, it's their album. I want them extendedly reliving through it. They're not bored, and that's not going on social media, so I want to evoke the emotion from them. But secondly, once they do finalize their album design, I make them a new one that's faster and under one minute so that they can share that one online, and I show that one online sometimes, too. So showing that off, and that, by the way, that's just me designing the album, exporting it as JPEGs, and then uploading it to an Animoto slideshow, then throwing it out there. So pre-designing that album, it's one of the best things I have done. We talked about this before, offering what they can't get for themselves. That's included with your albums. I show them that deep matte paper, because I know Shutterfly isn't doing that, right? They're not getting that off Shutterfly. They can only get that through me, and I show that to them with the actual prints as well. You can't get deep matte at Costco. You can only get that here with me, at least for now. Same thing with the metal, the glass, the wood, the quality of the canvas. I do other things. If you look through my website and my Instagram, you'll notice these 3D art walls that I make, or canvas clusters, or live portraits, so just anything they can't get for themselves, even it's something, by the way, like those little frames, those little ones right there that Millers has. When I do self sessions, I have three of them. Okay, no. I had three of them. One of them broke and shattered to the ground. I now have two of them. But it's just like a little collage thing. And could they get that somewhere else? It's just a white frame. Sure, but it's not exactly the same, right, so it's just a little something that I can offer that's not gonna be something they can easily get somewhere else, or it'll be more work for them to get it somewhere else. I had a client. They came after their engagement session, and they were having an engagement party a week later. And they wanted to have as favors pictures of the couple, and they just wanted a bunch of them out on a cocktail table, thrown out. They had gotten that top package with the USB drive, and they could have easily just went and printed out as many pictures as they wanted to, but they wanted those deep matte ones. They ordered $2,000 worth of these just prints that they just threw out as the favors or whatever for the engagement party. That is an exception, by the way. Not everyone does that. (laughs) I'd like everyone to do that. All right, sell longevity, so don't just sell the product. Yes, you're gonna sell the quality, but sell how it will last generations. And it pulls through from your story from the beginning about creating that legacy through them, so don't just sell the product. The quality, the color, is great, but this will last until three generations from now. Sell that longevity, and sell the quality. Compare it. One of the best things, it's actually one of the to-do lists on my items, is to start buying my sample products, and then ordering almost the exact same thing through a cheaper source so that I can always show them the difference between the comparison, because once you see the comparison, you can't unsee it, right? So if I show the different quality between just prints and they see it, they're not gonna unsee it. Same thing with the canvases. They're not gonna unsee saggy canvases and loose corners anymore. They'll notice it and be like, "Ugh, I don't wanna do this." All right, this is a video that I have talking about my quality control actually that I showed you earlier. (upbeat music) Wedding albums are the final product and heirloom for my clients. Every album that comes in gets my perfection inspection to make sure it's absolutely perfect before we hand it over to the client. I love showing that off to my clients. When we do their album process, I will talk to them about how it comes to me, and I make sure it's perfect, and then I send it to you. And they love that. It's just an extra value add, an extra thing that I do for them to make sure what they are getting from me is absolutely perfect.

Class Description

Along with your technical and creative knowledge, you need to know how to run your wedding photography business and set it up for long term success. How else can you expand and reach your desired clientele? Vanessa Joy, an award winning wedding photographer, joins us at CreativeLive to teach you the skills to help your business thrive. She’ll provide actionable steps in marketing, communication, workflow, and pricing that will attract the couples you want to work with. You’ll learn:

  • How to show your photographic style
  • Secret areas to brand your business
  • Social Media Quick Tips
  • Methods to make clients happy
  • Keys to effective and efficient workflow
  • What products you should offer
  • Packaging that sells
  • Understand how to make profit

Photograph what you love and learn to run a business that allows you to market your creativity.

Reviews

Célia Gomes
 

I loved this class! So inspirational and useful tips! Congratulations Vanessa. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! And thank you Creative Live for opportunity of watch the class for free. Célia Gomes, Portugal.

angela warmington
 

Great course. Full of great business tips and practices that are adaptable to your own personal style of business. She has such a passion and love for her work and it comes across very clearly as she teaches. I am new to wedding photography and am so glad I purchased this course!!

a Creativelive Student
 

This course is fantastic! Whether your new to the industry or been at it forever, there are amazing tips that can easily be implemented to improve your business. Vanessa lays everything out clearly. There were a number of things I had heard in the past, which is not a bad thing. This reinforced ideas and reminded me to work on things that I have been putting off. I highly recommend checking out this course with Vanessa Joy.