Convert Volume Clients to Portrait Clients
One of the things we're going to touch on in this portion, is the importance of converting high volume clients into custom portrait clients. So, let's just play a game of made up numbers from a hypothetical high volume account. If I were to land a brand new hypothetical account that had 110 teams with 12 kids a team, that's 1,320 kids. Right, now our workflow, the stuff that we know, we're going to get about an 89 percent order rate, but just for fun, let's say we only do 80 percent. So 80 percent of those kids order, we're hitting 1,056 orders, okay. Now if we hit that 26 dollar average, that is going to bring me 27,456 dollars. Gross sales, I still got to pay taxes, I still got to pay labor, I still got to produce, but that's a pretty good day, right? Like, who's going to be mad about a 27 thousand dollar day? Here's the problem, if that's all you do, you're leaving a ton on the table. My goal is to convert five percent of our high volume clients into traditional portrait sales. Five...
percent of 1,056 is 52.8, so lets round it up, we'll say 53. If I get 53 clients into my studio, at an 800 dollar average I'll have another 42,400 dollars, in sales. Five percent should be an obtainable number. That's not saying I'm converting 70 percent, 80 percent, even half, five percent. I could dump another 40 grand in to my bank account. That's huge, that'll take the total revenue to 69,856 dollars on this account. This is where the real money is. That's why I said I don't just want to be a volume guy, I want to be doing it all the time. We go out and we shoot families in October, I'll shoot five, six, seven, eight families back to back to back to back to back on a Saturday. I don't really shoot a lot of weddings in October anymore because I'm making six thousand dollars shooting families, and I don't have to shave, and I don't have to wear a tie, and I work from ten to four, and I'm home, and I'm not crabby the next day. I don't have that wedding hangover, it's a great life. So don't leave the money on the table. You have to know that shooting volume photography should not only be a profitable endeavor, it should be a key part of your client acquisition. So knowing how to pick up these clients is a big deal. First thing you've got to do, got to have a great product on the volume side. If your experience isn't great, if the imagery is bad, if the color is off, if the turn-around time is too long, if the orders are wrong, if any of that stuff isn't executed really well, it's hard to get someone to trust you to do a custom job. "You can't even get my button and my eight by ten right. "Why would I hire you for a thousand dollars, "if you can't get that right?" You have to have the skills to be able to photograph other things than just volume. I think that it's important that I don't think that photographers should shoot everything, every job. I don't think that everyone can be amazing at everything, but I do believe that photographers should master much more than one genre. I think that you should be able to photograph more than just high school seniors. I think that you should be able to photograph more than just weddings. So, having that skill and that practice in place is the next thing you have to do. Alright, make sure that your clients know that you provide these other services. If people don't know that you also photograph families, who's going to come to you? Like if they literally don't know that that's a service that you do, you're not on their radar. I think that it's incredible that like, I talk to people all the time about the work that we do. Everywhere, and like not just volume, not just families. I talk about it, to everyone I meet. I don't want you to have any, I don't want people to not know what I can offer them. We talk headshots, we talk about everything. Get the word out, let people know. You have to stay in touch with them. We use constant contact, some social media. I'm not as good at social media as I wish I was. I wish that I was better at staying in touch with my clients and it's something we are actively working on. But you have to stay connected with them. This is a part that's kind of a fine line to walk, and I don't know how to tell you what the appropriate amount is. I can tell you what is too much, but a lot of times, each client, you don't want to be aggressive, or overbearing, or annoying, but you don't want to be forgetful, overlooked, and not thought of. So it's this fine line of how much contact is the right amount, and I don't know if there is a right answer, because I think that varies from person to person as well. But reaching out and keeping that connection is the first step, well I shouldn't say that. Having a product is the first step, but it's one of the first steps you need to do to actually get them to book, just reach out, talk to them. I tell people all the time when they come in and they're picking up orders, and they're going through stuff, I will say all the time, "Yep, and here's my card. "You should come on in and do a family portrait. "When's the last time you had an updated family portrait?" We ask them, and it's just we start that. I don't wait for them to see my pictures on the wall, get in their car and think, "Oh gee, "we haven't had a family portrait done in 15 years." I'll be the spark, I'll start the conversation, and if that helps me be the guy they think of, when they do it, that's great for my business. Keep them up to speed with everything. So keep updating, keep posting. We try to do like cap and gown updates on our social media. We try to let people know when we're shooting the high volume accounts. We want them to be aware of other things. And incentivize them to come back. There's no problem in running a deal to get a customer back. I don't think that you should always run deals all the time, for everyone, because that's just your price, if everything is always on sale for 30 percent off. But I don't think there's anything wrong with bringing people in off of incentives.