The following is an excerpt from my forthcoming e-book - Advanced Sales for Wedding Photographers. The book will focus on getting photographers to take a holistic approach to sales starting with their presentation and ending at their pitch. This is the first chapter, that emphasizes the importance of sales in the wedding business.
In the last book we tried to make sales a little less intimidating for photographers. It isn’t enough to not be frightened by sales, successful wedding photographers need to embrace sales and their identity as salespeople.
Like it or not, the moment you put out your shingle as a wedding photographer you became a businessperson. That means it isn’t just your job to take pictures, it’s your job to keep the lights on, make sure everyone gets paid, manage customers and a thousand and one other things that make sure that business can survive.
So why are sales important? The answer seems obvious. Sales are the lifeblood of every company; Lexus sells cars, Starbucks sells coffee and Apple sells computers. Why should wedding photography be any different?
The fundamental problem of wedding photography is scalability. Scalability is the ability for a business to grow and expand to meet demand. Throughout most of the business world bigger is better, more is better but the same does not necessarily hold true for wedding photographers.
Did you ever wonder how Apple computers because so successful selling songs for 99 cents? It’s because once the groundwork has been laid out it takes virtually no more efort to sell a billion songs than it does to sell a thousand. In fact, various factors (economies of scale and the ability to amortize production costs over millions of transactions) mean that it’s even better for software businesses to move large volumes.
The opposite is true for wedding photography.
Wedding photography has incredibly limited scalability. There are 52 weekends in a year and most of the weddings are crowded into less than half of those from May to September (at least here in New England). The practical effect is a low and definite ceiling for growing your business as a photographer by adding more weddings onto your calendar. Additionally, with every new client you’re investing time and energy into creating what is essentially brand new product. For many photographers, this means that it’s hard to find new efficiencies with greater volume the way it is for retail giants or software companies.
If you can’t build your business outward, you have to build it upward.
Without the option of increasing volume, you need to increase their average sales with every client. To do that, you can’t simply sell on price or hope that your photos will speak for themselves, you need to cultivate the right sales tools and techniques that go above and beyond for your business. In the following chapters, we’ll discuss how to present yourself, your work and your business to clients in order to maximize your revenue.
Are you ready to learn what it will take to bring your business to the next level?
Advanced Sales for Wedding Photographers and it's companion Basic Sales for Wedding Photographers, will be available in late February for purchase on www.amazon.com