Does your business need a change?
I’ve heard a lot of photographers talk about their plans for their business in 2014, and many of them are making big changes to their business models. Are you one of the photographers this year who plan to make the switch from a “shoot & burn” model to selling products? Are you daunted by all the changes that go along with making the switch? Worried that you’ll lose your client base? Don’t know how to make the change?
If these are some of your concerns, you’ll find no shortage of advice online, and I want to help you sort through some of the noise, so today I’m reviewing a brand new educational tool called Shoot 2 Sale from wedding & portrait photographers Scarlett & Stephen.
Before they married, Scarlett & Stephen were each photographers using a shoot & burn business model, but knew they had to make a change to earn more money when they got married and merged their separate businesses into a single, 2-person business. They’ve taken their personal experiences (through education and trial-and-error) to create a 40-part lecture series designed for photographers who want to learn to do in-person sales.
Don’t be frightened by the idea of a 40-part lecture! The lectures are all very short (between about 40 seconds and 10-ish minutes), so it’s actually well-designed for people who want to go back and hear certain information again- you don’t have to scrub back and forth through a lecture to find what you wanted or sit and wait until they get to what you wanted to hear.
The lectures are interspersed with brief articles that underscore some of their main points, so it’s good for those types who like to switch things up. And, while some of the information in the lectures is visual, a lot of it you can listen to while doing other things (like editing!).
There were a few things I really liked about Scarlett & Stephen’s approach. I’ll give a rundown (including some of the things I mentioned above):
- Scarlett and Stephen are open and completely forthright about their previous sales numbers, and even show you comparisons from their invoices
- Brief lectures let you go at your own pace and let you easily find information that you want to hear again
- Useful business tools, including a sample order form spreadsheet (which is something I know I needed!)
- Links to pricing resources for those photogs who need pricing help
- One of the most affordable courses of its kind
- The tour of their in-home order appointment studio is fantastic, and will definitely make you want a similar space in your own home
- Scarlett and Stephen are personable, and the content is not too tightly-scripted, so it feels like a natural conversation and lets their personalities come through
- The information isn’t just for wedding photographers- it’s great for portrait, boudoir, or any photographic style where clients could potentially display products in their homes
Since I have already made the switch from shoot & burn to in-person sales, it was interesting to hear about the methods other photographers have for selling products to clients. I picked up quite a few pointers– there were some great ideas, plus it got me thinking of other small changes I could make to improve my client experience. Then, of course, there are some changes I won’t be making. For instance, though they mention using Preveal iPad app as a potential tool, they don’t use it. I’m a big supporter of Preveal, personally, and will certainly keep using it.
Some potential drawbacks:
- While their studio space is amazing, it’s out of reach for many (though they do discuss alternatives)
- A lot of the information is repeated, which could be great for those who are doing other things while listening, but could be annoying to others
If you’re a photographer who has thought about moving to in-person sales, this is a useful, affordable resource to educate yourself about making the change. It will get you excited about the possibilities (and the potential for a better income while shooting fewer sessions). Beyond the income, though, it really is about providing a service that our clients need (even if they don’t know yet that they need it). Prints on the wall, NOT discs in a drawer!
Have you tried this course or similar courses? What did you think? Are you considering switching your photography business model? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.