Photo Albums are a great addition to your bottom line and nobody is a better ambassador for your business than a happy bride with a professional wedding album in her hands. That said, sometimes the endless waiting for clients to pick out photos, the designing and subsequent revisions can make even the optimists among us want to shake their heads. Here’s some tips to help you dodge the headaches and keep your business moving in the right direction.
1. Keep it simple
There’s a dizzying array of albums on the market today but that doesn’t mean you have to offer every style, size and color. Whatever you decide to sell you must have a solid sample to put in your client’s hands. You can’t expect your clients to invest in an album if you won’t. (see our website for studio sample album policy) If you’re just getting started, a 75-image 10×10 Lustre Book with a leather spine cover is a solid option. From there, you can offer upgrades like a larger 12×12 album or an acrylic cover. Add a pair of 6×6 copies to your sample set for more upsell options. You can afford to set a fairly aggressive retail price for the parent copies as all the heavy lifting is already done. All you have to do is check one box on the order to add them.
2. Sell by the image, not by the page
When a client who has a 15-page album included in their package comes back to you weeks later with 172 images she wants in her album, the conversation can only go south from there and you become the “bad guy”. You’ll have to tell her to cut down her picks, or that you’ll have to charge more for her “included” album or you’ll wind up jamming all 172 images onto 15 pages and have the end product look terrible. Any way you slice it, you have an unhappy customer on your hands. A better idea is to include a 75-image album in the package. There’s no guessing or misunderstandings about how many images can fit into a 75-image album. Set the right expectations from the start by telling her she can add images at $X per image beyond the included 75, and that as she adds images, you’ll add more pages. Suggest that “most of my brides usually end up with 90-100 images in their album” to help set the table for up-sell.
3.Insist on speed
Who decided that allowing clients months or even years just to get their album order in was an acceptable workflow? You wouldn’t bring your car in for an oil change and say “I’ll be back in six months to pick it up”. Don’t stand for it! Prolonging your time to completion hurts sales as clients become less and less interested in buying more from you. Additionally, the bride whose wedding was 9 months ago and still doesn’t have an album isn’t likely to be your best referral source–even if ultimately it was she who was dragging her feet. Zookbinders Selection Service takes the stress out of choosing the best album images for your clients. Ask clients to approve their selections in one week so you can get on with the album design and set the right expectation. It also pays off as another way you can differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack by becoming the photographer who gets albums in the hands of her clients within two months of their event date. Learn more about Selection service.
4. Outsource design
If you are honest with yourself, you could probably come up with a half dozen things your time is better devoted to than designing albums. How about maintaining your social media presence, networking with other vendors and referral partners or just spending more time with family? A clean, contemporary design from Zookbinders only costs about $50-$75 for a 75-image design and you’ll have it ready to show your client in just a few days.
5. Don’t get ahead of their budget
Keep album pricing in line with your coverage prices–particularly if your albums are offered a la carte. For example, if you charge $1,800 for wedding day coverage + files, you’ll probably have a hard time getting anyone to bite on a 100 image Zook Book with all the bells and whistles that you’ll need to retail for around $1,200. Instead, look at less costly options that you can retail for $600 or $700 staying more in line with your coverage rates.