With so much unknown today, you are still in charge!
We already know the news, resulting in the photography industry facing the hardship of a national state of emergency. At Zookbinders, we also relate heavily to your times of uncertainty and stress. However, the positive news is we are in this together. We are facing adversity and virtually embracing each other. This is the optimal time where we should share ideas with each other on building up business for photographers during COVID-19.
How to organize your studio – and make money!
Duron Studio Photography in Skokie, Illinois posted on his social media recently that he is doing a studio clean out with the unexpected downtime. He is also offering his clients a “one time offer” for a chance to buy all their negatives and/or digital images for a discounted rate. On top of that, the studio is offering to convert the negatives to digital files for their customers.
This idea would not only impact your studio by organizing and decluttering past negatives and files, but gives your clients a chance to buy their negatives (physical or digital). It also offers the service of converting the physical negatives to files, so the clients can enjoy the images again and again.
How customers can help you – without stepping into a studio
J&A Photography in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania announced on their social media recently that they made the difficult decision to not take sessions during this time. However, they are asking their customers to help the studio in 3 profound ways:
- Engage with the studio on social media – The “likes”, “shares” and “comments” go a long way
- Write a review – the reviews greatly help the studio! Leaving a review on Facebook, Google, Yelp, or WeddingWire (with each linked for the customer to easily click on) is awesome
- Purchase a gift card – this is the single most helpful thing any customer can do. Make it easy for the customer and just create a link or button in the email for the customer to click and purchase easily.
Can you image how strong your business could become if, after this all over, your social media and reviews online were filled with past customers raving about your studio? How cool would it be make money now, and guarantee clients later with gift cards? Make your studio an aggressive goal for the number of gift cards you want to sell, and (virtually) tell your staff!
How to best offer discounts during an uncertain time
Not every studio can afford discounts, especially now, but if you are able to than it could help create good buzz for your brand. It could also give your studio a boost to know that future appointments are waiting when this is over.
For instance, Dollface Studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is offering 10% off any photo session if you book your session by the end of April. You can do the photo shoot at anytime, you just need to pay by the end of April.
Caitlin’s Creations in San Antonio, Texas is postponing any price increases and offering a 19% discount on any new print orders. The discount is applied towards new orders of at least $100 for: albums, wall art, and prints. She’s also recommending to her clients to pre-reserve a session to lock in current pricing, book your next event to lock in current pricing, place an order, or buy gift cards.
Whether your studio decides to do a discount on future bookings, album or print orders, or negatives and digital files – customers appreciate the financial help to acquire something they know will make them happy. In return, the industry appreciates building up business for photographers!
Flexible date bookings and looking to the future
TWA Photographic Artists in Lombard, Illinois is offering Flexible Date Bookings to all new weddings booked at TWA. This means that should the couple need to change their wedding date, they can do so without incurring any fees or price increases.
A big change we will see with new customers booking for the rest of 2020, 2021, and beyond is their apprehension on retainers, deposits, and the flexibility of the studio in case something like this would ever happen again. Therefore, get creative, be flexible, and come up with solutions that put the couple’s mind at ease.
The photography industry will come back – and if your calendar wasn’t already book for late-summer, fall, and winter than there is no doubt you can have more than enough work now!
The current brides will most likely either switch to a Friday or Sunday, or an open Saturday if available. Studios will boom again, but in the meantime we need to keep building up business for photographers during Covid-19 to keep the engine churning.