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Archive 2013 · The art of selling albums
  
 
LivLif
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p.2 #1 · p.2 #1 · The art of selling albums


jprezant wrote:
I'm XXX. All day. Every day.





Jan 02, 2013 at 10:25 PM
sherijohnson
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p.2 #2 · p.2 #2 · The art of selling albums


You definitely have to make the sale when the interest and intent is there. I don't sell one to every client, but I do have some special offers and people have been biting. It is my goal to get them to show off an album, as my samples have built up, more interest has been shown. I feel like I have great options that give variety in choices. I feel like a nice album with great images in it is considered one of the best marketing tools in the hands of your client as they show it off.


Jan 03, 2013 at 12:13 AM
Ghost
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p.2 #3 · p.2 #3 · The art of selling albums


Many photographers that I came across seems to contend in selling album/prints as an after thought. And they wonder why no one buys them at all. Incorporating album/prints in some of the packages one of the strategies. However what's more important is do you yourself believe in selling albums. Do you believe in images incarnate in physical prints?

I am asking this because I feel to successfully sell such items one must incorporate it into one's marketing language. The way you speak, the way you convey your photographic style in the form of deliverable must come together thus enabling the client to share that value.

Selling an item as a standalone addition seldom works. Integrate integrate integrate.



Jan 03, 2013 at 12:58 AM
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p.2 #4 · p.2 #4 · The art of selling albums


All of my packages come with albums. But not all come with the latest flush mount albums, some are traditional.


Jan 03, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Andrew Welsh
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p.2 #5 · p.2 #5 · The art of selling albums


interesting thread. I tend to see albums as a nice-to-have, but extra work. I have enough work.. so I only sell them to clients who are really interested. Only my top package has an album, but that might change. Lots of competing philosophies... I can earn more income from each event, but at the cost of more work.. and about half of my clients stretch their budget to simply hire me to begin with.


Jan 03, 2013 at 06:28 AM
TheGE
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p.2 #6 · p.2 #6 · The art of selling albums


It's all in the way it's offered, Brian. I'm reading where people say they couldn't sell an album when it was 50% of their coverage price, but if you present the offer as a tremendous value, this isn't a problem.

Andrew Welsh wrote:
I tend to see albums as a nice-to-have, but extra work. I have enough work.. so I only sell them to clients who are really interested


Here's how I see what you call the extra work. It's an easier sale than getting a booking. It usually doubles the average initial booking. It maximizes profits per client. To make more income I could book more weddings - but that's really the extra work because I'd have to sit down for an hour with potential clients whether they book me or not, then if they book I have to go travel to their wedding, photograph their weddings for hours on end, and then work on images to present. With album sales all I have to do is basically design the album.



Jan 04, 2013 at 04:00 PM
jbrandt378
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p.2 #7 · p.2 #7 · The art of selling albums


I agree with Andrew on this one. As I would love for each of my clients to have an album I am already stretching most of their budgets and I work hard enough as is. For the amount of work that it takes to design and proof an album with clients, it isn't really worth it financially for me. If they get one, great. If not oh well.


Jan 06, 2013 at 06:07 AM
G-Gore
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p.2 #8 · p.2 #8 · The art of selling albums


How about this a strategy of selling an album.

Have 3 packages: top tier with top quality albums and services for $XXXX, then middle tier with most of the services and a cheap album for $XXX, and finally basic one, with some services and no album for $XX (amount of XX's is not equal to amount of zeros). But the trick would be - no album = no disc with files. They could add a simple album to the lowest package and end up a bit cheaper then middle package, but with much less services.

This way the clients would be encouraged to buy the album - almost each time.



Jan 06, 2013 at 06:36 AM
tobicus
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p.2 #9 · p.2 #9 · The art of selling albums


Designing albums takes too much time for us...it's a separate aspect from our packages these days.


Jan 06, 2013 at 06:53 AM
 

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D. Diggler
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p.2 #10 · p.2 #10 · The art of selling albums


jbrandt378 wrote:
For the amount of work that it takes to design and proof an album with clients, it isn't really worth it financially for me.


+1

I'm always glad when they don't want an album.



Jan 06, 2013 at 07:22 AM
TTLKurtis
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p.2 #11 · p.2 #11 · The art of selling albums


You guys make this stuff far too complicated. It's not that hard, make an album worth buying, and price it so that it's profitable, and it's not terribly hard to sell them.


Jan 06, 2013 at 08:21 AM
SweetMk
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p.2 #12 · p.2 #12 · The art of selling albums


I read this thread last night. Very interesting. I have been comparing photography to a business I ran for over 10 years.

Why is photography different than engineering? When a customer wants a bridge, they have no interest in paying for the "design", they want the bridge. You can't drive over a concept, you need the hard product.

If the customer wants any widget, they could care less about the gas pains of developing the product, they want to pay for the product.

Sure, the customers wedding is unique, but, why would the customer want to pay for the photography, when all they want in the end is the pics?

The customer could care less about your travel expenses, could care less about your new lens purchase, could care less about your hours to complete the project.

What I have seen in this thread is photographers move these expenses to the forefront of what the customer sees.

Trust me, if an engineer tries to put those expenses in the front of a project, there is far less success in selling a project.

Bury the drill bit costs, bury the saw blade costs, sell the final product. Yea, the final product is expensive, but, at least the customer gets to pay for what they want, not what the photographer wants to charge for.

Am I misunderstanding photographers unique interest in developing pricing!??



Jan 06, 2013 at 06:26 PM
whtrbt7
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p.2 #13 · p.2 #13 · The art of selling albums


I thought my album pricing was on the ridiculous side but apparently not. The problem with albums is that they take time to assemble and requires effort to slap a series of photos from the wedding into a cohesive album. For this reason, clients get 0 input towards the album's content design and only get to choose a cover/materials. I price all my albums at 800% profit because for the time to assemble the album, it's time that could have gone towards another wedding. That said, I only have 2 sample albums and really don't care much about albums unless the price is paid. In terms of value for the album, it's actually quite high but we are in the business of "Photography". We are not in the "Album printing" business.


Jan 06, 2013 at 10:35 PM
SweetMk
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p.2 #14 · p.2 #14 · The art of selling albums


whtrbt7 wrote:
but we are in the business of "Photography". We are not in the "Album printing" business.



That, in fact, was never understood by either of my daughters. Photography is an easy concept for a photographer to understand, but, a very tough concept for a customer to understand. The customer envisions pictures.

I am learning a lot from this thread, thanks for the effort.



Jan 06, 2013 at 10:59 PM
whtrbt7
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p.2 #15 · p.2 #15 · The art of selling albums


Yeah, I like albums but my main business is not to sell physical product. That's why all my packages are bare bones and only come with thumb drives. I tell clients that the most important thing are their images, not physical photos. I also archive their photos for a lifetime. If they do want physical product, I charge a large chunk of money to have them made properly because I do care about the images but the clients have to care enough about their images to get a luxury album or canvas to pay for the privilege to have a quality one done.


Jan 06, 2013 at 11:43 PM
Andrew Welsh
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p.2 #16 · p.2 #16 · The art of selling albums


I've also heard counter-arguments that the photos have no meaning unless they exist in some physical printed form. Sitting on a disk or thumb drive means they won't be viewed in 3-5 years. At least an album stands a chance, and prints / canvases will definitely be displayed. The root of portrait and wedding photography is portrait paintings... intended to be displayed in a home, hanging on a wall.


Jan 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
ckhagen
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p.2 #17 · p.2 #17 · The art of selling albums


I think something that everyone needs to keep in mind is that you don't have to sell the nicest albums, when your pricing is in the average range. It breeds this ugly beast of selling them for barely profitable prices. I agree with Todd's range of 4-6X as it's a proven profitable range, not just some random number that the client might pay. Many will say "but my client won't pay $X for an album!"... so sell a cheaper album. If your clients aren't financially prepared to pay a sustainably profitable price for the book you're offering, the book is too expensive and you should be offering a less expensive book. If my clients can't afford a $10k album, I shouldn't be selling a Musee for $500 above cost. I should just choose a book to sell that's more in line with the rest of my clients budget.

Another huge mistake is not charging for your design time. Just because you're designing it yourself, that doesn't make it "free". If you're not designing it yourself, that needs to be figured into your cost for the book.



Jan 07, 2013 at 05:23 PM
ozpall
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p.2 #18 · p.2 #18 · The art of selling albums


bringing this back,
so most or all of my weddings are shoot and burn, I would like to include a couple of albums in my packages but my prices are in the average range, my clients don't or can't spend $xx for an album, I want to offer them the chance to get an album as i believe our work it is to be display not sitting in a disc or thumb drive.
so the question is where to get a nice looking book done that fits most average budgets?



Jun 06, 2013 at 04:04 AM
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