… look at them – all racing to have the biggest discount, the cheapest price …
Save 99% – only today (tomorrow and next week!)
So you are in, aren’t you… with a GREAT offer! On top of your discounted Christmas sessions of course! Because you know you have to be in that race… if you do not race.. you will loose the race all together?
And it is true – no race – no win… the problem is they are all racing to the bottom! It is like a popularity contest “I sold 60 Christmas minis” – well, that is… great, I think ..? But did you make a real profit – a profit that makes sense considering how many hours you worked to do this?
There is nothing wrong with choosing to be a high volume studio – if you are profitable and can keep it up all year round (I am not saying you can’t have fluctuation during seasons, because of course you have – but when the year is over, you should have had a fair salary all year round). In the end everything has to match up to your CODB (cost of doing business) – HOW you make those nice monies, doesn’t really matter, as long as you are not working your self to death and you can keep it going all year round.
It is no secret, I am a member of ASB – Anonymous Shoot & Burners (yes, just like AA – but for photographers, “I have now been burn free for 692 days”) – and two years ago, this time a year. I would have roughly 25 (!!!) sessions a week. Yesterday I had two reveal sessions (this is where the clients see and order their portraits) – I have had four in total the last 1½ week, the profit of those four was the same as I would have made of those 25 sessions. So not only did I work fewer hours for more money – but I was also able to give my clients so much more!
Two years ago: 25 clients – 25 photo sessions – 25 sessions edited – 25 uploads – 25 downloads, good luck and marry x-mas. Roughly 3 hours spent pr client (75 hours).
This year: 4 clients – 4 planning sessions, going over their needs and wishes and establishing a relation with the clients – 4 photo sessions, shooting to match their wishes they have made clear at the planning sessions – 4 sessions edited (do you think you pay just a little more attention to detail with 4 compared to 25?) – 4 reveal sessions where I help and guide the clients to get what they have told me they wish for, creating fabulous art for their walls, gorgeous keepsake albums. 4 orders – making sure the clients get their products are great quality, colors are spot on – and even gift-wrapping their Christmas gifts, if they wish me to do it. 4 pick ups going over their order with them. Roughly 8 hours spent pr client. (32 hours).
Which client do you think got the best deal? And how many of the clients in the first case do you think ended up with beautiful art for their homes? I know I am much prouder of what I deliver today, compared to the 7 years as a S&B – and I think I am giving the clients something much more valuable.
So should you never discount? Never do a sale of some sort? It is up to you, but if you do it, make sure you are not undermining your own brand, make sure you are profitable, and make sure it is a part of your marketing plan! And don’t do discount in the most busy time of the year, that just not that smart – lets race together – lets race to the top – lets give our clients the best of the best – and be profitable while we do it! And I promise you, the race to the top is less competitive – as the rest is racing to the bottom, faster and faster.