Let’s be honest: the Holidays are a great sales opportunity for professional photographers!
To boost your profits, here are several practical tips on how to plan, market and sell 2022 Holiday sessions.
Each year, Prisca’s and Gabriele’s diaries are full of clients who choose their unique style and professionalism for their Holiday photos.
So here are 5 tips for Christmas Sessions
- Plan in advance. Way, way in advance
Defining the project a few months earlier is important when you’re organizing a quick sale event like the Holidays.
If you’re thinking “I’m already behind” – you’re right. However, here we have lots of suggestions you can still put into practice; the rest will be helpful next year!
Starting early gives you enough time to best organize your appointments. Our photographers suggest you schedule a separate time just for Holiday sessions, taking photos on a handful of dates and allowing yourself enough time for post-production and for the creation and delivery of any products.
What’s the best way to organize Holiday sessions, especially in 2022?
It depends on the type of settings you offer, the dates, and the time you can allocate for this event.
Prisca, for example, groups all Holiday sessions in 10 days in November. Gabriele, on the other hand, is going for something totally new this year by taking his Holiday sessions outdoors. Both offer 30-minute photo sessions. The price, though, is not vastly different from that of “standard” sessions.
Another suggestion is to have a clear idea of the photography setup months prior to the Holiday sessions. This way, you can find the decorations required at very low prices and entice your clients with a preview.
- Build a relationship of trust with your clients
“We’re always searching for new clients, but we must first of all work hard to keep those who understand the value of the service we provide.” These words from Gabriele Zani made us think. We don’t talk enough of the importance of building an honest relationship with one’s clients, regardless of the profession. In fact, 80–90% of Gabriele’s and Prisca’s Holiday sessions are booked by loyal clients who come back every year.
Let’s always keep in mind that having the trust of clients means economic security.
How do you build client loyalty?
By making them understand the real value of what you do. This can be achieved through good communication (personal and distinctive) or by facilitating early booking of next year’s sessions.
Prisca, for example, opens bookings gradually, giving priority to clients who took part in a photo session the previous year.
Let’s now move on to another key aspect of Holiday sessions: marketing.
- Set up effective marketing
Your Holiday sessions should be marketed via a number of channels, according to your audience: i.e. direct contacts (via WhatsApp), newsletter and social media.
WhatsApp is fast and direct, suitable for contacting loyal clients or those who have asked to be informed about the 2022 sessions.
We recommend starting with a standard message and customizing it according to the recipient. If last year Laura thanked you for the extraordinary experience she had, remind her of it in your message. If little Thomas had tons of fun last time, tell his parents that this year it’ll be twice as fun! This activity requires time to plan, but it means that your clients will come to realize that they’re not just a number in your diary.
A newsletter is the fastest tool to reach your whole client database. The problem with emails is that not everybody reads them, so make sure you resend the newsletter to those who haven’t opened it. To save time, all these steps can be automated. How? Find out in our e-book “Marketing Automation for Professional Photographers,” available to download in the Reserved Area of the Album Epoca website.
Social networks are the main channels to generate interest and entice new clients, via posts or sponsored campaigns. We have explored this subject in depth in the e-book “How to get new clients through social media,” available in the Reserved Area of the Album Epoca website, in the Marketing Materials section.
Prisca’s advice on marketing is to brand the Holiday event to make it unique and recognizable. She called her event “Merry Prisca”, and she promotes it every year on her social channels. This way, her followers understand the post at first glance because... repeating always helps!
Holiday photo sessions can be very profitable, so make sure you invest time and money to market them as best you can. Using stories or short reels would be a great marketing idea. This type of post is more visible thanks to the Instagram algorithm, as it attracts more attention vs. a static image.
Prisca created a fabulous video for the Merry Prisca 2019 event, from which you can take some ideas.
And precisely because videos generate more interaction, Gabriele’s marketing via social networks is mainly through Instagram stories. He’s also created highlighted stories, so that his followers can view them even after the standard 24 hours have expired. Why not have a quick look at his profile!
- Offer packages in line with your clients’ requests
Both Prisca and Gabriele offer packages that include the session fee plus one or more printed products.
Specifically, Gabriele builds 2 or 3 packages that include Event Books, calendars (single, 12 month or desk versions) and cards. The options for his clients are limited to one or more of these packages, but they can add products on top if needed. For him, the best time to upsell is right after the photo session.
Prisca, instead, offers a single package that includes the cost of the session plus products totaling up to €100. After the photo session, she allows time for her clients to leaf through a brochure with all the products on offer. The brochure also shows prices, sizes and color variants selected especially by Prisca. This type of package allows her to obtain a higher profit vs. the agreed initial price. As a result, this is an excellent way to upsell and boost sales.
- Don’t represent the Holidays, let the Holidays represent you
Build photographic settings consistent with your style. Often the colors and symbols of the Holidays take over the photographic style, which loses its identity. Both Prisca and Gabriele prefer clean settings that don’t distract from the sitter, who always needs to be the key subject.
For the past few years, Prisca has opted for renting props and is now collaborating with other merchants in her area. We suggest you do the same, wherever possible, to reduce what are generally very high costs.
Gabriele prefers dynamic settings that allow him to create stories. In fact, 85% of his clients purchase an Album he offers at a discounted price after the photo session. Another excellent upselling practice to take inspiration from!
So far, we’ve given you tips on how to organize and sell your Holiday sessions; now it’s time to suggest which products to offer your clients to increase your profits: Event Book 25x25 cm (10x10”), 5 spreads (10 pages), Canvas prints 30x40 cm(12x16”) and 50x70 cm (20x28”) and Ultralight Panels 30x40 cm (12x16”) and 50x70 cm (20x28”), all products included in our Holiday offering.
Don’t miss this opportunity to boost your sales: discover the Holiday campaign.