Whether you’re ready or not, the holiday season is here (it may actually have been here back in August when we saw Christmas decorations at the store!). With it comes what we’re officially dubbing the #SeasonToSell. Selling your work, that is. And that means all kinds of tips, tricks and tools when it comes to all things gift-giving related.
You may already be off to a great start with sales all set to go out. Great! Or, you might already be feeling behind-the-ball in terms of getting organized to help line your pockets a bit more at the end of the year. No problem. Either way, the tips below will help you get even more out of the holidays this year, and beyond.
Step 1: The Offer
If your inbox is anything like ours, it’s overflowing with promotions and discounts on a daily (if not hourly) basis — emails that you mean to get to, but never really do. But, the holidays change all that. That’s when the good deals start rolling in. And it’s when you have a reason to take advantage of them. Well, you’re not alone. Your clients are experiencing the same thing which means it’s also time for you to pull out the deals and discounts that really wow your clients. Here are some suggestions:
1. Coupons and Packages
Everyone likes a coupon or a good deal on a package. There are several ways to do it:
As a flat dollar amount or percentage off…
“30% off all prints and products”
As a “spend and get”…
“Spend $100 and get $20 off”
“20% off your first order over $150”
As a package…
“Buy two prints, get one free”
“Buy 1 print, get a free download”
For even better results, you can also limit the number of uses or the length of the promotion…
“First 50 people to purchase prints will receive 25% off their entire order”
“48 Hours Only – $50 off every purchase of $200 or more”.
Pro tip: Try out a few different offers over the course of the weeks leading up to the holidays. See which is most successful (remember: not just from a flat sales perspective, but also from a profit perspective!) and then use that one to nab all the last minute shoppers.
If you offer any sort of portrait session, mini-sessions are a must this season. A mini session is just a condensed portrait session usually guaranteeing a specific number of prints. They’re a low cost way for you to fit in a lot of clients in a short timespan. Plus, they give people a way to try out your services for a lower price — clients who might book you for a full session next year!
Here’s how you can advertise it:
“$250 mini-session | November 15 | Brooklyn, New York | 30 images in 30 minutes |
Limited Availability ~ Book Now!”
3. Limited Edition Prints
Scarcity sells and drives up the perceived value of your products. Time to dig through your archive, sign and number a collection of prints and add even more value to your work.
4. Discount on services
Maybe you don’t sell prints or do portrait sessions. This doesn’t mean there aren’t any sales offers for you to run. Have any clients you work with regularly? Offer them a discount on a future shoot if they book by the end of the year. Or, let them know you’ll throw in some additional services for a discounted price (image tagging? re-touching?). Dig through your client list and see what “add on” services you offered that might appeal to them again.
Step 2: Get The Word Out
Having a great offer is pointless without a marketing strategy. Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to promote your work and services in this day and age. Here are some ideas to get you started:
5. Social Media
Let’s just start with the obvious. Social media offers up so many great opportunities to get the word out to a large audience quickly and efficiently. The key? Use images! Whatever your offer is, create a clean, easy to read image-based promo to engage with your audience. Make sure the file is sized appropriately and then post away. Whether you use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, SnapChat, LinkedIn, or something else, don’t forget the “social” aspect. Offer deals that play into this. For example, add a kicker for people who share or refer their friends to you.
6. On Your Website
Social media is a great place to start, but don’t forget sales are also an opportunity to drive traffic directly to your website — where you can really show off your work. Consider doing a “holiday sale takeover” on your homepage. There you can create an image that advertises your sale that people will see from the get-go (Pro Tip: With PhotoShelter templates Sonnet, Promenade, Horizon, Downtown, and Marquee, you can just create a promo image that you upload to a gallery and feature right on your homepage.)
You can also create a custom page and add it to your website navigation. Just call it “Holiday Discount” or “SALE”. You could then add your promo image or describe the offer directly on the page.
And, don’t lose the people who come just to see your sale. They may not buy now, but they could be potential customers (or referrers) in the future. Add an embed code for a newsletter signup and build up your newsletter or e-promo list! (Pro Tip: For more insights on email marketing, check out our guide here.)
7. On your Blog
Blog about your the discounts you’re offering & inspire with gift ideas for the holidays. Write some to clients explaining the different products you offer and how they can be used (not everyone knows the difference between a giclee and an acrylic print). Don’t forget to link back to your website!
8. Partner Up
Make 1+1 add up to 3. Find other businesses in your area you can cross-market your prints & services with. Offer to photograph a local business in exchange for advertising in their store, or partner up with a designer who does the ubiquitous holiday cards. If you do portraits, find a stylist or makeup artist and give an incentive for people to book you together. Whatever it is, make sure it benefits everyone.
Step 3: Make It Personal
9. Snail mail
Drop a promo for your best clients or previous promo takers in the mail and include info on your holiday discount. A handwritten “Hope to see you again this year!” or personal note is a nice touch.
10. Give your audience an inside look
#bts (behind the scenes) is a huge crowd pleaser that is becoming incrisingly popular. People love seeing/hearing what goes into the making of a photograph or shoot. Giving an inside look or writing a story in the caption is an easy way to engage with your audience and personalize your imagery.
11. Give away free stuff
Give your clients something tangible, and make it a surprise. If they bought prints, frame one of them and send it for free. If they paid for a service, have a few small prints made and drop them in the mail with a short thank you note. A small gesture or an inexpensive frame can go a long way and create a loyal client who recommends you again and again.
To learn more what else you can do to increase your sales this holiday season, check out our list of resources packed with tips to help you sell more.