How to talk about products? In a nutshell, in your own voice, with conviction!
Let's start by saying there are three aspects to this:
- Talking about products.
- Sharing about products.
- Believing in products.
Talking about products
We'll be brief because we've covered this in a separate article, about how to sell more without being "pushy" or "sales-y". Photographers who love selling probably don't need our help, so it's addressed mainly to those who're shy about it — which is possibly most of us.
In that article we discuss how to build "talking about products" into your process. Developing a product line that you love, creating studio samples that reflect it … and making sure that your clients get to see them! Showing your work in products online. Setting expectations about product sales. Talking about them throughout your interactions with clients. Check the article out — there's a lot of detailed content, mainly about albums, but it holds true for all product sales.
Here's what not to do — just publish a pricelist and expect people to buy! Stephen has an excellent little post about the problem with pricelists.
Believing in products
You'd think this isn't worth mentioning. You'd think it would be a no-brainer for anyone who’s invested in studio photography to have their images professionally printed and presented so that they can truly enjoy and share them — rather than flicking through them occasionally on their cold, hard phone or tablet.
But it is worth mentioning because so often it's the photographer who lacks belief, or at least a strategy for selling products. We suspect this is particularly true for wedding photographers, who've too often come to believe that their customers only want "the files" — that the photographer's products are way too expensive, and that they can always "do it themselves".
So here are a few reasons to "believe"!
- Professional pride — seeing your work presented at its best.
- "Doing it yourself" generally leads to mediocre results, and you'll be judged by them. At best it's a lottery.
- Products increase your profit and maximise the return on every job.
- Products aren't a hassle these days. Queensberry can do all the heavy lifting, from receiving orders and payment to drop-shipping to your customer.
- Stand-out products move you up-market, and help boost all your prices.
- Products are excellent "silent salesmen". They encourage word-of-mouth, and those referrals come to you knowing what you do, having seen your products, and probably knowing how much you charge.
Sharing about products
It used to be that the products themselves were your only silent salesmen. But now every happy client can help you by sharing on social media. Let's count the ways…
- Hopefully you're already using Workspace to share images with clients. Learning their favourites. Getting sign-off on their album. But are you encouraging your clients to share their image gallery? And their album design?
- Share things yourself on Facebook and Instagram — a few images, product shots etc. Tag your clients.
- Share an "I'm excited" photo when the courier delivery arrives.
- Shoot a "reveal" video when you unpack the delivery … to check it before the client receives it — and oh, it looks so good.
- Ask clients how they felt when they received their purchase. Ask if you can publish their comments. If you can ask online, their friends will see. Re-post yourself where possible.
- How about a Zoom call where you can record their reaction and enthusiasm? Edit and publish it on social media.
- Whenever you get positive feedback, ask for an endorsement.
- Don't be shy — film yourself expressing how you feel about what you do and what you offer. So easy with your phone and some sort of tripod. Even hand-held, selfie style. Or with a friend helping out — although personally that makes us feel self-conscious. Don't fret about looking "unprofessional" — lockdown has made even the pros look amateurish.
- Add your social media feeds to your web page, or link to them.
Hopefully there's plenty in there you'll be comfortable trying, if you're not doing it already!
You'll need permission to share of course, but most people are happy to play along. A Queensberry, producing thousands of albums over the course of a year, we rarely get asked about confidentiality. And the few who do ask are almost always celebs.
Over time, if you talk about products, and share the love like this, you won’t feel the need to be "pushy" about selling your albums, wall art or prints — or at least it won't be a big deal — because your clients will expect them of you, having seen how much your past clients, and their friends, valued theirs.
You'll find much more about selling products and building a profitable studio in our downloadable book, Love's Not Enough.