Guest post from Jennifer Lynn of Jennifer Lynn Photography:
When I opened my studio in early 2009, I was offering almost every product on earth to my clients after their session. From their online gallery, they could purchase anything their heart desired, and orders ranged anywhere from $50 – $200.
Since I was offering so many products (480, to be exact), I felt like I needed a sample of each to show my clients when they came to visit the studio. I had every size Photo Print known to man on the walls, plus tons of other wall decor items, photo books, albums, and gifts for families to look at before purchasing.
Even though I had a steady stream of clients, had a huge selection of products, and was priced moderately for our area, I felt like I was struggling to pay the bills. What the heck?!
Last year, I decided to make a change, and I completely changed my pricing and my studio design. I stripped the studio of all prints, furniture, and accessories, and then slowly added back only the items that were necessary for client comfort.
We redecorated the studio very sparingly with conversation pieces and antiques, and a limited number of product samples. The only thing we put on the walls were the products I actually wanted my clients to purchase, like mounted prints and Canvas Gallery Wraps (each in a limited amount of size options).
I went from trying to sell from a 480-piece product line to one with just 40 pieces I have a philosophy that if you give a customer three tiers of products from which to choose, they’ll choose the middle option most often. So, I divided my printing options into three tiers, and made sure that each one was made up of amazing, high quality products.
For prints, I offer (a) Standard prints up to 8x10”, (b) Eight sizes of Mounted prints, (c) Eight sizes of Canvas Gallery Wraps. For Albums, I now offer (a) A paper-cover book, (b) A hardcover layflat option, and (c) A leather layflat album.
A key piece of making this work is to price what you are worth. My pricing did increase when I made these changes (it hadn’t in the years prior). I found that my new clients appreciate the improved experience I can offer them, and they value my work even more so than they may have in the past.
Downsizing my product options for my clients (and redesigning my studio accordingly) was the absolute best thing I could have done for my business. Now that the studio is clean, airy, and inviting, I feel like I can offer my clients more of a boutique studio experience…and they LOVE it!
The moral of the story is that the more choices you give your clients, the more confused they can become. As a photographer and studio owner, it’s my job to help them decide what they need in their home to keep these memories alive. The easier I can make that for them, the better.