The fall season is upon us! The temperature is dropping, kids are back to school, and baseball teams are handing in their uniforms. This can mean only one thing… a busy time for school and sports photographers.
The fall season is bound to bring photographers a huge workload filled with school portraits, football leagues, and plenty of large orders. But are you, the photographer, maximizing your highest potential revenue this season?
This will be my 9th fall season hammering out football teams like it's my job. Oh wait… it is my job! Out of all the sports I shoot, I see football as one of the most demanding yet profitable areas of my business. We shoot 10 teams in a day, which comes out to about 400 players. The best part? These parents LOVE pictures! They want to show off their pride and joy to the world and let everyone see how tough they look in their uniforms.
For the last few seasons I averaged a profit of $20.00 per order shooting football teams. Frankly, I was pretty happy with this. But what if I could make more? When I go to ImagingUSA, I see new products every year that are guaranteed to sell. We've got a favorite of mine, "Make-a-ball", an expensive but awesome product, and Live Portrait where your photos come to life. Or the latest and greatest, "Special Event Badges", the first light up ID badges to hit the sports photography market.
These products are all phenomenal, but they each have a small flaw that makes them a tad bit less important than what I'm about to introduce. These products are all inconsistent. They do their job well and they help win over leagues, but they don't do a great job of increasing my average sale on a consistent basis.
Focus on digital to create customer connections and increase revenue
Let's talk about digital! The millennials are upon us and demand something different than parents 10 years ago. Remember how I mentioned parents wanting to show off their football player this season? How do you think they are going to do this? Picture frame on the mantle? Bust out their wallet and unravel a slew of photos? I'm going to take a guess and tell you that this probably isn't the case. These parents want something easy to view, share and distribute to family and friends without needing to purchase more prints. So why not give it to them and make more money while you do it!
For about $1 - $3.00 extra per package, you can give parents something that is valuable to them and something that could be even more valuable to you in the future… a digital image sent and stored on an app in their phone. By including a CaptureLife digital image in your higher-end packages, you will see an increase in customers choosing and paying for these packages. If marketing is done right, parents will notice the additional value of a digital image that is sent directly to their phone.
Now here is the important stuff: how you will make more money and increase your average sale! In a hypothetical situation, you would include a CaptureLife in 3 of your 5 packages. Let's say you charge $40.00 for package A, $35.00 for package B and $30.00 for package C. The other two packages are in the $20 – $25.00 range. Right now, your customer sees the lowest 2 packages as the most economical packages because it gives them everything they expect – prints.
But when you decide to include a "free" digital image in A, B and C, this isn't just an added value that gives them an extra print that they will just throw in a drawer with the rest of the photos. This is a product they can share, show and keep close to them at all times. So if it costs you $1.00, you could mark up your packages $2 to $3.00, make an extra buck plus encourage your customer to increase their package selection to something actually worth buying, making you even more money on every single order.
I don't know about you, but I'm planning on making my average jump up a few dollars this football season. Let me know if you want to join in!
About the Author
Zach Hahnen is a digital-first photographer and co-owner of All Pro Photo, Inc. sports photography, and Customer Success Manager at CaptureLife.