Hate in-person sales? This photographer shows you how to sell albums online through ShootProof – TONS of them! See how she does it… (Featuring ASHLEY WILBUR)
“I love my albums. I have them all over the house.”
This is how photographer Ashley Wilbur describes her albums – albums she not only sells, but uses for her own family’s photographic stories.
“One of my fondest memories is going to my grandmother’s house as a little kid, sitting in her office, and flipping through all the old family photo books,” Ashley reminisces. Those warm memories are what drive Ashley’s passionate advocacy for printed images, and especially albums.
“In five, 10, 15, even 30 years, my clients’ kids are going to flip through those books and be like, OH. That means something to me.”
Hands On from Day One
Ashley’s passion is her motivation, but she’s developed a measured formula for evoking in her clients that same passion.
“I don’t have time for in-person sales sessions,” Ashley admits. “So when my clients come to my studio for their session, I pick up my sample books and I put them in their hands. I tell them, ‘These are the most important things to me in my own personal life.’ ”
As Ashley’s clients absorb her excitement, she candidly shares the following three steps to obtaining their own album of photographs.
#1: She Shares Her Prices
Ashley doesn’t hesitate to tell her clients what things cost, from her albums’ starting price to the cost of adding more pages. If you’re still struggling to talk about numbers (more on that HERE), print up a nicely designed price sheet or booklet that you can give to each client for review.
#2: She Describes the Design Process
Simply and casually, Ashley tells her clients that she will be designing an album for them after their session. “It will be this many pages at this price,” she outlines. She explains that they’ll be able to review the album design and request changes.
#3: She Explains How They’ll See the Album Design
Ashley uses ShootProof’s Gallery Intro Messages feature to share a linked preview of each client’s album. She tells them, “When you click the link in your gallery, you’ll be able to flip through the pages and see your book.” This preview can be a text link that redirects the client to a layout via your album design software, or it can be a video embedded directly onto the ShootProof gallery intro page.
PRO TIP: Be Available
“I have a very open relationship with my clients,” Ashley explains. “I give them my cell phone number and tell them to text me if they need anything. So if they’re flipping through the pages of their book design online and they don’t understand something, they can easily reach me.”
“It takes me 10 minutes to design a book.”
Ashley saves design time by creating all of her album designs in Fundy Designer. She pre-designs each album as an 8×12, which can easily be ordered as a 6×9 without changing the aspect ratio. By offering only two album sizes, she keeps things simple for herself and her clients.
“I work smarter, not harder,” says Ashley, “and I try to keep things as simple as possible. If my clients like their design, they click Approve Design through the Fundy link, then they simply add the album to their ShootProof shopping cart.”
PRO TIP: Use an Album Designer
No, we’re not talking about a human designer. We’re talking about one of the terrific software solutions that exist for pro photographers! Here are three we love:
Ashley’s Behind-the-Scenes Workflow
You know how Ashley introduces her album line to her clients, and what she uses to create her designs. But what about the rest of her workflow? We’ll break it down for you.
Photographing for the Album
Ashley photographs three to four different setups for each newborn client. This allows her to design three to four album spreads per setup, with each spread showcasing one to four images. No overwhelming, complicated designs here! Just classic, clean image layouts.
Designing the Album
Ashley includes 15 to 18 photographs in each six-spread album. “I picked that number because I like the thickness of the book,” Ashley explains. “It’s very quick to design.”
Ordering the Album
Ashley prints her albums through Miller’s Lab, and chooses their Signature Albums and thicker pages for a book that feels solid yet comfortable to the touch.
Charging for the Album
Ashley keeps her fee structure simple by charging one base rate for the session, then a separate fee for the album itself.
“I don’t include digital files with my session fee,” Ashley admits, “but I do include them with the album. It’s kind of an incentive to get people to buy the album, because really they don’t know that they want it until it’s in their hands.”
Understanding this dynamic has led Ashley to prioritize albums over all other products, and establish her rates around that sales goal.
“I basically take the cost of the album and I charge six or eight times the price, then I include the digital files.” Ashley knows she could be charging more for her digital images, but she says that her approach has proven successful with her clientele. “I don’t care as much about small prints and little things like that,” she shares. “People buy what they buy, and I try to make it easy for them.”
The Chance to Give Your Clients Something Real
With her unique pricing structure and low-key sales approach, Ashley admits, “I book fewer clients than some people, but I have a more quality experience with each of them.” Part of this experience is giving her clients something tangible in a digital world.
“I’m teaching my clients that there is value in the printed product,” says Ashley. “We live in such a technological age right now, which is amazing; but it means that printed products are a completely foreign concept for most people. So I spend the majority of my time with a client just educating them on what they can have – on what’s available. And without fail, people respond with, ‘Wow, that’s really nice. I didn’t even know I could get anything like that.’ ”
What are you selling successfully? Are in-person sales part of your process, or do you sell mostly online?
Share in the comments below!