This British photographer’s prom photography earned him over £11,000 in a single month. Find out how smart packages and email marketing helped him succeed! (Featuring Charles Gregory with ARTS PHOTOGRAPHY)
In July of 2019, British photographer Charles Gregory earned more than £11,000 GBP directly through ShootProof. His approximately $13,500 USD in online sales came primarily from prom photography, with a smattering of dance photographs and headshots supplementing that total. (Not accounted for are the funds collection for on-site print sales!)
Here he shares his step-by-step process for achieving such remarkable online sales.
How Do You Earn $13k from One Month of Prom Photography?
Charles’ brand, Arts Photography, has developed a foolproof blueprint for prom photography, and he credits these with his success:
- over 10 years of experience in prom photography
- a growing prom market in the UK
- delivering a large quantity and wide variety of high-quality images from each event
- ShootProof’s powerful online gallery tools
“Professionally, shooting proms is great fun and very lucrative,” reveals Charles. “Prom photography also allows us to get a foot in the door to roll out all our other services within the schools market.”
From School Hallways to the French Alps
With this personally fulfilling and financially rewarding revenue stream under his belt, Charles reaps the full benefits by spending every August in the French Alps, where he photographs family portraits until school begins again in September.
This diversified revenue stream plays well with Charles’ powerful ShootProof approach. Since he can sell practically any photography product through ShootProof, he’s able to offer each of the top-selling products in each genre without overlap – and he can adjust the client cost according to each genre’s pricing standards.
“I recently started using ShootProof’s Package Builder,” Charles explains, “and this is working well.”
Arts Photography’s best-selling products are surprisingly simple:
- Digital Download
- 6×4 Mounted Print (4×6 US equivalent)
- 9×6 Mounted Print (6×9 US equivalent)
“My shopping cart is quite simple,” admits Charles, “and this is for a reason. I want my clients to buy the highest-margin products. Of course, these are digitals first and foremost, and prints second.”
Charles keeps his profit margins high by personally overseeing all of the orders before fulfilling them. This structured approach keeps the Arts Photography team intimately familiar with their products, and they work hard to supply compelling descriptions of each item sold online.
“Product photos and descriptions are very important. They should give the customer confidence in your product and how excellent the end product will be.”
ShootProof Automated Emails as a Prom Photography Sales Tool
Arts Photography knows online communication is the best tool for enhancing online sales. They’ve crafted a simple series of ShootProof Automated Emails that keep their clients focused on their photos – and buying products!
- 1st Email: sent on the gallery release date – “Your Gallery is Ready!”
- 2nd Email: send three days after gallery release – 10% discount code
- 3rd Email: sent one week before gallery expiration
- 4th Email: sent 72 hours before gallery expiration
- 5th email: sent 24 hours before gallery expiration
- 6th email: sent on the expiration date – “Going, going, gone!”
“We use all the psychological triggers in the email copy,” explains Charles. “For example, ‘This is your final opportunity to purchase!” and ‘Your gallery will expire and your images will be deleted!’ This hits home and creates real urgency.”
The 10% discount code email works to encourage early online purchases.
“We recognize that there are 3 types of customers:” Charles acknowledges, “early adopters, the majority, and laggards.”
The early adopters will buy almost as soon as the gallery is uploaded,” he explains. “The majority order in the first few days, and the laggards will leave it until the last minute on the last day when the gallery is about to expire.”
The Arts Photography team works diligently to speak to all three prom photography audiences using the automated email series. Additionally, the team sends targeted email reminders to gallery visitors with items in their carts.”
“Cart abandonment is a big issue,” admits Charles. He then clarifies, “It’s not because they don’t want to buy; they may simply have been distracted or couldn’t find their credit card. So we almost ALWAYS generate sales when we send out reminder emails that kindly nudge our clients to make a purchase.”
Generate Prom Photography Earnings When it’s Not Even Prom Season
In Charles’ part of the world, prom photography season is relatively short, lasting only from the end of May to mid-July. Yet Arts Photography continues to grow year after year.
“We also shoot dance schools, headshots, and nativity/school plays, so we see another massive spike in November/December with these activities, as well as with Family Portrait fundraising days at school.”
And as Arts Photography has become more proficient at using ShootProof’s email automations, package builder, and gallery settings, their revenues continue to grow.
“It’s quite easy to create revenues in the prom season of around £30-40k by shooting 25-30 proms at an average order value of £1500,” reveals Charles. “The challenge is in scaling the business, as these jobs all happen in the same time period.”
The key? “Maximize each opportunity – and pick your schools carefully!” advises Charles.
So what’s next for the master of UK prom photography? “I am really excited to be launching our first online course in the next three to four months,” Charles shares. His eight-week training course aims to reveal Arts Photography’s marketing, posing, lighting, selling, and ShootProof secrets to eager photographers. “I want to show photographers how they can earn £2,500 to £3,000 per night using our tried and tested system.”
Good Business, Good People
Building a thriving photography business works best when photographers share their successes selflessly, boosting the community and elevating the industry as a worthwhile client investment.
What “secrets” can you share about your school photography successes? Are you ready to try some of Charles’ methods for success?
Share your ideas in the comments below!
Written by ANNE SIMONE | Featuring CHARLES GREGORY with ARTS PHOTOGRAPHY