Business + Branding Education for Fearless Boss Ladies
One of my top goals as your go-to branding expert is to help you make more money! Just a couple of weeks ago, I shared this video about Profitable Small Business Ideas: How to Make More Money in Your Creative Biz.
Today’s video is specifically photographers — I’m sharing my tips to help you:
IPS, or “In-Person Sales” is the original way that photography studios made money.
You would have a fee upfront (sometimes called a “creative fee” or a “sitting fee”) for your time with the photographer. Then everything was purchased separately as a product (before digital files).
Now, with the advent of digital photography, most of us have built our photo businesses in the era of “shoot & burn” — shoot a session, and hand over digital files (burn a disc) for a flat fee.
Let’s be honest, shoot and burn is a lot easier, so…
The thing is, you can make a LOT more money as an IPS photographer.
With shoot & burn you’re essentially putting a cap or limit on how much money you can make — it’s your flat fee.
When I first started out as a wedding and portrait photographer (way back in 2008) my shoot & burn portrait fee was $300. That was it!
I’d shoot an hour session, edit the files (usually 100+), and just hand everything over on a disc. Now I cringe to think about that!
That was a lot of work and if you do the math I was barely covering my costs and making minimum wage!
Later in my business I switched to completely IPS for portraits. Instead of a flat fee, I had a creative fee of $150 — which just covered my time at the one hour shoot. After that I’d have an ordering session with my clients where they purchased everything individually (including digital files). And my average sale after the creative fee was $1,300 (and it was never under $1,000)!
I made so much more money as and IPS photographer!
The other great benefit of IPS is that it gives your brand and your brand experience a greater perceived value.
Digital files can seem somewhat “disposable.” Just think about all the “junk” photo files you have on your iPhone right now. Think about how many photos are uploaded to Facebook everyday — a LOT.
Digital files don’t seem particularly valuable on their own.
Framed prints, albums, canvases? Now that’s a different story.
Those products seem valuable — so you’re able to charge a lot more. And in turn your overall brand and customer experience becomes more valuable (i.e. people will pay more to work with you — win!).
If you’re ready to start working smarter, not harder — here are my top 3 tips for incorporating IPS into your photography business:
You’re not in retail — so you shouldn’t price your products like you are.
You need to price your products like they are one-of-a-kind, custom works of art. Because they are! Take your time, talent and experience into account when pricing your products.
Also, figure out how much you need to be making per client to help you accurately figure out how to price your products. For more info, check out: The Simple Guide To Pricing For Your Photography Business.
Again — you’re not Walmart! Or any other discount retail box store. You are a one-of-a-kind artist and people are hiring you for that (or they should be!).
Your branding needs to reflect that.
Everything from your logo, to your website — even down to your branded packaging that you box up those gorgeous fine art prints in (and tie up with the perfect little bow… in your brand colors, obvs…) needs to tell this story of high-end, luxury, custom artwork.
If you’d like more information about branding that communicates your true value as an artist, then I’d LOVE to hear from you!
Fill out my contact form — and I’ll be in touch with you soon!
If you want to be perceived as that high-end, luxury, artist — then everything in your brand needs to represent that too!
Of course that means your logo and your website. But that also means your products and your services.
You should be picky about what you offer your clients — if you’re selling a luxury experience you need to have luxury products to match (no drug store prints, or cheap canvases here!).
If you want to make more money as a photographer, start incorporating IPS into your business. That way the sky’s the limit as to how much you can earn.
I actually have several branding clients who are portrait photographers, and have recently gone full IPS. Everytime I talk to them they have a new “highest ever sale” — one just reached $5,000!
If that’s not a reason to check out IPS, I don’t know what is!
Ready to get started? Check out The Beginner’s In-Person Sales Checklist by Artsy Couture.
p.s. Don’t forget to grab my free workbook, The Brand Blueprint — 20 pages to help you take your brand next level!