The photography market is becoming saturated with professionals at every price point, so it is becoming more and more important to differentiate your photography business from others. Although there are many methods to the madness, one way you can do so is by offering your clients a value-added service. This means that, on top of your well-designed packages, offering optional extras (at an extra cost of course). This will allow clients to tap into your talent while having the choice to customise their photographic experience.
Generate customer service demand
Although the customisability of your packages will depend on your field (or style) of expertise, offering optional extras may prompt on-the-fence customers to book you based on the freedom to request what they really want or need without feeling like you’re doing them a favour. Often times, clients are afraid to ask questions because they do not want to impose, especially with a growing consciousness towards respecting the time and talent of the arts.
Select optional extras carefully
Overselling is offputting. Remember that offering optional extras work because they appeal to the client? Any extra that does not add value to the customer experience is not worth your while and may detract from the benefits you would otherwise enjoy.
Manage customer expectations
When customers browse your website, it is like doing window shopping. Therefore, it is important to communicate exactly what you offer (including extras) so that it takes the burden out of finding out if you’re a professional match with your clients.
The benefits of offering optional services
If clients see that you are willing to accommodate them, they may be keener to work with you. They are also more likely to refer other clients to you as you’ve more than satisfied their needs. It is good business and it is good marketing. And who said that the photography businesses couldn’t upsell? Upselling is a marketing strategy that encourages consumers to change their intended purchase to include additional items or services, or more expensive options. This will allow you to increase your per session photography income. But, the aim should not be to exploit your customers, so keep your extra costs reasonable so that it’s a win for both you and the client.
Examples of optional extras:
- Hair and makeup and/or stylish services (wardrobe): You could suggest vendors or partner with a trusted favourite to include these services in your photo shoot package.
- Album design, prints and new wall art: Since you take the photos, selecting photos to display at home or designing a photo album should come naturally.
- Extra hour shooting time or even a second photographer: Big events with multiple locations may justify hiring a second photographer. And, when a photography session is just too short to get all the shots the client wants, adding an hour may just save the day and put everyone at ease.
- Rush fee/job: Sometimes, clients may want or need their photos earlier and since editing normally takes anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, a rush fee makes up for the stress and inconvenience this has on your schedule.
- Payment plans: Depending on the cost of the photo shoot, clients may not be able to pay in full when booking you, so we suggest asking for a deposit and splitting the balance into even monthly payments up until the event, such as a wedding.
- Decision discounts: If your client wishes to elope to one of your dream travel destinations, offering a discount may just secure a booking and a holiday.
- Loyalty and referral discounts: Professional photographers should use discounts sparingly, but may still be suitable for retaining loyal customers and their WOM.
Lastly, as a small business owner, it is crucial that you cover the costs of any additional props, gear and studio space. No optional extra should cost you more than you make. So whether it is to remember a special day, event or celebration, offer your clients the opportunity to ask for what they need with optional extras.