Breaking Down My Sales Strategy as a Boudoir Photographer
I run two very strategically planned boudoir session sales each year, exactly six months apart — one around Memorial Day and one for Black Friday. And these two sales help me bring in revenue, even in a slow season. They’re what help me stay fully booked all year.
How, you ask?
I have a solid sales strategy for my boudoir photography business that I’ve been using for the last six years. It’s proven to be reliable…even though there are a lot of coaches online that say running things like traditional “sales” or discounts is a no-go.
They say it cheapens your brand…but…the numbers don’t lie, and I firmly believe it’s how I stay booked out all year long! In fact, most of the boudoir sessions that book are repeat clients.
A sale can be a GREAT way to supplement what you’re already doing as far as your sales strategy as a boudoir photographer.
Want to see this sales strategy for yourself? Dig into this episode to find out!
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Understand Not Every Sale Will be a Success
Okay, before we dive in, I want you to understand that your first sale (or first few) might flop. You may start to get a couple under your belt, and then have a flop. That’s totally normal and absolutely okay. Remember you WILL gain momentum the longer you run these sales.
The more you do it, the more you learn, and the better you are each time around. What’s important is that it’s sustainable, growing your business, and continuing to grow year after year. So don’t give up!
Now then, let’s get to the fun stuff.
When Do You Want to Work?
The first part of creating a boudoir photography sales strategy is knowing when you’re actually okay to book clients.
Obviously, you need to make sure communication is clear on all fronts. You need to decide when clients can book a session from your annual sale. Don’t offer up dates you don’t want to work.
If you’re like me and you’re using it to book up your slow season, you need to know WHEN your slow season even is.
Personally, I track my sessions by month, and I have since the start of my business. I basically have data going back to 2016 about when I can expect slow and busy seasons.
That information is what I use to decide when to allow clients to book their sessions when they’re taking advantage of the sale.
Decide What’s Included
Now…what exactly do they get with the session (besides getting their photo taken)?
You can do your standard session at a discounted rate. You can include hair and makeup. Or you can include a print credit.
This is totally up to you, but whatever you decide, you need to make it VERY clear in your marketing.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the $99 session fee. I think it’s a great number for conversions, and it’s a number that’s always worked great for me. And it’s generally a number I find most potential clients okay with spending.
SORT OUT THE FINE PRINT
When they’re booking, you also need to include the important details — I call this the fine print. This is where you need to include things like:
- The minimum purchase price
- Your typical client spend (so they know what to expect)
- When they can schedule the session
- Your cancellation policy
- Anything else I need them to know before the session
Include as much detail as you can! It’s important that you make clients feel as comfortable as possible before signing on the dotted line.
Create a Pricing Guide
A pricing guide, or a price list, can be pretty beneficial for both you and your clients. It’s basically just a list you put together for your packages. So instead of offering bespoke prices, you offer packages and add-ons.
What this does is make your boudoir photography clients feel more comfortable choosing what’s right for them price-wise. The list does the guiding for them.
And for you, it helps you gauge a better idea of what you need to sell to meet your sales goals. For example, if you have three packages, with the mid-tier offer at $500, and a sales goal of $5,000, then you know you need to sell 10 packages.
This helps guide your marketing and messaging strategy a little bit better because you know what points to touch on when promoting your work.
A WORD OF WARNING…
You HAVE to be very clear about what your clients get or don’t get in the sale (are you noticing a theme yet? Clarity!). People who are interested in a sale are sometimes more concerned about a deal…although the longer you run this, the less likely this will happen.
But make sure you’re very clear about the minimum purchase for your sale AND what the typical client spends. That way, they’re fully prepared when they walk into your studio.
When you’re honest and upfront about pricing, there will be clients who turn you down. Let them roll off like raindrops on a windshield and focus on your great clients. The right people will be more than happy to pay for your photography.
Automate, Automate, Automate
Automate anything you can throughout your sales. Don’t waste your days off dealing with sending invoices and contracts, or scheduling sessions. Believe me, I’ve had to do it and it takes away from what time off is really about.
Find the right software and you’ll be able to automate your entire annual sale with a simple code — and set it up fully. It may take some upfront work, but the great thing about this is once it’s done, it’s done, and it’s ready for the next sale.
Consider Email Marketing
The most sales I get during these annual sales are through my email list. But it’s because I’ve taken a LOT of time to build my list. Right now, it brings in so many leads, but it wasn’t always that way.
And you can’t really expect an email list to be the money maker so many people claim it is unless you first understand:
- You need to have a decent-sized list
- The conversion rate is lower than you think it is (around 2% average)
- You can’t only show up in people’s inboxes to sell
- You can’t do everything last minute
That may not be what you want to hear, but the great news is that it’s something you can build up throughout the year. So by the time you host your semi-annual sales, you’ll have more leverage with it. And then more on the next one. And so on and so forth!
Email marketing is not a quick fix, but it can 100% be one of your greatest assets if you stay patient and keep at it!
And if you need help getting people there in the first place…check out my TLC Freebie Template.
With this email freebie template, you’ll see how to build and grow your email list, so you can turn leads into clients during your big sales. I also give you an instructional video to make designing it much, much easier.