A multiple thousand dollar session average seems completely unattainable and out of reach when you are grinding through creating your business and desperately seeking your target client.
Psychology tells us that there are two ways in which people commonly react when they hear of other photographers having a $3,000 sales average…
A. They get jealous and down on themselves and tell themselves that there is no way they will ever get to that point.
B. They may have a moment of “man, I wish I was hitting those sales goals.”….followed by, hope and excitement because if someone else is doing that, there certainly must be the opportunity to do that themselves. This causes them to seek more knowledge, implement it, and find ways to make their business more streamlined, more profitable, and more attractive to a clientele that is looking for quality.
For all of your type B reactors out there, I would like to pull back the curtain on a month of my actual photography sales. I’d also like to give you some tips to help you reach a four-figure (or multiple four-figure) average yourself!
I held 5 sales sessions, for gross sales of $16,000 and a session average of $3,200.
- Session 1: $4,700 – purchased wall art and albums – repeat client
- Session 2: $800* – purchased an album and prints – auction client
- Session 3: $4,200 – purchased wall art – new client through website
- Session 4: $3,600* – purchased collection and wall art – auction client
- Session 5: $2,700* – purchased wall art and album – auction client
*The auction client sales reflect the $400 discount that they received from their auction certificate. So their total sale was actually $400 more, but I’m just counting the money paid.
While building a business that can attain a $3,000+ session average takes time, I am a firm believer that anyone producing technically sound work should be able to have a minimum of a $1,000 session average…if they set their business and pricing up effectively.
Three keys to the four-figure sale…
Take the focus OFF of prints and files.
It is much easier to get to a $1,000 average selling a $500 piece of wall art rather than $50 prints, no? Take your focus OFF of prints and files, those are the icing to a sale and not the cake. We need to start showcasing what we want our clients to purchase on our website and talk to them about those options throughout the process.
Assist the client through the process.
Speaking of the process, we need to hold our clients’ hands throughout it. Always tell them what the next step is and when they can expect it. Discuss how they may best enjoy their images at in the inquiry stage. A great phrase to offer suggestions to potential clients is, “Most of my clients choose to…..”. It’s also important to assist your client through the selection process. I choose to do this through in-person sales, but that isn’t the only way. The key is to make it easy for your client and help them avoid analysis paralysis because they have too many options.
Price your work to lead to 4 figure sales.
There is an art and a science to pricing. The science is ensuring that we are making enough profit on each item and our Cost of Goods Sold is in check. (PPA recommends no more than a 25% Cost of Goods Sold – less is always great) The art of pricing is creating a price list that encourages your clients to purchase what you want to sell.
Remember, it’s easier to get to a four-figure sale selling at least one large signature item, either a wall piece or an album. Why not have one price for your prints and digital files if purchased alone, and another, less expensive, price for your prints and digital files if purchased with a signature art product? People will be drawn to purchase a product first so that they can receive the savings on the prints and files….even though they are spending a higher dollar amount.
How would your business (and life) change if you were able to consistently have four-figure (and multiple four-figure) sessions?
You could project your cash flow more accurately, you could pay yourself a salary more regularly, you could make more money by working less.
If this sounds like something that would be beneficial to your business, join me for my FREE training – From Starving Artist to Well-Compensated Creator. It will help you ensure that your 3 pillars of business are set up for success.