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Simplifying IPS for Better In Person Sales in Your Photography Business

ips photography

In-Person Sales (IPS) can be one of the most challenging parts of your role as a professional wedding photographer. IPS photography sales include products and services you provide for your wedding clients, some of which are easier to sell than others.

IPS Photography

In the digital age of photography, there are some products that are simple to sell to wedding clients, such as online galleries or DVDs. On the other hand, some products are more challenging to sell, such as wall art. Convincing a couple they need a 20×30 canvas of themselves from their wedding day hanging in their living room can be a struggle. This is especially true if this is not something you typically sell. So, what are secrets to in person sales photography that will have your clients excited to buy wall art?

In addition to providing you with wedding photo editing services, we love to bring you valuable information about topics that are relevant to your photography business. That’s why we gathered a few tips and tricks, and reached out to an expert (see the BONUS section), to help you gain the confidence needed to make wall art photography sales from your clients.

1. Present a visual

As a buyer, do you prefer to buy something sight unseen, or do you like the opportunity to see the product beforehand so you have a good idea of what you are purchasing? Most would agree with the latter, including your clients.

If clients can see how a large print will look in their home, they are more likely to buy it. When clients see their images on a computer screen, the images are small. It can be difficult to visualize how a print would look hanging above the couch in the family room. Even if they do order a canvas, they are likely to purchase it as a smaller size, thinking that it will actually look larger than it is.

Quick Tip

With the way technology has evolved over the years, providing the best visual possible is essential for IPS photography. Show your clients a visual of how their images would look as wall art in their own homes and they will be less inclined to only print smaller images.

Swift Galleries created an app that allows you to see exactly what a wall print or canvas would look like in your clients’ homes. This is a great tool that you can use from the very first meeting with potential clients to get them in the mindset of how great wall art would look in their home.

A screenshot of Swift Galleries' program on a laptop, tablet, and mobile device.

Image by Swift Galleries

2. Manage expectations

From the very first consultation, prep your clients to believe that they want and need wall art. Since almost everything is digital today, explain the importance of having some of their favorite images in a physical form that not only they can enjoy, but that their friends and family can as well.

Just like you show your clients sample albums, have wall art displayed in your studio or space that you meet. For some clients, they may not have been considering a canvas print before you mentioned it. When you have a visual in your own space, it shows you believe they are important to have. This will help you increase photography sales for your business.

Quick Tip

Throughout your relationship with each couple, continually drip the idea of certain images that would look great on a canvas. As you photograph them on their wedding day, bring up how fantastic a specific shot of them would look in their living room. This helps set the expectation that they need a wall print, and the more likely they are to purchase one during the sales session. Plus, it will make the in person photography sales process easier for you.

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3. Be prepared

As you manage expectations about wall prints throughout initial meetings, the wedding day, and follow up emails, one of the final steps is to actually show them what one of their wedding images would look like as a canvas in their home.

After sending your images to a wedding photography post processing company, like ShootDotEdit, select a few favorites that would look stunning as large canvases. Then, invite your clients over for a small viewing party. This is a perfect time to use the Swift Galleries app to show them exactly what a 20×30 canvas of an image from their wedding day would look like hanging above their mantle.

By prepping this ahead of time and having images preselected, you are making it easier for your clients to love the selections. This is especially true because they do not have to spend time filtering through the 600 images you delivered back to them.

Quick Tip

While a beautiful portrait of the couple makes for a great wall print, come up with alternative ideas too. If the bride was raving about how much she loved the details at her wedding, why not create a piece of 7-8 small prints of the best details? The key is to listen to the clients throughout your relationship to see what would work best displayed in their home.

With all of this in mind, it is important to remember that 10 years from now, technology will change. DVDs will break or get old, but your prints will still be hanging on your clients’ walls. Wall art is not only for your clients. It is also for their family and friends as well to remember the wedding day. These tips are valuable for you, especially if you are uneasy about IPS photography sessions.

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BONUS #1

You Sell What You Show

Do you know one of the main reasons your clients may not be purchasing wall art from you? Even if you have it included on your pricing list, here’s a little secret: clients probably have no idea that you sell it! If they do see it on your list, they still may not entirely know what it is.

If the first time someone sees that you offer wall art is when they’re reviewing your price list, then it’s too late. Your clients need to know, up-front, that people come to you for wall art, not just for digital files to upload to Facebook. If you want to sell any significant amount of wall art, you need to start planting the seed for that sale before your clients ever step foot in front of a camera and before they contact you!

Thankfully, it’s easier than you might think. At ShootDotEdit, we specialize in wedding photography editing, so to help us out on this topic, we have brought in Chris Scott, founder of Swift Galleries. Swift Galleries is a web-based tool for photographers to design, sell, and deliver perfectly-sized wall galleries. Here are some simple tips he has for setting the stage for wall art sales to increase your profit.

Plant the Seed on Social Media

The best way for people to know that you offer wall art is by showing them. Jump into Swift Galleries (or even Photoshop) right now and design a wall gallery for the last 3 sessions you photographed. Share them on your business Facebook and Twitter pages, and talk about how you’re now offering wall art galleries. Every time you create a new gallery, share it on your social media accounts.

Create interaction by posting a few different options from each session and ask your followers to help you decide which one is best. This is a great way to show off that you’re offering wall art, while also getting your followers involved and interacting with your brand across social media channels!

Plant the Seed on Your Blog

Take the galleries you designed and include them in blog posts. This is a great time to add more content and talk about why you believe these galleries are the best representation of that session. Be genuine and share why you love the images and why they look so great as wall art. Talk about how much those homes will be brightened by having your images on their walls. It doesn’t matter if you use a stock room photo as an example. Talk about the photos and the layout and why they’re perfect together.

Every session you photograph should have a wall gallery design to showcase on your blog, whether you sell one or not. This is less about what you’ve sold and more about what you believe about your images as wall art. If you show potential clients that you believe your photos are best presented on the wall, they’ll believe it, too.

Plant the Seed on Your Website

Create a gallery on your website where you showcase your wall art. As potential clients visit your site for the first time, this will allow them to start thinking about the possibilities of wall art, even if they did not know about it before. As an IPS photography tip, incorporate wall art into your pricing packages to show that this is a must-have item for your clients.

Plant the Seed in Your Studio

As you cover your social media channels, blog, and website with displays of wall art, the final step is to show real, physical wall art products in your studio space. Have products for your clients to see, touch, and feel the build quality.

You can plant the seed for wall art sales in how you talk to your clients about their sessions, as well.  Here are just a few ideas:

    • Don’t just ask “what do you want to do with your photos?” Instead, ask “where in your home would you like to display your photos?” This allows your clients to know that people come to you for wall art and is a must-have in their photography packages.
    • If you use Swift Galleries, ask your clients up-front for a photo of their walls to use for their mockups. Again, this sets the basic expectation that they will order wall art.
  • Even while photographing your clients’ sessions, you can be planting the seeds for a wall art sale.  As you’re shooting, mention the products they’ve shown interest in – “Oh, this shot is going to be perfect for that piece we talked about for over your couch!”

The whole point here is for your clients and potential clients to see wall art wherever they see your work. If you put this legwork in upfront, you will quickly teach potential clients that your studio is the studio to go to for wall art, and you’ll be surprised how quickly people will start to seek you out for it. As you begin to plan how your photography business can sell wall art, use this Wall Gallery Planner to best learn how to design wall galleries that sell.

Wall art is just one of the many products you can offer to clients to increase profit for your business.

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Bonus #2

Increasing Your Post-Event Print Sales

As a professional wedding photographer, there are a variety of products and services you can offer to clients. From handcrafted albums to stunning 20×40 prints, it can be challenging to not only know how to price each item but how to convince clients to buy the products as well!

Above, Chris Scott, founder of Swift Galleries, shared insights on how to sell wall art to clients that they will love. Swift Galleries is a web-based tool for photographers to design, sell, and deliver perfectly-sized wall galleries. Here are 3 simple tips Chris has for increasing your post-event print sales!

1. Schedule Pre-Session Consultations

If you add just one thing to your process, make it the pre-session consultation. The consultation is the best way to set expectations for selling wall art. Even if you just tack 15 minutes on to the beginning of your sessions to start a dialogue about wall art, do it. By making a point to talk about wall art right away, clients will be more prepped and ready to purchase it during the sales session!

In your pre-session consults, discuss the following:

    • Where in your client’s home they would like to display their artwork. Discuss their decorating, furniture, and interior design style so you can start narrowing down the products you’ll tell them about.
    • Use this time to photograph their rooms to use in Swift Galleries, if you use either tool to sell wall art. If you don’t meet in your client’s home for their planning meeting, request that they share these room images with you at the time of the meeting so you can refer to them while discussing products.
    • Start suggesting locations, sizes, and layouts for wall art based on what you’ve learned about their home. Try to decide on some wall art galleries or pieces for various rooms.
  • After you’ve discussed their various product options and where they would place them, always manage their expectations with the price. The last thing you want is for a client to learn a price in your sales meeting! Tell them up-front and avoid a big headache down the road.
This is just a tiny fraction of what you can accomplish in a planning meeting.

2. Plant and Sow Seeds Throughout Your Process

You’ve begun planting seeds for a wall art sale in your planning meeting, now use the time during the engagement session and wedding to continue to sow those seeds for the sale and to build excitement for the products they’ve shown interest in. If your client loved the idea of a large portrait over the couch, be sure to tell them when you know you’ve gotten “the shot” for over the couch!  Get excited about the art you’re creating for your clients and they will be excited as well.

If you show your clients what size would look best over the couch during the pre-session planning meeting, refer back to those sizes while showing them “the shot” you got during the session. This will help position yourself in a really good place heading into your sales meeting.

At this point, your client has seen that a 30×45 looks great over the couch, and you showed them the photo that you think would look great in that spot. Now, between the session and the sales meeting, every time your client walks past the couch, they’re seeing that photo over the couch in their head. Your client will be selling that piece to themselves, just because you’ve planted those seeds!

3. Don’t Overwhelm Your Client

Want a surefire way to kill a sale? Overwhelm your client with too many options! When you narrow down options for your clients, you get to highlight your expertise as a photographer, your experience as a business owner, and the exceptional service you offer to your clients.  Here are a few ways to do that:

    • Show 20-30 Final Photos: Once you complete your wedding photo editing, narrow the photos you want to show your clients down to the best 20-30. When you show your clients all 700 images from a wedding, you are giving your couple too many options. Even if they are able to narrow it down to their favorite images, the process is going to take longer. Take the time to go through all of the images and select the highlights from the day to share with your clients that they will want to print.
    • Don’t Mention Every Product or Option: Before the session, talk to your client about what they want to do with their photos (remember that planning meeting we just talked about?). Chances are, they haven’t even thought about this yet, and it gives you a great opportunity to mention the items that you think would work best for them.
  • Before launching into all of your product offerings, talk to the client: What is their interior design style? What are the colors of their walls? Do they prefer classic, ornate furniture over modern, minimalist furniture? What’s their absolute favorite piece of art they already own? Invest in getting to know them and their style so you can provide the best products for them!  Be the pro and talk about all the things they’ll love and leave out the things that aren’t relevant to them, their style and their tastes.

Mastering the sales process takes time, but by implementing these ideas along with some additional wall art tips, you can start to see an increase in your print sales! Wall art is just one of the many products you can offer to clients to increase profit for your business.

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BONUS #3

Simplify IPS Photography

How do you feel about selling your products and services to clients? Whether you are an artist first and a business owner second, or vice versa, in person photography sales can be challenging to master.

We partnered with Chris Scott of Swift Galleries for a free webinar. In our Simplifying IPS Photography Webinar, Chris shared how you can create a sales routine that will help you sell more work, make more money, and outperform your competition. His tips are meant to help you increase your photography sales without ever feeling like a salesperson.

Throughout the webinar, Chris also shared how to set clear expectations for sales before the wedding day. He walked through how to develop a seamless process to guide clients toward purchasing. Chris highlighted how to portray genuine emotions during your IPS photography sessions, and offered tips to create a process that provides a service to your clients. Watch or listen to the webinar to discover IPS photography secrets from Chris and much more.

The more you can learn about in person sales photography, the easier it will become to sell to your clients every time. IPS photography is an ideal way to increase income for your photography business and the referrals you receive.

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