Improving the value of your photography to increase your profitability.

Improving the value of your photography to increase your profitability.

Marketing 101 dictates that to improve your profitability, you must offer distinct value to the products that you sell. In other words, your products must be different and valuable to your customers.

How do you add monetary value to your photography? In short, make your product more useful to your customers. Compound value with distinct services that your competition does not offer, and you can further increase the demand and profitability of your commercial photography products.

It is simple logic: offer something that few (or nobody else) offers and you can charge more for this photography product.  The key is to develop a service that solves a customer problem or addresses a Client need.

Set your apart from the rest…

Anyone can buy a camera and call him or herself a photographer. Fortunately, for the professionals, many of these temps who come and go, do not know how to use their camera.  Before long these nuisances will go away- all the while they have eroded the profitability, professionalism and margins within the industry.  These short terms photographers do not survive because they compete on price.  Unable to make sustainable profits, they soon leave the business.

To state the obvious, any business needs to offer exceptional value to exist. The most obvious starting point (for any camera pro) is great picture quality. You can achieve this aim with a better camera, lens, exceptional lighting and knowing how to use your camera. Unfortunately, many clients do not know how to qualify a good photograph from a bad one; so sometimes, blatant differentiators need to be included with your offering to set it apart from the rest.

Add value with your presentation

Optics is one value add differentiator. Let your clients see your equipment. Show it off. Clients want to know they are buying great product, so sometimes a good presentation or showmanship, is very much in order.

Point out your value to your customer

Trash your competition. Many of my competitors operate out of their car- so I tell my clients that they will get quality that coincides with someone who operates out of their car. When I put it this way, my customers seem to understand.  A chef works best in his kitchen, a photographer works best in his studio. 

Some people say you should never trash the competition; largely I disagree. For the most part, trashing my competition has worked very well for me to win business.

Add value with technology:

When I do headshots photography, I import the images into InDesign to create a montage to produce a comprehensive comp card for my Clients. This does two things for me to increase my value:

  1. For the actor, they now have three images on one page to present to Producers. In addition, I text overlays their contact information to help these actor in selling their services. By offering layout design to my Clients, my head-shots are more valuable to them. By virtue, I will get the work where other photographers will not.

  2. By offering graphic design layout services with my comp cards, many other photographers cannot compete because they do not know how to use graphic design layout programs. 

    The above two examples are two ways to increase your profits and keep out the competition. In other words, I am offering better value to my customers and using differentiators that my competition are unable or unwilling to provide. The net result is greater profitability and sales volume for my photography business. 

 

 

Your ability to provide additional value to your Clients is limited only by your imagination.  With my Toronto product photography business, I offer complementary services such as video design, flipping books and 360 product shots. I have discovered that often one product will open the door to many other business opportunities.   I recommend all commercial photographers to consider innovating their service offerings to create and maximize potential revenue streams.

Be Visible to your Market:

Being present and visible everywhere is a marketing differentiator that will drive your sales. The more visibility you are in the market, the more credibility you will have an obviously the more sales you will get.

Exploit social media to its fullest to maximize your Internet presence. Use Facebook, YouTube, Yelp, LinkedIn, and other sites to promote your company. Essentially, build many paths that lead to your business and you will benefit by increased sales. Knowing that the online world is a small world is cognizant that your reputation is of utmost importance. Be sure to provide excellent quality, or your customers will rant against you and undermine your business.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions held by dpreview.com or any affiliated companies.

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