After hearing over and over that in-person sales was the only way to make any “real” money in the photography industry, I dove deep and learned all of the details of what makes it profitable and all of the best practices of selling prints, products, and digital images in person.
Truth is, it worked! I was making great money per session, I loved being there when clients viewed their images for the first time, and I loved knowing they were getting some prints and products along with their digital images.
So why did I quit?? The biggest reason: TIME. Let me explain!
- Priorities and Preferences
My kids and family life always take top priority. My sales sessions were taking precious time, and most often, clients needed evenings or weekends. I’d much rather be shooting at those times if I am going to be away from my family.
- Time spent editing
For a succesful in-person sale, I would edit approximately 45 images, full retouched. I’m NOT fast at editing and could easily get caught in the weeds retouching every blemish and perfecting the tiniest details only for that image to not be purchase. It was soul crushing knowing I had wasted my time.
- Time spent ordering
By the time I’d finished the sales appointment, I had spend 2+ hours with the client, at least an hour making sure they were fully prepped and understood the process, time editing, and I wasn’t done yet. I still had to place their order with my labs, wait for product to arrive, quality check all items, package them, and deliver them! The backend process was really a time suck for me! Plus all of those steps included a cost of goods that was cutting into my profits.
- The client’s time.
I was finding it was difficult for my clients to carve out time for another appointment with me. As I mentioned, most needed to schedule on evenings or weekends, which is typicall family time. Taking time away from family life really doesn’t fit my target client and my brand message overall. I’m all about togetherness! Many of my clients prefer placing their orders online in their own spare time. Some are able to get it done at work, others place thier orders when their up for those midnight feeds.
In-person sales can be wonderful for generating profits but will spending that time focusing on those activities fit the values and life you have pictured for yourself? Does that model fit your ideal client?
I’m so happy to have built a pricing model that fits now! I’m able to take on more sessions because I don’t have to hold an ordering appointment, or edit images that won’t see the light of day, or place and deliver orders any more. (Don’t worry, my clients still have access to my pro labs, I’ve just cut out the a lot of the work that was previously required of me;) ) Now I spend my time doing the parts of business that I love. And I get to share that system with other photographers now, so that more of us are living happy and profitable lives!