3 Simple Ways Photographers Can Increase Their Bottom Line

When photographers think upselling, albums, prints and canvases are the usual things that come to mind. I’d like to offer you three different upselling options which cost little to no money at all. 

Sell warranties

Think about all the times you’ve been at the checkout at a store, and you’re offered a warranty for the product you’re buying.

I was recently in Walmart and the guy in front of me was purchasing a crockpot that probably didn’t cost more than $30 but the cashier asked him whether he wanted to buy a warranty for $8.95. Most people probably wouldn’t buy a warranty for something like that but when they’re making a much bigger purchase, they probably would.

Think about cell phones, how many of you purchase warranties for your cell phones? You might be wondering how to sell a warranty as a photographer. Let’s start with albums, wedding albums in particular. If a customer is willing to pay $1,000+ for a wedding album, a warranty would make total sense. Some companies such as McKenna Pro already include warranties on certain albums so you can simply transfer their warranty specifications to your customer’s warranty. If you’re offering warranties I recommend adding a small percentage to your costs to replace the album. It’s not likely that they’re going to use their warranty, but this way if they do end up needing a replacement album, it won’t cost you anything.

Offer a membership rewards program

This could be as simple as offering them a membership for a certain price and then offering them a discount on their prints or something similar. What you’re selling doesn’t cost you anything as you get 100% of the profits. You might be saying that 10% of your costs are your print prices and while that might be true, if you’re selling a membership for $200 and a customer gets 10% off their prints, they would have to purchase $2,000 worth of prints before it even started to affect your profits. And let’s be honest, how many of you wouldn’t pay$200 for a $2,000 order? Plus, once they pay for a membership program, they’ll be more likely to make more purchases so that their fees don’t go to waste. 

Offer upgrades

Here is a good example of an upgrade: Let’s say for example your session fees are based on hourly rates, you could offer customers the option of adding hours as an upgrade to their package. This is great for senior sessions, family portraits and even wedding photography packages. You could even offer your hourly upgrades at a discounted rate. The catch is that these special rates are only made available at the time of booking.  And if they want to add on more hours of service later it would come at a higher price. I used to do this for my wedding photography packages. I would include the upgrade info in the contract and go over it with them making sure they understand that if they added more hours on later it would be at a higher price. One reason I did this was because when I was shooting weddings I had to get a babysitter for my daughter and I had to factor those costs in ahead of time.

Additional upgrades that you could offer could be for different types of paper. Or, if you offer albums, you could offer to engrave names on the album at an additional cost. Editing and design revisions can also come in at an extra cost.

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What are your thoughts? Does this give you a few ideas on how you can start upselling as a photographer? Do you have any other ideas for upselling or increasing your bottom line in your photography business? I'd love to hear from you!   


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