I'm not talking about the typical spectacle at the mall where kids anxiously wait for hours to get a three second photo. I’m talking about creating a special event santa mini session event.
How does it work? Partner with an upscale children’s boutique and host “An Evening with Santa” complete with milk, cookies and a story. If you find boutiques that have multiple locations you can double or triple your revenue.
Kids sit on Santa’s lap and have one or two photos taken. Then the kids enjoy their milk and cookies while Santa reads them a story for about 15 to 20 minutes. During this time finish the orders and collect payment. Then those kids leave and another group comes in.
How do I make money with a santa mini session event? To be successful, keep the photo options simple, have plenty of help and a quick turnaround. Book two events back to back. As a courtesy to the shop, offer a free 5×7 to each customer.
Not only are these events profitable, the bonus is the opportunity to market to a new set of potential clients.
Keep your business top of mind by sending your clients Christmas or New Year’s cards. Doing this strengthens relationships with clients and builds customer loyalty. Resist the urge to offer discounts in the cards and keep this simply as a thank you for their business.
If you miss the Christmas season, don’t put off thanking your customers until next year. Send a New Year’s card instead. By sending a New Year’s card you’ll capture attention and possibly get more wedding photography clients from the referrals for the couples that just recently got engaged.
Have you been to a jewelry, bag or makeup party at someone’s house recently? If so, then you know the power of wine, friends and shopping. Those companies are onto something and it might be beneficial to organize a Holiday Shopping Extravaganza with your photography studio and partner with a few of those businesses.
Each business promotes the event to their customers for a big turnout. Photographers set up a mini Christmas set where you give shoppers a free print on site or e-mail them a complimentary digital file. If you plan ahead of time perhaps you can even have a mini session with Santa at the event. This allows you to grow your e-mail list for next year. Offer discounts on future sessions and Christmas cards. And don't forget to have plenty of Holiday Gift Guides to pass out. You know all the other business will be as well... :)
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