Semi-Automated Selling

Talking portraits are “eProducts” that take many shapes and sizes. They are electronic photo products that are created by professionals and sold to customers through their phones and email which allows us to take advantage of some new selling techniques. Even though the production of the eProduct is a radical departure for some photographers, these new sales methods are very similar to the way we have sold photography for decades. Let me share an example with you…

The current eProducts we are shooting in my studio are the Talking Christmas Cards that are sold using both old and new methods as compared to traditional photography standards. We sell this eProduct as a primary profit generator at $199, then sell prints from the sessions as an add-on sale once the session is complete.

Because this eProduct is going to be posted on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, the semi-automated sales process for this talking portrait centers around a set of Facebook ads that we carefully test using the A/B comparison tools inside facebooks ad manager to find that winning combo of ad content, graphic layout and even color that gives us the cost-per-click we need.  Those ads lead the customer to our landing page for more info, then one last click on the buy now button takes them to our online booking system to collect payment and schedule the 20-minute session.  Getting that sales workflow setup is a lot of work but it’s not very difficult. Getting it to work well by having it draw in customers 24/7 that will spend $200 – $800 on a Christmas Card session is a challenge that we discuss and modify daily. It can always work better.

Word of Mouth selling is another key component for this eProduct. When an enthusiastic Mom shares her talking card online, we can see how often it gets viewed and in most cases we can visit that page and see the response her friends have to the card. We usually post a “Thank You” message from our business account which draws in new faces to our facebook page.

We supplement our online sales tools with a few other methods including the good ole printed “hand out” cards given to people you meet in your daily routine. Personally, I love these cards and have no problem sharing them at the post office, the barber, gas station and anywhere I go. They are a little larger than a business card and they draw customers into our landing page with a clever design and tagline and the card gets the holder a free print upgrade that has a $50 value. All these sales methods work around the clock for us and we check up on their progress a times each day by viewing the “stats.” The ability to see the number of people that see our ads on Facebook, then how many clicked on the ads, then the data on our landing page all the way through to the bookings is a powerful tool for selling. We can see what works and what doesn’t in real time.

It’s my opinion that talking portraits will soon be the norm and the semi-automated sales systems like the one above will also be the norm so my staff and I are studying “social marketing” as often as possible. I like the idea of adding automation to the sales process as long as it does not disconnect us from the customers. If you are using tools like these and can offer a suggestion or two, please reach out to me?  If we all work together, we can figure out how to make talking portraits as profitable as possible.