Announcing a guest, portrait photographer for the CCS summer seminar

meo

I would like to announce our guest photographer, Meo Baaklini. Meo is (in her own words) an Intimate Wedding and Portrait photographer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She formally trained at the Academy of Art San Francisco and runs her own studio in Benicia, CA.

We know that many of our customers primarily shoot other kinds of work. But great pictures are great pictures! Meo does work both in her studio, on-location and outdoors in the challenging San Francisco weather. She will be sharing some of her favorite outdoor portrait tips during our Monday afternoon training time on July 22, 3:30-4:40pm*. For those of you that would like some tips for a portrait studio setting, we welcome you to join us in the Glamour Shots®** training session that will occur on Monday afternoon 1pm-3pm. During this indoor session, she will specifically cover shooting tips for Maternity and Boudoir photography. Please shoot us an email if you would like to attend the indoor, portrait studio training with Glamour Shots on Monday, July 22, 1-3pm PT so that we may guarantee we have enough seats! Email jim.middaugh@candid.com .

We hope that you are able to attend and that you find the session with our distinguished guest photographer inspiring and that the time will translate into better photography, happier customers, more sales and more referrals for your business!

Here are a few of Meo’s favorite pieces of equipment.

Canon 5dmkII

50mm 1.4 (“My favorite lens… it stays on my camera 90% of the time!”)

24-105mm

580exII

Calumet 750 Travelites (umbrellas, softboxes, grid, snoot etc..)

Reflectors and huge 8ft tall polystyrene boards to bounce light back

We hope that you are excited about this great opportunity to get insight from another professional!

You can learn more about her by visiting www.meobaaklini.com .Some samples of her work are below:

boudoir_02

 

 

The impact of our distinguished seminar guest speaker, Steve Mulvany and his topic: Service Quality-An Edge or a Liability

CCS has had many speakers, several nationally known, at our annual seminars over the last 40+ years. One of those speakers who is nationally known has spoken to us on at least five occasions. He stands out as possibly the very best speaker who has ever spoken to us and one of the very best whom I have ever heard.

His name is Steve Mulvany. His topic is: Service Quality-An Edge or a Liability. This topic may seem mundane, but it is essential, especially today where reputations are built or destroyed rapidly via the Internet.

Developing a Customer Service culture is difficult in small and large organizations. It can be the difference maker between the success and failure of a business. Good customer service is not an accident, as Steve will tell you. It is also not something where you learn it, reach a goal, and relax. It requires constant effort to maintain it.

Mulvany’s message will detail his broad experience with many top companies in how to formulate, educate, and maintain excellent customer service over a long period of time. His humor and manner will make this seemingly dry topic entertaining and engaging.

His past messages to CCS customers and employees have changed the way we think about Customer Service. Some of our most successful customers say that Steve Mulvany has been instrumental in guiding their customer service philosophy.

As you know, our Summer Seminar is coming up in a little over three weeks. This year it is being held in San Francisco July 22nd-24th. We have been conducting these seminars, usually two a year, almost since the inception of Candid Color 40+ years ago.

We realize that it is a significant time commitment and expense to attend a meeting of any kind away from your place of business. But we strive to make the seminar motivating, educational, and practical. Most of all we strive to make it several times more profitable than its time commitment and expense.

I strongly encourage you to attend this seminar, no matter the size of your business or your experience level. You will benefit beyond measure from listening and incorporating
Steve’s message in your daily business practices.

We are lucky to have Steve speak to us and we all need to take advantage of it.

 

Dan Hays

COO, Candid Color Systems

 

Your sales funnel- small changes having a HUGE impact on your bottom line.

It is not uncommon that photographers focus intensely on the best ways to book business. We see courses on it, make materials to aide in booking and even go on sales calls with some of our customers. But we are rarely asked, “How can I maximize what I am already shooting?”

Booking and photography are frequently focused on to the exclusion of the other steps needed to run a profitable business. To maximize the business you shoot involves selling the most products to the most people possible. Studying your sales funnel will help you accomplish this.

The reality is that a relatively small percentage of potential buyers in a given situation will actually make a purchase. It has always been that way. But you can increase sales by getting more people to buy and/or getting a higher average sale per buyer.

A few examples of buy rate:

At college graduations about 50% or participants buy their picture.

With an average order of $60, this means you average $30 per graduate shot.

If 400 graduates are photographed then your sales would be $12,000.

For stadium fan photography, about 10% of pictures are purchased.

With an average order of $25, this means you average $2.50 per image taken.

If 6,000 images are taken then you can expect sales would be $15,000.

In both of these examples there is a huge opportunity to increase the number of buyers (or maybe even participants in the case of fan photography).  There is also an opportunity to increase the average order. Both can have a big impact.

Let’s look at an example of our ONLINE business funnel.

funnel_n

 

We lose potential buyers at each step. Here are a few reasons why we lose potential buyers:

  • not photographed because they were not aware photos were being taken
  • not photographed because they did not know when photos were taking place
  • can’t be contacted to view images (no email collected)
  • lose the password card they are provided at an event & can’t find their images
  • don’t open their emails
  • don’t click on the email to view the website
  • looked at images, but did not buy
  • don’t have a good pose to choose
  • did not see an appealing product
  • “Borrowed” our images instead of buying
  • Built an order /created a cart but did not check out

 A relative few become actual buyers. But think about the opportunity that brings! Let’s shoot for a very attainable improvement of 2 percentage points in the number of buyers.

An improvement of 2 percentage points in the number of people actually buying can have a huge impact when only 10% buy now!

If only 10% order from an event now – a 2 point increase in the number of buyers is a 20% increase in buyers and sales!

Simply reduce the non-buyers from 90% to 88%. That doesn’t seem too hard.

Since many costs for a given shoot are fixed – this can mean a 46% increase in profit.

Let’s look at a simple example for Shoot A:

Current sales of $10,000 (on a large event with 3K images. 300 or 10% purchasing)

Assume fixed costs of $4,000

Travel                        – Cost of booking

Photographers        – Equipment

Sending out proofs – Office overhead

Assume variable cost is 30% or $3,000

Profit of $3,000

$10,000 – $4,000 – $3,000 = $3,000 profit

If we increase the participants in Shoot A who make a purchase by 2 points:

  • That’s 20% more buyers and sales (move from 300 buyers to 360 or 12% purchasing)
  • $2,000 more sales – sales now $12,000
  • But only $600 more variable cost at 30%
  • Profit goes up $1,400
  • Total Profit now is $4,400 versus $3,000
  •  That is a 46% improvement in profit

        How do we get this 2 percentage point increase in buyers?

We study the places we lose buyers and we improve at each point.

Understanding the math…..

Book and schedule an event/opportunity. Here are some numbers to think about.

  • Photograph 75% of all available subjects
  • Have a way to communicate with 75% of them
  • 75% of them open our emails
  • 75% then click on links and view their images
  • 75% of them are honest and don’t “borrow”
  • 75% of them create an order and cart
  • 75% of them actually complete their order!
  • Only 13% of original prospects actually buy!
  • (75% x 75% x 75% x 75% x 75% x 75% x 75% = 13%)

To increase the number of buyers, we must improve at each point in the process.

If you made a 5 percentage point improvement at each step this gives you a much bigger increase than 5%

Check this out !

80% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 80% x 80% = 27% buy

Now 27% will buy versus 13%!

You will DOUBLE your sales!

You will TRIPLE your profit!

Small actions that impact a lot of people=big change. Think about all of the steps in your process and how you can improve at every turn.

That small 5% difference is why some people make a lot more money than others “doing the same thing.”

 

Time is running out! Take part in our nation-wide survey by May 17th!

2013SprtsSurvyH

Candid Color Systems® is reaching out to professionals in the sports photography field to complete a short industry survey. The survey will close on May 17th. This survey will be used to provide our customers, affiliates and the photography industry with valuable information to develop products, processes and services that can help maximize your business.

In return for your time, you will be provided with an advance copy of the valuable results we plan to glean from this survey. One of the best tools a business owner can have are benchmarks by which to judge your success.

Feel free to share this link with others in the industry who you feel could provide valuable feedback.

This survey will take less than 5 minutes. Get started HERE.

Thank you,

Candid Color Systems

Announcing our summer seminar guest speaker – Steve Mulvany

SteveCCS is excited to announce Steve Mulvany will be our distinguished, guest speaker for this summer’s CCS Seminar in San Francisco. He will be sharing some of his respected insights on management and customer service. Steve has shared his insights with CCS previously to high praise. Many of the CCS customers who were lucky enough to hear Steve speak at a previous seminar credit him with having made a real difference in their business.

More about Steve

Steve Mulvany is the President and founder of Management Tools Inc. where he works on a long-term basis with companies throughout the United States, Canada, and Australia implementing strategies to improve management and service quality practices which impact company performance and customers’ perceptions. 

Steve also facilitates long-range strategic and operational planning sessions for medium and large companies.  He has worked with companies ranging from major banks and conglomerates to Carl Sewell’s (author of Customers For Life) automobile dealerships. His experience has touched a large variety of industries with groups ranging from major resorts and hotel companies, to coal mines and Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.

Steve is one of the highest rated speakers on the topics of quality service, productivity, and strategic planning.  He has spoken worldwide to the Young Presidents’ Organization, the Department of Defense, numerous trade organizations, and many corporations.  YPO, which has the world’s most prestigious speakers present to their audiences, reports that the audio sales from Steve’s sessions are in the top 3 speakers of more than 200 of their highest rated speakers.

Steve serves on 3 corporate boards:  Strottman International (kids meal premiums leader), CWS Capital Partners (apartments), and Security Properties (commercial and residential real estate).

Steve graduated in 3 years with high honors from the University of California at Davis.  His graduate work concentrated in business administration and education at both U.C. Davis and California State University in Sacramento.  Steve resides in Coronado, California, with his wife Maud.  Together, Steve & Maud have 5 children.

Comments from CCS customers who heard Steve speak at a previous seminar:

“Steve is one of the most inspirational and personable speakers I have ever listened to.”

“Wow he’s awesome! Great choice!”

“Great speaker and topic!”

We hope that you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and attend the 2013 CCS summer seminar in San Francisco. This seminar is free to CCS customers. Visit http://www.candid.com/seminar or contact CCS Customer Development for more information.

Be a part of our Nationwide Sports Photography Survey!

2013SprtsSurvyH

Candid Color Systems® is reaching out to professionals in the sports photography field to complete a short industry survey. This survey will be used to provide our customers, affiliates and the photography industry with valuable information to develop products, processes and services that can help maximize your business.

In return for your time, you will be provided with an advance copy of the valuable results we plan to glean from this survey. One of the best tools a business owner can have are benchmarks by which to judge your success.

Feel free to share this link with others in the industry who you feel could provide valuable feedback.

This survey will take less than 5 minutes. Get started HERE.

Thank you,

Candid Color Systems

Regional Meeting Update: We are coming to Austin in 1 week!

Austin_Horizontal

Candid Color Systems® is going on the road! We are bringing staff members to you by hosting a series of regional meetings for CCS customers. Our next meeting is in Austin, TX!

These photography business meetings are a great opportunity for learning, discussion and networking offered to CCS customers at no cost! Join us to hear about new developments, best practices and industry trends that will help you grow your photo business. Each meeting will have time for an open discussion with topics selected by attendees. The meetings will be 9am-4pm and CCS will provide a light lunch.

LOCATION:

Wyndham Garden Austin
3401 South IH-35
Austin, TX 78741 US
1-512-448-2444

Click here to learn more and register for these events.

Our upcoming regional meetings:

  • Austin, TX Thursday, March 7th 2013
  • Las Vegas, NV Sunday, March 10th 2013 (before WPPI)

Please call or email one of our Customer Development representatives below if you have questions or click here if you would like to open an account.

How home security changed the photo industry

If you are like us, you have consumed a ridiculous amount of turkey and finally cleaned up the gift wrap. You may also be joining us in thinking hard about your upcoming year. What can be accomplished in 2013? There is infinite possibility!

Last week, we shared some of Jack’s holiday-inspired thoughts. In case you missed them, here is an important excerpt… We must constantly be in a learning mode.  When one stops learning – one soon becomes irrelevant.  There is a fine line between experience being your asset and experience being a form of baggage. 

The opportunities to learn are all around us.  We can find new information and skills from talking with others, from watching programs, from going to seminars, from going to trade shows, reading and much more.

For many, these comments seem like fluff. But it is with a heartfelt desire for constant improvement and a love for innovation that we share an example to illustrate the power of learning. Many of the significant advancements in every industry were right under the noses of those closest to the changes.

Here’s our story…

In the mid-eighties, a businessman visited a home trade show. The show contained all matter of impressive home-improvement projects including lawn equipment, windows, the latest in consumer electronics and home security devices (which all seem archaic now).

After making a few passes by a home security booth and seeing himself on the grainy black and white monitor used to display the feed from a security camera, he wondered if a user could print out the images from those cameras.

After speaking with the security booth representative, he learned that you could indeed print images from the security footage with the right set of hardware, cables and printer. Of course, the security expert warned, the printed images are rarely helpful because the security cameras are typically quite far from the subjects (hinting at what we now commonly refer to as poor resolution).

While not a good sell for the system as a security device, that conversation sparked another idea. Why not use this type of system in the photography world? Why not “record” a photography session simultaneously while photographing the client? How could this system allow clients to see their images?

The rest is history. This idea was soon tested for composite shoots. The idea was later adapted for portrait studios by synchronizing the video camera and screen with the film camera’s exposure (long before digital).

With a few other details and tweaks, this discovery eventually turned into the onsite proofing system that allowed Glamour Shots® to show images to their clients at the end of their photo session and receive an immediate printed proof. Viewing “video proofs” allowed the studios to have a sales session without the expense of printing proofs at a lab or requiring a customer to come back days or weeks after their session. It allowed the studios to take advantage of the excitement of the moment.

There was nothing new about this system in the security world, but it was industry-changing when applied to photography. Hundreds of stores and franchisees benefited from this simple application of an existing technology in a new way.

If you have been in the business world for very long at all you are keenly aware that change is the only constant. Open eyes and an open mind are the best tools you can arm yourself with. Let’s keep learning. Let’s make refinements. And as Jack stated last week….Let’s create and offer better products and services.  If we do that, the sales and profits will take care of themselves.  I truly believe that.

Here’s to a great 2013…with open eyes and open minds!

 

Happy Holidays: A letter from CCS President, Jack Counts Jr.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. The holidays are my favorite time of year and are a period where I reflect on my life’s many great memories and blessings.

The memories are bolstered by the many photographs I have around me in physical and electronic forms. Just seeing all of these images reminds me of the importance of what we do.

We truly add to the richness of people’s lives. Just yesterday, we were working on a new product, and my genuine thought was how cool it would be for the graduates and their families to have this product!

I am sure that kind of thought must cross your mind as you work in this memory business, too.

As we move into next year – let’s keep that thought! Let’s create images and products that enhance people’s memories – beyond what we do now. Let’s create and offer better products and services. If we do that, the sales and profits will take care of themselves. I truly believe that.

In order to do this, we must arm ourselves with better knowledge, new tools, and a positive attitude.

What we already know has value – but we must WORK to go beyond what we know now. We must constantly be in a learning mode. When one stops learning – one soon becomes irrelevant. There is a fine line between experience being an asset, or it being a form of baggage. That is the hard truth.

The opportunities to learn are all around us. We can find new information and skills from talking with others, from watching programs, from going to seminars, from going to trade shows, and from reading. I find SO much information from reading online and from traditional magazines.

Things change constantly. Some changes are big – but most changes are refinements or enhancements. And sometimes the small things can make huge differences – especially in business.

As we prepare to enter 2013, I hope that you will resolve to challenge yourself (as we do here at CCS) to never stop learning. If we are striving to learn, innovate and to do better for our customers, then we will all have a great year!

Happy Holidays,

Jack

 

The CCS Regional Meeting in Atlanta is less than 5 weeks away!

Candid Color Systems® is going on the road! We are bringing staff members to you by hosting a series of regional meetings for CCS customers. Our next meeting is in Atlanta following the Imaging USA Expo on January 23rd!

These photography business meetings are a great opportunity for learning, discussion and networking offered to CCS customers at no cost! Join us to hear about new developments, best practices and industry trends that will help you grow your photo business. Each meeting will have time for an open discussion with topics selected by attendees. The meetings will be 9am-4pm and CCS will provide a light lunch.

LOCATION:

Twelve Hotel- Centennial Park
400 W. Peachtree Street
Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Tel: 404.418.1212

Click here to register for the event and to give us your input on the agenda.

Other upcoming regional meetings:

  • Miami, FL Wednesday, February 13th 2013
  • Austin, TX Thursday, March 7th 2013
  • Las Vegas, NV Sunday, March 10th 2013

Hotel accommodations: CCS has not reserved a room block at this hotel.

Please call or email one of our Customer Development representatives below if you have questions or click here if you would like to open an account.

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