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.”

 

Holiday product ideas at every price point

The holidays are quickly approaching! There are only 2 weekends left for holiday shoppers who do not want to incur expedited shipping fees on most websites. A new product mix for the holidays could go a long way towards increasing sales. One key to a well-balanced product mix is to feature multiple price points. This gives every customer the opportunity to make a purchase. Here are a few ideas!

Low Price Point

During the holidays, many of your customers expect deals. Offering lower priced items that can be gifted affordably to family members and friends is important. Allow your customers to create puzzles, photo buttons, ceramic ornaments, collages, holiday cards and custom attitude prints with a holiday message to show off their photos in a fun and creative way. Keep shipping costs in mind too! Paper products and other products that can be shipped flat will help keep costs down.

Moderate Price Point

If standard products such as 5x7s and 8x10s are your business’s bread-and-butter, this is a great chance for a special that encourages your customers to buy more prints or upgrade their purchase. Consider offering attractive upgrades to these core products such as pearlized paper, frames with a purchase or even larger packages. Allow your customers to customize their images with holiday text and bubbles, or consider an upsell (or gift with purchase) with an item from the lower tiered price point such as an aluminum keychain.

Other popular gift items at a moderate price point include iPhone cases, photo mugs, water bottles, plaques, statuettes and calendars (which should be promoted as the New Year draws near).

Premium Price Point

In every market there are customers looking for products that are the best-of-the-best and are willing to pay for them. Framed prints, canvas gallery wraps, box mounts and acrylic products are meant to be displayed. Many customers desire these kinds of finished pieces which are ready-to-hang. There is no better marketing for you than to have your customers show off your premier products in their homes, especially during the holidays when friends and family gather.

You can remarket for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years and Valentine’s all within the next 2 months!

Need help?

Candid Color Systems can provide assistance in your marketing and booking efforts. If you are interested in setting up a customized holiday email marketing campaign with the FREE software CCS provides, please contact Customer Development at 1-800-336-4550.

Booking Tips for Fall

As the summer season begins, it is never too early to prepare for Fall Sports. As photographers, we will do all we can to produce great photography. It’s what we love to do. However, one area that can often be ignored is the marketing of your photography business. Increasing your bookings is a must. Making a commitment to invest the time and capital into this area on a regular basis will promote and increase awareness about your business. This awareness will result in growth and increased revenue. Constantly being out in front of your customers and prospects will only grow your business. Here are a couple of marketing ideas that will help make this Fall a success:

The most effective way to book more business is to make face to face sales calls on promising potential customers.


Make sure your first impression is a great one. Taking the following steps will insure a great first impression:

  • Attitude is everything! Display an upbeat positive attitude. Explaining the execution of the photo shoot and your unique product line with excitement and passion is one simple step to making a great first impression. Always present a “can do” attitude. Your positive energy will have a positive influence on the entire presentation. Even when giving a 30 second sales pitch, the use of positive body language and an energetic attitude can make all the difference.
  • Dress the part. When meeting with your contact for the first time, your appearance is one of the first things your prospect will notice. If meeting with a large booster group in the evening, professional attire consisting of a dress shirt and slacks may be necessary. Casual dress is acceptable if you’re meeting a coach in the gym or out on the field. Looking sharp shows respect to the client and can only help in making a good first impression.
  • Be Prepared. Put time and effort into perfecting your sales presentation. Before every appointment, visit their website and thoroughly review all their information. With this one step, you will gain detailed information which will make you more comfortable and confident when giving your pitch. It also is an excellent way to show the customer you actually care about the project and you’re not just trying to book another shoot. Have plenty of copies of your presentation to pass out. Have your print samples organized and ready to pass out at different times of your presentation. Passing out all of your materials at the beginning of the presentation can result in the customer concentrating on the samples and losing focus on you and what you are saying. Review and know the particular products and prices of what you will offer. Testimonies are a powerful tool. Provide a list of satisfied customers. Let your prospect know who already believes in you and has benefitted from your services. Finally, have scheduling agreements with you so you can close the deal.
  • Listen. Be careful not to talk all the time about you. Listen to the specific needs and desires of the customer. Listen and take note to the problems and complaints they’ve had in the past. Ask questions to discover the expectations they have for the photo shoot and the photography company they hire. When discussing their experience with your competition, stay positive and listen to what they like and dislike about them. Gaining this information is the key to satisfying their needs. Remember two ears, one mouth.
  • Start and finish on time. Coaches are pressed for time. Having an efficient, organized, to the point presentation is what they desire. Respect their time by staying on track. A printed copy of the agenda for everyone attending is an effective way to accomplish this. Show gratitude towards everyone attending for taking the time to meet with you. Prepare your presentation allowing enough time at the end to answer any questions the customer may have.
  • Leave a lasting impression. One step in the marketing mix that many ignore is the power of a hand written thank you note. This is an excellent way to show your character to the customer. With all the quick digital ways of communicating today, a hand written note is a unique tool. It shows special effort which the client will remember. Make it a habit after every appointment to send a follow up note thanking the client for the opportunity to meet with them.

Maximize the benefits of technology – Although face time is the best way to book business, the use of the following technologies allows sales people to reach clients in several ways.

  • Collect Emails – Collecting the email addresses of all of your accounts will create a database that is a very valuable marketing tool. Also, collecting emails from prospective accounts is another step in the right direction. Use email technology to maintain your relationships with your accounts. Constantly stay in front of them with the simple click of the mouse.
  • Emails are also a great way to keep your buying customers informed about new promotions, products and specials. One of the most powerful uses from the collection of emails is the ability to remarket old events. Remarketing through emails is a great way to raise revenue.  Sales from these past events have a high profit margin because most of the overhead cost has been covered.
  • Web Presence – In today’s marketplace almost every business has a website.  Obviously in the photography business, the graphic design of the site is extremely important. A website is a great place to showcase your work. However, sometimes so much time and effort is given to the look of the site, that the objective of the site can be ignored. One of the main objectives for a website is to introduce your products and services in a positive way. If your website is difficult to navigate through or is to complex, customers can become overwhelmed and frustrated. Having a website that is easy to understand and navigate through will maximize your opportunity of capturing a new customer. Keeping your site clean, simple and easy to use will be a pleasant experience for visitors keeping them coming back. Websites are also a great way to capture emails and other contact information of interested visitors. Make sure your site gives them plenty of opportunities to do this.
  • A good business is built on good relationships. Social media, facebook, twitter etc. are all about building and maintaining relationships. Use social media technology to keep your customers excited and informed on what your company is doing.  Use this technology to introduce new services and products. Social media is a great form of the best advertising, word of mouth. Provide exciting information that will get people talking. Be sure you get the Facebook address and the Twitter address of all the people you talk with so that you can request to become a friend or follower with them.
  • Be Reachable – Never forget the power of a personal telephone call. At times your telephone is your business life line. Nothing can frustrate a customer faster than having their calls ignored and being forced to leave several voicemails.  At some point in most selling situations a telephone conversation will take place between you and your client. Customers are calling you because they want to talk to you on the phone, not through email or through texting. Make it a common practice to answer all incoming calls.  Be sure to use this powerful tool correctly. Customers will always recognize and appreciate the fact that every time they call you, they can reach you.

Maximize your sales – Making sales is always necessary, but determine which accounts are the most profitable and the characteristics of these accounts.

  • Focus on being profitable -Filling your calendar with lots of business is exciting. Landing those accounts you have been working on for months or years is a great opportunity. Sometimes the excitement of getting the new account can distort the focus from being profitable. Good sales are profitable sales. Review and pay close attention to your offers and price points. Keep track of your overhead expenses and compare them with your sales after each event. Determine your profit from each event. Focusing on this and staying consistent with this practice will inform you which events are worth shooting and which ones need to be replaced. Discover which products are most profitable such as Attitude Panos, statuettes or Level Two products and always include these in your offers. Keep your offers simple and not over whelming. A complicated offer can frustrate your customers. This confusion can result in smaller orders with smaller sales. Another way to stay profitable when prospecting is to seek all sports opportunities in a designated area. Scheduling several appointments in the same geographic area will maximize your sales efforts and minimize your expenses. Make it a goal to execute your photo shoots with minimum overhead and maximum efficiency.  After each photo shoot, take notes of the positives and negatives of the shoot. This will help in shooting the next year. Stay organized with your equipment from start to finish. This will make your shoots more efficient, allowing you more time to book more business. Yes, we always need more sales, but keeping your focus on making them profitable will eliminate frustration and add to the bottom line.
  • Repeat business & New business - One of the most profitable parts of the photography business is repeat business. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to concentrate only on gaining new business. Repeat customers are currently satisfied with your services and spend more than new customers. They will refer business to you. Focus on this group and keep them satisfied. With new prospects, make the most of every appointment. Hopefully, you will be successful and book the event. However, even if they have already booked their photography, this meeting introduces them to you and the services of your company. Always remind them if they ever need a backup photographer, you are ready and willing. Also, this first meeting with them will make things more comfortable when approaching them again the following year. Don’t miss any opportunities, stay in touch!

Become as effective with the marketing of your photography business as you are with photography itself and the sky’s the limit!

Candid Color Systems can provide assistance in your marketing and booking efforts. We have training presentations, newsletters and custom marketing materials. If you need advice about booking and shooting school sports, Customer Development is here to help! Call 800.336.4550 and become a customer today.

 

Obscure Sports Can Make Money

 

Breaking in to a Middle School or High School that has a long and/or close relationship with a photographer can be challenging. But often the established photographer will neglect the smaller or more obscure sports teams. This opens up an opportunity for you to showcase your abilities as a sports photographer and to gain credibility in a way that no sales call to the major sports coaches can accomplish.

Cross Country, Field Hockey, Golf and Tennis are examples of obscure sports. These are typically smaller teams that are not aggressively pursued, creating an opportunity to introduce your business. These teams are excited to be photographed and can be profitable undertakings. If executed correctly, they can not only improve your bottom line, but they can be the bridge to the bigger sport programs. These teams don’t require a great deal of time to shoot and rarely require extra labor.  If possible, attempt to schedule these smaller teams all on the same day. A sports photo day will lower your overhead and will make it easier on the coach. Maximizing time and labor is critical to making these smaller team photo shoots profitable.

Make a great first impression

One of the major goals of photographing these smaller teams is to gain future business. After you schedule the booking, take advantage of this opportunity to showcase the highlights of your business. Show them how your company is better than the competition by meeting all scheduled timelines and delivering products when promised. Offer a unique product line and price them fairly. Send a follow up card, thanking them for their business. When you succeed in these areas, ask for referrals from the coach you are working with.  This can be the key to future business.

Get to know your new contact

Coaches network with each other constantly and if you are successful with their teams, they can be your best advertisers for new business. Discover what tournaments or summer camps they participate in. One successful photo shoot can lead to many others. A coach of one smaller sports team may be a coach in a different season of another larger team. He will also know a number of coaches at his school and at other schools. Last, he may move from one school to another. All of this interconnectivity between coaches provides an opportunity for you to break into a school whose football coach says he is happy with the photographer he has been using. If your products, service, photography, logistics of the shoot and communication “wow” the coach, he or she will most likely tell others. This can lead to you booking all of the sports in that school.

Although the profits from these smaller teams may be less than the profits from a larger team, one benefit to consider is you have gained a new customer that can lead you to bigger profits. This new customer can be added to your portfolio and referral list. This is a great advantage when seeking new business. Marketing obscure sports can be profitable and a great way to grow your business.

Candid Color Systems can provide assistance in your marketing and booking efforts. We have training presentations, newsletters and custom marketing materials. If you need advice about booking and shooting school sports, Customer Development is here to help! Call 800.336.4550 and become a customer today.

Benefits of Creating and Using a Sales Matrix

When I was asked to write this newsletter article, I decided to approach it from the perspective of someone who loves to take pictures! That is why we all do what we do…we love photography. We capture moments in time that make memories tangible. There is no denying that we can say that we all have pretty cool jobs! Let’s look at how you can go from where you are now to taking advantage of all photography opportunities in your area.

We like to keep things pretty simple in our sports division. So, what I am going to share with you guys is very simple. We use a spreadsheet called a matrix to analyze all photography opportunities in our area and we associate a dollar amount to each of these events. This allows us to see the potential money out there waiting to be realized and it allows us to forecast the amount of revenue we expect for events already booked. Great, right?

Here are the 5 steps to making and using a Matrix.

  1. Determine your dollars per person photographed
  2. Make a list of all booked events and potential events in your area
  3. Enter the list into a spreadsheet
  4. Estimate the number of attendees per event
  5. Multiply the number of attendees by the dollars per person

Let’s look at each step in a little more detail.

1.  DETERMINE YOUR DOLLARS PER PERSON PHOTOGRAPHED

In our division, we have broken this down on a sport by sport basis. We do this because we are able to more accurately forecast the revenue for each type event. However, if you don’t photograph sports you can still group the events you photograph into categories by grouping together similar events. Once this is done, total the sales for each of the categories and divide it by the number of people photographed.

(Total Category Sales / Total Participants = $ per person photographed)

2.  MAKE A LIST OF ALL BOOKED EVENTS AND POTENTIAL EVENTS IN YOUR AREA

Create this list representing each calendar month. This way you can estimate how much money you will be grossing from your events and you can staff according to what is economically viable. Begin by listing all events you already have scheduled and then list potential events that you would like to photograph. You can find these events online, in the newspaper or around your community.

3.  ENTER THE LIST INTO A SPREADSHEET

Open a blank worksheet in Excel and list all events or organizations you are working with or would like to be photographing. Then copy this list onto a new tab for each of the calendar months.

Here, I have listed the names of schools that we are currently photographing and schools we would like to be photographing.

Below, I added additional columns that allow you to more accurately forecast sales. I have one for dollars per athlete, number of athletes, projected sales, actual sales, status (where you are in the sales/booking process) and previous year’s sales.

4.  ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF ATTENDEES PER EVENT

It is crucial to acquire the number of event attendees to accurately forecast how much the event will make. Most of the time you can contact someone at the event and find out the total number of expected attendees and if they aren’t sure it is ok to ask them for an estimate. Sports shoots are easy to predict because they know the number of players on each team. If you do not photograph sports and are unable to gather the attendee number, just gauge the number of attendees by comparing it to a similar event that you have photographed in the past. Now, enter this number of attendees into your spreadsheet.

5.  MULTIPLY THE NUMBER OF ATTENDEES BY THE DOLLARS PER PERSON

Enter the dollars per attendee in the appropriate column next to the number of attendees. Multiply these numbers together to determine the forecasted amount that the event will generate. In our division, we have a matrix for total events (booked and potential bookings) and one for booked events. We do this so we can see the potential business available in the total events matrix and then see what we are on track to actually gross by looking at our booked events.

Using a matrix will help you have a better understanding of the potential photography money in your area and help you gauge what months might be in need of additional bookings. It has been an amazing tool that helps our division staff events by being conscious of overhead in comparison to forecasted sales. It is a simple process with excellent rewards!

Graduations Are a Lucrative Market in Every Town or City

Graduations can be one of the most lucrative photo markets.  Best of all, Candid Color Systems® has all of the know-how and systems to help you be competitive and profitable in this market.

The photography is relatively easy but requires detailed preparation and back up equipment.  Once graduations start, they rarely stop until all graduates have received their diplomas.

Booking can range from easy to very hard depending on the size of the graduation, the amount of competition, and the school itself.

Why bother with doing this if you are a portrait, school or sports photographer?  Because, minute for minute, you will probably make more money photographing a graduation than any other kind of event.  A 300 student high school graduation can yield sales of up to $6000 with a $3000 to $4000 profit when best practices are followed.  A 300 student college graduation can yield sales of $10,000 dollars with profits upward of $5000.  The actual shoot will require you to be on site two hours early to set up and will require about one to two hours of actual photography.  For the 300 graduates in our example, the post production work will require about 10 hours to identify each graduate, type in names, addresses and emails, merge images with names, send out emails and print and mail paper proofs.

If you want to start small and work your way up, start with a Middle School graduation (also called Bridging Ceremony) or a Vo-tech or Community College.  These are generally easier to book and less stressful to shoot.  The sales from these events are usually somewhere between those of a high school and College.

If you live in an area with a College or University, then the person who is usually in charge is the Registrar.  If it is not the Registrar, then the Registrar should be able to inform you as to who is in charge.  Just because one school or college within a university is being photographed, doesn’t mean that all of the ceremonies are.  You may need to check with each different school to see what the situation is.  If someone is already photographing the university, scout the graduation to see what improvements you could make when you try to book it the next year.

If you are in a town with one or more high schools, then you definitely need to make an effort to book the graduations.  Many are not being photographed at all or the photographer is only photographing those students who opt for the service in advance.

The program CCS recommends  photographs every student at least twice (two different poses), sends the graduate and /or  parents an email link to the proofs, and follows that up with a paper proof mailed to the graduate’s home.  There is no charge to the school or university for the photography.  The students/parents order only what they want in the privacy of their homes, after looking at proofs online or paper proofs sent to the home.

A wide variety of products and packages are offered which cover a broad price range.  There is something for everyone.  Pictures ordered online through CCS are mailed directly to the graduate’s home within a few days of ordering (usually within 3 or 4 days).

Candid Color has webinars available on all aspects of booking and shooting graduations.  Also, our Customer Development Staff stands ready to help answer all your questions and to mentor you through the entire process.

We have 40 years of experience in this market and process half of all the graduates’ pictures at the high school and college level in the U.S.   If you already have contacts in your local high schools or colleges, leverage those contacts to assist you in booking the graduation.  You will be happy you did.

Resources Available from CCS for Graduations

  • CCS Green Screen Best Practices Guide and CCS Graduation Best Practices Guide posted on Candidnet.candid.com under the “Best Practices” section
  • CCS Webinars (7 scheduled in the next two months)
  • Grad Events-April 10th, 3:30 P.M.  See schedule at Candidnet.candid.com (need user name and password for your account). Schedule is also posted in Developments and Snapshots.
  • Webinar schedule also listed on Candid.com
  • Past Seminar and Workshop Presentations on Graduations posted on Candidnet.candid.com.

For assistance, call your Customer Development Representative who can guide you through the materials and mentor you through your first booking and shooting of a graduation.

Booking School Portraits and Graduations

As graduation season approaches, many photographers are thinking about breaking into the graduation and school markets or expanding upon the business that they currently have. Graduations and school portraits are two markets that can be very profitable and fun to photograph. You can book both at the same time in a face to face visit to a school. No appointment necessary!

The time frame to book school portraits and graduations is generally February through early May. Visits can be made to the school throughout the year and they can be very successful, but keep in mind that if your target school already has a photographer, you are more likely to get a contract signed during this time period. That is generally when the decision is made.

Start your meeting with the principal when doing sales for schools and graduations. If they are not the decision maker, they will know who to direct you to. It is best to do a little research to find out who the principal or yearbook advisor is prior to your visit. Having the name of the decision maker will help you get past the gatekeepers.

Once you are face to face with the decision maker, it is important to provide them with the information that they are looking for:

  • High Quality Samples
  • Bid/ Pricing sheets for end customer
  • Rebates back to the school
  • Administrative products that you offer
  • Duration of shoot/ How many photographers will you bring
  • Information on your photography company
  • Recommendations from current schools
  • Cost to the school (if any)

You can also discuss things that you are going to need from them such as:

  • Names list of students (for marketing or sequencing)
  • Hanging posters or pre-marketing materials that you provide
  • Proofing of names on group images

It is best to discuss all of these details up front so that the administration is not surprised by your plan or needs later. When discussing the details of your shoot, be sure to only promise what you can deliver. This will help you keep the new business and keep your administration happy for the long term!

Sports Photography: What to Book Now?

It is important when you are planning on booking sports photography events to plan your sales calls according to the best time to book the event. We believe the most effective way to approach booking sport shoots is to approach the contact when they are focused on their preparations for the season. This is the time right before practice stars, but not before they know the schedule for the rest of the season. For most sports, this time is approximately six to eight weeks before the first game. There are some exceptions to this rule and they are football teams and booking entire youth athletic leagues. With that being said, NOW is the time to book football, youth leagues and other spring sports.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You will have far greater success in booking sport photography events when you call on a contact when they have time to devote to a conversation about their photography needs.  

 

Football

As we mentioned previously, this is the prime time to approach football coaches and booster parents. The season is over and spring practice will not begin for another 4-6 weeks. Signing day is over and students are using this time for weightlifting and additional strength training. Coaches have free time and are more receptive to hear your presentation. The new booster club has been elected and if a photography change is going to be made, now is the right time to approach them.

 

 

 

School Spring Sports

It isn’t technically Spring, but these sports are already gearing up to compete. Right now you should be calling on the following Middle School and High School sports:

  • Soccer
  • Baseball
  • Track
  • Golf

 

 

Summer Leagues/Camps/Tournaments

When it comes to summer leagues, camps and tournaments, the possibilities are endless! Here are just a few of the popular sports that have summer functions:

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Cheer
  • Gymnastics
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Pom

There are numerous types of organizations and facilities that host these events, such as:

  • City Youth Athletic Programs
  • YMCA/YWCA
  • University Athletic Departments (Camps)
  • High Schools (Camps)
  • Professional Teams (Camps)
  • Country Clubs (Tournaments)
  • Ballparks
  • Soccer Fields

 

Last Minute Opportunities

These are organizations that might have already scheduled their photography, but it is still worth approaching. You will at least know who is doing their photography and when to approach them the following year. Some organizations to consider are soccer leagues, 7 on 7 football leagues and baseball leagues.

5 Booking Tips

  1. List all potential sports opportunities in a designated area. (ex. 50 mile radius)
  2. Call on potential events geographically to maximize sales time.
  3. Bring plenty of samples. (sports specific if possible)
  4. Attitude Panos and Virtual Groups are excellent booking tools
  5. Ask for the business and get the details of the event in writing and have the client sign it.

Approaching booking events with a planned strategy will make a noticeable difference in the amount of events you book. Have a clearly defined plan and execute it. Going out and calling will allow you the opportunity to network and promote your company. Just get out and go!

 

Signs of Spring are ALL Around!

Shortly after the CCS Winter Seminar I traveled to the East Coast to visit family.  While cruising around from place to place I happened to notice the first signs of Spring. Rising out of the ground at every intersection were the colorful harbingers of warmer temperatures and sun-soaked trees.  No, I’m not referring to bright yellow daffodils or purple crocuses but League registration signs. These colorful signs were everywhere inviting sports photographers to discover opportunities for booking leagues and teams.

These signs provide a map—via email addresses, websites, and telephone numbers—expanding your reach and exposing more sports teams to the ever-increasing arsenal of sports products at your disposal via Candid Color Systems.  League registration signs are a call to action whether you’re new to sports photography, or are interested in escalating your business to the next level.

To ignore such signs would be a mistake.  Of course, you won’t know until you make contact whether or not these organizations are contracted with a photographer, or are looking for your assistance.  Either way it will give you the opportunity to initiate relationships, build your business credibility, and get the word out about the sports products and services you want to offer.  Don’t ignore the signs of Spring.  Any one of these signs might lead you to your own pot of gold.

 

Brian Speers

Customer Development Specialist

The Importance of Presentation for Youth Sports Photography Businesses

Regardless of what business you’re in, first impressions are everything. A great first impression and a professional look can help a youth sports photography business book more business, and increase its sales on every job.

Presentation when booking the shoot

You will need to adapt your dress and presentation for different situations.

If you’re approaching a coach before a practice, you’ll want to dress more casually (khaki pants or shorts and polo shirts) than you would if you were meeting with league or school officials.

It’s also a necessity that you have professional looking business cards on hand to leave with the person/people that you’re meeting.

Business cards should look professional, not printed at home on card stock, and have a simple layout with all your relevant information clearly visible (address, phone number, email address).

Also, try putting your picture, preferably a nice business portrait, on your business cards. It’s much harder for someone to throw away a business card with a picture on it and it also reminds that person of you.

One mistake that youth sports photographers make when trying to book new business is that they put down their competition. Never be negative about a competitor. This makes you look unprofessional and can cost you the shoot in the end.

Don’t assume that the coach/organization is unhappy with their current photographer. You want to expand upon what your competition is doing and present yourself as a better solution to their needs.

Some other important things to consider:

- Continuity is important. Everything should be branded with your company name and logo.

- No tobacco use in or around school property or the meeting area. Also, no visible tattoos or unacceptable piercings should be showing.

- Smile! Be a cheerleader for your business.

- Have a professional way to show samples. Presenting your samples electronically, on an iPad or Laptop, perhaps even with projector, will help you save money on physical samples. However, you will want to have physical samples of any specialty products that you offer.

- When making your presentation to a group of people, be sure to have copies of your presentation to pass out. For a one on one meeting, having a single page flyer that outlines your services will suffice.

- Know your products and offers thoroughly. Have pricing available that will fit people and areas from all walks of life.

- Have a calendar and scheduling agreements with you, in case they want to book with you on the spot.

- Everything is about expectations. Make sure that your expectations regarding a shoot line up with theirs. Do what you say you’re going to do when you’re going to do it.

Your professional image says a lot about you and your business and it can mean the difference between booking a shoot or watching your competition collect the sales.

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