Booking Dance Schools: Now’s the Time to Generate Bookings!

If you are seriously considering venturing into the Dance school market, or, are already reaping the rewards in this very lucrative market, there is no better time than right now to force a sales effort, and here’s why.


If a dance school/studio had a bad experience with their current photography company during their Spring recital season—typically, from April through June—the pain of that bad experience is still fresh in their mind.  Poorly executed images, child-unfriendly photographers, slow package turnaround, long waits in line, a lack of preparedness, and a shoot schedule running nearly an hour late are just a few of the issues with which some dance studios may have had to contend.

Right about this time of year, most dance schools/studios are planning their summer hiatus trying to recover from the chaos and long hours that occur annually with Spring recitals.  All the more reason why you should be striking while the iron is hot.

Keep in mind that a dance studio is more similar to a league than a team. A dance school of 250 individual dancers can quickly double the number of individual photo sessions.  How can this happen you may ask? Costumes. By photographing individuals in multiple dance costumes you have the opportunity of selling more photographs of each student. I’ll bet you’ve never had the opportunity of photographing a baseball team in three different uniforms!  But it happens in dance!

In addition, the school director may have had to distribute the finished prints to angry parents and listen to the same lame customer service story over and over again.  This is no way to treat a client!  So here are a few tips to consider when marketing your services to a dance school:

Speak only to the studio owner

Spinning your wheels and wasting time with a studio manager or a dance instructor is not time well spent.  If your initial visit doesn’t include a conversation with the school owner then get their phone number and set an appointment.  Don’t waste time with someone that isn’t the decision maker.

Show them your specialty products


Attitude Panos, Level TwoTM products, and graphic designs created by CCS just for the dance market are all available to you in QuicPost and CORE.  Recognize that these products—and others—will open doors for you, and create conversation encouraging your client to listen to what you have to say.  Most have not seen products like this before, especially for dance.  At one school that our retail division photographed, an additional $1,379 was taken in just on Attitude Panos of “dance company” members.

Also, the recently introduced acrylic products available from CCS make a great presentation and give you the opportunity of displaying a high-end product that will help to raise the price of an average order.  Acrylic products are singularly different than anything currently offered in many different photo markets.  Make a splash by bringing these products to a formal presentation.

Finally, the newly introduced Freestyle Collage Pano is a great supplement to the bread-and-butter products offered in your basic packages.  This new product allows the end customer to create their own Panos and collages using CCS designed backgrounds and graphics.

View First: Your distinct competitive advantage

Using the CCS View First marketing system, with multiple images of each dancer displayed online, you have several advantages that you can sell.

  1. It’s a no-hassle system – No envelopes to be handed out; no money collected up-front; and all orders are shipped directly to the end customer’s home. You couldn’t make it any easier for those involved with the shoot.
  2. CHOICE of Poses – Parents prefer the idea of purchasing photos AFTER they’ve had a chance to view their child’s images.  With a pre-pay system parents are frequently stuck with photos they don’t like.  In View First they get to see ALL images of their child whether it’s individual images, as part of a dance team, or even buddy shots.  Typical sales averages for dance school using View First range from $48-$52 per order, with 30-65% ordering.
  3. Email campaigns – Once you’ve photographed the dance school you can now use the email addresses collected at the shoot (or provided by the school) to remind parents about ordering online.  It’s been proven for years that every time an email is transmitted to potential customers there is a spike in sales.  An email campaign that spans a six or eight month period does the best job of keeping your name in front of your customers; it also creates the best opportunity for increased sales over a period of time.

CCS Dance Marketing Materials

To aid in your booking of dance schools CCS has created some booking flyers.  One version mentions giving the dance studio a commission; another version does not. We have also created flyers to help promote your products and Photo Day. You can find those materials on Candidnet.Candid.com under Marketing/Business development > Marketing Materials> Dance School Flyers.  For more information contact Brian Speers at 800-336-4550 ext. 251.

Dance Schools: A Great Time to Market Your Services is NOW!

Right about this time of year, most dance schools/studios are planning their summer hiatus trying to recover from the chaos and long hours that occur annually with Spring recitals.  If you are seriously considering getting into the Dance school market, or are already reaping the rewards in this very lucrative market, there is no better time to make a sales effort and market your services than right now.  And this is why: if a school/studio had a bad experience with their current photographer company over the Spring recital season—which is typically from April though May—the pain of that bad experience is still fresh in their mind.  Bad photos, child-unfriendly photographers, poor service, slow turnaround, long lines and a schedule that was running nearly an hour late are just a few of the issues with which some studios may have had to contend.

Keep in mind that a dance studio is more similar to a league than a team. In a recent school photographed by our retail division, CCP, 242 individual dancers created nearly double the amount of photo sessions.  How did this happen?  Costumes.  By photographing individuals in multiple costumes you have the opportunity of selling more photographs of each student.   Never do you have the opportunity of photographing a baseball team in three different uniforms!

In addition, the school director may have had to distribute the finished prints to angry parents and listen to the same lame customer service story over and over again.  This is no way to treat a client!  So here are a few tips to consider when marketing your services to a dance school:

Speak only to the studio owner

Spinning your wheels and wasting time with a studio manager or a dance instructor is not time well spent.  If your initial visit doesn’t include a conversation with the school owner then get their phone number and set an appointment.  Don’t waste time with someone that isn’t the decision maker.

Show them your specialty products

Attitude panos, Level Two products, and graphic designs created by CCS just for the dance market. Understand that these products will open doors for you and encourage your client to listen to what you have to say.  Most have not seen products like this before, especially relative to dance.  At one school that our retail division photographed an additional $1379 was taken in just on Attitude panos of “dance company” members.

 

 

View First: your distinct competitive advantage

Using the CCS View First marketing system with multiple images of each dancer displayed online, you have several advantages that you can sell.

            1. It’s a no-hassle system – No envelopes to be handed out; no money collected up-front; and all orders are shipped directly to the end customer’s home. You couldn’t make it any easier for those involved with the shoot.

            2. CHOICE of Poses – Parents prefer the idea of purchasing photos AFTER they’ve had a chance to view their child’s images.  With a pre-pay system parents are frequently stuck with photos they don’t like.  In View First they get to see ALL images of their child whether it’s individual images, as part of a dance team, or even buddy shots.  Typical sales averages for dance school using View First range from $48-$52 per order, with 30-65% ordering.

            3. Email campaignsOnce you’ve photographed the dance school you can now use the email addresses collected at the shoot (or provided by the school) to remind parents about ordering online.  It’s been proven for years that every time an email is transmitted to potential customers there are a spike in sales.  An email campaign that spans a six or eight month period does the best job of keeping your name in front of your customers; it also creates the best opportunity for increased sales over a period of time.

CCS Dance Marketing Materials

To aid in your booking of dance schools CCS has created some booking flyers.  One version mentions giving the dance studio a commission; another version does not. We have also created flyers to help promote your products and Photo Day.  For more information on dance marketing materials or to become a customer, contact Brian Speers at 800-336-4550 ext. 251.

Dance School Products, Pricing and Cost Structure

Dance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently encouraged photographers to take a close look at dance schools as a great source of revenue. Our sales average coupled with a good buy rate make our dance school sales a great example of a successful shoot. Our product mix, pricing and cost structure were also key to the success of this example.
 
Our product mix was comprised of designer prints, 3 packages, a la carte specialty items, a la carte standard prints and some “upsells.” The “upsell” is only available after another purchase is made. To see a sample of the dance event offer online go to www.teamphotonetwork.com and enter the following information on the left side: PIN- 5731         Last name- Sample
 
The products and prices were developed after intensely studying successful sports photography programs. We feel that offering 3 packages is key to success.  In the future we would consider raising the price of 2-5x7s to $14. We do recognize that pricing is somewhat dependent on the photographer’s location. Below is a breakdown of the products sold in our dance studio shoot example.
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Top Products sold by Quantity sold        
Product Name Total Sales Retail Qty %
2 5×7’s standard finish    $2,340.00 $12.00 195 34.0%
8 standard finish wallets $684.00 $12.00 57 9.9%
Memory Mate – Pink Dance $588.00 $12.00 49 8.5%
8×10 standard group print $370.00 $10.00 37 6.4%
Print Quality Download $740.00 $20.00 37 6.4%
8×10 standard finish $320.00 $10.00 32 5.6%
2 5×7’s deluxe finish  $682.00 $22.00 31 5.4%
Star Package Standard Finish $912.00 $38.00 24 4.2%
Shining Star Package Standard Finish $680.00 $40.00 17 3.0%

 

NOTE: Wallets were not sold by themselves. They were an “upsell” which meant a purchase was required.  Customers took that “upsell” 57 times or in 28% of orders placed.
 
Top Products sold by % of total sales
*Important to note that star package was 8th in terms of quantity sold BUT it comprised 9.9% of total sales by dollars
•       2 5×7’s standard finish 25.6%
•       Star Package Standard Finish 9.9%
•       8 standard finish wallets 7.5%
•       2 5×7’s deluxe finish 7.47%
•       Shining Star Package Standard Finish 7.45%
We broke our costs into 2 categories: Lab/Print Costs and “Additional.”  Total Lab Costs ran ($3,307.62) and were divided as follows.
 
Prints Postage and shipping materials Online Hosting Payment Processing
($1,964.01) ($396.07) ($626.57) ($320.97)
59.4% of lab costs 12.0% of lab costs 18.9% of lab costs 9.7% of lab costs
 
Our total additional costs were ($2,224). Costs to keep in mind that may fall under the “additional” category are:
 
•       Booking Commission to sales staff
•       Commission to the dance studio
–      EXAMPLE: 10% of print sales (revenue subtotal- no tax & shipping) $912
•       Labor:
–      Pre-printing sequence cards/ slates for the shoot
–      Scheduling
–      Photographer pay – $200 a day (full day)
–      Helper Pay – $50-$100 a day
–      “Iding” of the images from sequence cards
•       EXAMPLE:  8hrs x $10/hr               $80
–      Order entry for orders that are not placed online
•       Proofs
–       forms (pre-print/ overprint)
–      return envelope overprinting
–      postage
•       Samples/ Posters for marketing the event
Below is a recap of our sales, costs and profit. We hope that you find this information helpful when trying to decide if you would like to pursue dance schools as a source of revenue. Now is the time to book dance schools. This information can be used as a guide to help you set sales goals and to design your marketing plan. For more information on dance schools and guidance on how to book them, please contact the Candid Color Systems Customer Development department at 1-800-336-4550.
 
Sales, Lab/ Print Costs and Gross Profit  Information
•       Product Sales $9,125.00
•       Shipping $842.50
•       Total Revenues $9,967.50
•       Tax $731.51
•       Total Event Sales $10,699.01
•       Gross Profit $6,659.88
•       Gross Profit Margin 66.8%
•       Average Gross Profit/Customer $24.67
•       Average Gross Profit/Order $33.13
•       Average Gross Profit/Image shot $1.56
Lab/ Print Costs and Net Profit
•       Total Lab Costs ($3,307.62)
•       Average Lab Cost/Customer ($12.25)
•       Average Lab Cost/Order ($16.46)
•       Avg. Lab Cost per Image Shot ($0.77)
•       Total add’l costs ($2,224)
•       Net Profit $4,435.88 or 45%

Pre-Marketing for Fall and Winter Dances

With high school Homecoming and Holiday dances on the horizon over the next several months, this is the perfect time to plan your marketing strategies.  Your goals should be to raise the participation rate, increase sales, and also try to raise your average ticket price. 

During the past prom season there were a few CCS customers who were very successful in regaining participation but more importantly, increasing their sales on events from the previous year.

In both cases, each were proactive in reaching out to the parents of the students to stimulate more couples being photographed, and more money being spent at the events.  The photographers created a school approved personal letter that they mailed to each student. Once the content of the letter was approved, the school gave the photographers all of the home addresses of the students that were eligible to attend the prom i.e., Juniors and Seniors.

This letter was very simple and had all the components of a well advertised product.  His goal was simply to appeal to the parents who, he assumed, had probably been photographed at their prom.  He figured if they had been photographed at their prom, than they understand the significance of the photo and would want their children photographed.  

It worked beautifully, 94% of the attendees purchased photos as compared to 65% the previous year and two-thirds of the orders were checks or credit cards proving that the parents had received the message.  Also, coming to the prom with completed order forms kept lines to a minimum. 

To raise the average ticket price a good idea would be to offer both standard and deluxe packages; traditional Kodak Endura paper on the standard packages and the Kodak Metallic paper on the deluxe packages. Having samples of both papers side-by-side on your sample table is critical in persuading the couples to upsell to the higher grade paper. 

Take charge of your events.  Don’t expect that just because your customers were photographed and ordered last year that they’ll do the same this year.  Be proactive and assertive in your planning for upcoming events.  Both homecoming and holiday dances can contribute significantly to your bottom line so long as you take the first step to get them to the camera.

3 ways to boost sales and offer better services!

3 ways to boost sales and offer better services!

Maximizing sales on business you have already booked is a never-ending quest. To complicate matters, there is no shortage of ways to tackle this quest. You can raise prices, add shipping charges, create new packages, institute minimums, etc…

But wouldn’t it be great if you could increase sales AND offer your customers better services? You can! Candid Color Systems has 3 unique services your customers will love and that can give you the incremental increase in sales you are looking for!

The first service is Quick Retouching. Quick Retouching lightly softens facial complexions including blemishes and wrinkles as well as brightening teeth and eyes, while enhancing the overall quality of the finished photos.

This great product add-on can be offered to your customers online through our CCS retail website. Quick retouching is a service that requires no inventory, has no direct labor cost for the photographer, requires no additional postage and can have a large margin! There is no risk!

The perfect target market for this retouching service is teenagers! Senior portraits, prom and dance portraits or posed packages would all benefit from retouching.  CCS charges for Quick Retouching by the face. So, typical dance portraits of couples would be charged twice. Quick retouching is also popular for sports! When shooting high school and middle school sports, offer retouching as an add-on!

 The second service that can help increase your sales is our Pearlized Portrait Finish. Prints made on this special metallic paper appear luminous! Offer this as an upgrade to standard prints.

Pearlized Portrait Finish is not just for standard portraits. The metallic property of these special prints can make the graphics on our sports products really appear to POP! This special service is also available on popular sports products such as magnets and statuettes!

Take some samples of this product to your next sports shoot to get customers excited about this option! This is another upgrade you can offer with no additional work for the photographer and no additional shipping costs. There is no risk!

Our third service that can boost sales and customer satisfaction is Zoom and Crop! Zoom and Crop can give your customers control over their image and even fix some images that would not have made great prints otherwise. Crop out unwanted subject matter (or people), center the primary subject or create an entirely new picture out of the original!

Zoom and Crop can be offered as a free service on our websites (there is no additional charge to the photographer)! Photographers can choose to charge for Zoom and Crop, although the main benefit will likely be increased sales due to higher satisfaction with the images! Zoom and Crop is great for improving sports action shots sold online! Again, Zoom and Crop is another service that requires no additional work for the photographer, no additional shipping charges and has no risk!

So what are you waiting for? Add Quick Retouching, Pearlized Portrait Finish and Zoom & Crop to your offerings for your holiday parties, Fall & Spring sports or your upcoming dance season. Beyond gaining additional revenue you may be offering something that your competitor does not! And your customers will love it!

*Quick retouching is available in several CCS product lines: Sports, Graduations, Schools and Dances. Our Professional Portrait line has a more extensive array of retouching services available. Zoom & Crop is available in all of our online product lines, but not for every product. For pricing and more specific service details, contact our customer development department: Brian Speers at 800-336-4550, Ext. 251, or Dan Hays at Ext. 227. 

*Candid Color Systems offers great tools for pre-paid and the View First™ sports programs. We offer online proofing, online ordering, order envelopes, password cards, mailing direct to your end customer, software to print paper proofs, an amazing array of sports products, photographer order entry and over 30 years of photography experience!

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