A well known saying banded about in business is the adage ‘innovate or die’. In a practice like photography innovation touches on everything from gear to shot composition, but it can be hard to find original new ways to boost the commercial side of things. Over at Expert Photography, Josh Dunlop, puts forward a compelling case for more photographers to offer a registry service as a way to boost their brand awareness, and alleviate the pressure of feeling the need to devalue yourself in order to secure work.
For wedding photographers who have to balance clients with limited budgets, and their professional worth as an experienced photographer, it can offer a way to help secure their desired work rates. The registry option may even attract more clients who value the freedom of being able to split the cost of hiring a photographer among their circle of well wishers and friends. Registries do not need to be limited to wedding photography but can also include portrait work with a registry providing the ability to offer someone the future promise of a photo shoot marking their baby’s first birthday. Its logical to see how this would be tempting to new parents, who would prefer this option to receiving flowers from friends.
Taking the real world example of Williams-Sonoma who pioneered registries as a way for soon to be married couples to secure useful wedding gifts and managed to transform from a small business into a multi-billion dollar business there is no reason why registries could not also work as an extra income stream for photographers . Dunlop has a slightly vested interest in promoting the idea of photographers offering a registry being the brains behind Ciderr the online subscription based registry tool for photographers. But, ideas on how to make a profitable living from photography are worth sharing. His argument is:
As a photographer, you can seek the assistance of a custom branded registry, in order to:
- Upsell more products to existing clients
- Book a baby’s first-year package
- Book a wedding
- Book an anniversary session (couples or boudoir)
He also suggests the idea of payment plans but they can be complicated to manage as a small business owner and at a time when many people are still struggling with debt, payment plans seem a more risky prospect to engage in. Even if they do provide an attractive way to tempt those who would discount your service as being too expensive.
Do you offer payment plans or registries already? Do you think this is a way to get more business?