Not all professional print products are impossible sells. Learn from IPSM co-founder Dorie Howell how Wall Decor easily uplifts your photography business.
What’s the holy grail of professional photography print products?
OK, maybe that’s sort of an interesting question. But, let’s see this through.
Is there such a thing? What would even constitute earning such a title?
Obviously, the product would need to overwhelm clients with a sense of profound satisfaction and constant engagement as it brings you and your business prosperity.
But, in that it would also need to be practical; quick-and-easy to design, and able to be bought low and sold high.
Alas, perhaps there isn’t such a thing; like the Holy Grail of Arthurian legends itself maybe it’s nothing more than a myth. A nonsensical label for a dead-end dream of the industriously romantic.
Yet, maybe such a product does exist.
And, maybe, professional photography’s print product holy grail is hidden - but not in some dark, sunken rampart at the edge of the Earth - but in plain sight; hanging on the wall of homes across the world....
Why Should I Offer Wall Decor?
Make no mistake Wall Art is a powerful print product medium.
Whether or not it’s the holy grail of professional print products is ultimately up for you to decide. Yet, the positive affect it can have on your business and your clients is real.
If you don’t believe us, see Dorie Howell.
Dorie is a prominent professional photographer and co-founder of the internationally acclaimed professional photography education platform, IPS Mastermind. She recently shared her time with us at nPhoto and discussed the power of Wall Decor, and how it essentially sells itself.
“Wall Decor is a way for me to see my memories everyday,” Dorie highlights, “and that’s how I sell it to my clients: of my daughter at a certain point in time and it’s not locked away on a tiny phone, or on an iPad, or on a computer. It’s there. Sometimes larger-than-life, but in a nice way that I can see those memories and have those great feelings.”
For Dorie, the beauty and advantages of Wall Art lie in its ability to accentuate her artwork as it’s constantly visible and so readily revives the strong, positive emotions she captures in her work.
“That’s what I want my artwork to do for my clients;” she explains, “is to bring up happy memories, make them feel a certain way, make them remember the love for their family and Wall Art is a great way to be able to do that and for them to have those emotions as well.”
Wall Decor is a print product medium that not only benefits your clients as it can easily be enjoyed and conjures up their cherished memories, but it can also help to highlight your own work and skill.
After all, even the most highly awarded and acclaimed photos can’t affect to their potential; in the way they are meant to, if they are never seen. Wall Art is the ideal medium to be sure your work is always on display, reaches its impact potential, and is enjoyed as it should be.
Yet, while all this talk of emotional impact is wonderful and certainly a plus, we all know the key in the business of professional photography is to sell.
A product that can’t sell is not valuable for a photography business.
And, the power and benefit of Wall Decor may be something you understand, but your clients may not. Yet, for all this to work, for Wall Art to truly be the holy grail and sell like hot cakes, your clients need to feel a connection to the product.
So, what if clients have trouble realizing the power of Wall Decor? How can you explain these benefits to your clientele, and/or how can Wall Decor be more easily sold?
How to Effectively Sell Wall Art?
Fear not, the process to sell Wall Art is not as difficult as it may seem.
In fact, if you’re passionate about the product yourself you're already more than half-way there. The rest, then, comes down to a natural process of introduction and exposure.
In fact, Dorie insists that, “Wall Decor is an easy sell if you do it right.”
And, to do it right, “you need to be passionate about what you sell,” she explains. “That’s part of the issue that a lot of photographers [have].
"We’re creatives, but yet, we’re like ‘ugh, we have to sell something’. Well, we want to stay in business, so, yes, of course, we have to sell it. And, I believe that for what I offer in my studio I need to be passionate about [it]; I need to love it; I need to be able to speak with enthusiasm about the products that I sell and why I feel that they’re important for my client.”
As a result of this Dorie explains she no longer, “feel[s] like I’m ‘selling’ them,” but instead, “[am] offering a service that I can speak very positively about and how it benefits my life.”
Once the attitude goes from ‘stealing a sale’ to ‘providing a service’ the atmosphere will become much more relaxed.
Dorie suggests to approach it as an educational experience where you enlighten your clients on how the products you offer provide them with what they're looking for and help to bring joy and memories into their home; as opposed to looking to push product to hit a quota.
In this way you can feel comfortable talking honestly and genuinely about your love and passion, your expertise; you can be natural, and not feel as if you need to follow a rigid strategy to trick your client.
But, being passionate and educational is only part of the equation. It’s also important to ‘plant the seed,’ as Dorie says, “way before you sit down in the sales room,” to increase your likelihood of an eventual sale, and the size of the sale at that.
“….[E]specially when you get into higher price points with your business,” Dorie goes on to advise. “Most people aren’t going to come into my studio and say, ‘OK, I’m going to spend $6,500 right now, with Dorie,’ just at a whim; that they had never thought up before.
“But, if I had, throughout the session, said, ‘Oh, this is going to look great on your wall over the baby’s crib. Or, this set-up is going to look so beautiful in your living room over the couch. Or, this is going to be a beautiful metal that can be displayed in your kitchen of a family vacation’ [then] I’m planting the seeds of them envisioning themselves on the artwork that is going to be in their hall, or their kitchen, or their bedrooms.”
Yet, your efforts of planting the seeds aren’t for nothing. Taking the time to cultivate the excitement and joy of Wall Decor throughout the process culminates in being able to enjoy the fruits of your labor come the sales appointment.
As Dorie concludes,
“So when you get to the sales call, or the sales appointment – whether it’s online, or in-person, they’ve already started thinking about how these products can be incorporated into their life and incorporated into their decor. So it’s not as big of a stretch; when they get there because they’ve thought about it. They’re like, ‘Yeah, I want that on my wall. I want that to be displayed in this way in my hallway, or in my bedroom.’”
Is it Necessary to Have Printed Samples?
However, the secret ingredient in this process of passion, education, and seed planting is tangible samples.
This is true for you, as a the photographer, so you can experience and fall in love with the products yourself – as discussed earlier – but, more importantly, it's true for your clients.
There is nothing better than physical samples to help to put your clients in the right frame of mind for viewing your photographic art and thinking about a purchase.
Tangible samples do this in the most effective way. Bar none.
Indeed, Dorie highlights this importance of samples helping set the mood and having your clients go along for the ride, as she points out, “there’s something about being able to see and touch and even – I know this sounds weird and people laugh at me when I say that – but even smell them so they can get all of their senses involved in that process.”
Having your clients get ‘all of their senses involved’ goes back to the need to have your clients share an emotional connection to your products. It’s much easier to feel connected to something you can actually touch and interact with as opposed to something you need to imagine, or view on a digital screen.
And, remember, samples are the cornerstone for your process of ‘planting the seeds’, but it’s not enough to simply have them; you need to flaunt them.
Don’t be shy, instead, Dorie insists, “you need to show those samples on social media. You need to show them displayed at the session.”
To illustrate just how important having tangible samples on hand is, Dorie recounts how she goes prepared, even to outdoor sessions,
“I have taken my samples and put them in the back of my car when I’ve had a session at a park with clients. And, I have said at the end of the session; give the kids their snacks or whatever, and say ‘hey, I wanna show you a few things that you might be interested in before we have our appointment next week.’ Things like that.”
Yes, tangible print samples are that important to closing a final sale.
As we see selling Wall Decor is easy, when done right. Yet, to do it right is almost a natural process: speak with passion, educate your clients on the value of the products and plant the seeds early and often.
Then, to help plant those seeds show off tangible print product samples well before getting into the formal selling situation. This way when it comes time for the formal sale your clients are actually excited to participate and purchase.
However, as mentioned, tangible print product samples is a crucial element to this approach. Without those samples that your clients are able to interact with and engage with throughout the process, this approach loses it’s effectiveness.
Yet, also don’t forget to take advantage of our FREE Wall Decor Mockups.
These are .psd file images of our professional products, unmarked, found in the ‘Customer Area’ of our webstore. With these you can send digital Wall Decor Sample images to clients with your own images of them included in the products! This is an effective strategy as well to generate interest and close a sale.
Is Wall Decor a Worthwhile Investment?
Time and again Wall Decor proves to be a practical and profoundly impactful print product medium.
It is one that is always on display and readily available to your clients, as opposed to albums or books which may spend most of their days snuggled in a bookshelf.
Similarly, it helps to accentuate and expose your artwork as well as, if not better than, other major print product mediums.
Wall Decor is quick and easy to design as each product usually consists of only one image, as opposed to hundreds that may be necessary for an album or a book.
It’s a medium appropriate for all genres of photography – yes, even boudoir Wall Art is becoming a thing.
It is also a medium that has been shown to be ‘easy to sell’, well, ‘when done right’. But, that seems to simply entail a rather natural and honest method and approach.
It's also great to add to other print products to create irresistible packages, or bundles.
Looking to start offering Wall Decors? Make sure to grab our Wall Decor mockups for free below!