Family Portrait Plans – A Professional Portrait Studio’s Money-Making Idea

What if you took every phone or internet inquiry for a family portrait and converted it to an appointment? What if as a bonus to you and the customer you got them involved for two more appointments? Sound good? Our purpose with this studio promotion is two fold. One, get today’s sitting by being different and offering the great value and service of a Family Portrait Plan. Secondly, future portrait sessions will be committed to our photography studio.

To begin, print up a little certificate booklet containing three certificates each offering an 8×10 portrait and basic sitting. Price this booklet so that you receive the regular price for one session and 8×10 and then add in your basic production costs for the other two sessions and prints. This could just be your cost for the 8×10 prints if you decide to speculate on the additional two session fees. This is now your selling price for the booklet. Please note, your price needs to be a marketing attractive price such as $39.95; $79.95; $89; $49. You get the idea. It also needs to be close to an impulse price where the customer finds it hard not to take you up on your offer.

Now when someone calls shopping for a deal, you have it! Explain you have a special three sitting package that can be used by their family during the next 1-2 years. This could be of the kids, the entire family, mom & dad, grandma & grandpa, the puppy, their senior or a wedding portrait etc. The neat part is that by making the advance purchase they get a super deal. They get three for less than the cost of two. As a “but wait, there is more” offer, explain you have special additional print prices that go along with this plan as an exclusive, “just for them”.

Show the value of your offer by stating the full price of the three portrait sittings and three 8×10 prints. If this customer does any shopping and your competitors all quote the full price for one session, your offer with three portrait sessions for nearly the same price is a tremendous value. Realize that people first calling and asking prices are usually shocked by $100+ quotes for one picture. Everyone will be telling them numbers like this. You will be different because you have not only taken care of this picture opportunity but the other photographic opportunities this customer will need during the next year or two. This will appear as a big savings in this lady’s mind. Of course you need to talk about more than price. Remember this, people buy on emotions, so you still have to get them involved and excited about your photography studio making their picture. Mention all the great memories these portrait sessions will preserve. The great times the family will have enjoying their photographs and memories of their being together. Logic (a sale, good value, service etc.) though keeps this sold and them happy.

Refunds–If someone moves and asks for a refund of the unused coupons they get the costs that the remaining coupons are worth as stated in writing on each coupon. Since you are providing these two sessions for nearly free and the prints are greatly reduced in price this refund would be fairly small but you should state this clearly on each coupon.

What should you do with the extra money for the remaining two coupons, the plan price minus the first session selling price and 8×10 print. You are required to hold this in escrow. Even if you are not in your area required to do so you should. These saved funds will finance the program costs as they occur. You will not be sitting in your studio during a slow season and wondering how you are going to pay for the 8×10 print for a speculative sitting.

Extra Hints–During the first sitting and sales cycle find out for who and when they would like the next portrait taken. Write this down in your card file and remind these people of their need for the sitting. This little step will help you fill in your slow time. Keep track of the extra sales. If someone is a poor additional purchaser you need not be so quick to call the customer for an appointment. For those minimal purchasers you could help reduce costs by grouping sessions and orders on specific days or limiting length of sessions. That is why the coupon mentions no numbers of exposures, only a Basic or Standard Sitting.