RACHEL HAVEL’S SECRET TO SUCCESS THE YEAR YOU’D LEAST EXPECT IT
When Rachel Havel was forced to stop shooting during the COVID-19 lock-down, she decided to get creative. Instead of waiting for portrait session and wedding revenue to return to normal, she leaned into album sales like never before. A special album promotion geared towards past clients allowed her to bring in over $20,000 from album purchases alone. Curious how she did it? Take a peek at our special interview with her, below.
What is your approach to album sales (albums included in packages, IPS, post-wedding sales, etc.)?
I include albums in some of my packages, but often times, I let clients know that an album should not make or break the decision to select their photographer. An album can always come at a later date and be purchased after the wedding. That said, I believe every client should have an album, so I talk about them in my consultation, throughout the planning process, and again after the gallery is delivered. While the value of an album seems so obvious to us as photographers, our clients don’t always understand. I see it as my job to educate them, and to remind them of the importance of this throughout our time together.
How did you adapt your business and sales strategy during 2020?
COVID was a jolt for every photographer I know. It really forced us to find new ways to generate revenue during a time where we were rescheduling a lot of our clients. One of the best things I did when COVID started in 2020 was to run an album promotion for all of my past clients who hadn’t purchased one yet. I was able to bring in over $20k in revenue from album purchases alone.
What should someone keep in mind when running an album promotion?
For my album promotions in 2020, I created a templated email offering 10 complimentary spreads if they placed their order by a certain date (this can also be done with a dollar discount or complimentary upgrades such as custom debossing or a presentation box). I think it’s important to communicate to the client how much of a value they are receiving by acting. And, I suggest using verbiage in the promotion that helps the client know that duplicate albums are discounted and a great gift idea for parents. Ultimately, the incentive is to get them to put a deposit down by the date in order to receive the promotion.
In 2020, I had one couple come back and order 3 albums with one promotion. And, they weren’t the only couple to order multiple albums. Couples are typically excited to order albums for parents as a gift.
What are your goals for album sales in 2021?
I’m planning to continue to touch base with my current and past clients to promote albums. You never know when it’s the right time for a client. I’ve had clients come back to me after 3+ years to build them an album.
To drive even more interest, I am looking to share more with my clients about how these books are created and to show more of the final product.
What advice would you give someone who is looking to grow revenue with album sales?
When looking to grow revenue with album sales, you have to know how to price albums for profit. You have to account for the time it takes to sell, design, and finalize your client’s albums. Albums are not worth it when there is no profit.
Additionally, I would recommend refining your process to prevent bottle necks. We all have clients eager to get through the process, and others that drag their feet. If you can write down every step of your sales process and identify the areas that take up the most time, you can refine those steps to prevent bottlenecks. Success is about processes and consistency. Those that do well in business are those that run their businesses with efficiency, innovation, and a client experience that is consistent and elevated.
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