You’ve just had an amazing session. Everything went perfectly: the baby slept the whole time; you were able to capture so many beautiful poses; the parents even called you “the baby whisperer” and raved over their experience! After they left, you excitedly started enhancing their images and posting their sneak peek on Facebook and Instagram. You just knew that their session will surely get you all the likes and new followers. This was one session you were confident the clients would purchase big! 

Fast forward to the client’s purchasing time – you’re feeling proud and can’t wait to see how much they spend! ! But, much to your surprise, the final sale was disappointing. How can this be when everything went so well?!

Here are the 3 real reasons why your clients aren’t buying:

  1. Online galleries 

Online sales galleries are one of the worst ways to sell your portraits and make a profit. In fact, the only thing worse is the shoot-and-burn method. Your clients need you to hold their hand through every stage of working with you. Most of the people you will work with have no creative insight whatsoever! Simply giving them an online gallery and expecting them to figure it out on their own is a recipe for disaster! Honestly, I would compare it to sticking a 7-year-old in a candy shop with only $5.00 to spend. They would constantly second guess what candy they wanted and finally get so frustrated and overwhelmed that they’d buy whatever was in arm’s reach – they just wanted to be done!. Well, the same goes for online sales galleries. Your clients don’t make decisions on their most important memories every day and need your creative eye to guide them through their purchasing decision.

2. Large product line

Most photographers have shiny object syndrome, especially when it comes to cute props and trendy products. But did you know having too many products for clients to choose from can actually overwhelm them and kill the sale? It’s true! They are already having to filter through their images. Then, having to filter through a huge product line can (and will!) stop them dead in their tracks from making any type of buying decision. Trendy products don’t have a high perceived value and therefore cannot be marked for a high enough profit. Stick to products that have stood the test of time; products that artists have used for over a hundred years. Having a few timeless products will help you get a higher sale!

3. Insufficient pricing structure

Lastly, the pricing structure you implement in your studio has a huge effect on what your clients purchase. If you simply let them pick and choose whatever they want without any guidelines or restrictions, they could simply buy a 5×7 and be on their way. This is a huge disservice to you and them! It is a disservice to you because it wasn’t a big enough sale to even cover your session, let alone pay any bills. It is a disservice to them because their memories won’t have as big of an impact on their lives as they should. Your pricing structure should be designed to bring in the minimum amount needed from each and every client, at least. You need to know your numbers in order to know how many clients you have to photograph each month. Have you figured out your cost of doing business? If not, take a look at my cost of doing business calculator. If not, take a look at my cost of doing business calculator.

When it comes down to it, the reason your clients aren’t buying has nothing to do with them and everything to do with you! You need to educate your clients on the importance of printing their memories. You need to show what you want to sell. You need to become comfortable with sales and keep things simple. Remember these tips the next time you have a client ready to purchase.

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