If you are a photographer, you likely recognize the following scenerio. You meet with a lovely family, collect a session fee, edit the portraits, and post the proofs on the web. Next the orders just start flowing in right? Well sometimes. Many times the family sees the pictures, makes promises to themselves that they will sit down as a family and pick out the portraits that best express the meaning of their family (as well as which ones make them look thin!) These families are excited to see the pictures on the web and are thrilled with quality and artistic ability on display. However, the orders do not come in. You call them up and they reassure you that the love the pictures and that they will order this week. And yet again there is no order.
While this scenario does not affect all families, it does affect enough to significantly affect your total revenue – not to mention your cash flow. Repeatedly calling people does not work. You soon begin to annoy them. What is to be done? You need set expectations that orders be made in a timely manner. There are a number of small steps that can be done to establish this goal.
1. Mention up front that there is a time limit on how long your pictures will be on the web. You can explain that you don’t have unlimited server space and that you must rotate server space by taking pictures down after a set amount of time (6 weeks for example).
2. Let the client know that if their pictures are taken down, it will cost them to post the pictures back up.
3. 1 week before the time limit is up, send out a reminder that they need to order before a given day to avoid having their pictures taken down.
4. Recognize that your time and product are valuable. If you don’t believe this others will not believe it as well and will be more than willing to waste your time for their convenience.
If you set these expectations early on in the process you will save time in the long run (you’ll have to nag and remind less) and increase your order size (persons who wait 6 months before they order often lose their excitement for the product).