Clients–especially those with a new baby–appreciate value (all those diapers add up!) and ease (sleep deprivation means they’re just hanging on until their next nap). One way to turn both of these issues into a success for your studio is to offer baby plans. A comprehensive baby plan, offering sessions at certain ages, such as newborn, 6 month, and one year, develops trust and rapport with your clients, as they know you’ll be there to document every milestone. You’ll establish a long-lasting relationship with those families, who will be inclined to return to you for their family portraiture, and recommend you to their friends. Clients will love that multiple sessions throughout the year create more affordable portraiture, and you will love that baby plans encourage families to visit your studio more often than they might otherwise. A baby plan keeps customers coming in the door all year long, perfect for decreasing the seasonality of a portrait photography business.
Some points for you to consider as you incorporate baby plans into your studio:
To turn clients into baby plan customers, you must be able to articulate the benefits of the baby plan in terms of both value as well as the unique products that your baby plan offers. Some benefits to clients include:
• What happens at each stage of a baby’s life, and how important it is to document every
milestone since moments are fleeting as baby grows;
• Fun ideas for canvas placement and designs once all three (or four) sessions are complete
(refer to Design Aglow’s Inspire Guide to help clients visualize these possibilities where studio space is limited);
• How much the customer saves by purchasing the baby plan, versus what the portraiture would cost à la carte.
Be sure to use words like “investment” versus “money” when discussing the process–and don’t be afraid to ask for the sale after explaining the benefits. Baby portraiture can be considered an investment that will deliver returns for the rest of clients’ lives!
Determining a price for your baby plan can be tricky. Unfortunately, pricing is as individual as the photographer, and is subject to a host of variables such as your market, the quality of your products, your experience/demand, how much time is put into the sessions, and much more. Pricing must be considered with extreme care before ever launching your baby plan product. Because selling the plan is a long-term commitment to your client, any mistakes made when it comes to pricing can not be undone. Asking your client for more money at the end of the plan because you underestimated your expenses or time is not only unprofessional, it’s unethical. Consider the following when deciding on a price point for your plan:
• Check your vendors’ websites. If you see something like “Prices subject to change without notice” you will want to take that into consideration. Leave wiggle room for price increases of up to 20% per year as well as increases in the cost of shipping (those matter too!).
• Carefully and realistically estimate the time you will spend on each session–including post-processing, design, email/phone communication, marketing, billing/accounting, travel, packing and cleaning equipment before each shoot, and delivering the products–to be sure you are being paid fairly for your effort and artistic talent.
• If you will be using a photography or design assistant to help with your plan be sure to include their salary in your estimation, as well as a healthy profit margin.
For everything you need to create a profitable baby plan campaign for your studio, check out Design Aglow’s Complete Baby Plan for templates, client contract, marketing tips, and so much more!