Today we are sitting down with acclaimed portrait photographer and Design Aglow founder, Lena Hyde, talking about IPS: In-Person Sales for photographers. In this two-part series, Lena breaks down all the what's, why's and how's of IPS. And make sure to check out the IPS Master Toolkit for everything you need to start slaying IPS.
In-Person Sales for Photographers: Is it making a comeback?
"Yes! The tide is finally turning in the industry and in a good way. For years, many profitable photographers have been pushed out of business by shoot & burners, who do a 'good enough' job at the fraction of the cost of most professionals. Consumers were trained by these low prices shooters to demand "a download of all the digitals" and nothing else. Their disks and USBs are gathering dust in drawers around the world, with memories that are never printed or enjoyed, and are often lost completely.
Finally, wise consumers are realizing they are missing out on real portraits and heirlooms of their families. They are wanting products again and smart photographers are fulfilling this important need."
Why should photographers consider IPS?
"I truly believe IPS is the key to running a sustainable photography business. You will not only increase your bottom line but will also make sure that your clients are walking away with quality heirloom products that showcase the beautiful images you create for them. And, you're not just shooting photos, you are creating memories to last a lifetime."
Photographers have a lot of reasons why they don't do IPS:
I don't have a studio
I'm not a salesperson
I don't have time
My clients live too far away
My clients just want the download
Giving all the images is simply what EVERYONE does in my market
Can you address those excuses?
"Each of those excuses has an answer that you will find in our Ultimate IPS Course for Photographers.
We want photographers to succeed for years to come so we want them to see how IPS can work for them. IPS is the way to go when you want to present yourself as a professional. Believe it or not, clients will appreciate IPS as a valuable service. That's right, it's a luxury service you are providing that allows you to give your clients the very best customer service experience.
You will be able to show them custom products that will work in the spaces they have available, make your recommendations on images that would look incredible in their homes, and you will get amazingly good (mad skills!) at reading those subtle body language cues your clients send, so you can direct them right to the photos that capture where their heart is."
What if a client doesn't want IPS session?
"If you are thinking that your clients don't want an in-person sales appointment, think again. If your current clients don't seem like they would be receptive to it, all it takes is a few changes in the way you present your services.
IPS begins with the first contact your clients make with you.
That first time they visit your website and realize they want you, the photographer, the artist, to give them something they don't have—gorgeous art that they can display and enjoy."
What about clients that ask for digitals upfront?
"Clients think they want digitals because that's the only thing they know how to ask for. You can show them a better way, and it starts right at the beginning and continues all the way through the process of working with them to the final in-person sales session.
You need to switch your mindset to become a problem-solver because that is your ultimate role with your clients: solving a problem.
They will enter the sales session with the right mindset to choose art for their home, not just a USB full of images to be tossed in a drawer, likely never to be seen again."
You also say it's important your website leads a client towards products. What's the anatomy of an effective IPS website?
"Your website is the first place most clients look to determine if you are someone they aspire to work with. So, your website needs to showcase the best of what you do: creating custom images for your clients and providing them with heirloom products.
One way to spark interest in a potential client's mind is through the use of an online product gallery. When you showcase albums, canvas prints, framed art prints, and other signature products you offer on your website with thoughtful descriptions about each, your clients will understand that they are working with a photographer who specializes in creating high-quality finished products. Don't have aspirational product images? No worries, we've got you.
This is not a dine and dash, take the photos and run situation. Working with you means walking away with more than just digitals.
You can also include testimonials from clients who have purchased these items from you, and even showcase how an image looks framed in their home, or show their album on the coffee table.
There is so much to the IPS Master Toolkit, but one super helpful section guides photographers through creating portraits that sell best. In Part Two of this feature, we will learn how to do just that!"
Stay tuned for Part Two of this series, where Lena shares her top 3 tips for capturing the most sellable images.