If there’s something that the pandemic made clear, it’s that the online marketplace is an important online sales tool that needs to be implemented into almost every business these days.
At Pic-Time, we’ve always viewed photographers as both artists and business owners, and apart from delivering images in the most beautiful way, we’ve focused on creating a wide online store connected to worldwide labs. Is that enough? No.
“Even though I had less shoots in 2020 … I actually made more money. “–Colie James
“Between the shop and the Simple Sales System, I’ve earned €5,000+ this year I wouldn’t have earned otherwise!”–Elke Van den Ende
“I have the opportunity to make a boatload of money, and do it in a way that will allow me to spend more time with my family on the weekend.”–Danielle Rivera
To generate sales, you need to cultivate an engaging online presence that creates multiple opportunities for your clients to buy prints. This is exactly what our marketing automation was made for: helping photographers with automated campaigns, all ready with emails and banners, assigned with a click to your galleries.
The Simple Sales System began as a brilliant strategy implemented by one of our photographers. We teamed up with her to create an app that harnesses the impact of in-person sales strategies and applies them to your online galleries.
Meet Annemie Tonken
North Carolina-based family photographer Annemie Tonken (@thiscantbethat) was running a successful photography business with strong reliance on in-person sales. But her days were filled to the brim with shoots, client meetings and emails, leaving her little time for life and family. She realized that by making some changes, she could make more money while dedicating less time to work.
Tonken leveraged her seven-plus years of sales experience to get the strong results of in-person sales with a lot less effort. Three key aspects stood out to her:
- An in-person session creates a time limit for the client to make their purchase decision.
- The conversation allows the photographer to provide guidance and narrow down the options so the client doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
- When a client sees their images for the first time, the emotional impact drives higher sales.
On these foundations, Tonken built the Simple Sales System, an online sales model that’s pretty darn amazing.
How does the Simple Sales System work?
1. Gallery Preview Phase | The Simple Sales System App allows photographers to present their clients with a gallery preview scene (which can be a slideshow as well!), with a limited viewing period (i.e. 24 hours). With the first look of the sneak peek, your client creates an emotional connection to the gallery and is encouraged to swiftly shop the collections you offer.
2. Choose a Collection | Your clients can browse and purchase a collection that suits their needs and budget point. Once the collection is purchased, the rest of the gallery will open and move to the next phase.
3. Printing Time! | In this phase, they can select the prints or downloads that are included within their collection! Whether it’s prints, frames, or high-resolution downloads – they can do it all within the gallery. Pic-Time even offers a smart album-builder tool so your client can design their album in the gallery!
Here are a few of the features:
- A gallery that clients can view for a limited time
- Combined options of digital downloads and store credit for physical prints
- Three options of collections the client can choose for their purchase
- Automation of the whole process, including email templates
- The ability to customize the model to fit you and your business
Simple Sales: Big Transformations
During a webinar in February 2021, we heard from these five women who transformed their business income with Simple Sales System App to meet the challenges of the pandemic in a plethora of ways. How did they do it?
COLIE JAMES (@COLIEJAMES)
U.S.-based family photographer Colie James naturally had much fewer shoots during the pandemic, yet she made more money in 2020 than she did the year before! Incorporating both photos and video, James increased her session fee and introduced collections through the Simple Sales System App with high-quality physical print options.
James has built her business around spending quality time with her clients and forging strong relationships, becoming an honorary member of the family for each session. Focusing instead on documentary family portraits by spending a few hours in her clients’ homes for each session (taking frequent COVID-19 tests, of course!), she achieves personal, intimate images of casual quality time with family. From raising her session fee, she was able to reduce her number of sessions during the pandemic while still making more money.
CARO CUINET WELLINGS (@CAROCUINETWELLINGS)
For world-traveling family photographer Caro Cuinet Wellings, the Simple Sales System App was a way for her to set the tone and rhythm of her business. When she moved back to France after years abroad, Wellings needed to invest a significant amount of time in marketing to establish herself as an independent professional.
She knew what she wanted from her business, and the app allowed her to do the math backwards based on her goals. She never lost sight of the value of her time and expertise.
With the Simple Sales System, Wellings was able to set a session fee and clearly communicate to her clients ahead of time how the gallery and collection options worked. These initial conversations built trust with her clients, who responded very positively to the collections model and helped Caro reach her income goals.
ELKE VAN DEN ENDE (@ELKEVDENDE)
With the Simple Sales System App, Belgian photographer Elke Van den Ende increased her income by a staggering 300 to 400 percent!
Her wedding photography business was keeping her busy, but it hit a serious roadblock in 2020: no weddings. In order to maintain her business, Van den Ende went down a new path and started shooting mini-sessions in conjunction with the Simple Sales System App.
After participating in Tonken’s course, she found she was able to increase her session fees and is even branching out into boudoir portraits as she continues to find new ways to keep her business booming until weddings begin to pick back up.
DANIELLE RIVERA (@HEYBABYKIDDO)
In Philadelphia, photographer Danielle Rivera leveraged the Simple Sales System App to increase her hourly earning potential by nearly 7 times.
Also a wedding photographer, she was facing a similar problem to Van den Ende’s. With twin 2-and-a-half-year-olds at home and no weddings on the horizon, Rivera found a creative way to work fast and smart, without the need to visit people’s homes.
Her wedding photography experience has made her a pro at getting fabulous portraits in a super limited amount of time. So, she streamlined her 20-minute mini-sessions down to just 10 minutes. She powers through her weekend pop-up sessions with a personal record of 20 sessions in a single day.
Providing a quick, safe, outdoor option to families during the pandemic was the first step; the Simple Sales System App helped Rivera increase her earnings by providing purchase options to her clients, and she even took things a step further and created a membership program.
We are so inspired by how these photographers have used the Simple Sales System App in such a wide variety of ways to strengthen their businesses, even in the face of a global pandemic.
If you’d like to hear more about their online sales stories and experiences, you can check out our free webinar, which also includes all the details on how you can dive into the app to boost your own income!