by Guest Contributor Elizabeth Halford
Have you ever read something that was SO…so…DUH! Something that made you baffled and ask “Why didn’t I think of that?!” That’s what happened when I read Ariana Falerni’s blog post on the death of the sneak peek.
Since reading that, I’ve been commenting here and there on my new business strategies but haven’t given you the whole story. And I’m getting email after email asking what I’m talking about when I say things like I don’t post a preview until the client buys.
So this new bizstyle of mine comes in two parts:
1. WHY I DON’T POST A SNEAK PEEK
- Ariana (of Becoming Mom) said it perfectly: “The sneak peek…is kind of like seeing a bad movie preview. You know the ones I mean – the “comedies” that have like 5 funny jokes and you realize when you see the movie that you already saw all of the funny jokes during the preview.” This was the big lightbulb moment for me. If you show your clients the 5 best shots (which they can, by the way, just steal off your website) then when they’ve waited anxiously two more weeks to see the rest (because they think that EVERY photo will be as good as your 5 best!) they feel disappointed and instantly fall out of love.
- People have a short flippin’ attention span. I mean SHORT. I can’t tell you how many clients have paid my £100 session fee (not that much, but a lot for my demographic) and then never buy ONE.SINGLE.PRINT. I kid you not it happened to me all the time. Now, I attribute most of my past failures to lack of expectation management but now, even with measures in place to manage expectations, I still get no-sale sessions and I’m putting this down to the sneak peek and the online gallery. One they’ve had a couple weeks (or even just a couple DAYS) to drool over the sneak peek, send the link to all their friends and family and go back to them over and over again, they ‘get over it’ and move on to the next shiny thing that comes their way.
- When DO I post the session highlights? After the sale or after it’s clear that your client is a no-sale. Now, this is really really hard to do. It’s really going to take some self control not to post your weekend pride and joys but trust me. Just try and see what happens with your next few sessions when you combine this with the death of the online gallery.
2. WHY I DON’T DO ONLINE GALLERIES
You’ve gotta kill that sucker d.e.a.d. dead. This is why:
- Like I said: short attention span. I stopped doing online preview galleries that stayed up until the clients decided they were ready to buy. Because then, you’ve got tons of sessions still up in the air, never resolved with the main purpose: the sale. So I began putting a 30 day limit on my gallery. Clients had 30 days to buy. These galleries were heavily watermarked and un-stealable. But still, little sales.
- People are fickle. And impulsive. The world is moving SO fast and 30 days is toooo long. When you give them the luxury of looking at their photos for 30 days they fall out of love and move on to, as I like to say, the next shiny thing that comes their way. Like this:
- Have you ever gotten this email: “Hi I’m so sorry I haven’t responded to your email/call. We’ve just been sooo busy we took two holidays this summer and, you know, we just can’t afford any photos.” Gee thanks! You just admitted plunking potentially thousands on a summer of holidays and you can’t follow through on the session you paid for? What’s most confusing about this is that we make every effort to make sure our clients are really committed to the endeavour, right? Afterall, that’s one of the reasons we charge a session fee. 1.) They’re not serious unless they’re willing to invest and 2.) Once they’ve already made a financial/time/emotional investment, they won’t walk away without fruits of their labour.
WHAT’S THE SOLUTION?
Well you’ll have to come back next week to find out! Afterall, short attention span…are you still even reading? LOL :*) Love you guys!