If you’re a photographer who’d love to sell more framed prints than digital files but you just can’t seem to get many of your clients to go for it then today’s video is for you. I’m going to outline six great tips for photographers who want to learn how to sell more wall art.
As always, you can watch the video or scroll down to read the blog!
If you’re earning a living from selling digital files and you’re happy to do so then great. Go ahead and don’t let anyone tell you what you should and should not be selling. It’s your business and your life.
But if you’re passionate about images being beautifully displayed on the wall and selling digitals leaves you unfulfilled then it’s time to design your business and marketing around stunning wall art. There are several things you can do that almost guarantee most of your clients walk away with artwork for their walls.
So let’s jump into what they are!
How will clients know that you’re all about wall art unless you make it abundantly clear? Feature wall art all over your website and eBrochures. Have testimonials from delighted clients specifically talking about the wall art they purchased. Use video to show your samples off in the best possible way. Do behind the scenes live streams showing how you go about designing wall galleries or how to hang them in a hassle-free way. Take photographs of the displays in your clients’ homes. Repurpose all of this into blog posts and social media stories. Make it impossible for anyone to miss that your business is centred around displaying photography on the wall.
Look at your website and your client brochures at the moment. Can you honestly say that you’re making this crystal clear right now?
In the beginning when you don’t have any clients who’ve bought wall art you will just have to get as much mileage as you possibly can from your beautiful sample products and your mock-ups. You could eke that out for a good while and get some juicy marketing from it if you use your imagination. As soon as you get your first client who buys wall art - go to town on that and get as much marketing as you can from it. It all has to start somewhere.
Even clients who want wall art and buy wall art are still keen on owning their digital files. So use this to your advantage. Don’t sell individual digital files. Don’t even sell sets of ten. Only sell digital files as a complete set and price them high. Really high.
This does two things. Firstly, it repels the clients who are just looking for digital files (that’s a good thing - it makes way for the clients who want wall art!) and it allows you to create really desirable packages for your clients. Packages they can purchase which include stunning wall art and their digital files. Because digital files have low cost to you, you can allow your clients to make savings when they opt for a package like this. Win win!
This only works if your digitals are expensive and you have plenty of wriggle room in your prices. You have to be brave here and go the whole mile. Doing this in half measures doesn’t work.
Putting every type of wall products on your price list is going to overwhelm your client and push them towards digitals or prints. Or even worse, they can’t choose! What do you love? What would you display on your own walls at home if you could choose anything? Choosing the products that you love the most will not only attract clients who love those too, they will also be so much easier for you to sell.
We only choose to sell classic framed prints. No canvas wraps, no acrylics. If someone asks then we’re happy to source other products for them. But guess what? No one ever does! They come to us to get the products they’ve seen on our website and in our marketing.
Don’t overwhelm your clients with frame choices either. 3 or 4 is more than enough. You could have a wood finish, a metallic finish and a black or white finish and you’ll find that you’re covering most bases. Analysis paralysis is to be avoided at all costs.
Also known as your pre-sales touch points. Always assume from the very first point of contact that a client wants wall art. Hopefully you’re phoning people whenever possible. If they leave a phone number then you can assume they’d like to talk to you. Tell them that most of your clients end up with something gorgeous for their wall and ask them what they’d like to create. Yes, you might put some of them off at this stage but they are the ones who just wanted a bargain on a few digitals so that’s more than ok.
Now that you’ve planted the seed firmly you need to regularly water it. Send your brochure electronically or via snail mail to them. Remember it’s going to be centred around wall art and it should contain detailed pricing with images of your products and different display ideas. You can see ours right here.
Discuss wall displays again at the pre-shoot consultation. And a pre-shoot consultation is a must if you want to sell wall products. If you’re doing this in person or via skype, show them your samples. Get specific about where they’ll be hanging their artwork and discuss the space and the decor. Get a photograph of the wall space if possible.
During the shoot mention their wall art naturally as you’re working. This doesn’t have to be sleazy at all - remember you’ve already discussed it twice and they might even know by now what they’re going to buy. If you take a series of candid frames of the kids playing you can mention how great images like this can look as part of a gallery wall.
After the shoot hand them a paper copy of your pricing. Yes, they’ve got a digital copy already but now they’re on a high and desperate to see their images so give them something to look through together before the sales session.
You’ll find that lots of your clients don’t want images on their wall where they are huge in the frame. That’s not to say you shouldn’t take close-ups. Of course take them - your clients will love them. However, take a variety of other shots too.
Discerning clients are more likely to purchase big pieces of wall art using an image where the people are smaller in the frame. A shot that’s a bit more creative. So practice these shots and capture them for your clients. Take creative silhouettes, use lots of foreground and create negative space. These will look fabulous on your client’s wall and they’ll be timeless.
Selling your photography in person is essential if you want most of your clients to purchase wall art. All your pre-sales touch points will go to waste if you leave them to their own devices with a digital gallery after the shoot.
Even if they wanted to purchase a beautiful framed print from you, how can you expect them to do this with confidence if you’re not there to let them see and feel samples? If you’re not there to show them exactly what the image would look like inside the frame? If you’re not there to give them your expert advice and walk them through their options?
Don’t just prepare a slideshow of their images for the sales session. Create some wall art mock-ups using their images and add them to the end of the slideshow.
Make sure you have stunning samples to show them. Nice and big. I know this costs money but it all starts with just one sample. In fact, you can absolutely start your wall art journey by offering just one wall product. Just make sure it’s a knock-out!
If you’re not doing any of this stuff yet it might feel a little overwhelming thinking about implementing each of these 6 tips. Please don’t think about them all at once. Think about each of them one at a time and break them up into little tasks. Then do one of these little tasks each week until you’re ready to rock. It’s all about putting it into a plan and chipping away.
If you’re anything like our members then this is the kind of business you want to have. You’re excited by it and you want to provide this kind of experience for your clients. But the big stumbling block is finding the time and putting it all into action.
If that’s you then please come and check out the Togs in Business membership. We have in-depth courses and training that walk and talk you through everything you need to do. Not only that, we provide you with the accountability and the support to take action towards your dream business every single day. It’s a membership for photographers who’re ready to really step it up a gear and create a business they love, that earns them a great living.
But if you're not quite ready to join us, writing your Photography Business Plan is a great place to start. In this article, you'll find a detailed walk-through of the nine steps you need to complete in order to create an actionable photography business plan
Please do let me know if you have any wall art sales tips to add to this list or if you have any questions. I always love to hear from you!