How to Sell Your Client on Prints
As an artist, you probably already know that there are a ton of benefits to you, the photographer, when you print your work. But as a professional shutterbug, it’s not enough to know why you need prints—your clients need to know why they need prints!
When clients understand the value of getting a “tangible memory” in their hands, they feel confident about making the investment in printed images—and you keep making revenue after the shoot is over. It’s that simple! Richard has five persuasive talking points to convince clients not to pass on prints (plus a few other things you can do to subtly promote print sales):
Technology Has an Expiration Date
Let’s be real—we are living in the internet age. This is not about NOT giving clients digital files (because you know they want to post them on social media, like, right now). It’s about ensuring that their memories last a lifetime and then some!
CDs get scratched, thumb drives get lost, files get corrupted, folks forget to back up their files, and technology evolves so fast (think the floppy disk—or to those born in the last 20 years, the “Save” icon). Having prints is just another way of archiving the special moments a photographer has captured that isn't susceptible to some of these technological misfortunes.
A Print Never Forgets
So here’s the thing about social media: when your client first posts their images and the likes and comments are pouring in, they’re feeling awesome… and then a few days later, the hype dies down and everyone goes about their business as usual. So, those photos are rarely seen again. Even outside of the internet, how often are your clients really opening their digital image files to relive these memories?
These are seriously special moments in time—if they weren’t, why would someone need a pro photographer—so keep them alive! Canvas wraps or framed prints can be admired every single day at home or in the office. Reminiscing over albums on family occasions or anniversaries or birthdays is like re-experiencing the joy of old moments and creating new ones.
Bigger Is Better
The difference between seeing a photo on your phone and seeing it as a big print is kinda like the difference between getting a postcard of the Mona Lisa and then going to see it in real life.
There is impact, beauty, and nuance in images that just can’t be experienced to its full potential on a small screen. Large prints are a completely different (and richer) experience. We’re talking more depth in colors, revealing finer/hidden details, the immersive feeling of filling your field of vision, the visual elements added by the finish of the paper, even the extra sensation of touching the textured medium. Though, don’t do that last one at the Louvre…
Sharing is Caring
Sure, emailing some photos to Grandma is nice and all. But don’t you think she’d be just a little more thrilled to get a package in the mail with a pretty box of prints or a framed photo and a handwritten note?
Printed photos are a heartfelt and tangible way for clients to share life’s big moments while conveying all the love and gratitude that goes along with a personalized gift. It’s difficult to capture those genuine sentiments in pixels alone.
The Power of the Professional
One of the benefits of hiring a pro photographer is that your clients not only get first-rate photos, but they also get someone to do the heavy lifting when it comes to prints.
Your clients probably don’t know how or where to get high-quality prints, or that there’s a difference between a professional photo lab and Walgreens or Costco. And what’s the likelihood that they are actually going to design their own album? Do they really want to hunt down a photo printer, a canvas producer, a framer, a bookmaker, a press card manufacturer, and more? You can offer the best caliber of prints out there and make things easy on your client.
Besides actively discussing print options with your clients, you can also get them on board with some more indirect approaches:
Promote your prints, just like you promote your photography. Post pictures on your website and social media!
Show ‘em the goods in person. Fill your office/studio with prints of your work, bring small printed collateral to meetings and tradeshows, send a small/free print gift to your client, etc.
Include prints in all of your photography packages. This should be a cue to your clients that prints matter. Even if clients only opt for small proofs, you’ve opened the door to the possibility of more prints.