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Building Packages

Lesson 16 from: Baby Plans: Photographing the Early Years

Julia Kelleher

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Lesson Info

16. Building Packages


Class Trailer



Class Introduction


What is a Baby Plan?


7 Steps to Baby Plan Success


Shooting Prep for the 4-5 Month Old "Smiling Stage"


4-5 Month Olds: Tummy Time and Headshots


4-5 Month Olds: Basket Shot


The Baby Plan Structure


Lesson Info

Building Packages

Building packages when I say a package a lot of people refer to packages this collections and and it is but that there's khun b some ambiguity with the language so when I mean a package or a collection I'm going to use those two terms interchangeably I mean a grouping or collection of products in your studio that are sold as one unit to the client in order to increase the average sale follow it's both an art and a science okay, this and this is why it's so hard for photographers and why I'm so passionate about teaching it it truly involved left brain right brain going back and forth okay, the science part of it is because you have to meet your cost of goods okay, you have to be have a profit margin that you're happy with and you have to make money off of it right? So you have to structure the package of the collection so that that is achieved you get to your averages people buy where you want them to buy your meeting, your costs and your profit margins so that each package makes you en...

ough money, right? Well, if you have questions I saw you kind of actually you're saying your station I was actually thinking and I was like, oh, that totally makes sense because I've been really struggling with this part and I'm really excited ok? So people going okay it's an art because you have to entice the client to buy where you need them to and create incentive to purchase more okay so it's a package is structured correctly the client's gonna go oh that's the best deal that's what I want even I'm spending mohr I'm getting what I want okay so you have to think about it from a business person's perspective but then you also have to step outside of it and go okay I'm a client now where's where's the most enticing thing and is that the average I need that number the average that I need my client to buy out so it's an art and a science and if you look at it in that perspective all of a sudden it changes how you do packages your strategically thinking about your package is not just oh this is this looks good or oh I should put this in there okay it becomes much more purposeful when you think about it as an art and a science okay so strategic pak cik packaging is really important each package should have more value to it as the client spends more what do I mean by value yeah something that's enticing to them tio tio change to add on to the next one yeah value to the client so like it's more appealing product yes so when I say value I don't necessarily mean value to you as a profit margin thing I mean each package should have more value in the client's mind as the client spends more okay second little thing your lowest package should have no value at all to the client they should look at it and go well that's not a very good deal why don't want that so many photographers put desirable beautiful products in their lowest package and give it a deal like lower the price on it and I'm sitting here going what are you doing that that's where your client's going to buy right they didn't buy the best deal so if you put the best deal at the bottom you are screwing yourself okay so think strategically about that now if your lowest package is the average cell you what then you're okay so in don situation if her lowest packages three thousand eight hundred sixty one dollars and gives away the farm okay great she want to do that that's fantastic but she could be a little bit more strategic about it and make that three hundred three thousand eight hundred sixty one dollar package not have a lot of value in it and the client will spend more to get what they want you get e fell to me by ten you could get out if you want out much because that's what would be but you could do it you see my point you've got it I know dawn has it when she says that okay so if some strategy is to put the average on the bottom package and other people strategy is to do the absolute minimum you're willing to work for. Okay, so keep that in mind the middle packages where most consumers will buy and should be price at the average cell that you really want that's kind of what I do on dh that's a good strategy to work off but if you do that, you have to make sure that your bottom package you're low and packages have no value to the client or very little the top package should be your whopper the one no one ever buys that's to make all the other packages look okay that's its only job is to make all the other package look like a good deal is all strategic I loved pricing itself now there are a few tried and true methods for creating packages I'm gonna have to barrel through these because I've been slacking a little bit going too long. What you choose depends on your business model what you're good at selling what you're comfortable with. So method a this is the classic method you get one sixteen by twenty to eleven by fourteen five, eight by tens this is just an arbitrary price I'm putting on stuff you know for like six hundred dollars so don't look at the price necessary just look at how it's structured so this is just kind of a way of doing of putting packages together so you would make you know three to five tiers of this with different items in each year with the lowest tier being kind of having the zero value in it okay the pros it's easy to create seas understand it's very traditional people know it the cons people always want substitution cz okay they always want can you give me two found by sevens from eight by ten it's not very flexible the consumer get stuff that they don't want okay message be a big ticket item with gift prince so for example the package would be a canvas with ten gift prints and they can choose five by seven eight by ten whatever they want that kind of thing or a big ticket item with digital files or something like that and they could choose five ten digital files whatever okay you know for some flexibility it's easy to see the price points it's easy to see insane with the previous method it's easy to see prices start at this and go up to that kind of thing uh and it's easy to understand the cons to is that it has a ceiling your top packages as much as anyone ever would ever spend right that was my problem when I was doing this method is it? I'm like I had a twenty five dollar package and that's the most I ever sold because that was the top package. Okay, substitution is khun b a little bit of a pain the booty here because people will like you say you had three packages one had a canvas at the bottom and five difference the next one had a nalbandian ten difference people are like well, I want the album but I don't want that many gift prints you still have that issue with substitution okay again the customer does not always get what they truly want. Okay method c is similar to that but instead of actually giving gift prince to give a print credit so be an album and a five dollar print credit that they could spend on any kind of print and those products those prints are priced according to your cost of sales okay it's easy it up again offer some flexibility but it has that price ceiling again and you have that substitution problem again it's a little more flexible because the client could spend that print credit how they want but it still has the same issues with the ceiling which is what I had a problem with now that's a d is pretty popular it's the one time discount everything's all card but if you buy that day you get twenty percent off that kind of mentality it's effective it works however it really relies on us the seller to sell enough product so you want to sell like, a campus and eight by tens and all this stuff together? You know, a lot of clients could come in and go well, I just want one campus and get twenty percent off of it. So it's it's hard to sell, it takes a little more effort. Also the twenty percent discount thing I'm not really comfortable with because of it discounting just kind of diminishes my brand. But again, that's a question business question you're gonna have to assess in your own studio and see if that something that you're really worried about, okay? It also implies that pressure to buy now mohr forcefully. Now do I make my clients by now? Yes, I do, but I do it in a softer, more manipulative way. That sounds terrible, manipulative person know I'm not really, but I say it. They don't have to buy now, but I make it really encouraging to not like you won't get this twenty percent discount if you don't buy today. You know that kind of thing. My methods a little bit different, so and I don't like the whole discounting idea method d create your own collection. Okay, this is really flexible. The client has to follow a certain number of steps to create their own portrait package so it's very customizable so for example they would choose an art product like a canvas or a wall portrait. Then they would choose an album and then they would choose their gift prince so that's kind of the structural example. I did this method for a long, long, long time. It was extremely effective when I loved about it is that it has no ceiling so I could get ten thousand dollars sails off this method. Okay, but it does have a bottom. The minimum is the lowest price for each one of those products. Those options does that make sense? So say for example, a sixteen by twenty print, which is the smallest, well bark priest piece I offer that would be the minimum for step one. The album would be a three hundred dollar album, and then the gift prints would be, you know, if they just chose one gift print, that would be fifty bucks. So it was a total of, like seven hundred dollar collection with the soft minimum. It didn't say that oh, a minimum order is something such as required, but it implied that there's a minimum does that make sense so it does offer lots of flexibility but it can be difficult to understand confusing to the client this is where I had issues with it it was extremely confusing to the client they were constantly asking me questions how does this work what are we supposed to dio what are we supposed to pick so what I did was simplify big time and this method we've been using for two years now and I love it so how this works is it's a hybrid system with both art and digital files I realized that gift prints were a waste of my time and a pain in the butt to produce and the package and to get out the door so I let my clients deal with their gift brits they do that with their digital files I only want to deal with art larger pieces so number one and increased my brand in the overall concept of my studio in that we create art number two it gave my clients what they wanted because the digital files were so coveted to them and number three it gave me what I wanted because I got to sell the art along with the digital files so it's like a win win win win win there's no ceiling I've had ten thousand dollars sales with this method there is a soft minimum the minimum is six hundred sixty dollars which may seem low to you guys but with my two hundred twenty five dollars session fee that makes my lowest possible advert possible sale eight hundred something bucks for a client to me it's a little low but I'm okay with that because the customer service the brand, the products that we show etcetera, etcetera gradually increase the sailors they come through the door you following that so the experience that they have with us, the products that they see the session, the art, the work all of that starts they if they come in thinking, oh, we're just going to spend six hundred sixty dollars in a package that changes very quickly as they come through the process because they start falling in love and the emotion takes over in the ordering appointment and that's when they always say, oh yeah, we only planned like either today a couple they're like well, her budget was fifteen hundred but wouldn't spend twenty five and I asked him like because they told me what their budget was and the way we were thinking maximum fifteen hundred two thousand I'm like are you sure they were adding stuff left and right? Are you sure you want? I always ask my client where you sure you want to spend twenty five dollars? And I know that makes me seem crazy that I would ask that, but I want them to be super happy when they walk out the door and not have any price regret or if they do have price regret they say it's okay cause I know the value increases over time of the portrait, but they don't know that yet, so I always and I'm like, okay, they're like yeah, it's okay, this was so worth this was just worth of they were so happy and so that's the process that happens to the studio and what I want you to try to encourage as your clients come in the door if they come in the door thinking they're going to spend the minimum change, that with everything that you do in your studio that's what's called a good brand. So yes, there is beauty and simplicity I think that's really important to to address now the other question I get all the time with baby plans. Should I make my packages lower for baby planners that I have for every other session? Why? Why would you do that? If they are the same, then it's much easier across the board for your studio and it makes much more sense your client. So then the next question I have is, well s so what motivates the client to join the baby plan if it's not cheaper? Well, what we've been talking about annual products, amazing customer service, beautiful imagery, a strong brand, an emotional experience and year and incentive gifts what's what's a your own extensive good gift, julia this is what it isthe traditional incentives involved giving a free product at the end of the year no matter what even for just joining the baby plan get that out of your head now they have to spend a certain amount client on lee wants the free gift at the end of the year that's what they do the sessions for and you end up screwed throughout the year because they're not buying where you need them to buy okay and you wind up doing a lot of work for no reward this method almost always backfires and leaves you frustrated incentives was spending are a different story you don't offer free gifts unless the client spends first the gifts should be very high perceived value to the client but fairly low cost to you if your packages throughout the year are structured correctly for an extremely low cost of good then you providing the freer and gift will still make you extremely profitable on the overall three sessions of the year does that make sense okay and when I did create a collection with those critical action our product digital files aren't product digital files that incremental part of the annual product is that our product so every single baby plans session my clients come in and go all we want are trinity canvas and all our digital files I know exactly where they're going to spend every single time they come in and then these incentives which if they spend at each session so seven hundred fifty dollars on that first offering they get an image box at the end of the year with all their proofs inside. Okay, so what is that to the trinity canvas okay is for twenty five for the campus plus the small digital files, which is three, ninety five? So let's just say four hundred for poops in grins so that's a eight hundred twenty five dollars sale they've hit the incentive point, so they know that if they do that every single session throughout the year they're going to go home with not only their trinity canvas name campus, I should say so to avoid confusion of people who are just tuning in the name canvass, they're also going to get the box at the end of the year with all the proofs inside because they're spending at the incentive level so yet another reason to keep coming back and then I have these other incentives that are different spending levels. The first year album is the biggest one most people do that they want that album at the end of the year, so they'll do a name campus that's bigger, they'll dio one of the word walls and then they get a free first year album at the end of the year and I know they're spending eleven hundred dollars procession at least usually that's more okay, they're getting their digital files at each session, which makes them very happy and then it's so my cost of goods on that session is like, I'll show that to you here in a second, so that first your album only cost one hundred twenty two bucks to produce. Okay? As far as hard cost goes, I have to design it, which is a little more time, but we have that pretty automated at this point, okay, create a collection, the minimum is right there, but it's cost me sixty five dollars, which is a nine percent cost of good on the individual sessions, so they can't even get an incentive at that. Yet that's below my incentive level, you have to spend seven fifty right now to get to the incentive level. So if my cost of goods is around nine, ten percent on the individual sessions, then giving away a product at the end of the year that costs me between sixty and a hundred fifty bucks, I'll do that all day long. Are you kidding me? No problem that's very profitable in my book, okay? And I've create a relationship with a client. They've come back three times to me, their client for life packages and or create a collection gets your average numbers and profit margins where they need to be to be able to do this that's why I love the system so much incentive help that and keep the client coming back till the end guys, you do just as much work for a sitting session as you do for a newborn session or a senior session or whatever each session and its own entity has to be profitable, so that means pricing your baby plan to ensure that, but in the meantime we have enough time for some questions cannot way are going to take some questions because we know people always have questions about pricing, so let us know if you have any but just I'm going to do some let's do some rapid fire questions about okay? All right? So question is what if they reach what when you're talking about incentives and spent minimum spending in order to get those what if they reach one level and in one month and then a higher one and then back down again totally need to be consistent? It's happened, I've actually had clients spend of the minimum like six sixty you realize that at the end of the year and asked me and go, is it okay if we just buy a little extra on this session to get the free incentive? Of course fine long as I get me nowhere my number needs to be I'm totally fine with it, so that happens a lot actually people get excited about the annual product they don't think about the incentives even though I'm reminding them and then at the end of the year they're like and usually it's like near the holidays or some of that that would be such a great gift for grandma we should just spend that amount so we can get it yes it happens all the time and so just teo clarify this is from olga the photos so do they pay for each segment of the yearlong product after each segment so the pay for those books three separate times or do they pay for the whole product up front? No, they pay for the products after they see the images so they pay for the product they do create a collection at each baby plans session and that is completed at the ordering appointment for that session so each individual session is treated like it's own session but it's all encompassed in the folder of being an annual event does that follow? Yes. Thank you for just clarify one more time I want to know I understand it sometimes confusing okay quickly when you talk about proofs are those edited but not retouched or do you retouch everything that the client gets when you talked about really impression for those of you who haven't I always assumed that people have seen another class of mine because I've done e that I shouldn't do that but in the pricing and sales class I talked really heavily about how we do images and since I'm since create a collection they get our product and our digital files I let them walk home that day with their usb after the order appointment and they of that they love to be able to walk out with the usb and it solidifies my sale because they can't return digital files so I never get that next day phone call saying way too much money way reduce our order it never happens because they've already taken the digital files home with that being said yes they are all retouch when we go into the ordering appointment now lock will say what is that a waste of time? No because my major retouching is done by my studio manager belinda I do the final artistic edits I'm paying her a much more reduced rate than I pay myself to do that which makes it cost effective for me and so the client gets to take the usb home with them and the sessions are fully edited so when I at the end of the year when I put them in the proof box is just a matter of just dragging and dropping them into the proofing section of the white house custom color and bam they come it's like twenty bucks to get them all and they arrive at the studio it's a no brainer to dio okay, yes, do you call it an incentive to there? Clients is not a word that you use. I call them free year and incentive gifts, and there is in my baby plan marketing. And when we go over collateral on market materials, I'm going to pull out all that stuff and show you exactly the kit that we give to our new baby planners and what that looks like and how the pricing is shown, and how the incentives. Okay, perfect, because that was more questions coming out of that client interaction pricing do put on your website. You see, I'm in a timeout so good we're going to get there.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Customizable BP Postcard Templates
Customizable Recipe Tag Templates
Customizable Stat Card Templates
Baby Plan Images
How The Baby Plan Works
Baby Plan Resource Guide
Baby Plan Success Checklist

Ratings and Reviews

Natalia Malinko

I just finished to watch this course. And I confess: I've been struggled all the time during the viewing to say already: I LOVE IT! So, I LOVE this course! Julia is so nice teacher, and photographer, and person. And she is so incredible organizator of whole child's photography business. She is amazing, so meticulous, so persuasive trough all and each one of the important points of this business. And she is just great in the part of studio´s shooting examples with the babies. This is one of the best and most valuable courses I found in Creative Live, thanks!

Dawn Potter

I've been so fortunate to be able to be a part of the Live audience experience with Julia. She is an amazing person, photographer and teacher. She does a fantastic job of explaining in detail, the steps she has taken that have helped her success as well as the steps that have set her back. We are so lucky to be able to learn from her experiences and to have someone who is willing to put herself out there to teach us and help us to grow as photographers. For anyone considering adding a Baby Plan to their portrait offerings, this class is a MUST have. Julia, you are #awesomesauce !! xoxo - Dawn Potter

Student Work