7 Tips To Create A Highly Marketable Social Media Portrait Session

I first introduced the concept of a social media package over a year ago when I introduced Neil Creek, a photographer who created MeetHeads as a way of introducing people to his portrait studio through the use of social portraits.

Since then I’ve been watching the trends with social media portrait packages, and taking in how photographers are using them. There is definitely a right and wrong way to introducing social media to your clients. Yet as most photographers today continue to hand over the digital files, and your clients are using them in social media anyway, why not create a package just for them? Not sure how? Follow these tips.

1. Think outside the box with your sessions. How can you get creative, take images from a variety of angles, and give your clients many opportunities for sharing images online? Talk with your client about likes/interests. Incorporate some of their favorite hobbies into the session as well.

2. Put the focus on social media. Facebook is the rage right now, so use it. Market your portrait session as a great way to share images with the online world. You can even provide perfectly cropped photographs, sized specifically for different social sites. Social Media Training

3. Introduce props and special options. How about a glamour session – work with a local hair/makeup artist who can spend an hour before hand glamorizing your client. Seasonal portraits can also be fun – fall colors, winter snow, and summer on the beach.

4. Don’t hand over a raw disk; make sure your packaging says wow as well.
For a low cost, you can buy blank CD/DVD holders, and customize the front packaging. Then screen print your CD/DVD with your branding, or print one off with a CD label maker for and even more customized look.

5. Charge appropriately. If you’re handing over one file of a quick 20 minute session, $99 may be okay. But if you’re doing an hour or more shoot of an entire family, and spending time customizing the images, you can charge several hundred dollars or more. They get the files, and they will print large images if they desire to do so. Part of your fee is for the entertainment factor of the session as well. If they have fun, feel comfortable with you, and like the results, several hundred dollars is more than reasonable.

6. Create social media days. Especially if you are creating a specific background, or on location at a local park, limit your social media sessions. If you shoot one a month, 4 sessions at a time, people will quickly learn there is a high demand for your service. Create a waiting list, and announce a month or two at a time. If you make each month in a different location, it will quickly become a limited event, and you’ll have more than enough business to fill each session.

7. Add something that says WOW. You’ve read about Moo cards here quite a bit – I love them. So why not add a mosaic frame filled with Moo cards as one of your options. If you are photographing a family, you’ll come up with a variety of images of individuals as well as the group. Create a pack of mini-cards, throw in a frame, and along with the CD/DVD of the images, you’ll have your clients talking in no time.

And if you want to try out Moo today, I’ve got a special that will allow you to do so with a 10% discount. If you’re new to Moo, type in RZUMYP at check out, and you’ll get 10% off your entire order. It’s only through September 30, 2010, so get going on your first order.

4 thoughts on “7 Tips To Create A Highly Marketable Social Media Portrait Session”

  1. I do wish people would stop promoting the idea of giving portrait clients the files on a disc to print so much. I try to educate my clients that my prints/canvases/albums, etc are going to last much longer than a Walmart/Cosco print which will fade much faster. The prints,etc should be viewed as gifts for their children and grandchildren. Most people will load the disc into the computer and never make a print anyway and then the disc is no good after roughly 5 yrs. I only offer the disc if they have purchased a package which includes a framed canvas, a small album, and some prints. Same with wedding clients.

  2. There IS a way to profitably sell (or, rather, license) people images on a disc. But to do it right, you need to go back to the fundamentals of managerial accounting, figure out your business’s cost structure and degree of operational leverage, and create a job-cost-based markup that makes sense. Generally, because of the low cost of goods sold on a product like that, the markup will be much, much higher than it is with traditional products. But handing over a disc without knowing exactly what you’re doing is a recipe for going out of business.

    • Hi Andrew

      Yep, I say that all the time. People hand over all of their images for “nothing” – you can’t stay in business very long doing the occasional $100 shoot with nothing on the backend. It just takes work to figure out what you need to charge to be profitable and charge accordingly.


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