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Tips to Marketing Gallery-Wraps

Text by Merrie Casteel

Time and time again, we hear photographers say that gallery-wrapped canvas is a high-end product. And when you consider the average markup of a canvas is three to five times the cost, for most pros a gallery-wrap will be the highest-priced single print they offer.

A higher-priced product means bigger profit margins, which is appealing, but you need the right customers. Photographers who use Simply Canvas have shared with us some secrets to reaching high-end clients and how they encourage their middle-income customers to make the investment in a canvas as well.

 

 
What stands out about canvas is just that - it stands out. The 3D look of a gallery-wrap is the first thing people notice. You have to see it in person to get the full effect.
 
Regardless of your studio size, sample gallery-wraps on your walls will get noticed and sell. Simply putting them on a price list doesn't explain the look or cost of a gallery-wrap as viewing them does.
 
Show your customers the effort that goes into the construction of a gallery-wrap. Doing so will help customers understand the additional cost.
 
Display canvas options. Describing floating frames, split images and color borders can be difficult. Simply Canvas offers special sample pricing on these options so you can have samples to show your customers. These add-ons can greatly increase your profits, but you can't leave it up to a customer's imagination.
 
Get your customers excited about canvas before they even meet with you by showing examples on your website. Show photos of the samples you have in your studio or customers' home. When you show them how stunning a canvas looks hung on a wall, it gives them a chance to imagine what it would look like in their own home.
 
One particular team of photographers occasionally takes photos for their local newspaper and was offered a chance to write a column about photography with their company name in the byline. When they noticed the trend for high-end destination weddings, they wrote an article about it. There's no better way to get a couple considering a destination wedding to give your studio a call, and these types of customers are more likely to order higher-end products.
 
Another client puts her gallery-wraps in a boutique children's clothing store. She photographs the customers wearing the boutique's clothes. This upper-end clientele is a perfect market for canvas.
 
Visit a local wedding venue and offer to decorate it with some of your best wedding photos on canvas. Not only are you helping out a local business that may return the favor - newly engaged couples will be seeing your work long before they've chose a photographer.
 
Offer to decorate a bridal shop with canvas prints of brides in dresses, or take photos of a local bakery's creations. Small shops don't usually have a budget for decor and will gladly let you display canvases with your studio name on them.
 
Another studio offered free publicity photos for DJ's and bands, creating a network of people happy to sell their studio's services.
 
SELL IN THE ORDERING SESSION
 
Don't expect your customers to visualize what their image will look like as a canvas. Digitally create the canvas for them using their photographs. If your area of expertise is in great wall groupings or split panels, take the time to create it digitally and show them how their own images would look.
 
Another photographer who meets with clients in their home takes pictures of their house and digitally "installs" the gallery-wrap on their own walls to show in the selling session. Besides effectively displaying the 3D look of the canvas as it would appear in their home, you can also find spaces to display canvas that they may have overlooked.
 
Seeing a customer's home gives you the opportunity to better understand their tastes. You can use that information to create the "perfect" gallery-wrap for their style and decor. If they're modern, offer an unframed canvas. If they have a lot of framed art, show them a canvas in a floating frame.
 
Create opportunities to add to the sale. Customers coming in for a family portrait may only be thinking of displaying it in the living room. A collage with colorful borders and word wraps can look amazing in a child's room.
 
As canvas has become more popular, so have the labs that sell direct. As frustrating as it is to explain the superior quality they get from using a pro, consumers may not understand the difference in canvas quality. If you're unfortunate enough to come across the consumer who says they can get the same thing for $50 at the mall, take the time to educate them. And the best way to do that is to have samples that show off your photography skills and the custom options and artistic talents that come together to create unique pieces of art they won't be able to duplicate themselves.