Have you ever heard of the “Hedgehog Theory”?
It is a reference to a saying by the ancient Greek poet Archilochus who said, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” It can be applied to many situations, especially your business. Here’s how it works… hedgehogs have one trick for any threatening situation–they curl up into a spiny ball. They do this every time and they always do it because they have found curling up in a spiny ball is quite effective (see image to the left…it’s also quite cute).
How does this apply to your business? Well, when you’re good at one thing and find that it works, the best rule to follow is to continue to do that one thing. Now, this isn’t to say to never change…we’re human and a little more complex than a hedgehog (I will avoid any obvious better half jokes here). So, you should always find ways to improve on the things that work for you and that is the quickest way to make your business stronger. For instance, if you are running a pretty profitable photography business and you want to make more money, you shouldn’t open a taco stand. And to look at it a bit closer…if you’re already running a profitable business, decide what is most profitable and expand on that.
Ok, now we are all thinking like hedgehogs…so let’s take a look at something we know works. Canvas Prints are a popular and high-margin product for Photographers. And rightly so, they make a stunning impression, and are worth the price you charge for them. How can you take this already profitable product line and bring even more sales into your studio? Below are 5 ideas to get you started.
1. Shoot at a Big Target.
Take a look at the average wall space in a medium-sized living room. It can definitely handle a 40×60” print. Prints of that size traditionally need to have more than one or two subjects, or customers may get uncomfortable with the idea of their faces being bigger-than-life on their wall. I know a photographer’s client whose son actually makes her remove their huge family portrait from their wall when he has friends over for a party. You can be sure that client will not be purchasing another print of that size anytime soon. So, how do you get that sale? You need to shoot for large prints. During the shoot, plan for the big print sale by taking a few images that can handle being blown up to that size without making your clients look like they’re on a real-estate billboard in their living room. Get more background and more negative space like the sample shown below. This type of image will allow you to make the sale and keep your clients coming back for more.
photo by: Mel Barlow Photography
2. Get Clustered.
So, maybe you just couldn’t get the perfect shot for a super large print. Well, there’s still another way to make sure your work fills up that available wall space. Sell them a Canvas Cluster (yes, you can get these in floating frames as well). Several smaller canvases arranged in a unique layout can still get you that big sale without making your clients uncomfortable. These are a huge hit with new parents. Remember, these images don’t need to be all from the same shoot. If you’re like most photographers, you’ve shot the engagement session, the wedding, the belly shoot, the newborn and more. If you don’t get the cluster sale in the first sell session, try again after you have two or more sessions under your belt with a particular client. Create a collage of images from all their sessions. They’ll usually purchase this “timeline” type of cluster. We have several Canvas Clusters pre-designed for you and you just drag and drop your images. Our clusters are even priced at 20% off the regular canvas price. Check them out here. In addition to our current sale, you can use our Canvas Wall Sample Discount anytime to get a Sample Canvas Cluster for display at 30% off. simplycolorlab.com/sales
photo by: Ulysses Photography
3. Don’t Wait Until the Bun is Out of the Oven.
Speaking of clusters, here’s a way to get more sales from a future session before it’s even booked. If you are doing a Pregnancy Belly shoot, odds are that these images are just for the parents. But remember, this pregnant family is also decorating a new room for the new baby. Start talking with them about unique ways to decorate that baby’s room with canvas clusters. No new parent thinks less is more when it comes to images of their baby. You won’t want to wait for the baby shoot to talk about where they’ll hang these images because they’re going to be done with the room by that time. Start helping them plan where they’ll hang an adorable canvas cluster in the baby room so they can prepare for it, talk about the colors and theme of the room and let them know you can perfectly design a cluster to match any decor…they’ll be glad you saved them time hunting for things to put on the walls. Again, a small Canvas Cluster on display like the one below is going to make the sale even easier.
photo by: Calotype Photography
4. Become a Stair-Master.
Nearly everyone has a staircase and this is traditionally a very awkward space to decorate. Get creative with a space on your studio wall (Or your own home staircase if you work from a home studio). Show your clients how you can create and design custom sizes to fit any space. If you don’t have a staircase to do this with, you can give the illusion of a staircase on any flat wall. Many clients aren’t aware that you can order any size or shape of canvas they need. So be sure to show them that there are no limits when they buy from you. Find unique places in your studio to squeeze in an unusual-sized gallery wrap. They’ll be sure to notice your use of space and start thinking about that wall in their home where they just can’t find the right piece of artwork to hang. Remember, even if you don’t order during our current sale, you can use our Canvas Wall Sample Discount to get some canvases that will really stand out simplycolorlab.com/sales
photo by: John Michael Cooper Photography
5. Be a One-Stop Shop. Frame Shop, that is.
Traditionally, Gallery Wraps are unframed…and to some clients this gives them a more modern feel. Personally, I think gallery wraps work anywhere…but, what about the client that has to have every image in their home in a frame? Try a Floating-Framed Gallery Wrap in one of our 12 different Floating Frames. We even have a line of Floating Frames that are exclusive to Simply Color Lab (traditions). We designed this frame line ourselves and they can be bought nowhere else in the world (talk about exclusive). And let them know that. You are a professional and you can source products for them they can’t find at Walmart™ (again, on a personal note…I love big-box stores, just not for my family heirlooms). Make that a part of your sales presentation. Best of all, we make your gallery wrap and your custom frame right here, in-house at Simply Color Lab and they arrive to you, ready to hang in your clients’ homes. You need to have samples on-hand to show these off. Use our amazing Canvas Sale to get samples or use our sample discounts on Floating Framed Gallery Wraps. Visit simplycolorlab.com/sales for more info. And don’t forget to check out the Floating Frames Corner Sample Set on that page. When you order your Corner Sample Set, you get a $50 Coupon to use at Simply Color Lab.
photo by: Heidi Ann Photography
Article Written by Merrie Casteel – Simply Color Lab’s in-house marketing Guru and Hedgehog lover. With over
25 years…um, several years experience in the marketing field, her vast knowledge of hedgehogs is just something she picked up on the side.