Professional means not doing what the amateur can do.
I visited a “professional” photographer’s website today. She specializes in babies and children.
She photographs and provides the digital files for up to 50 images. Yours to keep.
I doubt she sells very many of these. Why would she?
The person has already received a digital file with every image on it. She can very easily head over to iPhoto and design her own album.
I love the iPhoto concept. It’s fun and easy to throw together a quick album for a single event. Many other companies offer a similar product – Shutterfly has something similar, and also sells the kits out of Borders book stores.
Consumers love it. And retailers love it – it’s a way of increasing their profits.
But as a professional, you need to be supplying your customers with things they can’t get anywhere else. Even if they find it online, the company will only work with professionals.
When they see something magical that they can’t get anywhere else, it adds a sense of desire to your product line. And it sets you apart from your competition.
Professional album companies are also in business to help you grow your business. And because of it, many of their websites are designed to help send future clients your way. Many have special sections educating the bride on a professional album, and provide a way to connect the bride with you.
One of my favorite album companies, Zookbinders, has a special section just for brides. They educate them on the quality of professional albums, why hiring a professional is so important, and how to find a professional photographer.
Many companies will also work to get you your sample line. For half off, you can order sample albums to show your client. Clients buy what they see. This is a great way to show them your level of professionalism.
If you want to profit like a professional, you must build your business like a professional.