It’s that time of year again! Most of us are on the lookout for gifts for friends and family, and when it comes to buying presents, who doesn’t love a good sale? Many people are bargain hunters who love the idea of getting something for less.

As a pro photographer, it’s likely that you may want to get in on the action and start running your own holiday promotions.

But before you send out emails advertising portraits, three for the price of one, it may be a good idea to take a few things into consideration first.

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What’s the Risk?

While offering holiday sales can be a great way to get some extra promotion, it’s important that you don’t sell yourself too short, and end up giving everything away.

As photographers, most of our services -or prints- aren’t marked up too high to begin with, so lowering the prices too drastically means that you may run the risk of actually losing money.

Another thing to consider is that while many people love a good bargain, there are also some customers who may not care so much about sales. Why sell yourself short if your customers would be more than willing to pay normal price anyways?

Should Pro Photographers Offer Sales?

It all depends on your photography business, and your target customer. If you are pretty sure that your client base is one that would take advantage of a sale, then you may be able to benefit from running a holiday promotion. Just make sure that you don’t discount your services or products too much!

Ideas for Holiday Promotions

If you do decide to go with a holiday promotion, here are some ideas that you may be able to benefit from.

  • Online Promotion

Create a page on your website for holiday gifts that you offer –such as prints- or gift card options if you do portraits and photoshoots. Since shoppers are busy people, you can benefit by making gifts easy to find. Creating a landing page with “gift guide” or “Christmas gifts” as keywords can also help your website with search engine rankings.

  • Consider Free Shipping

If you sell prints, offering free shipping for the holidays may be the way to go. Free shipping is the number one feature for many people who are shopping online. According to comScore, almost half of respondents said that free shipping was the most important service offered by online retailers.

  • Turn to Social Media

It’s a good idea to start using social media to promote holiday specials –and starting early is always a good idea. More than half of retailers (54.8%) will increase their use of Facebook in November and December. You can post contests to increase publicity and interaction -and of course holiday promotions and discounts!

  • Offer a Special Holiday Product

You could offer gift cards, photo ornaments, Christmas card portraits, and holiday products that you don’t normally offer. This will encourage people to take advantage of your limited time holiday offer.

  • Schedule Promotional Photoshoots for the Slow Time

Your discounted photoshoot sessions can be scheduled for your off-season. Rather than trying to book clients in for discounted photoshoots during your busy time, keep these promotional discounted sessions for times when your business is slow.

  • Consider Giving Away Gift Certificates

Giving out a few gift certificates to your very best customers is a great way to say thank you this holiday season –plus it’s great for promotion. Make sure you specify that the gift certificates can be redeemed by the customer, but can also be given away as holiday gifts to their friends! This is a great way to get valuable word-of-mouth referrals from your favorite customers.

Success!

Remember, your holiday sales should be about promoting your company –not selling yourself short. Avoid discounting products or services too heavily as this will cause you to lose out, and may also cause people to question the quality of your services. Instead focus on promoting your photography as an exclusive, high-quality service, with a focus on limited time offers and promotions.

Repeat customers are the goal with any promotion. By getting the word out about your services, you have a chance to show people the quality of your work -hopefully creating repeat customers in the process!

Have you had success with holiday promotions? We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions in the comments below!