As creatives, we put a lot of our heart and soul into the work we do. From carefully crafting our websites & social media feeds, to the way we interact with our clients, and make them feel when taking their images. I think the most important thing to remember when designing your packaging, is to make sure to bring that same feeling and essence into your packaging. Whether you are a pet, newborn, lifestyle, wedding or family photographer, the way you provide your images says a lot about the way you value yourself as an artist and your client as the subject
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. - Maya Angelou.
This quote is something I keep front of mind when it comes to anything business related. As creatives, pricing and value are two things that we often get wrong. What we provide is often so intangible, so it's difficult to attach a price to it. So often we undervalue the work that we do, saying I just take photos or I just make art. But often we do so much more than that, the art or the imagery is only the way in which we deliver our value. For example, when you go into a hairdresser, you normally leave feeling more confident, beautiful and you have an extra bounce in your step. They have provided you with more than just a haircut, they have provided you with additional value. The same is true for the work that you do as a photographer. You don't only provide images, you provide moments forever frozen in time, a bond between mother and child forever captured on film. You provide your clients with beauty, and a way of seeing themselves in a different light. So the way you present your images & final delivery is so crucial to preserve the feelings & emotions captured throughout your client experience. Your Client experience is a way to deliver even more value to your clients.
How much thought have you given to your client experience & photography packaging? The truth is, it's not about having the most unique box, or perfect ribbon colour, it's more important to think about how you want your clients to feel. With anything client experience related you always want to underpromise and over deliver. Often people think that this means being extravagant and having massive welcome gifts, but really at the end of the day, you just need to make your clients feel appreciated, cared for and most importantly JOY! Joy can be found in the smallest & simplest of things.
Here are our five tips when choosing your photography packaging:
CONSIDER YOUR BRANDS STYLE WHEN SELECTING YOUR PACKAGING
All too often, photographers choose packaging based on price and not necessarily based on their brand. Let’s say your photography style is light and airy, you love soft light rather than dark and dramatic tones. Then why would you order a generic mass produced wooden box? Wouldn’t you rather want something that compliments your style and brand? What about a beautiful light grey box, with acrylic lid and glass USB?
Perhaps, you would like to give your clients something tangible, a keepsake to hold onto.
Consider a beautiful faux leather pouch, with 10 fine art Giclee prints. Start to educate your clients on the beauty of fine art prints, and how they are different to the ones that would be printed at their local high street printer.
Find ways to set yourself apart from your peers, what do you want your work to be known for. This is deeply rooted in your why. Why are you a photographer, what does a camera allow you to do or capture? Think about your why when designing your packaging.
Nowadays, most photographers offer online galleries. But what if you could offer your clients more. Think about a proof box with proof prints. You could hand deliver these to your clients, along with your album samples and really show them how important it is to print their photographs. And how they can transform from screen into a tangible piece of art. Also, consider what the mother of the bride’s reaction would be when seeing her daughter’s special day in print. This could lead to more print sales, more joy and ultimately increased revenue for your business.
ALWAYS BUILD IN AN ELEMENT OF SURPRISE
Instead of focusing only on the investment, focus more on the experience. Your clients aren't going to choose you because you offer an extra hour of coverage or ten more images in their gallery. They are going to choose you based on the problem you solve for them, how you are going to make them feel when looking back at their images and the experience they have while working with you.
I always suggest to our clients, find a way to build in an element of surprise at three critical stages of the client experience. The first is when your client books you (this could be as simple as a handwritten note, and reminder card of their shoot date, to something more elaborate for our wedding photography clients). The second is on the final delivery - imagine your client’s delight when they receive a small sample of prints unexpectedly in the mail. And lastly (this stage is optional depending on your pricing structure, and type of photography), add an element of surprise a couple of months / a year after you have completed your service. This will help you stay front of mind, and lead to more repeat business and referrals.
No matter where you are in your business journey, make sure you include something tangible in your final delivery. It could be something as simple as a foiled print, but make sure you bring your images off the screen and into the hands of your clients.
LESS IS MORE
So often we tend to think that to create an unforgettable client experience we have to have elaborate gifts, over the top presentation. But I always love to approach life with a less is more attitude, and therefore, I suggest the same for your packaging. Choose a few key touch points and do those well. Make sure that everything included in your packaging, and even your client experience has a purpose. That purpose should always be adding value for your client.
CHOOSE ITEMS THAT WILL SHOW YOUR CLIENTS THE VALUE OF PRINTING THEIR IMAGES
Even if it's something as simple as five small fine art prints, be sure to include something tangible with your final delivery. You need to get your images off the screen and into the hands and hearts of your client. Let them experience the detail, the texture and the beauty of seeing their images in print. We have some beautiful options that are beautiful, affordable and most importantly, personal.
A simple final delivery could include:
- five beautiful fine art prints
- A branded faux leather print pouch
- Branded ribbon
- Handwritten thank you note
- And finally a branded shipping box
BUILD IT INTO YOUR OFFER
Don’t look at your packaging as a nice to have, build your clients experience and packaging into your pricing structure. You can always include optional add-one for your clients, but make sure your final delivery has an element of surprise. Remember, you are always trying to underpromise and over deliver.
I hope these tips help you think about your packaging in a different light. An opportunity to create connection, to solidify your brand messaging and most importantly create joy and love in the hearts of others.
Be sure to take a look at our beautiful online store for inspiration. Or signup to our newsletter for more helpful hints on how to improve your client experience!