Often times packaging can become an after thought. We're so busy with pricing, learning our craft, filing for taxes (cough cough, right…), etc. that packaging gets shoved to the side. However it's an essential part of your branding and completes the portrait experience for your clients. If the packaging & product are the last thing your client is going to see then you want to make sure THEY ROCK.
Imagine walking into Prada and finding a pair of shoes you HAVE to have. Then, you save up for the next 3 months to justify buying them. You dress up, you're feeling beautiful, you go into their fabulously chic store to try on the shoes and purchase them. Then, after you hand them the money for the shoes they hand you your shoes in a blank paper bag. The experience that had been so fun and so memorable was ended with a blank paper bag. Of course the last part of that story was made up as Prada has very expensive looking packaging that fits nicely with their brand. Their packaging is so cute I'd be happy just to receive the box. I'm telling you this because it directly corresponds with how your clients should feel about your packaging and final presentation.
There are so many different ways to package your products, different vendors to choose from, a variety of prices and I know it can all be very overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to choose professional packaging for your business.
Tips for choosing your packaging materials:
-Will a box or bag hold your final product(s) better?
-Your packaging should ad value to your product and experience
-Packaging is part of your branding so make sure they're consistent
-Keep in mind this is the final thing your client is leaving with
-Are the colors and designs in the packaging consistent with your branding?
-What should you all include in your packaging?
-Be creative and unique
-consider a small gift that reflects your studio as another thank you
Items I include in my packaging:
-Thank you card
-envelope for print release
-packaging for flash drive
-yellow and lace ribbon for the boxes
-card for their next session
-logo stickers to secure tissue etc.
..all neatly packaged inside of a logoed black bag or grey box from Rice Studios.
When you have a client that orders just a few prints, you can also package it in a custom-printed portfolio, like one of these, available from Company Folders. You can add your logo and even get them embossed or printed in foil for a super classy look.
If you're still feeling overwhelmed just remember to take it one step at a time. Open a google doc or a new page in your notebook. Draw out what you'd like your packaging to look like or start a pinterest board and start pinning ideas. Next make a list of what you'd all like to include with your packaging. Once you have a cohesive idea find the products you need to create your packaging. Once you have all of your items ordered tuck them away nicely in your studio or office.
One last tip: Write out a document with instructions on how to package your final product, what to include with the packaging, etc. Even if your business is just you it's so important to keep things consistent. If you do ever bring somebody on to work for you it will be so easy for them to begin packaging. They will already have a clear plan on how to go about it and how to keep everything consistent.
Ready to learn more about building value in your boudoir photography business? Check out my post on How I Edit Portrait Sessions for Viewing in 30 Minutes. Enjoy!