Amazing photos can look less amazing if they're put in a bad-looking album for customers. It's as simple as that. Luckily, I'm here to tell you exactly how to pick an album that fits your photography brand and your bottom line, plus how to calculate what your average sales need to be per shoot to make the income that you want!
First things first: gather a list of companies and order samples
There are so many companies out there that provide photo album services. Some have different sizes, different materials, different textures, and all of that leads to different presentations. Get a list of as many as you can. Then it's time to order presents for yourself.
It's important to get physical examples of the products and really understand the quality of each album. Some might look great from a distance (or online) but once you touch them they feel rough and dry and scratchy. So order as many covers and pages and fabrics as you can to figure out what you like. You're looking for something that fits the fill of your business, and that gives you a good profit margin.
Next step: figure out what your average sale needs to be
You might want to get the best quality album for your clients, but that might not fit within your pricing models. Likewise, the cheapest option might do you a disservice as well. The best way to know is to do a little bit of math to figure out what your average sale per client needs to be, which in turn helps you figure out what your packages need to be priced at and which album you can afford.
And it's a lot simpler than you think:
( Yearly costs + Yearly Salary Goal ) / Number of Shoots Per Year = Average Sale Amount
For example, if you estimate $20,000 in yearly expenses (studio fees, equipment, hair and makeup artist, etc.) and you want to earn $60,000 a year with 65 shoots per year, then your average sale per client needs to be $1,230. From there, let's say that the album you want costs $200 after packaging and shipping, that's an extra $13,000 per year in expenses, which means your average sale actually needs to be $1,430. Boom, now you have a guideline of how to price your packages to make your average goal.
Other things to consider:
I used to use Fineo for my albums because they were great quality, but it took 4 to 6 weeks for me to receive them (I think they're based in Australia). It just wasn't working out for me, so I switched to White House Custom Color. Now, I typically get my albums the day after I order them! I tell my clients that I'll get their albums and prints to them within 3 weeks, and then I can amaze them by actually having it all done within a week!
Another reason why I like White House Custome Color is that they print the photos directly into the album. Other album options are self-stick, which is fine if that's what fits your business! But that's the option that I like, so that's what I go with.
Last thing to consider: what do you clients like? I offer two album sizes: a 6×6 and an 8×8. I thought clients would like the 8×8 more (bigger is better, right?) but I sold more 6×6 albums, so I adjusted my packages to favor that.
Finding the best album for your business is not only good for appearances, but doing the math to figure out the smart move can also do a lot for your bottom dollar. I'd love to help you with more tips and tricks like this in my Boudoir Certified program, where I can teach you exactly how to price your services and achieve that average sale you need. You can apply for the program at www.boudoircertified.com/case3 and, if you qualify, I'll get you started with a complimentary 1:1 strategy session!