How to Win the Bid to Photograph the Youth Baseball League

One of the hardest things when getting into youth photography is knowing where to go and who to talk to. Typically, there are two approaches. The first (and less scary) is to work your network. Find someone that can introduce you to a local league board member. That will work for a while. But at some point, you will need to expand beyond your current social network. That's what I want to talk about here. YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE TO FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PHOTOGRAPH Let's say we're talking about youth baseball. Right off the bat... see what I did there? Anyway, first off, you should know you aren't the only one pursuing that league. There are other companies trying to get the chance to photograph the sports program…

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Do I Need to Sell Image Downloads in Sports Photography?

Right now there is a lot of chatter in our industry based on companies that have provided a way to deliver image files. We all have heard of studios that are increasing sales with the addition of image downloads. And at the same time many of us have seen or experienced how offering downloads can cost us thousands of dollars in losses. If you are reading this, then you are likely a business owner. Or, perhaps you call yourself an entrepreneur. Maybe this is just a side hustle for you. Call it what you will. You are reading this article because you want to know how to stay competitive and grow your business. There are companies who are making sales presentations promoting you to push image downloads in order to…

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This One Thing Will Make You Love Those Last Minute Orders

Who LOVES late orders from parents? Who LOVES it when mom that forgets to order grandma's button or 5x7? ANSWER is... No One! Late orders have always been a problem in our business. We either never have enough for an order-minimum or we plain don't have time for them. Either way, late orders always equal unhappy employees and unhappy customers. That was until we partnered with our lab for all our online prepay, proof, and late orders. We now have an efficient and easy way to handle those late orders. Which means no more phone calls from mom wanting to order Grandma's forgotten button. Now I actually look forward to all the late orders. About two or three years ago, we transitioned all our late orders to online fulfillment. We…

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Do I Need to Sell Sports Photos Online Like Shutterfly?

There is no arguing that we, as a society, have moved toward using our mobile devices in many aspects of our lives, including online e-commerce. I have been selling both online pre-pay and proof programs in schools and sports for years. It has increased my sales. It saves time and labor. But I've had to learn some lessons along the way. Here are some questions I've been asked or had to figure out on my own. Do I need to sell image downloads or packages first? The choice is up to you. I have found best practices are to sell packages first, then offer image downloads second. Remember once the customer has the digital file they can use it wherever they want and whenever they want. You lose control over…

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Parents Will Buy Prints After They Have the Digital Files

Parents will buy prints after they have the digital files in hand. Who in the world is propagating this madness?!?! Sure they will buy prints, just not from you. They will purchase from Walmart, Shutterfly, and the like. So, let me get this straight, you are ok doing all of the hard work and letting these other companies profit from it? Come on! This is either a nightmare or a bad joke (the jury is still out on which one). Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. FACT: Once parents purchase only the digital files, they will only come back and buy physical product 7% of the time. Bottom line, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SHIRT HERE. You cannot build a sustainable business this way; it…

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