If you’ve got a photography business and never heard the words ‘back end’, then you’re in for a big serving of ‘food for thought’ in this article.
And before we start… no, the back end doesn’t mean your butt! It’s something that can generate much more profits for your business
So What Is The Back End?
Well, in business there is a ‘front end’ and a ‘back end’…
A front end sale is the first sale you get with a new client, while a back end sale, is any and every sale that happens after the first one.
For example, you may have seen those companies online (and offline now), who offer a free 30 day sample of the new weight loss pill, all you need to pay is about $4.95 for shipping and it’s yours! (this is the front end sale) … Oh, plus you also go on the $49.95 continuity program where they send you a new monthly supply of the pill each month until you cancel. So every single month they are making a back end sale…
In this example, the company loses money on the front end to acquire the new client, because they know they can make up for it by selling products on the back end…
How Does This Relate To Photography?
In photography, back end selling is almost TOTALLY overlooked.
The photographer gets the front end sale which will usually be a portrait shoot, wedding shoot or whatever… then they’ll say goodbye to the client and never work with them again, hoping that maybe they enjoyed the photos so much that they’ll send a referral or two your way.
This is a huge missed opportunity!
You need to start creating a back end plan, so you can sell to the same client over and over, or sell that client more products or services, which is also known as an up-sell.
A Few Ideas For Your Back End
Of course, this is highly dependent on the type of photography you specialize in, so it will require a bit of imagination to come up with ideas tailored to your photography business, but here’s a few to get you started…
Baby/newborn photographers can sell packages that don’t focus on the first and only sale. It would be called something like a “development package”, where you would photograph the baby at ‘x’ weeks old, followed by another shoot at maybe 6 months, another in a year, and yet another in 3 years, or at the intervals the parent chooses.
Real estate photographers can work with a home owner when selling a house, and then again when they buy their new house to get ‘before’ photos. This works because many home owners want professional before and after shots of the renovations they do.
Wedding photographers can offer special packages for other couples at the wedding. There are often other couples in the bridal party who would be very interested in having professional photos done… and since you’re already there with all your gear, it wouldn’t take much longer to shoot these ‘side-jobs’, as long as you’ve confirmed with the bride and it doesn’t clash with any of the planned wedding photography.
Pet photographers can offer pet clothes and props for sale, because if you using clothing when shooting, you’ll know that the owners always want to know where you got it!
Seniors photographers can and should keep in touch with clients because kids graduating from high school will often require another shoot in a few years when they complete their degree. If you don’t claim this back end sale, another photographer will!
Just The Beginning
That list is just a sample from a few popular types of photography, and is meant as just that… ‘a sample’. You tweak my ideas and blend them with your own to create the perfect back end strategy.
You must realize that this is where you’ll find a tonne of money that you’re currently leaving on the table, and that applying back end selling can boost your profits almost instantly!
PLUS, it doesn’t cost anything to get these clients, since they’re already working with you. It’s far more time and cost effective to generate back end sales, than it is to bring in new clients!
Come up with a great back end system and your photography business will soar!
Got any questions about a back end strategy you’re thinking of using? Leave it in the comments below and I’ll help you out!