Why switching to In-Person Sales doesn’t mean you’ll be successful

pixelcents-blog-ipsIt’s been a few months now since I read about a photographer who had just switched to IPS. They were celebrating a $1500 sale and we’re just about to deliver the products. The photo they posted was of the back of their van and it was packed to the ceiling with beautifully wrapped boxes.

My first thought was “oh dear, they might be doing it wrong”.

I didn’t post that thought (obviously) – but here I am, months later still thinking about that person.

In-person sales requires a lot more work than just selling digital files. Yes, it is true that the cheques people are writing you are likely to be a lot bigger….but if you forget to work out your numbers – you may be making less money now than you were when you were just selling digital files.

Ugh, numbers. I know. It’s the least exciting part of running a photography business. But, I’m telling you – if you don’t take the time to understand how to be profitable, odds are, this will be a short-lived career choice.

So where do you start? Well, this may surprise you – but you need to start with your monthly personal budget. Check out YNAB.com (You Need A Budget) if you don’t already have one. The idea is to figure out what you need to be making every year to support your current or desired lifestyle.

Next, you’re going to work through your cost of doing business. This is where my shameless plug for the Pixel Cents app comes in. The cost of doing business calculator will help you figure out exactly what you need to be making each hour in order to meet your financial goals.

Now it’s time to look at your product line. Each product you sell should consider three things:

  1. Your time (to create the product from start to finish)
  2. Cost of Goods (the price you pay to purchase the product)
  3. Your intellectual property

The first two are pretty easy to figure out. The third one is where the Pixel Cents formula can help. I especially like this method of pricing because it also works well for albums. Your price is based on the # of images in the album + the cost of the album + your time to create it.

Now that you’ve taken the time to figure out your numbers…you will not only feel more confident in the sales room, but you’ll know the products you’re selling are building you a sustainable company!



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