So I thought I’d compile a list of 7 ways to make extra money besides just booking more typical sessions, because most people I talk to still don’t have as many clients as they’d like.
I’m just going to dive right in. Here are my 7 ways to make extra money with your photography business.
1. Amazon Affiliate Links
Affiliate links are links that pay you a commission every time someone uses them before making a purchase. It doesn’t cost them anything more, and it doesn’t look any different, but you can make 4-8% of their total purchase through Amazon, even if they purchase more than what you linked to.
So why Amazon? What does that have to do with your photography clients?
If you shoot weddings, you can suggest things like cute hangers for the wedding dress instead of that cheap plastic thing they come on, gifts for the wedding party or groom, solemates to keep those high heels from sinking into the grass, all sorts of things.
For portraits, you might suggest cute newborn headbands, picture frames, really anything that might be related to your photography session or a neat way to show off your photography.
It’s also FABULOUS when people are asking what camera to buy. Link them to your suggestion, and if they buy it you’ll get a nice commission.
Just know that you have to disclose that your links are affiliate links, and that it only tracks sales made within a few hours of clicking on the link. You also are not allowed to use your own affiliate links for your purchases or they will kick you out of the program. Affiliate links are how I make enough money to justify all the time I spend on this site sharing all my secrets and business advice, so if you shop on Amazon I’d love it if you’d use any of the links I just posted to go shopping if you’re already looking for something anyways. Want to sign up or learn more? Head on over to Amazon, scroll to the bottom, and click “Become and Affiliate”.
2. Increase all your print prices by 5-10%
Making small jumps is easy. Very few people are going to complain about a print price going from $10 to $11, and if you sell a lot of those prints throughout the year, you’ll make a lot of extra money. 10% can add up quickly.
3. Plan for seasonal mini sessions
Not everyone wants to have a full photo session if they’re just looking for a nice photo for their Christmas cards. So offering mini sessions are a great way to make extra sales. Not only do they take less time, but you have the opportunity to blow their socks off and have them fall in love with their photos, spending more than they initially were planning to because they just have to have the images. Here’s some great tips about booking mini-sessions (written by a boudoir photographer on a boudoir marketing site, so it may not be safe for work, but it applies to portrait photographers as well.)
4. Fill a need for a gift
People are looking to buy gifts for family and friends around the holidays, so sending out an email to past clients reminding them that prints or your products are a great gift can yield lots of sales. Pair this with a special deal (not too much less, but just a bit off and for a very limited time) and you can pull in a LOT of extra money.
5. Archive Sales
Give people one last chance about 9-12 months after their session to purchase prints, possibly at a reduced cost, before they are archived and not available for purchase in the future. This is a great way to sell physical proofs from ordering sessions, or an extra disc of images one last time (that they may have lost).
6. Offer a limited-time exclusive product
Add a specialty product to your lineup for a limited time only, and tell all your clients from the past year about it. For example, offer metal prints, slideshows, iphone cases, or some other specialty product for 2 weeks only. People love something unique, and when they can only get it for a limited amount of time, they’re more likely to buy it now. Just make sure not to lie to them and only make it available during a certain period of time.
Starbucks does a great job of this with their Pumpkin Spice Latte. People buy more of them during the fall season because that’s the only time they can get them. People who love them drink far more lattes than they should during that time of year because that’s the only time they can get them again until next year.
7. Offer a special promo for sessions that take place during your busy season but are scheduled within the next two weeks.
This will help you book sessions for your slow season. Just make sure that you have them put down a deposit and sign a contract stating that the sessions cannot be rescheduled outside of that time period or transferred. Setting expectations up front is the way to go and will give you a great experience.
Caution: Don’t call these “gift certificates” – in many places, it’s against the law for gift certificates to expire, so you’ll want to actually schedule the session when they call and book in order to keep them from having the right to use it at a different time of year.
What other ideas do you have for making extra money?
Leave a comment below and share! Then go plan out at least one of the above and bring in some extra money! WOOT!