How to Offer Custom Retouching to your Clients & Make More Money

How to Offer Custom Retouching to Your Clients

When it comes to making more money for your business, as creatives we think the easiest thing to do is just focus on shooting more work. If I just work harder and longer, I will make more money. While that helps, it’s not the best revenue generator for your business. You must work smarter in the 80 hours you put into your business per week. Upselling to your client is one of best ways to increase average sales across the board. It’s a lot less effort to make more money by increasing the average spend of a current customer than it is to find a new one.Think about there sources, time and money involved in capturing a new customer. Focus on the customers that you have already booked, educate them on your products and what to expect. Sell them a luxury experience.

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Image by Zaki Charles Photography

This isn’t a sales pitch so if you are already tuning this out because you aren’t into sales, WAKE UP. This is about educating clients about what you offer as a business. You’ll be surprised how many customers you can start to weed out that do not qualify as your customer. If they aren’t interested in anything you offer, then why book you as the photographer? Why waste time on a client that asks what they get in the lowest package or thinks your starting price range on your website gives them everything under the sun. You might be thinking all clients want are digitals, no one pays for Retouching right? This is the wrong mindset, create an opportunity for them to pay more for the specific images they care about. Set the tone and the expectations for what happens after the shoot.

Starting with expectations after the shoot, is your client looking at images on a big screen TV in your sales room or getting a link to an online gallery? Are you talking with them while they preview the images or sending a generic email that says, here’s a link to your gallery? Either of these can create upselling opportunities with retouching. Now whether you do In Person Sales (IPS) or shoot, and burn/email digitals/mail thumb drive you must create an expectation of what’s standard and custom. Standard things are included and delivered even if requested additionally, you must deliver on promises. Custom on the other hand is an upsell opportunity and retouching is the perfect service to offer them. You might be thinking you could never ask your client to spend more money after they just paid you for services, right?

Again, it all comes back to what expectations that you set during the initial consult which led them to ordering a package with you. Did you promise fully edited images, sure of course but where do you draw the line. Mom wants wrinkles in the kids clothing removed, messy hair fixed, face swaps, thinned arms, people in background removed, squinty eyes fixes, the list goes on and on. Are you going to pay someone hours of time to fix this for free?Worse are you going to sit and learn to edit this yourself? When do you get paid for your time to edit?

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Image by Patty Ingalls Photography

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Image by Sal Cincotta

Custom requests require a custom quote and more money in your pocket. They paid you for the shoot and digitals, anything more is additional revenue for your time. When requests come in person or email it doesn’t matter, the reply should something like,“Of course we can take care of that for you, let me get a cost together since I pay my personal retouch editor hourly. Requests like this usually cost a minimum $100/hour to handle and I want to make sure your favorite images get the extra attention you want”. Now you’ve established what to expect with custom requests and there is an additional cost here. People spend money on what they find most important, apply that to the images they want to print and put on their walls. You’ll be surprised how many clients will pay extra to have images customized to their specifications. If they don’t value the cost/time it takes to fulfill their requests, don’t work for free and move on. Make it easy for them to spend money and offer good service. Don’t be afraid to upsell Retouching to your clients, trust they value your work and if not, never work for free! There are exceptions where you know your customers better than anyone else. If they are spending a lot of money already and they need a couple hundred dollars in retouching, eat the cost. Do not be penny wise, pound foolish.

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Image by Sal Cincotta