Would you or wouldn't you???

Discussion in 'Wedding and Event' started by craigh_bennett, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. I have decided approach a bridal shop around the area that I live in. It's in quite a nice area, its very popular and it appears in first place on a google search. The lovely lady told me they see up to 30 new brides per week in the season.
    I asked them if I could leave a sample album in their shop so that brides could look at it or their friends and family while the bride is trying on her dress. They have agreed to do this and they used to charge a commission to photographers in the past but found it hard to police so they have said to me they would have to charge me £240 inc VAT for me to advertise in their shop for the year. Reason being is that they spend over £12000pa to entice brides into their store and they said it wouldn't be fair for me to profit on the back of that without contributing the £240.
    My question is does that sound a fair deal?
  2. Craigh;
    Yes I think its logical. I don't know if STG 240 is the right price, but if yours is the only album it seems to be a good deal. Anyway, why not do a 3 month trial. Since this is an album sitting in their shop, they can easily put the album in the back room after 3 months and ask you to come pick it up. Let us know how this goes.
  3. £5 a week to directly hit your target market? That sounds cheap to me.
    Do you have permission from the couples whose photographs you will be including in the album?
  4. It's a very fair deal on the grounds that it's inexpensive, and you can't reasonably expect another vendor to help you unless you reciprocate in some way.
    But don't miss the opportunity to offer them some photography services. If you give them only money you'll get your book in the shop but nothing more. But if you work with them -- perhaps offering to shoot dresses for a catalog, or make large pictures they can use as point of sales material -- you'll build a relationship and demonstrate your services first hand. And that's going to be a lot more valuable to both you and them, and will carry more traction with prospective brides. A book on the counter in the shop is easily missed. A 40" framed print on the wall, beautifully lit and perfectly produced, is not missable at all.
    The key to useful relationships is figuring out how to build in mututal benefit rather than paid for services.
  5. Yea I have offered my photography services to them for free and i'm also checking to see if I will be the only photographer with a sample album in the store.
    Hopefully the brides will come rolling in! :0)
  6. It's a risk...You could try it for, say, six months and see how it goes. Even for a year, the 240 ourlay is not that bad (IMHO) if it lands you 10-15 bookings. Of course, if after the first year you see no leads coming from the store, then you could cancel.
    Their proposal however sounds reasonable (what does NOT sound reasonable is that they spend 12k per year in advertising? Wow...!)
  7. It's a risk...​
    Really? Only £240 for targeted advertising, vendor recommendation, point of sale exposure and access to brides, their mothers and bridemaids at the most important part of the purchase cycle ..... for an entire year?
    By comparison, an advertising campaign in a decent magazine to reach the exact same demographic would cost upwards of £5,000.
    Personally I'd call it a free gift.
  8. That is a no-brainer. One good sale will make it worth the cost, and if an arrangement like that can't help to deliver one good sale you'd otherwise not get, then there are other issues in play!
  9. Well, now you have answered the question of why would a vendor stake their professional reputation by referring you business.....maybe if you throw some money their way.
    However, I've already told you the key is to develop a personal relationship with the vendors. Leaving an album in the shop does not mean that it translates to referrals or that anyone even looks at it. In situations like this, if the album does get looked at, typically the bride, (and her mom and friends if they are with her), will look at the type of dress the bride is wearing, what the color themes are, how is the groom dressed, etc.... they are not looking at the photography. Your album may be placed alongside the typical bridal mags, in which case they are looking at bridal photos of very expensive gowns shot by professional fashion photographers or cherry-picked images submitted by top wedding shooters.
    I'll guess your deal is with the shop owner, is she the one that meets with the shop customers? If your album does get picked up by a potential bride, does the shop sales person put in a good word for you and talk up your services, quality, and experience or does she say that the album was brought in by some young kid trying to start a photography business.....again the key is the personal relationship that you establish with the vendor.
    On a separate note, I would never leave a top of the line flushmount album unsupervised in a shop......, I'm very careful in handling them when presenting them to potential clients. Be prepared for the album to take alot of abuse....what does an album cost? A 40" print on the wall will be noticed, the bride will look at the dress, her hair, makeup, etc....she won't ask or even think about the photography or the photographer unless, the salesperson or receptionist notices the bride looking and then starts talking you up.....something along the lines of: "really nice photo isn't it? It was taken by a local photographer last week, we actually took that right here in the store, he was a really great guy....he has an album over there and I think I have his card....." Again the key is the relationship you develop with the actual persons that deal directly with potential brides. BTW, have you read any of those other marketing archived threads here t P-net?
  10. This is a no brainer. Just do it. I 'invest' 2x that amount every month in various ways to promote the business.
  11. It's a risk not because of the cost, but because if the retailer is willing to do that for the OP, then why not for other photographers as well? They may have the same deal with other photographers and MAYBE one will come up, offer 50 pounds more and get preferred exposure. There is no control in the implementation of this promotion...
    Still, I too would do it, I just wouldn't call it a no-brainer...;-)
  12. That's a hell of a deal. If your work is good then you should get tons of referals.
  13. If it were me, I'd just try it for a year, but I agree with David S.--you must establish a personal relationship with whomever actually speaks to the brides. If that person is the owner, fine, if that person is the manager, or clerk, you need to establish a relationship there as well. Without the relationship(s), your marketing items are likely to just sit, with brides not paying much attention to them beyond hairstyles and dress styles. Also, the album, as David says, will take a lot of abuse, and perhaps even be 'taken'. It has happened to me. Someone just lifts it to keep as an example of the kind of dress or photos she wants. I might produce a softbound press book in multiples, instead and add a large wall print.
    Also, no one will keep your display tidy for you, so you will have to drop in on the shop often. This might be one of those, 'don't know until you try it' situations.
    You might also consider making a joint 'special' with the owner--if a bride spends xxxx dollars (or whatever) and over, she gets a free 45 minute engagement session and one, retouched digital image to keep. If you aren't booked up already, you really have nothing to lose. Once you show how good you are, you should be signing most of those brides.
  14. If you're going to do this, then you should do some things to make sure your album gets looked at and the people in the shop talk about you.
    First, is there anything you can include in the album for them to help pomote THEIR business? What if you only had brides wearing dresses that they offer? Make them WANT to show your album.
    Something else to consider is a commission to any employee where you actually book a wedding. This could be cash, gift card, restaurant gift certficate, etc.
    If you're making the investment, make the most of it......-TED :)
  15. I haven't read anything here in the thread that grants the OP any exclusivity with the arrangement.....actually sounds as if it's to the shop's advantage to have several photographers make the same arrangement. More money for them and it diffuses their responsibility in case of any disappointed brides complaining about their photography after their weddings. I also wouldn't be surprised if the shop doesn't offer up some sort of a disclaimer with the brides before they book any photographer through this arrangement.
  16. It will be a tool, a seed. You'll have to water it and feed the owners too or don't expect too much...
  17. Look at it another way...
    It would cost you a lot more in other marketing media. You will recover the P240 in your first wedding referral.
    The other thing you could do is leave one of those electronic picture albums that cycle through the photos automatically.
  18. Some fantastic ideas there!
    Yea I was kinda worried about the album being "taken". I think what I will do is put on it somewhere for To Remain In Store or something along those lines and I plan to take with me an album stand with me too. I think I will go in there but maybe have a cuppa with them and try to get to know them all. The gift certificate idea is excellent so I may choose to do something like that!
    I'm quite excited about this actually. I really am going to try to make the most of it and i'm going to explain my reasons why aswell to the Manager so that she knows I don't just want the album to be sat in a back room somewhere. I've also asked if they do this for any other photographers too so i'm just waiting for a response back.
    Craigh :)
  19. Space in most any shop often comes at a premium, don't be surprised if the shop doesn't want the album stand used or require that if you want to use it that they will charge you more. Explaining what you want to the manager or shop employees is of little value, why should they care five minutes after you've left the store? Again the key is in develping personal relationships with all these key people. The album disappearring from the store is a possibility but imagine a 4 year old child playing with the album while an indifferent parent looks on and shop employees turn their back to the situation to avoid any potential discomfort and loss of sales for their products..... I'm also eager to hear if they do this for any other photographers along with their response about being willing to do this if approached by other photographers....I'll bet that exclusivity would be another premium but I'll also bet that exclusivity isn't in their best interest and that they wouldn't allow it at any rate.
    I'm also glad to see that you took my advice (of sorts) and ditched your portrait photo on your "about me" page. Have you read the archived threads under marketing yet? You'll find a wealth of fantastic ideas there as well.
  20. Well they replied to me and they told me that they do not advertise any other photographers at all. They dont even let photographers leave leaflets in the store too but they said they would allow me to leave my business cards and the album and I have arranged to meet with them to discuss how we will go about referalls. But I will definately try to build a a good relationship with them by dropping in from time to time just for a chat. I am also going to offer a voucher for the member of staff who refers me.
    And david I have read that much of the archives that all the words are now starting to blur into one and im rocking back and forth LOL ;-) But your right there are some fantastic ideas in there!
  21. Sounds good craigh.....good luck.

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