This is a post that will be of interest to other photographers and business owners. Last September, I contacted Groupon and within a month I was featured on Groupon. It was a thrilling ride and I am very thankful and glad that I took the risk.
Several other photographers contacted me when the news spread that I would be doing a Groupon ad. They thought I was crazy and wondered how I would be able to profit from it. I did my research and came up with a Groupon ad that was very beneficial to my business. Many people are now contacting me saying that maybe Groupon is a great investment and are wondering if I can share any tips on how to run a successful Groupon campaign. If you are a photographer, please consider the tips in this post before sending your Groupon ad out to the thousands of people that purchase everyday.
Groupon keeps 50% of the profit from the initial sales on your Groupon day. I sold 118 portrait sessions at $50 each. I got a nice check from Groupon from those sales, but not when you consider the number of hours that I invested over the past 6 months. As a business owner, I needed to come up with a plan that would allow me to profit from the high number of new clients that I was bringing in.
My coupon included a mini-portrait session at an outdoor location that I was familiar with and enjoyed taking photos at. Each client received 10 proofs that they could view in an online gallery and they had 2 weeks to place their order. I offered several upgrade options for clients to add additional proofs in increments of ten. That upgrade cost was to cover my time in processing and editing those additional proofs. Clients were able to order professional prints, canvas gallery wraps, Christmas cards, and DVD’s of the digital negatives.
Once I had a plan on how I would be able to profit from this venture, I needed to have a plan in place for how I would schedule and handle this high influx of new customers. I purchased a subscription from Genbook and it was the best decision I made throughout the whole process! It is a an online booking software that allowed all of these new clients to access my booking calendar directly from my website and book their own appointment. Think of how much time this saved me! I booked clients back to back and spent whole days shooting portrait sessions.
I have heard it said time and time again that Groupon will only bring in one time clients. That has not been true in my experience. I have met many wonderful people over the past six months and many of them have either sent other new clients my way for portraits and weddings, or they are now booking another session with me this summer when I will be back in Michigan for a few weeks. I have developed friendships with many of them and I am eager to continue working with them in the future.
I fulfilled approximately 100 Groupon portrait sessions, as well as my regular photography work, in the past 6 months. All of that experience has been a fantastic opportunity to grow in my photography and business skills.
Are you on the fence about running a Groupon campaign? Take time to carefully think about whether or not your business can handle hundreds of new clients. If so, how will you take care of those people so that their experience with your business is positive?
Will I do another Groupon campaign? Probably not! While I more than doubled my salary for the year because of Groupon, I am moving to Denver in 2 days and I want to take some extra time helping myself and my family get settled in a new place. If I were staying in Michigan, I would not need to do another campaign simply because Groupon has helped my business grow exponentially.
The risk that you run is how many Groupon coupons will actually sell on your day of advertisement. That really is a huge risk and needs to be considered with care. If I were to do Groupon again, I would put a cap on my sales. The only way to do this is to only be a bullet point feature rather than a main page feature. Groupon has grown so much in popularity even since I ran my ad last fall, that the risk of overselling at this point in time could be detrimental to one’s business.
If you have found this post helpful, please feel free to re-post it on your blog or website with a link returning back to Laura Gravelle Photography.
Laura Gravelle is considered one of the best Denver wedding photographers and she photographs luxury weddings in all Colorado wedding areas including Estes Park, Vail, Aspen, Colorado Springs, Keystone, Beaver Creek and for all destination mountain weddings. Please take time to view her award winning wedding picture gallery. You can contact Laura for your Colorado wedding, Denver wedding, or any worldwide destination wedding by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.