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Graduation prints for $5 at Walmart

June 21st, 2016

I recently spoke to a mother who was frustrated with the professional photographer she had hired to do her twin’s graduation photography. Her side of the story (admittedly biased) was this. She had contracted with a photographer who specialized in grads for an offsite “urban decay” photo shoot. The cost they agreed on was $1,600 dollars for the shoot, with prints to be chosen later.

After later reviewing the images, the mom was told the prints she ordered would cost almost $15,000 dollars. She said she didn’t want to spend that much, tried to cut the number of prints down, got frustrated, and eventually left the studio.

Because she didn’t have prints to show at the open house, she asked a friend with a camera to take some outdoor shots. The friend gave her a memory stick with all the images. She had them printed at the local big-box store.

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Safely Stop Windows 10 Auto-Update

June 16th, 2016

aaIf you run Windows 7 or 8 on your computer, you should have noticed Microsoft encouraging (nagging?) you to download and install Windows 10 for free. Windows 10 is the latest generation operating system from Microsoft. Their goal is to upgrade as many computers as possible so they can stop support for older operating systems.

While we’ve heard many positive comments about Windows 10 on new PCs, we’ve also heard of problems on older computers after the automatic update. Some devices like printers and scanners will work fine, and others will not. It’s a roll of the dice. If you’re considering updating a working, business or production computer, it may be a risk you do not want to take.

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5 Ways to Use Psychology to Boost Sales

June 8th, 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-495721137-300x300Every client is unique when they are ready to make a purchase of a big-ticket item like professional photography. However, psychologists who study sales behavior know that there are common mental shortcuts we all use when we’re ready to buy.

Think of it as part of our “animal brain.” For example, if we hear a sudden, loud noise, we might jump, yell or jerk our head around to see where the noise came from. Our reaction is based on our body’s “fight or flight” response. We cannot help it. Even though we’re sometimes embarrassed by our reactions, it is almost impossible to control.

The same holds true with sales. When we are ready to make a purchase, we use emotional shortcuts wired into our brain that we may not even be aware of. By knowing what these shortcuts are, you can increase the likelihood of getting a client to make a purchase.

So what are these built-in shortcuts? Here are five examples, and how they can help you motivate your clients:

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New Pick-a-Pack Catalog Changes Can Affect Saved Packages

June 8th, 2016

pick-a-pack packagesOver the next few weeks we will be updating the JD Pick-a-Pack for School, Sports and Events catalog.  The goal is to make products easier for you to find, and to make orders move more efficiently through the lab. This means faster print turnaround – and fewer mistakes on orders.

What does this mean to you?

The new Pick-a-Pack catalog changes can have an effect on products or packages saved as favorites if the products in the packages are updated or removed.

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New Product: Custom Photo Tote Bags

June 1st, 2016

tote bagThese new tote bags are a great new gift idea for you or for your clients.

The all-white bags are 15″ x 16″ x 3.5″ with a 3″ gusset and 2 handles. Made of 100% non-woven polyester so they are easy to clean. Excellent for promos or shopping events.

Best of all, these tote bags can be customized with your favorite image or layout. Use a 11×12″ vertical image @300dpi on one or both sides. You can use the same image or 2 different ones. For example, you could put your client’s photo on one side and text on the other.

Tote bags are only $5.95 printed 1-sided, or $6.95 for 2-sided. Find them in the Specialty Items | Photo Gifts.

Click here to download JDLab2You and place your order.

What To Do When a Client Says “It costs too much.”

May 18th, 2016

one-dollarRecently we had a meeting at the lab. We set up a table with some of our popular products including gallery wraps. One of the attendees said she was going to stop selling them because she gets too many “I can get those at Cost Mart” objections when she tries to sell them.

My initial response was “Ok”. We do not sell the least expensive wraps. I have customers say the same thing to me. I didn’t argue. Instead, I tried to help her to understand the value of my gallery wraps over the cheaper ones at a big box store so she could explain that value to her clients.

This isn’t really a problem of cost – it is a sales objection that we all potentially face every time we talk to a client.

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How to Get Reviews for Your Photography Studio

May 18th, 2016

online reviews for photographers

Online reviews can have a big impact on your business. They have the power to boost your brand and drive sales. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews. That number trends even higher when shoppers are making an expensive purchase like professional photography.

It doesn’t matter whether you own a stand-alone studio or not – online reviews are just as important.

Think word-of-mouth is your most important marketing? 88% of customers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. When you have excellent reviews, shoppers are likely to spend more. For example, studies have shown that for every additional star local businesses gained on Yelp, they saw a 5-9% increase in revenue.

How do you get more online reviews? The easiest way is to ask for them. Send an email 24-48 hours after clients receive their photography asking for a review. Personalize the email, and it will make a world of difference. Mention the product they bought, their name and any personal interaction you had with them, too. Here’s an example:

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Photography Sales vs. Marketing: What’s the Difference?

May 11th, 2016

salesRecently we had a training session at the lab. During the break, one of the photographers said she wanted to hire a sales and marketing person. I told her they are completely different people. The best sales person doesn’t really know anything about marketing and the best marketing person may have no idea how to close a sale.

What do I mean?

While there are lots of great examples online explaining the difference between sales and marketing, it comes down to this: marketing gets people to pick up the phone. Sales gets them to write a check. A marketing person thinks about how to write a great ad for people they will never meet. A sales person thinks about how to handle an objection like, “I can get it cheaper somewhere else.”

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Use Irrational Logic to Raise Prices

May 4th, 2016

package-printsIn the book, “Predictably Irrational, the Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions,” author Dan Ariely argues that as consumers, we make decisions based on irrelevant information. Knowing this about our behavior can help you build packages of products that will increase add-on sales.

For example, Dan points out that we don’t make decisions based on price, but on price relative to something else – even when it shouldn’t be. For example, do you remember the old TV ad, “For about 70 cents you can buy a cup of coffee, or feed a child in Guatemala?” The other way consumers can be motivated is to offer items compared to less attractive products. We’ve seen this marketing principle used for years as “good, better, best.” It works. Give clients 3 options, and the majority will select the middle one.

Here’s how you could combine these 2 “irrational” consumer purchasing behaviors to build more profitable packages.

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3 Questions to Ask Before You Hire a New Employee

May 4th, 2016

newhireYou have two resumes to choose from for a second shooter or a front desk job at your studio. Both candidates have some skills. While big corporations use complicated personality tests to finally decide who to hire, if you’re like most bosses, you don’t have that time. Instead, you interview them, trust your “gut” and hope you’ve made the right decision.

The good news is that, according to research done at Wake Forest University, learning how a potential candidate will get along with you, your staff and your clients doesn’t require long, drawn-out personality testing. Instead, you can learn how a potential employee will behave by simply asking them how they feel about other people.

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