Options. We think we like them. We actually hate them.
There’s a hamburger chain out in my neck of the woods called In-N-Out. Many of you have probably heard of them, if not had a hamburger from there at one point. They have a bit of a cult following, with consistent lines out the door at all of their locations. They’re focused on fresh (never frozen) burgers that taste delicious.
To appeal to so many people, you’d think they’d have lots of options on their menu. Lots of people = lots of different wants and needs = lots of options. Wrong. In-N-Out has three options: a hamburger, a cheeseburger, and a double cheeseburger. That’s it.
I have a rant I do when I present on this topic, and it generally addresses an area where I see photographers offer WAY to many options: ALBUMS. Think about all of the CHOICES you give your client when you sell them an album?
• What size album would you like? (8×8, 10×10, etc)
• How many pages would you like? (30, 40, etc)
• How many images would you like? (60, 75, etc)
• What kind of cover would you like? (Leather, Cloth, Wood, etc)
• What color of cover would you like? (Brown, Black, Pink, etc)
• Would you like a cover photo?
• What size of cover photo would you like? (4×6, 5×7, etc)
• Would you like imprinting?
• What would like the imprinting to say?
• What color would you like the imprinting?
• All caps? All lowercase?
• Name and Date? Just name? Just Date?
• First and Last Name? Just first Names?
It’s overwhelming just reading this list! And you wonder why it takes them years to finalize their album?
In-N-Out has it right. They know that 80 percent of you just want a hamburger, or a cheeseburger, or a double cheeseburger. And, if you want something more than that, well, you’ll ask. That’s why they have a “Secret Menu.” Animal Style, Whole Grilled, Protein, etc. Yes, you can have it any way you want it, but In-N-Out knows that if you want it special, you’ll probably ask! Why confuse 80 percent of people with tons of options that only a few want?
Here’s the real point: think about how many clients might NOT be ordering an album because of all the options. Maybe instead of empowering them with choices, you’re paralyzing them? Instead of thinking about the ONE client that might possibly need a pink wood cover, think about how many clients might NOT be booking you because you overwhelm them with too many options.
If you’re interested in chatting more about why options stink, or learning about how to price your photography services more effectively, check out Jared’s newsletter, created specifically to guide professional photographers.
Written by Jared Bauman
Jared is the Founder and President of ShootDotEdit, the First Choice Post Processing partner for the Wedding Pro. The company has grown to service more than 6,000 photographers in over 45 countries. Together with his team, he has helped to proliferate industry advancing concepts such as Fast is Best, which speaks to ShootDotEdit’s 48 hour turnaround time.With a background in Business, Jared provides the photography community with business resources and education. He is an expert in Photographer Pricing, and has toured the country speaking about how to maximize profits through a clear and simple Pricing structure. His Pricing Consulting sessions are regarded as instrumental in creating effective pricing for individual photographers. Jared has a series of Business DVDs available, designed to provide the photographer with a full range of resources to build a successful business.
He also built a photography studio in Southern California, Bauman Photographers, that photographs over 75 weddings and 1,500 corporate headshots annually. In business for 12 years, Bauman Photographers is an excellent example of a customer-focused associate model in the photography industry.
In his free time, Jared loves to travel and backpack, photographing God’s creating with his panoramic camera.