The Boutique Photographer: Feeling the Pinch
By Sara Frances, M.Photog.Cr.
Think you’re immune to economic downturn because your boutique clients are less affected by ups and downs and will remain faithful buyers? Given the current volatility of the market and social patterns, this is almost certainly naive thinking that can seriously damage your business.
If you work with just 15-20 clients a year like we do, the loss of even one of them means a substantial percentage drop in annual gross income. And carriage trade clients, while they may spend lavishly once they’ve decided to do so, have always been conservative and careful with every purchase. Don’t panic; think of creative ways to keep yourself invested in the people you value most. I certainly don’t recommend sales or deep discounting. Those strategies do nothing good for your reputation as a boutique.
Find ways to add value and put yourself in the public eye. You need to show your “family” of clients how much you care about them. Special people who seek out the boutique photographer are, without fail, involved in civic projects and charities. They give time, effort and money to further all kinds of interesting and worthy events and fundraisers, all of which feel the economic pinch of falling contributions.
Director of the Denver Art Museum Dr. Lewis Sharp and his wife, Susan, pose outside the entrance to the recently completed Hamilton building, designed by Daniel Libeskind. The perfect holiday card! Image ©Sara Frances