Funnels and Flexibility

I heard a term recently that I didn't realise that we had been applying to our business for a number of years now. Being a visual person, I find that financial lingo is not my natural forte, but thanks to a nifty businessman and good friend I was told I was already applying the 'funnel concept'. So what is funnelling? 

Funnelling is giving a client a small step up into your company. Photography is an unusual trade in that by tradition it asks a client to pay upfront for something that they haven't  actually seen and more importantly doesn't exist at the point of payment. Meaning the pictures have not yet being taken. In the years where we shot film, this upfront payment made sense with the photographer laying out his/her money on film and print paper,petrol and expensive equipment. 

These days, I'd like to feel we have changed with the times, and can acknowledge that the only upfront costs are mileage and equipment. We offer a Pay by Picture service with a small call out charge to cover costs. Pay by picture is unique in that it put the emphasis back on the photographer to create a sellable series of images given that the pictures will only sell if they are good enough to buy. 

This is the funnel system. We acknowledge that not all clients have huge marketing budgets. We know from our many years of experience that monies for images can come from different sources.We also know that once someone sees their visually flowing portfolio they want to convert to a  Half Day Rate or Full Day Rate to have downloadable access to all the photos taken on the day. In which case, we deduct the payment that they may have already made on Pay by Picture and let them pay the difference to make the conversion.

Flexibility is key. We know with running our own business that great plans and creative ideas come and go. It would be great to have a photographer to call on to document our achievements or simply our company growth. It's very affordable. More than you realise. Especially when you work with people who understand company budgets as well as great image making. 

Written by Emma Drabble 


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