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Secrets to marketing gallery wraps


Photo by Allison Rodgers Photography


Photo by Chuck Arlund


Photo by Kristin Farnsworth



Time and time again, we hear photographers say that gallery-wrapped canvas is a high-end product. And when you consider the average markup of a canvas is three to five times cost, for most pros a gallery wrap will be the highest-priced single print they offer. A higher-priced product means bigger profit margins, which is appealing, but, you need the right customers. Photographers who use Simply Canvas have shared with us some secrets to reaching high-end clients and how they encourage their middle-income customers to make the investment in a canvas as well.

What stands out about canvas is just that--it literally stands out. The 3D look of a gallery wrap is the first thing people notice. You have to see it in person to get the full effect.

Regardless of your studio size, sample gallery wraps on your walls will get noticed and sell. Simply putting them on a price list doesn't explain the look or cost of a gallery wrap as viewing them does.

Show your customers the effort that goes into the construction of a gallery wrap. Doing so will help customers understand the additional cost.

Display canvas options. Describing floating frames, canvas collages, word wraps, split images, and color borders can be difficult. Simply Canvas offers special sample pricing on these options so you can have samples to show your customers. These add-ons can greatly increase your profits, but you can't leave it up to a customer's imagination.

Get your customers excited about canvas before they even meet with you by showing examples on your website. Show photos of the samples you have in your studio or customers' homes. When you show them how stunning a canvas looks hung on a wall, it gives them a chance to imagine what it would look like in their own home.

One particular team of photographers occasionally takes photos for their local newspaper and was offered a chance to write a column about photography with their company name in the byline. When they noticed the trend for high-end destination weddings, they wrote an article about it. There's no better way to get a couple considering a destination wedding to give your studio a call, and these types of customers are more likely to order higher-end products.

Another client puts her gallery wraps in a boutique children's clothing store. She photographs the customers wearing the boutique's clothes. This upper-end clientele is a perfect market for canvas.

Visit a local wedding venue and offer to decorate it with some of your best wedding photos on canvas. Not only are you helping out a local business that may return the favor--newly engaged couples will be seeing your work long before they've chosen a photographer.

Offer to decorate a bridal shop with canvas prints of brides in dresses, or take photos of a local bakery's creations. Small shops don't usually have a budget for décor and will gladly let you display canvases with your studio name on them.

Another studio offered free publicity photos for DJs and bands, creating a network of people happy to sell their studio's services.

Sell in the Ordering Session

Don't expect your customers to visualize what their image will look like as a canvas. Digitally create the canvas for them using their photographs. If your area of expertise is in great wall groupings or split panels, take the time to create it digitally and show them how their own image(s) would look.

Another photographer who meets with clients in their home takes pictures of their house and digitally "installs" the gallery wrap on their own walls to show in the selling session. Besides effectively displaying the 3D look of the canvas as it would appear in their home, you can also find spaces to display canvas that they may have overlooked.

Seeing a customer's home gives you the opportunity to better understand their tastes. You can use that information to create the "perfect" gallery wrap for their style and décor. If they're modern, offer an unframed canvas. If they have a lot of framed art, show them a canvas in a floating frame.

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