Wednesday, June 9, 2010

iPad and what it means to Photographers

Hey everyone! Glad you made your way back to JLykinsphotos. Today I want to tell you a little about the iPad and why we think it's a revenue generating machine for our business. I was assuming that everyone had heard about the iPad up until a few days ago. After all, like any Apple product, it's been hyped, marketed, and talked about for months now. I was wrong. I was at a local restaurant the other day and was asked by guy(not to much older than myself), what the iPad was. When I told him it was an iPad he had no idea what I was talking about. For the purpose of this blog, we're going to assume that everyone that has made it this far, knows what an iPad is, what it does etc. For myself and my partner at my studio, we immediately saw the benefits of it, and how it was going to make us money.

Hit the jump to see how the iPad can produce revenue for you...

At it's core the iPad is a big ass iPod touch with a kick butt display. Photographers have been carrying iPod touches around since there inception as a way of showing off their images to clients. Their mobility and ease of use made them perfect for this. The problem is, the display on the iPod touch is small, and you can't see all of the detail(because it's so small) on the iPod. This is where the iPad shines! The large display is perfect for showing off your images to potential clients. The built in slide show feature allows you to control the slide duration, the type of transition from slide to slide(fade, dissolve, etc.), and allows you to add music from the built in iPod. We made a slide show of wedding examples to show potential clients when we meet them at an off site location for wedding consultations. So far it has been well received by all of our clients. They not only enjoy seeing the images on the large, well lit display, but they appreciate the fact that we are forward thinking enough to have the iPad at all. It gives our clients the feeling that we're always looking for new and better ways of doing things, and that we will bring something fresh to the table. We even added our logo to the slide show at the beginning and end so that it starts and ends with our logo.


So there's one way that you can make money with the iPad. You can use it to increase the customer experience. The second way that we see this as being able to make us money is in the mobile event photography. We shoot events(class reunions, navy reunions, proms etc.) We provide people with price sheets well before the event, and prefer that people bring cash or check, but even if you spell it out on the price sheets, there is always someone who doesn't read it, or forgot, and all they have is a credit card. We want to be able to accept credit cards anywhere we are. We don't want to be limited to just our studio with a credit card machine attached to the wall. There are many, many "mobile credit card machines" available that basically have a cell phone built into them, but they are expensive. The solution, GO PAYMENT by Inuit. This allows us to accept credit cards anywhere. No more telling clients that you'll send them a paypal request, or "sorry, we don't accept credit cards". You have your iPad ready and punch in their number, or use the optional blue tooth card reader to slide the card. People are more likely to buy, and buy MORE when using a credit card.

So there's two reasons, but that's not all. The next way the iPad has allowed us to make more money isn't necessarily from OUR iPad, but from ALL iPads. To date, Apple has sold 2 million iPads world wide. This is great for you as a business owner, and the owner of a website... as long as you're not using flash. Apple mobile devices don't work with flash. Flash is the fancy code that allows certain types of moving images, certain types of video etc. Because there are so many people that have iPads and even more that have iPhones, if you are using flash on your website, you're cutting out a large chunk of your potential clients. More and more people are accessing the Internet on their phones, and now iPads. If you want this group of people to consider you as a choice for their photographer, you had better have a website that they can view. People don't have patience to wait for slow loading websites, let alone sites that they have to "come back to" on their computers because they wouldn't load on their new fancy iPad. They will just skip to the next photographer who ISN'T using flash, and that they CAN see their content. All of this to say that the purchase of the iPad showed me that when I tried to load our website. I hadn't though about this fact, thus hadn't removed the flash from our site. Now, our site is flash free, opening us up to a larger percentage of the potential clients! It may seem like a small thing, but the small things add up.

There are many more ways to make money with the iPad. You can add it into your wedding package and provide the images to the clients on an iPad for them to keep. You would have to of course figure this price into your package, but it would set you apart from others. I have seen contests where businesses are "giving away" iPads. That is a wonderful way to get potential clients to submit their info to you. We haven't used any of these tactics as of yet, but that's not to say that we won't. There are some great things to come for the photographers and their iPads. In the months to come I suspect that there will be a plethora of apps designed or in some cases redesigned for the iPad. You'd be smart to get on board now, and become familiar with the platform because it's not going anywhere...

More TK.... Jason


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