The Psychology of Selling Courier Services

These days it’s not easy going when trying to sell courier services. Okay, if you work in sales and marketing then you probably know that it isn’t easy to sell anything at the moment. Times are tough and customers are keeping their money in their pockets.

It also doesn’t help, though, that courier services don’t exactly have a super sexy or photogenic image to help them. If you’re trying to sell sports cars, holidays, luxury brand goods, jewellery, or watches then it is pretty easy to take some very attractive photos to contribute towards advertisements and sales campaigns etc. However, is a lot more difficult when the only material you have to work with is a rusting and ‘seen better days’ forklift truck that wouldn’t look out of place as an exhibit in a science museum. The shot of that van that looks as if it could have been used in an episode of “Dad’s Army” isn’t going to be of much help either – however high-tech looking the logo is that you sprayed on the side of it.

The psychology used to try and address the problem is sometimes also counter-productive. Take one of the classic approaches. This involves starting with a 12m box trailer and tractor unit, getting them virtually steam cleaned from top to bottom, polishing them to a shine level that is dangerous for the retina, then parking them outside of your main depot. That depot which sits in the background may also have been subject to a major cleaning and overhaul just for the photo shoot. Then, hire some extremely attractive models of both sexes, and dress them in something that pretends to be your uniform. At that stage, you are ready for the pose. This is usually very sexist and shows the male driver looking down from the cab benignly, with the female (in an improbably short skirt for someone working in the courier industry) looking up at them adoringly whilst holding a clipboard. As an aside, when did you last see anyone in an office using a clipboard?

The intention is presumably to create an image of courier services that looks slick and sexy. It’s usually accompanied by an inspired slogan along the lines of “we can transport you to new heights”. Job done. Marketing and sales sit back contentedly and wait for the orders to start pouring in.

However, one wonders if they really question what sort of response this sort of advertising imagery may generate in the minds of potential customers? It just may be:

• “I have never seen such a spotless vehicle – they obviously don’t get to use it much”

• “if those two are that clean and shiny then they obviously don’t like mucking in and getting the job done”

• “there is no way I’m going to pay for a vehicle of that size to ship my tiny parcel”

• “how much extra am I having to pay so that they can create these beautiful advertising photos?”

• “that guy couldn’t lift his own paperwork out of the cab let alone handle our crates”

• “is that clipboard the best technology they have available?”

So, the courier industry perhaps needs to think of an image that manages to communicate what it is about and be sexy at the same time – but without drifting into the surrealism that is sometimes seen in the present-day advertising materials!

Any suggestions?

A Simple Sell Photos Online Formula Any Photographer Can Easily Use

If you’ve ever tried selling your photos in the form of a photo product such as an original framed print, a limited edition signed poster, or a canvas photo print, you’d know that it takes LOTS of effort to do.

In fact the whole process can end up being downright tedious. After all, just consider the work and time involved… you have to figure out how to print the photograph up, find the right frame (if framing it), package it securely, find a good courier that’ll transport it safely and cheaply, and so on.

In fact, the time and effort it takes to do all this is likely the one key factor that stops many photographers from actually going ahead and doing it! You’d be right to think that there must be a better way…

There is of course, and that’s what this article is about. Actually it just involves tapping into many of the numerous online resources that are more than happy to do all the printing, framing, packing and shipping for you! Of course, you’ll need to pay for it to be done, but the costs can be quite minimal overall. And the end result can be brilliant!

The process involves uploading your chosen photograph/s to one of the many ‘print on demand’ websites. (We’ll use CafePress as an example). CafePress basically hand you a blank canvas… you (upload your photo) and then design and create your own custom photo product… They then print this on your choice of greeting cards, home decor, ceramics, clothing, stickers, calendars, framed photo prints and more…

If you know how to do it, that part is easy enough. You need to get the photo sizing right, and there’s certain requirements for the images you upload, such as the particular image format and the resolution. CafePress does explain a lot of this at its website, but the ‘sellable’ factor of the photo you choose is something you’ll have to mull over yourself, and perhaps get feedback from trusted friends.

The next part is selling your photo product. For this you’ll use as they are a good testing ground for you to ‘experience’ selling your new photo product. eBay is relatively inexpensive and a heavily ‘traveled’ web site (over 100 million members) – many of these people are going to eBay to buy and sell goods, so it makes sense to ‘go where the people are!’

After all, you do want them to see (and buy) your custom photo product, right? The best way to learn how to do this part is actually to get in there and do it. Get familiar with how eBay works, what sells best, how to present your listing, how it all runs and flows…

In a nutshell that’s almost all there is to this simple sell photos online formula. Create an attractive photo product using CafePress, and then sell it using eBay. However if you jump into doing this it’s quite likely that quite a few questions would pop up at you…

For example you might be thinking how can I make sure my framed print (or the product you decide on) sells? How do I run a successful eBay listing (auction)? Or how do I know what will sell? eBay will be able to answer some of these questions for you. Plus they have a pretty helpful sellers forum and ‘live help desk’ that I encourage you to use to get knowledgeable quickly.

There’s also another seldom used CafePress technique that takes this formula one step further. It’s not really an ‘advanced’ technique as such, although it’s quite difficult to explain clearly! You do what we’ve already mentioned… create your unique photo product and let CafePress send this to your (eBay) buyer.

Except this time around you ‘turn the technique on’ and stand back and watch impressively as your new customer (your buyer) receives your one-of-a-kind framed photographic print (or custom product) directly from you!

Read those words again… and then let them sink in. Your new customer receives it ‘from you!’ Shouldn’t they be receiving the unique photo product that you created ‘directly’ from CafePress? Well, actually they do, but they won’t know this! That’s the beauty of this ‘sneaky’ technique. 🙂

And, as I mentioned, it’s a little difficult to explain fully here. But suffice to say, the technique works quite well and can be used repeatedly to sell your own photography products, no matter what. You just need to tweak it a little to fit your style…

So, hopefully, the (relatively!) simple sell photos online formula here has given you some creative food for thought… Now you just need to go and experience it for yourself, and use it to get your own amazing photo products out there!

Photography – A Great Hobby on Courier Jobs

Courier jobs by their very nature demand a lot of time on the road away from home. For many, it’s one of the main reasons they go into the job in the first place. All that time to yourself, not having to be stuck in an office and the freedom of the open road can be very appealing. But it’s a good idea to have something to keep you interested whilst working on courier jobs, and a hobby like photography is the perfect activity.

The Perfect Hobby

So why is photography such a great hobby for people on courier jobs? Mainly because, due to the nature of your job, you are constantly travelling and seeing new things – perfect to capture in an image. You may go overseas on your courier jobs, but even if you don’t you will see more of the country than most people do.

Photography is all about creativity and you will have access to a huge variety of places to inspire you. Whether driving through big cities or tiny villages, you’ll see things every day that other people do not, and that will make your photography interesting.

From spotting an animal at the side of the road, to a picturesque sunset or a rare bird, you’ll have many opportunities on courier jobs to take great photos. But you don’t have to witness amazing things to take an amazing photograph. By using your imagination and seeing the things that other people miss, you can create some stunning photographs.

An Accessible Hobby

Photography is more accessible than ever before. Digital photography has revolutionised the market, and it’s now perfectly possible to buy a cheap digital camera that’s capable of producing high-quality pictures. As long as you have a computer, laptop or netbook, you can develop excellent photos all by yourself without the need for a dark-room.

A great place to start is your mobile phone. Many new phones come with a camera inbuilt, and some of them are actually of a very high quality. As you’ll have your phone with you on courier jobs, use it as a start and if you realise you enjoy it then you can always buy a dedicated camera.

Develop your Skills

Starting costs can be minimal, but as you develop your skills you may well decide to take your photography to a new level. This might involve buying a top-of-the-range SLR and, even though it will set you back a bit, the cost will definitely be worth it. It all depends on just how seriously you want to take your new hobby.

Try it Out

Give it a go next time you head out on one of your courier jobs. Wherever your job takes you, right across the country or just across town, keep your camera handy and you never know what interesting things you may be able to capture whilst on your job. It’s a great way to learn a new skill while you work, and you’ll have something to show for it at the end of the day.

Stock Images – Find the Right Site to Sell Your Work!

Would you would like to earn money by submitting your images to online stock image sites? If so, it is important to know a few key tips before preparing your work for sale on these sites.

First, it is important to look over the website you are interested in. Be a picture hunter and research the most downloaded images in a particular category. By doing so, you will learn what types of images are most likely to sell.

For instance, before spending time in a studio taking pictures of puppies, find out if in studio pictures are a more popular seller then those taken in real life. Find out what breed of dogs are the best selling. Observe whether puppies are more often photographed alone or in groups. Are they filmed with models? If so, what kind of model? An attractive woman, kids, a whole family?

Creating pictures of animals, like puppies and kittens, can be entertaining, but they can be frustrating as well. Puppies and kittens are like toddlers. They don’t always listen to your input, they get distracted easily, and sometimes you have to clean up after them.

Inanimate objects are easier to work with. They are quiet, they stay where they are placed, and they never give unsolicited advice. Besides, they often sell well on stock image sites. This type of art is called product photography. Product photography is pictures of items for sale, which are often bought by those in the commercial world, including media outlets and advertisers. For instance, you’ll find a variety of product pictures, from photo printers and water bottles to fruit baskets and chocolate. The number of products available for you to create images of is almost unlimited.

Out of curiosity, I researched the 40 most downloaded product pictures on one online site with stock images and found some interesting results. The most popular images had to do with shopping, such as grocery shopping and clothes shopping. They were all photographs, and each was colorful and eye catching.

The second most popular were pictures having to do with transportation, like warehouses, a Mack truck, and a cargo ship. These were not colorful, and you did not need to search the picture to absorb their nuances. Each picture told a story succinctly, getting straight to the point. For instance, the majority of the pictures were of warehouses with shelves stacked high with cardboard boxes.

Interestingly, there was only one illustration in the top 40 pictures.

So, if I were to submit images to that online site, I would submit a photo instead of an image. I would submit photos with a transportation and shopping theme with an object that may be underrepresented, like a bike courier or some other mode of transportation.

Each online website is different from the other. Some offer pictures that have not been enhanced, while other companies only offer photos that have been touched up. Some sites offer high end images, taken by the most skilled professionals, whereas on other sites you will find average looking photos on sale for a buck.

Enjoy researching the right site for you!