To Black Friday or Not to Black Friday

Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving in the US and is regarded as the first day of the Christmas shopping season – traditionally it’s a time when American retailers give huge discounts or run special offers.  Over the last few years ‘Black Friday’ has made its way over the pond and it’s now a term we are familiar with in the UK with many retailers here also offering big discounts.

This month in our Photography Business Club we are delivering resources to our members focusing on how to generate more income in the run up to Christmas so, of course, the topic of Black Friday was raised and we thought we’d open this out to our blog readers too.

Should You Offer A Black Friday Deal?

Black Friday deals are traditionally for products rather than services.  As a service business, if you offer a big discount or special offer, you run the risk of making big losses – it’s far more difficult to discount your time and still make a profit than it is to buy products in bulk and use your supplier discount to pass on to customers.

This said you can still use Black Friday to stimulate sales if you feel you need to.  Remember that this time of year is very busy for photographers in general and if you can fill your diary with full paying clients, why would you want discounted ones?

What Sort Of Black Friday Deals Should I Offer Then?


Your first port of call is to check with your suppliers – if any of them are offering Black Friday deals on any products then you might want to pass some of that saving onto clients.  As well as clients you are seeing over the period spanning Black Friday, don’t forget to also offer the deal to previous clients, adding more profit in essence – as you won’t need to re-shoot these clients.

Filling Quiet Time

As we have already mentioned, this time of year can be hectic for photographers so it doesn’t make sense to try and squeeze more work in at a discount.  But maybe you could use Black Friday to fill some space in your diary for when you are likely to be very quiet – January and possibly February.

Here are some suggestions of offers you could use to generate forward bookings:

  • Buy 1 get 1 free – Pay for an all-inclusive package (session and digitals for example) to take any time during January or February and get another all-inclusive session free of charge 6 months later.
  • Free cake for every cake smash (to be booked over set dates in January/February)
  • Limited offer; eg 4 newborn sessions on dates in January in February which include £100 print credit. [disclaimer: your pricing must allow for profit when doing something like this. If you still allow clients to make small £25 orders then this won’t work for you!]

So you might be able to leverage the Black Friday hype to fill some quiet time for you but just bear in mind that people will expect BIG discounts and deals.  10% off or a free print aren’t really going to cut it. Good luck whatever you decide and we’d love to hear how Black Friday works for you – please comment below.

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