You may be shocked when I tell you that one of the most profitable photography niches is family portrait photography. My last family portrait order was £1366 ($2085) and there are other portrait photographers who dwarf that amount. Of course many of your weddings may be over £1366 but when you compare the hourly rates there’s no contest.
Not only is family portraiture profitable photography, when you compare it with the stress of weddings and the tight deadlines of commercial photography it’s probably the best niche for avoiding ulcers!
Do you sweat like an Eskimo in an oven every time you have to try and book a new client? Do you wonder why some photographers seem to be able to charge vastly more than you despite their photography being no better than yours?
This post explains how to book more portrait clients by getting inside the mind of your client and helping them see the value in choosing you.
I recently wrote about this same subject from a wedding photographer’s perspective, so you should check that post out too.
Speaking of ‘perspective’, that’s actually the beginning of the secret to booking more clients. You need to think from the prospect’s perspective. What do you think is going through their mind when they’re contacting you? The better you understand the answers to that question the easier it is to give them want they want.
Marketing professionals aren’t like lawyers and doctors where you need a certificate to practise it. Sure you can get a degree in it (that’s what I did) and there are various professional bodies like ‘The Chartered Institute of Marketing’, but over the years I’ve realised something; there seems to be more dangerous, misguided, baseless myths and rumours about marketing than almost any other profession.
Far too often people let their personal opinion overrule cold, hard, proven facts.
There are dangerous myths around design, copywriting, selling, pricing, branding and so much more. But let’s get back to the reason why your website isn’t getting you as many enquiries as it should.
If you go onto most photography forums you’ll find a lot of depressing and negative comments about the state of the photography industry. Is it really that bad though? Is the photography industry dying, or has it just changed? My latest video looks into how the industry has changed and what you can do to compete.
I draw comparisons between photography and other industries like the music industry and supermarkets.
So, if you’re worried about how you’re going to compete with all the other photographers in your area then this video will open your eyes to a new way of thinking.
If you’re serious about learning how to create a successful photography business then sign up to get free photography sales and marketing ideas sent straight to your email inbox. You’ll also receive my free book ’17 secrets to photography success’.
This is a two-part answer. First and foremost, the best people to focus your marketing on in any industry are your existing clients (I’ll get on to new clients in a sec). After all, they have already used you and if you offered a good product and service they are likely to use you again.
The massive mistake most photographers make is they do a job for a client and then they never get in touch again, or even keep hold of their contact details.
If you’ve just photographed someone’s wedding then why not send them an anniversary card the following year and ask them if there are any editions to the family that might need photographing?
Albert Einstein said that “Example isn’t another way to teach, it’s the only way to teach”.
He was a pretty bright chap, so I’m going to give you an example to explain why I feel photographers should specialise:
If you wanted to get your hair cut, you wouldn’t go to a dog groomer – you’d go to someone who specialised in humans.
OK, if you wanted to buy a new camera would you ask advice from the assistant in a supermarket (that sold cameras), or would you go to a camera store and get their help? You want an expert, right? You may end up buying the camera from the supermarket if it’s cheaper, but that’s another story.
Actually Einstein couldn’t have been that bright as I think stories are a great way to teach too. So, let me make up a story for you that proves the point nicely…
It’s the Amazon rainforest and one of the finest photographers to have ever graced the earth is stalking through the jungle in search of an image that will win ‘Wildlife Photographer of The Year’. He has all the finest equipment and his fingers Continue reading
OK, so last time I explained that New Year Resolutions were pretty pointless. I suggested that you need something much more concrete and measurable. No-one ever got successful at anything because they made a resolution. You need a system. I’m now going to share with you the system for how to be a successful portrait photographer. I’ll take you through step-by-step the process I use to bring portrait clients into and through my business.
This system isn’t unique to me. I learned it from Charles Lewis and most of the successful family portrait photographers I come across do something similar. I’ve learned that the people at the top of most industries tend to do things differently to everyone else, although similarly to each other. For example, successful marketing copywriters tend to follow very different rules to your average marketing executive. It’s obvious really. Successful people do things differently. If you do the same as the masses then it gives no-one a reason to choose you.
I’ve used this quote before, but I like it and it fits well here:
“The minority is sometimes right; the majority always wrong.”
George Bernard Shaw
It’s a great point, although you’ll be delighted to know that I’m not about to stop wearing clothes just because everyone else does!
It’s that time of year when we all think up some arbitrary activity for self improvement. Maybe you have promised yourself to ‘take more photos’, or to set aside one or two days a week for photography? Perhaps you’ve decided to force yourself to learn the intricacies of studio photography?There are three problems with the examples I’ve just give you:
A better resolution would be far more comprehensive, structured, planned and ENJOYABLE!
Using serial killers as an analogy for brides may be a rather odd one, but bear with me! FBI profilers have learned how to catch serial killers by using psychological techniques to understand how they think. You can catch brides using a similar philosophy. To learn how to book more wedding photography clients you need to understand what your wedding prospects are thinking.
Wedding photography is a large investment and someone’s wedding day is clearly a big deal. So, naturally, your prospects are nervous. They’re worried that one wrong decision could ruin their special day.
I’m going to look at all the things your prospects are likely to be thinking and then show you ways to handle each one.
The successful wedding photographer’s mantra
The common thread running through all of this is that you’re demonstrating to your potential wedding client that you understand them, you’ve thought about their concerns and you’ve taken the time to present a solution. This positions you as a caring professional who offers a great service. This approach builds trust and when you’ve got trust then you have one foot in the door.
That said, you still need to ask lots of questions because you can’t presume to know everything that’s important to them or concerning them.
Isn’t it frustrating when you spend half an hour crafting a beautifully written response to an enquiry about your photography services, only to hear nothing back? Did you scare them off with your price? Did another photographer respond before you? Fret no more. This post and the video below explain exactly how to respond to email enquiries about photography.
Before you scroll down to the video, I want to provide you with some crucial background information.
There are two fantastic methods for responding to emails that will blow you away.
The first idea is one I got from the genius mind of Charles Lewis. The idea is to use a ‘drip campaign’. I’ve used drip campaigns in my marketing career before, but I never thought of using them as a way to respond to emails.