Don’t be fooled. The simplicity of some of the business tips I’m going to reveal might make your eyes roll like a scolded teenager. Just because these principles are simple, their undeniable power should not be overlooked.
You may think that some of these ideas are obvious, too; but be careful – it’s often the obvious stuff that we end up ignoring. After all, we all know the only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than we consume, but how many of us consistently take the obvious steps required?
So, absorb these principles and start carrying them out, today. Pick one and focus on it for a week before moving onto the next one. In a month you’ll have 4 great new habits.
Get Pro Photo is all about helping photographers like you earn the living you deserve from doing what you love. It’s about sharing the best ideas in the photographic community. It’s about realising that other photographers aren’t your enemy, ignorance is. For example, if every wedding photographer in your area averaged $5000 (£3000) for each wedding wouldn’t you be delighted? Sure you would, because it would mean that all the prospective clients in your area would be used to investing that amount and that would make your life a lot easier.
What I’m saying is – don’t be afraid to share the ideas and secrets you discover on this website. They don’t Continue reading
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.
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?
When things are tough most wedding and portrait photographers instantly press the panic button and follow this dangerous three step process:
They quickly realise that the small increase in orders doesn’t cover the decrease in average order value.
They then quickly jump onto Google and type in ‘How can photographers make money fast?’ and get saved by reading this post! You’re about to learn the six quickest ways to bring in more profit to your photography business. Some of these ideas work instantly and others will take a few minutes, days or weeks of your time, but they’re all extremely effective.
But why doesn’t reducing your prices work?
OK, let’s rewind and analyse why reducing your prices is the kiss of death.
Sometimes I think there must be a little factory somewhere churning our words for photography websites. There are only so many times you can read the words ‘quality service’ before you get suspicious!
I’ve counted roughly 26 trillion photography websites in my city and only four make me feel like the photographer has written from their heart, written like they really care.
OK, so I made those figures up, but you know what I mean – most photography websites sound the same.
“Sure Dan, but people only look at the photos anyway, so it doesn’t matter about the words.”
Here are some of my website stats throughout 2012: 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!
Of course there are many ways to create a successful business, but the best way you run a photography business is to take your business to pieces. For every element ask yourself, “Is that the best way of doing things?”
I learned from David Brailsford – the brains behind the UK’s stellar rise in the world of cycling – that success is never down to one secret, it’s down to many, many little improvements.
So, the bad news is that you can’t suddenly start doing something and create a successful photography business. However, if it was easy then everyone would be a successful photographer. Having the drive and commitment to pick apart your business and fine-tune each element is not something other photographers are likely to do.
So what do you need to look at? Here are some ideas: Continue reading
‘Barriers to entry’ doesn’t mean you need to put snipers on the roof of your studio and bear traps by the front door. No, it means you need to set up your photography business in a way that makes it more difficult for your competition to compete with you.
Think of things that your competitors ‘can’t do’, ‘won’t do’, or ‘don’t have’. Let’s look at each of these points in turn.
Don’t be short sighted here. Don’t just think about things relating to photography. What special skills can you bring to the party, or learn? If you photograph dogs then why not become an expert dog trainer too? Then you can master your subjects with consummate ease while your competition marvels at how you’ve achieved seemingly impossible results.
Figuring out how to get more photography clients is the biggest question on most photographers’ minds. This is no surprise, because having a good stream of enquiries benefits every aspect of your business.
If you have a lot of enquiries you feel more confident about increasing your prices. If you’re able to increase your prices then you can spend more time with each client and take better care of them and produce a better product.
If you’re not worrying where the next enquiry is coming from you will seem more self-assured when you’re speaking with clients. When you look and sound confident your prospects and clients will treat you with more respect because you don’t seem desperate. This respect coupled with your higher prices means people will listen to you more.
Creating a huge demand for your limited supply is the trunk of the photography tree that all the other sales and marketing branches stem from. If you don’t have enquiries then it doesn’t matter how good your photography is or how great you are at sales.
If you can create a constant stream of enquiries into your photography business then it makes everything else a lot easier. You can (politely) turn away the clients that aren’t suitable and spend more time delighting the ones that are.