Have you ever wondered how McDonalds, Microsoft, Hilton Hotels and even Sesame Streetgot so successful? Probably not, but I’ll tell you – systems, that’s how.
Wherever you go McDonalds will run a well ‘oiled’ machine (if you’ll excuse the pun!). As a customer, you know what you’re going to get because the staff follow very strict guidelines. Sesame Street was based on intensive and painstakingly detailed testing on children (all humane I promise!) to ensure that they got the right blend of puppets and humans and spent just the right amount of time on education and story-telling – down to the second.
Systems and photography
So, what’s all this got to do with your photography business?
Having a system takes away all the pain from your photography business. For example:
You see, what most of us do is we get up every day and work on whatever we feel needs doing that day and reacting to whatever happens. However, when you have a system you start to take back control over your business.
For example, when you have a system you already have a pre-written email ready for all the main questions you get asked on email.
When you have a system you know how to carefully educate and lead your clients towards purchasing a more lucrative product for you and a more treasured product for them.
When you have a system you know how to answer all the awkward questions as well as how to sell, without sounding salesy.
When you have a system your website doesn’t just look pretty, it actually persuades people to take action.
Even more photography systems:
Your photography business should be riddled with little systems. You should have systems for:
The list goes on.
Systems are so important that an entire industry is based around them – franchises. If you have a documented winning system then you have something so valuable that it could be sold to someone as a franchise.
Systems are why marketers will always recommend photographers pick a niche. It’s much easier to create a system for a wedding photography business than it is for photography business that does a bit of everything.
The advantages of systems
Document your systems and make sure you test them. For example, spend a month using one piece of sales patter (I use the term ‘patter’ loosely, as you should never sound like a salesperson) and then switch to a different method. See which one works best. Testing is important in everything you do.
Use crib sheets until the best processes are lodged in your head.
The photography marketing e-book I’m working on will lay out some systems and how they can work in practice. But in summary they are just a series of steps that take your customer on a journey into your business, through your business and then coming back for more business (and ideally bringing some friends with them!) Each of the steps in the system will have its own system, or step by step guide.
So go on: create it, hone it, test it, refine it and profit from it.
By the way, I bet you landed on this page because you thought the headline sounded interesting. It turned out that the blog post was actually about processes and procedures – how dull! It just goes to show you how powerful a good headline is doesn’t it? That said, you’re probably glad you got sucked in because this tip is a little known secret that I never see mentioned anywhere else.
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