5 Ways to Deal with Bad Wedding Photos

It’s another one of those photographers’ nightmares that everyone has to deal with, sooner or later in their career. It usually tends to happen to beginner wedding photographers: you shoot the wedding, spend tons of time editing the pictures, then, one day, you get the dreaded call. The client hates your work. They are disappointed … Read more

A Businessman’s Approach to Photography : The Best Method for Signing New Clients

Guest post by Topher Kelly Photographs courtesy of Jared Bauman In a world of salesmen who assure clients that they know “what’s best,” the Socratic sales method, one that revolves around listening and asking questions, isn’t the most popular approach. That said, there’s something to the Socratic sales method that most modern businessmen, whether they … Read more

The #1 Secret To Becoming A Great Photographer Is

The #1 Secret To Becoming A Great Photographer Is

Being so good at photography the people in your sphere can’t ignore you.

Sounds simple enough. Yet who defines “good” or “great”? That term is questionable, which is why we ultimately refer to our sphere – the marketplace that loves us and is willing to help us grow our business.

The 1 Secret To Becoming A Great Photographer Is

You can’t define great photography by what you think is great (or even what your family/friends tell you is great). The world is full of starving artists whose mother/father/girlfriend/husband thinks they have the best eye in the world. Instead, we must define it by looking at the trails that others have left before us.

Why Professionals Follow Other Photographers’ Footprints

In every field in existence, in every niche you can imagine, someone has been there before you and created success around it. Those are your models. That’s where you gain your inspiration.

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What Should You Be Trying For: One Big Customer or Many Small One’s?

What Should You Be Trying For: One Big Customer or Many Small One’s?

Imagine your business in this manner. You have one great client that you love. They love everything about you and they pay you dearly for your services. Whatever you need to survive each month ($1,000? $10,000?), that’s the fee they pay you to photograph for them. Sounds pretty impressive right? What if we imagine your … Read more

14 Do’s and Don’ts To Win Over Your Photography Clients

14 Do’s and Don’ts To Win Over Your Photography Clients

The key to a great business is having great clients. Here are some simple rules to ensure that your customers love you and want to use you again and again. And again.

Do find your competitive edge.

What makes you special? What makes you unique? Its not just your passion or your love for the business. It has to be your approach to photography and the way you run your business. Find that one unique thing that sets you apart and use it to bring in a ton of clients.

Don’t badmouth your competition.

You probably have one or two competitors who you think very little of. They run their business completely against your ethics and you know “dirty little secrets” about them that makes you have anything but trust. Don’t tell. As much as you know about them, its important to turn the other way and simply ignore. The clients that are best suited for you will quickly figure that out for themselves if they visit that business. Just stay true to your word and do the best you can do.

Do find ways to build relationships.

The most difficult way to build a business is to focus on bringing in new client after new client. If they’ve never heard of you when they begin their search, it will take time to educate them on who you are. Instead, keep your existing clients happy, and they will refer you to all of their friends and family.

Don’t sell, sell sell.

Your job isn’t to sell what you do. Instead its all about building strong relationship with pillars of the community. If everyone is talking about you, everyone will have to use your services. Avoid the temptation online and off to spread your message as “would you like to buy from me?” They will find you when they are ready.

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10 Ways To Love Your Photography Clients

“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises.
He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption in our work – he is the purpose of it.
We are not doing him a favour by serving him.
He is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to serve him.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi spoke those words back in 1890. And in every way they still apply today.

The most important thing within your business is your list – your customers – the people that can give you the opportunity to run a successful business for as long as you choose to stay in business. If you want them to choose to spend their money in your studio, here are 10 ways to stand out from your competition.

1. Don’t set up your packages and promotions based on what you want to sell. Set them up based on what your customers want to buy. Listen to what they say. When you truly listen to your customers and modify things to make your products and services that much better, they will love what you do.

2. Go beyond order taking and showcase your expertise within the industry. Anyone can take orders. But a real professional will prove their artistic talent by building relationships and directing people on what to do next. Collages, albums, montages – you are the artist and show your clients how your vision is put together through your photographs.

3. Make reliability a key ingredient to your mission. When you do as you say and often times go the extra mile without having to be asked, your clients notice.

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The Biggest Assumption About Marketing – Are You Guilty?

What is the first rule of thumb when it comes to marketing your photography?

Never, ever assume anything about anything. Ever.

Because the moment you assume someone knows something, chances are you’ll get your marketing all wrong. Because its almost never true.

Here’s why.

You’ve been dreaming about being a photographer for years. You might even have a strong business, and have been photographing clients for years. But as you live and breathe photography, it becomes a part of who you are. You think in shutter speeds and aperture settings. You look at the world through an imaginary lens – all the time. And you constantly look at how you can gain new clients by the marketing materials you produce.

But your prospects and customers haven’t. They don’t work in your office. They don’t read photography magazines. And chances are they haven’t thought much about the art of photography. She has other priorities. She’s living in her own world 24 hours a day, and that world probably doesn’t involve a lot of research in photography.

Until she’s ready for your services. Then she starts her investigation. But even at that level, every prospect will have a different way of doing things. Some will spend hours researching online. Some will be happy with a flyer they’ve received in the mail.

Which means some will be better educated than others. But the problem is you don’t know which is which.

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Is Your Photography Business A Mac or a PC?

Are there differences between Mac’s and PC’s? You bet. And I’m sure if I asked each and every one of you, you probably have a strong opinion one way or the other. Everyone knows the two are distinctly different. And while there are some generalizations everyone would probably agree upon, I’m also willing to bet you have your reasons for staying with one or the other.

A few weeks ago I wrote several posts on our recent adventure – downsizing. As a part of our process, we converted from being a PC based home and  business, to a Mac driven home and business. And now after several weeks of running almost exclusively Mac, I have my opinions on the differences between the two. And also have made quite a few correlations towards running a business.

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Price Matters

One of the top reasons people end up with PCs over Macs is cost. If you need to buy several computers and laptops for your small business, plus a variety of software packages, the cost difference can be tremendous. You purchase PCs to save money. And you purchase Macs to own a true work of art. PCs control about 90 percent of the US market share, while Mac’s control about 10 percent. There is a difference.

The same could be said for photographers. Many people want a quick photograph to mark a period of time. They don’t care about the art form; they are looking for representation. They want the smiling faces towards the camera, and artistic expression isn’t in their budget. They shop around for “value” and are happy with more photos for less money.

A smaller portion of people want to create a piece of artwork for their wall.  They want something they could never achieve on their own with a point and shoot. And they want something they won’t see in any of the homes of family and friends. They are willing to pay what its worth in order for the experience.

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5 Reasons Your Clients Don’t Do What They Are Supposed To Do

Have you ever noticed that people don’t always do what you expect them to do?

Whether its your prospects not following through to sign the contract, or current clients not ordering in a timely manner, there are a variety of things you can do to fix the situation.

1. She misunderstands what the next step is

What makes sense to you might not make sense to your clients. You assume she knows what the next step, yet in her mind it may be anything but clear. Sit down and write down your sales process, with steps for each thing you expect her to do. Then make sure you explain things along the way. Friendly phone calls, or even a postcard in the mail is a great way to remind her of what step is next in line.

2. She is in a hurry

Your client has a lot on her mind. She’s thinking about dozens of things every day. And because she may not realize the next thing she has to do, its up to you to walk her through the steps. Lay out expectations, and add dates when appropriate. For instance when we met with potential wedding clients, we didn’t push sales. If they needed time, we always gave them time to think things over – and gave them a specific date we would hold their date without booking, which was usually around 48 hours. If we didn’t hear within that time frame, we would place a phone call just to check in and remind them their date will be open to other potential customers. Friendly reminders can lead to more business.

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