Are You Missing Your Most Obvious Customer?

Are You Missing Your Most Obvious Customer?

Every week you attend a networking meeting. Every week you go you talk about what you do. Every week you say hi to “Joe” and chat about the weekend.

Then one day you decide to meet Joe for coffee. After a ten minute conversation, he says “sign me up”.

Wow. That was easy, right?

Yet in many cases, that scenario plays out all over the world time and time again.

Why?

Because we simply fail to reach out and connect with the most obvious person that can use our services: the people we know best.

This happens for two reasons.

1. We get busy and don’t take the time to connect on a personal level with those around us.

2. We don’t go into enough detail when explaining what we do.

Connect

To solve the first problem is easy. Think about all the people around you. People you network with on a regular basis. People you run into when you’re dropping your kids off at school. People you worked with at the last event you attended.

This week – right now – pick out one person and call them up and invite them out for coffee. Don’t try and sell them. Simply meet them for coffee and talk about anything and everything. Get to know them on a more personal level.

Then when you’ve had coffee with that person, think of another. Call that person up and invite them out for coffee in the next week. Get to know them on a more personal level.

And so on.

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Is This What You Are Doing Wrong With Your Sales?

Is This What You Are Doing Wrong With Your Sales?

Are you wondering why sales aren’t where you think they should be? Are you wondering how you can get more people to your site who won’t just look, but will actually buy?

Its hard not to fall into the trap of entitlement. If you look around you, everyone talks about the overnight success stories, and the businesses that have grown from $0 to $1 million in a matter of days. Just yesterday I was emailed a story about a company that is now making $600k a month, though they were almost bankrupt a mere six weeks ago.

Entitlement is a part of our culture. We watch a show or movie and we movie from concept to solution in under two hours. Entire serial killer mysteries can be played out in less than one. So why shouldn’t we be able to build a business in a matter of weeks? We’re entitled to it, right?

The problem with entitlement within our business model is we lose site of what is truly important. Our thoughts drift to:

  • I have the most amazing product/service ever
  • My services deserve attention
  • Nobody is doing anything like me
  • I’m charging less so I should fill up twice as fast
  • Its [insert whatever you choose] fault, not my own [i.e. the economy, my parents, my spouse, my lack of education, etc]

Yet none of that is the real problem. The real problem is we bring all of our focus internally instead of placing it where it belongs … on the consumer.

A few months ago I chatted with a woman who lost her job and was trying to build up her photography business to replace her income. Her goal was to build up a portrait business that consisted of boudoir, maternity and baby portraiture. She had some great work and had a huge potential to make it grow. Where she was lacking was in marketing and sales.

So we began talking about the best way get her work out there into her community. After a little work we decided her best bet would be to get her work on the walls of a local doctor’s office. She sent off a letter and after a week … nothing. To say she was put off by the whole experience was an understatement. She was ready to throw in the towel on the whole project. Until I asked her a few questions.

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The Photography Sales Funnel Part Two: Generating Leads At The Front Of Your Funnel

In part one of this series on the Sales Funnel, I related my story of how a photographer needs to look at the entire sales cycle in order to give it strength and work to grow a successful company over time.

The sales funnel is a systematic marketing process where you filter your prospects into customers, then refine them into raving fans that refer you again and again. But before you can build your base of raving fans, you have to attract high quality prospects at the top  of the funnel. This is where your marketing can really shine.

See You At The Top

The top of your sales funnel is the one area that requires the most experimentation. It’s the area where you can try different things, achieve different results, tweak it, and start all over again. There are limitless possibilities when it comes to how you can attract quality prospects, limited only by your imagination and your resources.

For many photographers, they immediately start with the more traditional ways of marketing: business cards, sales brochures, postcards, phone books, magazines, newspapers, etc. You can also dip into the higher priced marketing methods, such as expos, tradeshows, displays, billboards, etc

Thanks to the Internet, you can also find many methods to market and capture leads in the online world. Many people stay with the “free” concept, which can work. Things like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter can all work well if you have the time. Yet the Internet is filled with opportunities – most of which are a lot less expensive than traditional methods. Banner ads, ezine placements, pay per click advertising, blogging, podcasting, guest posting and many other Web 2.0 tools.

The method you use to drive prospects is optional. Yet your ultimate goal is to attract and qualify people that may at some point purchase from you further down the road – down your sales funnel. At this stage, you goal is to drop as many people as you can into the funnel, then use other mechanisms to qualify them and continue them down the path.

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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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Are You Targeting The Average Client?

I just read an article titled, The End Of The Average American. It referred to the old mentality that marketers shared 25 years ago when they could easily target the “average” American, and be right on target almost all of the time. Twenty five years ago, over two thirds of all households were married couples. … Read more

5 Ways To Boost The Most Important Page On Your Site

What’s one of the most important pages on your website? Your home page? Your gallery section? While they are all important in creating your overall brand, there is one page that stands out above the rest, and has the most impact in converting a complete stranger into a potential prospect. Yet its also one of … Read more

Finding Your First Five Photography Clients

After years in the business, sometimes its difficult to think back to the very first day you opened your doors, and waited patiently until the first client came in. blue eyes portrait

Chances are even if you’re brand new, you’ve started out with friends and family. I remember doing a ton of friends, just to gain experience and to get my portfolio up to where we had something to show other prospects. That’s the best way to start.

I remember one of our dreams was to do love portraits, or photographs of two people in an image that portrayed a scene of romance. In order to get exactly the right look, Andrew photographed his brother and myself in a variety of photographs, which we used to show potential clients what we had in mind.

You have to have samples of what you truly want to do. A potential customer can’t read your mind, and they can’t picture what you describe. They have to see it to believe it, and want it.

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