Are you ready to generate more business by having an arsenal of tools in their approach to marketing a photography business? In this final installment, I complete my final tips on ways you can get your phone ringing. In case you missed it, here is part 1 and part 2 of the series.
So without further ado, here are my final tips that you can use to help you get that phone ringing.
1. Employ Video Content.
Once again, people are lazy. They’d much rather look at pictures or watch videos than read anything. So, pull out your trusty iPhone, or set up your camera and start filming yourself. Aside from the awkward feeling of being on camera or being live, we are just making it easier for potential clients to get a feel for who we are, what we do, where we do it, and the sense that we are real people. Also, since Google owns YouTube, posting video content can only help you in search rankings!
Don’t hesitate to post up some video testimonials, how-to videos, or some behind the scenes content of you doing your thing!
2. Brand Consistency.
Customers love authentic companies. They like it when a company has a clear message and that message is consistent across all of their marketing and branding platforms. So, don’t try and be everything to everyone. It’s easy to get wrapped up in a business name vs. a DBA (doing business as), or a segment of your business. All that really matters is a strong, clear and consistent message. Customers want to do business with experts and they don’t want to spend a lot of time figuring it all out. Make it easy for them!
3. Press the Flesh.
Ok, get your mind out of the gutter! I mean, shake hands with people! Go out for a morning or afternoon on the town. Stop into businesses, and shake hands with people. Introduce yourself, and deliver that incredible elevator pitch you’ve been working on. Truth is, you may get told to take a hike. But, at least you had a few seconds of face time. If you’re a smooth operator, you might wiggle your way into a meeting with someone, or be introduced to someone else that could use your services. Whatever happens, be prepared to hear “No” a lot. Keep your chin up. No is just a yes waiting to happen. The more No’s you hear, the more yes’ there are bound to be. So, keep working it.
4. Review old emails.
This is yet another mundane task. However, you are bound to find a lead in there; perhaps someone that had asked for information a while ago, but didn’t end up booking. Maybe it’s time to send out another email or make a call. Ask them if they had any questions you can help answer. Try to reinvigorate them and generate hype and excitement for a session. After all, they wouldn’t have inquired originally if they weren’t interested.
5. Email Newsletters.
Every month (or whatever frequency you choose, that isn’t overly annoying, but gets your message out there), you can put out some interesting updates to keep people intrigued. If you’ve got a bunch to say, it shows them that you’re pretty active and worth engaging. If you post interesting information, it keeps them reading. If you provide a call to action, it could mean your phone will ring. In either case, staying active on the newsletters is a great idea. At the very least, it’s all about customer engagement. Oh, and maybe even share a testimonial or two in there. Try to get new people on the bandwagon!
6. Think of your Clients.
This one sounds vague, but I’ll explain. When you are thinking of the client, the client will think of you.
Years ago, I was working my way through a very large bond transaction (I was a bond analyst on wall street in my former life), where I stood to take home a very significant amount of money if the buyer, who was representing a large company, agreed to complete the transaction. The fellow was incredibly smart and had every broker in the field servicing his account.
I knew a few things about him. He was a family guy, with a wife and 2 young kids. He loved Sundays with his family, and really enjoyed grilling. After spending about 25 bucks to buy and ship a cool looking grill brush from Sharper Image for his birthday, the gentleman called me to thank me for the gift and gave me the go-ahead to complete the transaction.
The fact is, he could have done business with any other brokerage house, but he made a conscious decision to work with me, and my team.
When you consider your clients, they will be thinking of you too! This applies to simple things, like birthday cards, or a gift for a baby shower. Things don’t have to get expensive, but it’s the thought that counts!
7. Portfolio, Portfolio, Portfolio!!!
I can’t stress this one enough. Just because a potential client can find you, doesn’t mean you’ll end up working with them. And…just because you have put yourself out there doesn’t mean that a potential client will book you. They want to know that you are able to deliver top-notch results, consistently. Showing off a consistent, high-quality body of work is where it’s at.
8. Features and Benefits.
Ok, this does sound an awful lot like word-play on the same thing. In reality, they are entirely different. The average person doesn’t have a clue what makes one headshot better than another. But, they do know which one looks better. My theory is, if we have to make a person work hard to decide whether to book or to schedule, then we haven’t done our job effectively or efficiently. With the help of a business mentor, I took the route of listing the physical features of an awesome headshot. It doesn’t have to be a definitive list, or even extensive. It just had to be a few bullet points, which highlight key differences between awesomeness and mediocre work. Then, compile a list of benefits of an awesome headshot. How will your client use your work? Will they earn more money as a result? Will they have an improved reputation? Will they earn trust among professionals and peers? Having this information visible, front and center is super helpful in making THEIR decision easy. The easier their decision is, the more your phone will ring!
9. What about YOU?
Yes, YOU! Your about page (on your website, social media profiles, etc.) needs to be something that shows you are human. A little vulnerability, perhaps some humor, and maybe a sprinkle of other interests will go a long way. The goal is to connect with your potential clients, and tell them something about yourself that may resonate with them; common ground and common interests. They want to know that they are dealing with someone that understands them.
In addition to a great Bio, how is YOUR headshot situation? You can’t be a photographer and not have a great image of yourself. Is that image consistent across your social media platforms? It’s probably a good idea to keep it all consistent. The goal here is to be recognizable. You are your brand. Nike is a great brand. If you saw the Nike “Swoosh” on a billboard, you’d know that it’s a Nike advertisement. The same thing applies to the “D” in Disney or the Mickey Mouse ears. These are icons! Easily recognizable icons. I understand that we aren’t at THAT level yet, but that is the goal. So, keep it consistent so that folks know your face and your brand.
10. Customer Service!!
This ties into the referrals and testimonials section.
When your clients work with you, treat them to an experience that is second to none. Give them an incredible session, and a reason to talk to their friends about you.
Of course, your work needs to be awesome, but again, people do business with people they like.
If your client liked the work you did, but the experience was so-so. The likelihood of a stellar recommendation wouldn’t be as great than if you had provided them with a first-class operation and they had the time of their life.
Everything you are doing is geared towards planting seeds for the next session(s). Try not to operate in an instant gratification mindset. Sure, take care of the client that’s in front of you, but make sure that you give them a reason to create some hype for you in their circle of friends, colleagues, and family.
I know there are a TON of other creative ways to get your phone to ring. This is just a list of things to consider and perhaps put into practice. Even if you don’t use stuff listed here, it may get your wheels turning and have you finding different ways to reach people.
Until next time, happy shooting!