You love photography. You do it well. You are motivated. You are legit. Now what? The interplay between marketing and sales is not necessarily intuitive for everyone, but here are a few ideas to get started thinking about how YOU are going to put yourself out there! Marketing can be thought of as the courtship of the business relationship. Making them interested… making them want to know more. Selling YOU and your service. Having professional branding and marketing materials is important. Remember this is the part where we are trying to piqué their interest so that they (the potential clients) make the next move… The email, the phone call, the hit on your website, etc.
Marketing is the “pull”
Carry business cards everywhere, but target your audience. Standing in line at the store behind a pregnant woman and casually dropping into conversation that you do maternity portraits may be all that it takes. That one business card (if delivered in a friendly…not creepy stalker-ish way) may do you more good than 100 business cards dumped onto a table somewhere else.
Your best marketing tools are your current clients. Give them something tangible with your brand – a keychain, tin of mints, pen, etc. Something they will use…and others will see and ask about. AND make sure THEY also have your business card to give out too!
Give a little, get a lot. This is the “Saturday Samples” theory at the wholesale clubs. You know what I’m talking about…walking up and down aisle after aisle sampling little paper cups of junk food. Do they do that just because they have extra food to give away? No. They do this because it increases the chance you will BUY those products. I recently had great success just by giving people a token image or two that I snapped of them at public events…the “investment” of me providing them a few images and a few moments of my time – pays off large! I have already booked several sessions from these small gestures.
Sales is the “push”
While marketing is the “pull”… sales is the “push” in the relationship. In the marketing phase, you have sold yourself and your services, but now it comes down to the sales of your product. Here are a few quick tips to nail the sales more consistently.
Do it in person whenever possible. Come in with your confidence level high and be ready to sell! Your goal is to make them feel like they must have your products. If you think it is easier to hide behind an electronic storefront for your sales…you are nailing your own coffin shut. Sales are made on the “people connection”…if you do not take the time to get to know your client – I guarantee another photographer will!
Targeted sales. Too many choices = anxiety for the client. Streamline what you will offer them in your sales session based on what you have already established they are interested in (preferably before you even photographed them). Lugging a stack of albums to show a client who already verbalized she is looking for wall art – is a waste of time and effort. It is not a cookie cutter procedure. It is OK to have a slightly modified layout for your price lists that you deliver to different types of clients. For instance, a bride is going to be looking for very different products than a senior or a new mom. Presentation is everything. Make it easy for them to identify what they want quickly.
Keep your prices up and discount if needed. Having a higher price point gives the appearance of a more “premium” product… and then, of course, having discounts, specials, etc…brings out the part of everyone who loves a good deal. Selling something for $200 at 50% off…sounds like a better deal than just setting the price at $100. Same money in your pocket, but I promise…the former scenario will generate a lot more interest.
In summary, think big…be creative…details matter…presentation is everything…be confident…and be yourself! Good luck!
Thanks to Maggie Lueg for today’s guest blog post!