fundy@fundysos.com'

About Andrew Funderburg

Andrew "Fundy" Funderburg is a father, husband, photographer and the creator of Fundy Software. He lives in the Portland, Oregon metro area.

How wedding photographers can maximize on Twitter

A Guest Article By Andrew Funderburg

 

1. Your Target Audience The main people a wedding photographer will want to target on Twitter is other wedding industry vendors. Since it’s damn-near impossible to know which Twitter users are brides-to-be, target vendors. Use Twitter to know who is doing what. Offer help if you see someone starting a project. Some suggestions:

  • Magazine Editors
  • Wedding Planners
  • Gown Shops
  • Florists
  • Venues

You get the picture. Twitter is an AWESOME way to break the ice with new vendors and other industry professionals you have yet to meet. Then when you do finally get some face time, you’ll have some familiarity to start with.

2. Look for people who talk back OK, so now you’ve found vendors with Twitter accounts. How do you know if they’re worth pursuing? Look at their stream. If they send out plenty of @replies, then this is who you want to talk to. If on the other hand, their stream is just one-way announcements and links to their Web site, chances are you won’t get much out of them. (They haven’t figured out how to use Twitter yet!)

3. Reach Out Twitter is not an “if you build it, they will come” type medium. In fact, it’s the opposite. You have to REACH OUT to people. You do this on Twitter by first following the people you’re targeting and then replying to their tweets. They’ll follow back after awhile. You have to jump-start it.

4. Be Interesting This should be a no-brainer, but have something to say. If you’re not witty yourself, provide resources, tips and info. You also can have good taste in retweets. @PicSeshu is someone who does this very well and has become a great photography resource on Twitter. Keep in mind your target audience and provide relevant info.

5. Have Fun The simplest law of the social universe, if you’re having fun people will be attracted to you. People want to do business with and be around other positive, upbeat people.

There you have it. That’s how a wedding photographer can use Twitter for business.

 

An easy portrait profit center

A Guest Article By Andrew Funderburg

High-end portrait sales are a great source of income for studios. But sometimes the big ticket items create sticker shock for the client.

Using Finao 3ditions (three albums exactly the same in a matching box) is a great way to bring profits into you studio. Watch this video with Fundy explaining a simple payment plan concept with three albums.

**(Prices in this video are for illustration purposes only. Make sure you price for your profitability.)

The Sales Process

A Guest Article By Andrew Funderburg

Selling is one of the more difficult aspects of running a photography business. It helps if you know the sales cycle and the sales process. These tips are taken from Advanced Selling for Dummies, a great book. Reading sales books or taking sales seminars is one of the best things you can do for your business. All the beautiful photos in the world won’t help the bottom line, if the client never books you or buys your services.

This is a simple seven step sales presentation. It works the same whether you are meeting the client for a possible wedding booking or selling albums or prints to a client you’ve already shot (portrait or wedding).

1. Greet the Client – I know this sounds obvious. Take extra time to chat with the client and find out how their day went. Make them relaxed. Imagine that a friend stopped by for a cup of coffee at your house. How would you treat them? Treat clients the same.

2. Ask Questions – You can’t sell anything if you don’t know what the client wants. If I spend a half an hour talking about portrait albums, but what the client really wants is a canvas cluster, how will that sales process go? Not very well. Ask what he or she is looking for. Ask her what brought her in? What did she see on your Web site that made her call and make an appointment? Or was it a referral? Ask all of these questions. The answer will help you provide the best solution for your client.

© Sal Cincotta

3. Identify your client’s needs – Based on the answers to the above questions, you can guide the client through your products and services and identify the best solution for them. This might be one of your pre-made packages or it might be a custom package for your client. But if you know their needs, you know what to suggest.

4. Highlight possible solutions – At this point, you might offer a few different solutions for your client. Don’t be afraid at this point to highlight the solution of a competitor. In this day and age, price is often a concern. Don’t be afraid to point out that the client could save money by going to a less expensive competitor. Just be sure to point out the benefits of your service over the cheaper service. Anyone can offer any two of the following: great product, great service or a cheap price. It is physically impossible to do all three. So, don’t be afraid to charge for your products and services.

5. Weigh the costs and benefits – This is the point where you really need to point out the benefits based on the cost of your services. A Honda Accord is less expensive than a BMW for a reason. It is your job to explain why your service is more expensive or cheaper than your competition and what that price difference means for the client. More professional experience on the wedding day? Better designed albums? Better album binding?

6. Address Client questions and concerns – When a client starts asking questions about price or seems concerned about prices, photographers often think that they are losing the sale and start discounting. Once a client starts asking specific questions or pointing out specific concerns, that means they are ready to buy. They simply are justifying the expense. Help them justify it. Address the concern, ask them if that answers their question. Then move to the close.

7. Close – Once people are ready to buy, if you keep selling, they change their mind. Get used to telling when a client is ready to buy. Once they are, close the sale. “So, have you decided on which package?”. “So, we’re doing the 12×18? album?” “So, you’re going with package B?” These are all closing phrases. Use them.